GeneralHealth & Disease

Charcoal: The New Health Hype

When you think of charcoal, you might think of a barbecue or the stigma of air pollution associated with industrial fuel. Both of these assumptions are fair. Charcoal does come with a history of air pollution and long-term health problems for people who come in close contact with the substance too often. What most people don’t know is that there are many types of charcoal and not all are bad. It is true that the form used in your grill and for other fueling purposes contain carcinogens and other deadly toxins, but those are additives. Charcoal in its simplest form is essentially pure carbon. The dangerous aspect of the material comes in when it is changed from its pure form into a mixture of toxins for varying purposes. However, activated charcoal has become something of the new apple cider vinegar.

Activated charcoal is created when the pure carbon form is treated with oxygen. The treatment gives it an extremely porous surface area. The pores allow the activated charcoal to bind with other carbon-based materials. A common use for the detoxifying material is in water filters. In simplistic terms, the toxins you don’t want in your water stick to the charcoal lined filter and rid your water of hazard. Once the pores are all filled up, the filter has to be removed and replaced. A use that goes unnoticed is activated charcoal’s role in emergencies. The binding properties prove to be extremely helpful in drug overdoses. Sometimes, the proper dosage of activated charcoal is more effective than actually pumping the victim’s stomach.

With all of this information, the new trend is actually ingesting the activated charcoal on a normal basis. Some people take it in pill form, while others are working it into their morning tea or lemonade. The activated charcoal comes in powder form and is most productive and beneficial for your health when it comes from coconut shells. The reasoning for the new hype is exactly its purpose. When you ingest the oxygen-treated charcoal it travels through your body, binding with toxins and ridding your body of unnatural substances. You need to take precautions, though, because the activated charcoal cannot differentiate between your prescription medication, beneficial supplements, and toxins. When used correctly, the addition of the charcoal can help with your digestive system, skin, bloating, high cholesterol, and give you an overall detoxed body. So before you deem charcoal as evil, consider its alter ego, activated charcoal.


“Top 10 Activated Charcoal Uses & Benefits.” Dr. Axe. N.p., 16 June 2017. Web. 06 July 2017.

One Comment

  1. I recently attended the Australian New Zealand biochar conferance and there were some interesting finding presented about charcoal and it potential benefits for animal health and global warming. My gut health advisor agrees Activated carbon is wonderful for chemical detox but good quality charcoal is also good for gut health and a part of many traditional diets.

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