Activated Charcoal: Why You Should be Detoxing With This Natural Supplement
Activated Charcoal is this year’s must-have supplement. It’s in every health-food shop, high-end gymnasium and many of your favourite wellness Influencers already have their own product line. But Activated Charcoal’s use as a health supplement goes back thousands of years. From ancient healers to modern outdoorsmen and even our beloved National Health Service today use Activated Charcoal for it's abundant health benefits.
Activated Charcoal is a binding agent. It attaches itself to various toxins, poisons, heavy metals and other nasties. Since Activated Charcoal does not get absorbed by the gut, it carries these toxins through your digestive tract and prevents them being absorbed into your body.
What is Activated Charcoal?
I first became aware of Activated Charcoal in 2012. My girlfriend at the time had accidentally ingested some mercury and so we rushed down to A&E (Accident & Emergency – Or Emergency Room in the US). I was intrigued when the first thing that they did was to fetch a small white carton full of black liquid for her to drink. I was even more surprised when I found out what this black drink was – Activated Charcoal!
Activated Charcoal is the leftovers from burning wood or other natural fuels at high temperature. The high temperature is what “Activates” the charcoal – changing it's chemical structure to eliminate all of the oxygen. It is this Activation process that gifts the charcoal with it's toxin-absorbing properties.
Benefits of Activated Charcoal
The benefits of Activated Charcoal go way beyond an antidote to poisoning. In fact, given that so many of our modern food chains are heavily exposed to industrial processes or even fully captured by them, it's almost impossible to eat a diet that is totally clean of unwanted toxins.
By taking Activated Charcoal whenever you consume processed or junk food you can prevent the absorption of the unwanted toxins present in these foods into your body, especially pervasive toxins from pesticides, preservatives and other food additives.
The benefits of relieving your body of chronic toxicity are numerous. Many people report improvements in cognition, memory function and general mood. Animal studies have shown dramatic increases in lifespan using Activated Charcoal.
Bloating, flatulence and digestive discomfort can also be greatly improved using Activated Charcoal. As food is digested in the gut, various by-products produced by your gut bacterial cause gas and diarrhoea. By binding to these unwanted by-products, Activated Charcoal can help to alleviate these issues.
When to Take Activated Charcoal
It's important to remember that Activated Charcoal binds to many things, not just toxins. It’s best to take Activated Charcoal a few hours before or after taking any vitamin or mineral supplements, since it could potentially bind with these and prevent their absorption. If you are taking any medications then Activated Charcoal can interfere with their proper absorption and you must consult your doctor beforehand.
You can take Activated Charcoal any time that a potentially toxic food has entered your system. For example, if you’ve binged on fast food or a heavily processed meal then it's best to follow this up with a dose of Activated Charcoal. Likewise, if you are consuming alcohol then Activated Charcoal is a great way to absorb the various chemical additives and toxins that are present in most alcoholic drinks (note: Activated Charcoal does not bind with the alcohol itself).
You can also take Activated Charcoal on a day-to-day basis to relive your system of the toxins that are all around us today. Just remember to take it a few hours after any medication, vitamins or other supplements as it can interfere with their absorption and take advice from your doctor first if you are on any prescription medication.
…and drink plenty of water – excess charcoal consumption can cause constipation if you do not stay hydrated!