What are Benefits and Side Effects of Drinking Activated Charcoal? All of us are aware of the popularity that activated charcoal is gaining these days. Most commonly known for its detoxifying properties, but activated charcoal does more than just detoxification.
How is activated charcoal made?
Activated charcoal is totally different from regular charcoal that you usually see to heat up chulhas in villages or grill. Charcoal is obtained when carbon-rich objects like peat, wood, coconut shell, petroleum etc are burnt at high temperatures. Common charcoal is activated after it is treated with oxygen, carbon dioxide and other chemicals which lead to the formation of pores and innumerable holes. These pores help in trapping the impurities.
Is it fit for consumption?
– Some studies show that activated charcoal can be consumed to pull out toxins from the body while some scientists are still doubtful about its effectiveness and say that it’s too early to draw out any conclusions.
– Activated charcoal known for its binding abilities with cholesterol and bile acids is said to lower cholesterol levels while some scientists don’t agree to this.
– It is believed that activated charcoal can absorb impurities and promote better kidney functioning.
– It is mostly used in hospitals where cases like poison consumption come up.
– It can be used to treat bloating, but consume it with some juices rather than taking it plain. Also juices should be non acidic like carrot and strictly avoid acidic juices like orange, apple etc.
1. Teeth whitening
Activated charcoal can be used to remove plaque and make your teeth shine like pearls.
How to use– buy some charcoal powder, you can get it easily from your nearby chemist. Mix one teaspoon of powder with water to make a paste like consistency and brush your teeth as you would usually brush. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes and then rinse. You can do this twice or thrice a week.
Precaution- activated charcoal can be harsh on enamel so dentists recommend not using it every day.
2. Deep clean face masks
You can find tons of face washes, face packs, sheet masks, peel off masks containing activated charcoal claiming to deep cleanse your skin. But do they really work? Answer is YES! Activated charcoal extracts the dirt out of your skin and unclogs your pores.
How to use– take some powdered charcoal, add honey or pure aloe vera gel to it. Let it sit until it dries and then wash it off. If you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, do a patch test before applying it.
3. Wonder shampoo
A variety of shampoos are available in the market in the name of activated charcoal. But why buy when you can make it yourself.
How to use- just take some powdered charcoal, mix it with some water and dilute your shampoo with this charcoal solution and it is ready to use.
4. Removes pollutants from water
Activated charcoal can filter water to some extent. It can remove chlorine, small amounts of metal like iron mercury, tannins etc. But it will be ineffective when it comes to filtering out ammonia, nitrates, fluoride, viruses and another significant amount of heavy metals.
Reasons to avoid it
1. Activated charcoal when added can bind with other vitamins and minerals to your food leaving them inefficient as before.
2. If you are on some medication it is highly advised to not consume activated charcoal as it can make your medicines futile.
3. Regular consumption of activated charcoal can also lead to black stool and constipation.
4. Nausea and vomiting can be its side effects too.
– It should be consumed internally only after your last meal and not before or after any meal as it flushes out toxins and might interfere with your body while it absorbs nutrients from the meal consumed.
– It is advised to use activated charcoal once in a while and in moderate amount or as prescribed by the chemist or printed on the bottle itself.
– Activated charcoal can soak impurities from surroundings so make sure to keep it sealed tightly.
– Consult your doctor before consuming activated charcoal pills if you are on any kind of medication.
No study has proven completely safe for us to consume activated charcoal. If you really want to detoxify your body all you have to do is eat clean, exercise, fast once in a week and drink water. That is enough. Companies selling activated charcoal pills or powder are always trying to lure innocent customers into spending money. No black drink can detoxify your body in one single day or week, it is a long and continuous process.