Activated charcoal is a fine, odorless, black powder often used in emergency rooms to treat overdoses. Its toxin-absorbing properties have a wide range of medicinal and cosmetic uses, though none are scientifically proven.
Superheating natural sources of carbon, such as coconut, produces activated charcoal. This ‘activation’ process strips the charcoal of previously absorbed molecules and frees up bonding sites again. This process also reduces the size of the pores in the charcoal and makes more holes in each molecule, therefore, increasing its overall surface area. As a result, one teaspoon full of activated charcoal has more surface area than a football field.
The black powder stops toxins from being absorbed in the stomach by binding to them. The body is unable to absorb charcoal, and so the toxins that bind to the charcoal leave the body in the faeces.
Other uses of Activated charcoal:
- Activated charcoal can also reduce gas production in the intestines.
- People have long used activated charcoal as a natural water filter. Just as it does in the intestines and stomach, activated charcoal can interact with and absorb a range of toxins, drugs, viruses, bacteria, fungus, and chemicals found in water.
- Activated charcoal may treat diarrhoea.