Burgers, Step Aside – the Benefits of Activated Charcoal for Health & Beauty
When you think of charcoal, you may visualize the smell of a summer barbecue or an effective source of mulch for your garden. But did you know that activated charcoal is a natural purifier, allowing you to benefit from a number of health and beauty-boosting effects.
Hold on, what is activated charcoal?
Although you may believe that activated charcoal is a trendy new term, it actually has a vast and impressive history in terms of medicine. Today, it’s mainly used as a possible poison antidote and natural detoxifier. Activated charcoal, also known as activated carbon, differs from regular charcoal in one key way – it is heated, causing expansion, resulting in a more porous surface.
The result? Charcoal that can chemically bind to other substances, effectively absorbing atoms, ions, and toxins. Here are a few key benefits:
3 REASONS WHY YOUR SHOULD USE ACTIVATED CHARCOAL
While focusing on why you should welcome activated charcoal into your life, it’s important to focus on some of its medicinal properties and overall benefits. Considering charcoal is known to adsorb up to 200 times its own weight in impurities, it’s now giving other health and beauty products a run for their money.
Reason #1: Supports positive outcomes in certain emergency situations
No one wants to be faced with an emergency, but if the worst case scenario arises, activated charcoal may actually save your life. If you ingest a toxin or a potentially fatal drug, activated charcoal can prevent absorption and support more rapid elimination. Whether you’re concerned about mercury, morphine, or DDT (a pesticide), when administered within the first hour, activated charcoal can encourage a more optimal recovery.
Within one study, published in the International Journal of Biological, Biomolecular, Agricultural, Food and Biotechnological Engineering, it was found that activated carbon in rice straw, significantly reduced the amount of Carbofuran in bodies of water. This highly toxic pesticide is just one of the numerous toxins we’re exposed to on a daily basis. Although extremely beneficial in emergency situations, activated charcoal can also be used on a more regular and routine basis.
Reason #2: Improves skin health
Toxins influence skin health, encouraging anything from wrinkles to acne. Since it is highly absorbent, activated charcoal can draw a number of toxins and bacteria to the surface of your skin. When you unclog your pores by drawing out dirt, toxins, and oil, you essentially reduce your risk of skin issues.
Although you may be drawn to the beauty benefits of an activated charcoal soaps or masks, the benefits do not end there. If you suffer from a bee sting or bug bite, this natural remedy can reduce the associated burn, itch, and irritation. By administering diluted activated charcoal to the affected area, you’ll also reduce your risk of infection.
Reason #3: Whitens teeth
Black charcoal is the last thing you’d associate with a mouthful of pearly whites, but this simple remedy most certainly supports a brighter, whiter smile. Since it’s naturally adhesive, it sticks to anything from coffee stains to plaque. It is also believed to improve the overall pH and health of your mouth. To whiten your teeth and potentially prevent cavities, keep activated charcoal powder or capsules in your medicine cabinet.
Firing up the barbecue to cook hot dogs may not be the best health move, but utilizing activated charcoal is a step into the right direction. From digestive cleanses to the prevention of cellular damage, activated charcoal is a natural remedy that has the history and positive results to back it up. If you’re interested in trying this natural beauty and alternative health remedy, discuss its varying uses with your holistic doctor – sourcing powder and capsules from health stores or a reputable online source.
Chang, K., Lin, J., and Chen, S. (2011). Adsorption Studies on the Removal of Pesticides (Carbofuran) using Activated Carbon from Rice Straw Agricultural Waste. Journal of Biological, Biomolecular, Agricultural, Food and Biotechnological Engineering. 5(4), 210-213.