Activated charcoal has become all the rage among health and beauty bloggers these days. You’ve probably already heard about it or come across it indirectly on your way to the local drugstore. Charcoal face masks, charcoal toothpastes, charcoal powdered supplements, they’re practically everywhere. Though the trend for activated charcoal has definitely seen a bit of a spike in recent times, it was once seen as a “universal antidote”. Headache? Cholesterol problems? Yellow teeth? Charcoal was the way to go, and all for good reason.
Before we delve into the numerous benefits activated charcoal has to offer, some of you may be asking: “What is activated charcoal?”
Well, this fine black powder is made from burning either hardwood, bamboo, coconut shells, coal, or sawdust and is activated by being put through extremely high temperatures which cause a change in its structure. No, it is not the same as the charcoal you stuff under the grill when you’re out for a barbecue. The difference is in the “activation”.
Now that you know what it is, your next question may be “How does this help me?” The thing that makes activated charcoal so great is its natural ability to trap the toxins in your body which make it ready for the body to flush out. Though it’s important to know that if you plan on taking it, you should drink lots of water a daily more than your usual to replenish all the fluids you lose and keep hydrated.
So we know what it’s made of and we know how it works, but what specific benefits does it have for its users? Here are —– benefits of using activated charcoal:
1) Cleanses Your Digestive System
Much of the waste that enters our bodies come from the foods we eat, which makes it so important that we have a well-functioning digestive system. Even foods we may be quick to identify as “healthy” and therefore harmless, such as fruits, are normally sprayed with pesticides or preservatives which are harmful to the body. Removing these toxins can improve one’s energy reserves and immune system to battle illness, reduce bodily pain, and improve mental capacity.
When cleansing with activated charcoal, it may be best to keep the toxins out of your body by eating only fresh organic foods to ensure a complete and total cleanse of your system.
2) Gets Rid of Bloating
Bloating occurs when there is a buildup of gas in the stomach that may cause feelings of discomfort or even pain. These gases are a byproduct of the foods we ingest, normally foods that are fatty or acidic. What the charcoal does is attach itself onto these gas particles and bind with them for easy flushing.
3) Reduces Cholesterol Levels
In all of us, there is both “good” and “bad” cholesterol. This term is mainly used to describe HDL and LDL, however LDL is still not bad cholesterol. What’s bad is when our and of our levels are out of normal ranges. Cholesterol is important for the cells in our bodies, though only in small amounts and that produced by our own liver. High levels of cholesterol are one of the leading causes of coronary heart disease and have even proved to be fatal.
Apart from maintaining healthy eating habits with lots of leafy greens and other veggies, studies have shown that activated charcoal can reduce the “LDL” cholesterol in our bodies.
Many of us are quite conscious about the prospect of getting older. The older we get, the longer we stare at the mirror for signs of wrinkling, balding, greying, and all the other signs that come with age.
Though this is a very normal process and is a simple stage of the cycle of life, your body can be worn down by the toxins coursing through it, affecting the functionality of your organs and causing premature ageing. Knowing that activated charcoal flushes out the toxins in your body, it ensures a healthier, better working body that is sure to keep you looking younger for longer!
5) Natural Filtering
Even your own tap water is not safe from bacteria and harmful toxins. In fact, tap water is normally chock full of chemicals, toxins and fluorides. Normally, this is a result of the regular water filtration system you have installed in your home.
In order to keep out waste and other impurities, these filtration systems may have traces of pesticides and other dirt killing chemicals that aren’t good for your body. So, what your home water filtration system couldn’t filter out, activated charcoal does for you.
6) Treats Alcohol Poisoning
Weak when it comes to an invitation from the pals to a night out? Can’t handle your liquor? Simple remedy is to stop the liquor drinking! However, activated charcoal has been used in hospitals for pumping out harmful substances, such as alcohol, especially when one is suffering from alcohol poisoning.
At times like those, charcoal could be a lifesaver, but for the lightweight drinker, it can also work as a pretty great hangover cure. The activated charcoal does not absorb the alcohol, however. Instead, it flushes out all the other toxins in your body to prevent poisoning.
7) Whitens Teeth
If you tend to drink caffeinated beverages like tea or coffee, you may notice your teeth getting stained a little yellow despite all the brushing you may be doing. Especially for regular drinkers, these stains would be too tough to remove with a simple brush of the teeth, instead, opt for putting a little bit of activated charcoal powder onto a wet toothbrush and commence your brushing as usual. When you do this, do not continue to stain it daily with beverages that are unhealthy to the body like the drinking of coffee.
Many whitening toothpastes make use of activated charcoal because of its ability to attach to bond itself to dirt and toxins and pull them out to be washed away. This includes staining on the teeth. Try it out and leave it on for 3 minutes before rinsing out thoroughly with water and you’ll notice your teeth have gotten a shade lighter. Try this 2 to 3 times a week or daily for a smile worthy of a Colgate ad.