The Benefits of Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is made from carbon-rich materials such as bamboo, wood, coconut shells or coal that are heated in low oxygen concentrations. This process creates tiny pores that can bind to substances.


Historically, activated charcoal has been used as an emergency anti-poisoning treatment because it binds to poisons and drugs in your digestive tract and prevents them from being absorbed.

It’s a natural deodorant

Many companies now make charcoal deodorant that’s marketed as a natural alternative to commercial brands. Activated charcoal works as an antiperspirant by binding to the chemicals that cause body odor and sweat. In addition, it can be applied topically to treat rashes from poison ivy, poison oak, and insect bites. It can also be used to treat blemishes like acne, and as a hair treatment for oily or flaky scalps.

Activated charcoal is made from carbon that has been heated at high temperatures, causing it to expand and become more porous. This process increases its surface area, which allows it to bind more molecules and ions. It is also highly effective at reducing odors and chemicals, making it an excellent natural deodorant. It can be taken orally or mixed with other ingredients to create a paste that can be applied to the skin. It is safe for most adults to use short-term, but you should consult your doctor before taking it if you are taking medications.

Activated charcoal has been used for centuries in medical treatments, including drug overdose and poisoning. It is extremely effective in removing drugs and toxins from the body, including pesticides, mercury, lead, alcohol, acetaminophen, and morphine. It can be given to people who have ingested these toxins while they are conscious and alert, but it is important that the charcoal is administered before the toxin enters the body’s bloodstream.

It’s a natural acne treatment

Activated charcoal is a powerful acne-fighting ingredient, especially for oily skin. It’s able to absorb excess sebum without removing the good oils that keep your skin healthy and hydrated. It’s often found in face masks and cleansers that mattify the complexion, and is combined with other natural ingredients like salicylic acid to clear pores and keep spots at bay.

It’s also thought to be able to unclog pores by binding bacteria and toxins, which might help to reduce the appearance of blackheads. It’s also an effective exfoliant, scrubbing away dead skin cells to leave your skin feeling smooth and fresh. It can even be used as a natural insect bite treatment because it can neutralize the toxins in insect venom and soothe the itch.

Many of the other popular uses for activated charcoal include teeth whitening, hangover prevention and treating dandruff and insect bites. However, most of these claims aren’t supported by scientific evidence. If you’re thinking of trying a charcoal-based detox product, speak to your doctor first because it may interact with some medications by reducing their effectiveness. The best way to use charcoal for your skin is by applying it in the form of a mask or cleanser, rather than ingesting it.

It’s a natural teeth whitening treatment

It seems counterintuitive with its black color, but charcoal has been used as a natural teeth whitener for ages. Many people use it in homemade toothpastes and also add it to mouthwashes and rinses. It’s supposedly very effective at whitening and detoxing your mouth by binding plaque, leftover food particles, bacteria and stains. You can find it in the form of a fine powder and it’s often sold at natural food or health and beauty stores.

Activated charcoal is very porous and it binds to toxins in the body, eliminating them from the body. It’s made from coconut shells, olive pits, coal or sawdust that are processed with high heat to ‘activate’ the charcoal. It’s used for a wide range of applications including to relieve gas and bloating, as a digestive cleanser, prevent hangovers, reduce nauseous stomach upset, and detoxify the body.

However, there’s no scientific evidence supporting the teeth whitening benefits of activated charcoal and it may actually cause tooth damage. The abrasive texture of charcoal powder can wear down enamel over time, leaving your teeth more sensitive and vulnerable to future staining. Additionally, most charcoal toothpastes don’t contain fluoride which is essential for a strong and healthy smile. Using charcoal on your teeth can be very damaging and it’s not recommended by most dentists. You should only use it at home under the guidance of a qualified naturopath or doctor.

It’s a natural emergency anti-poisoning treatment

Activated charcoal is the most effective natural treatment for drug and alcohol poisoning. Its millions of tiny pores bind to chemicals and toxins, stopping them from being absorbed in the body. Activated charcoal is also an emergency overdose antidote for many common pharmaceutical drugs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. It can also reduce the effects of some types of toxins, such as lead, mercury and insecticides. It is available in pill and powder form at most health food stores, including online retailers such as Amazon and Google Express, as well as at some specialty supplement shops. Always follow the dosage instructions on the label.

Taking too much activated charcoal may cause vomiting and diarrhea, so it should only be used under the supervision of a medical professional. It can also interfere with some medicines, so you should avoid taking it within 2 hours of any oral medications. In addition, it should be avoided if you have a bowel obstruction or are having a bowel procedure (such as gastric lavage) as it can make the condition worse.

Many people use activated charcoal as part of a detox diet or to reduce bloating and gas. It is often sold as a powder, pill, capsule or liquid supplement, and is sometimes included in detox juices. However, if you’re going to take it, make sure it’s pure and free of other ingredients that could interfere with the charcoal’s effectiveness. It’s also best to stick with a low dose, and remember that there are healthier ways to reset your digestive tract and eliminate toxic buildup.