Activated Charcoal

What is Activated Charcoal?

Activated Charcoal, also known as activated carbon, is a form of carbon processed to have small, low-volume pores that increase the surface area available for adsorption or chemical reactions. It is made from materials containing amorphous carbon, such as wood, coal, peat, and coconut shells. It is available in powder form however there are also chunks available and has many purposes. Commonly in hospitals it has been used to treat poisonings and overdoses.

Health Benefits of Activated Charcoal

  • Whiten teeth naturally
  • Reduce Gas and bloating
  • Prevents hangovers
  • Cleans digestive organs
  • Reduces high cholesterol
  • Helps with detoxification
  • Removes toxins for emergency use
  • Removes toxins and bacteria from insect bites (such as mosquitos, spiders and other insect bites)
  • Treats acne
  • Multipurpose use for natural deodorizer around the home

How to Use Activated Charcoal

Internal Uses

Food Poisoning and stomach issues – take capsules internally to help with stomach bugs or other toxins

This is a treatment commonly done in hospitals and should be done under supervision. In the event of any poisoning or overdose contact emergency services immediately.

Detox - Supplements are available in capsule forms to remove toxins and impurities internally and can be used to help detox.

Filtering water

You can filter water using activated charcoal binchotan sticks or activated charcoal tea bags.

Tap water is loaded with many heavy metals and high levels of chlorine. Using binchotan sticks you can add it to a jug of water and let it sit for at least 8 hours this will help remove lead, mercury, cadmium and chlorine as well as other impurities. With the additional use of a high quality water filter you can remove more heavy metals.

You can also use activated charcoal tea bags for a glass of water for at least an hour to remove as much impurities as possible.

External Uses

Teeth whitening

As a teeth whitener use 1 teaspoon mixed with a little water to apply on the teeth. Leave on your teeth for

Removing Impurities

You can leave chunks of activated charcoal around your home to remove toxins and impurities

Deodorizers - many deodorizers have unnatural scents and chemicals that can cause ill health. It is better to use activated charcoal deodorizers around your home and car.

Face mask – for acne or clear skin

Many face masks are available using activated charcoal. Add 1 teaspoon to half an egg white preferably organic and whisk. Apply this to your face and wait at least 10 minutes before rinsing. You can purchase ready-made face masks such as activated charcoal face peels. Always make sure it is 100% natural.


Activated charcoal soap bars can help remove more toxins and impurities from your body. These are also great for cleaning your cosmetic brushes.

Natural cosmetics

Activated charcoal can be used to make a simple cosmetic for eye liner and mascara if you are after black shade. You can mix it in water in a tube container, dab eyeliner brush or a mascara brush and apply. Instead of water you can mix it with coconut oil.

Insect bites

Make a paste with activated charcoal which may be a little runny and apply on affected area and leave for around 15 – 30 minutes before rinsing.

Precautions and Warnings

It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions before using activated charcoal internally especially if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or breast feeding.

Activated charcoal may interact or reduce effectiveness of some medicines although no specific interaction is currently known.

Side Effects / Toxicity

Side effects of activated charcoal include:

  • Constipation
  • Black stools
  • Stomach cramps

Serious side effects are rare and include

  • Blockage of the intestinal tract
  • Slow function of intestinal tract
  • Regurgitation into the lungs
  • Dehydration

Buying Activated Charcoal

When buying activated charcoal It’s important that you are not buying regular charcoal used in a barbecue grill as it is loaded with chemicals and toxins that are unsafe for ingestion. Supplements are available in capsule form and labeled as Activated Charcoal which is ideal if you are ingesting and creates less mess. You can also buy the powder in a container for teeth whitening and other uses. Look for activated charcoal made from bamboo, coconut shells or other types of wood materials. Make sure there are no harmful chemical additives.