Activated Charcoal, has become quite a health craze in the past few years. There's charcoal infused water, DIY toothpaste remedies for a whiter smile, and baked items such as activated charcoal pizza crust. To understand where all the buzz comes from its necessary to take a look back at history and the past uses of activated charcoal.
Activated charcoal was used in hospitals over 150 years ago, to absorb the toxins or chemicals ingested in an accidental overdose or poisoning.
Activated charcoal is commonly made from a combination of carbon containing materials such as coconut shells, olive pits, and wood pulp. The charcoal is finely ground into a black powder, known as activated charcoal. The small granules are treated with steam, oxygen, carbon dioxide and acids, "the activation process", which removes impurities and creates a a more porous product.
It's important to note we're not talking about common backyard barbecue coals, they contain chemicals and toxins and are bad for your health.
Common Uses of Activated Charcoal
Charcoal has long been used as a natural remedy for treating poisonous bites and to disinfect wounds, by drawing out impurities from the infected area. This is the reason that Patch Adhesive Strips (a natural zero waste band aid) uses Activated Charcoal in its organic bamboo fibre adhesive strips.
Natural deodorant brand Woohoo, produce a plastic free deodorant paste. They use a blend of natural ingredients including Activated Charcoal in their Mellow Sensitive Deodorant Paste. The activated charcoal has been added to keep your pits dry while also adsorbing body odour.
Activated Charcoal is also commonly used as a natural skin care treatment for acne and eczema. The charcoal is said to draw bacteria, chemicals and dirt to the skins surface, helping you to achieve a flawless complexion.
Many skin care companies are using Activated Charcoal in their natural shampoo, soap and facial bars. EORTH's Cassowaory Kicker - Activated Charcoal Facial Cleansing Bar is a gentle cleanser that uses a combination of natural ingredients like Brazilian Clay, Essential Oils, Coconut and Olive Oil and avocado. The activated coconut charcoal facial bar is designed to draw oil and impurities from the skin while deeply moisturising. This bar also pairs well with the Activated Charcoal Facial Cleansing Sponge — a completely natural product that is both biodegradable and compostable.
Studies show that Activated Charcoal is the single most effective treatment in many types of poisonings, primarily administered in emergency department settings. And although it's now been used for natural health benefits such as teeth whitening, dentists caution the direct use of DYI Activated Charcoal methods as the substance is abrasive and could damage the enamel — the outer layer that protects teeth. Once the tooth enamel is damaged it cannot be repaired.