(NaturalNews) As long ago as 1550BC, activated charcoal was documented for use in treating medical conditions. It has been used by North American Indians to treat bruises, inflammation and skin infections. Activated charcoal has also been reported to help lower cholesterol, triglycerides and lipids found in the blood.
A single teaspoon of activated charcoal has a surface area of approximately 10 000 square feet. It adsorbs (binds to and helps eliminate from the body) poisons, heavy metals, chemicals and intestinal gases that have thousands of times more weight than it has, making it very effective in detoxing and eliminating toxins and poisonous substances from the body. It is also able to adsorb many different pharmaceutical drugs, opium, cocaine, morphine, pesticides (among them DDT), chemicals, mercury and even lead.
Activated charcoal can be used to treat skin ailments, diarrhoea, bad breath, constipation and body odour. It can be used as a poultice to treat insect stings, mushroom poisoning, poison ivy, cholera, dysentery, bites and inflammation. It can also be used to treat snake bites in an emergency. Babies born with jaundice have been known to be treated with activated charcoal as well.
Activated charcoal is available in many different forms such as powder in a capsule, liquid form, suspension, chewable tablets and powder form. It is often used as an ingredient in body detox products and colon cleansers. Some people report that using activated charcoal when they have flu or other viruses helps them to recover quicker. The reason for this is that it is able to prevent viruses and bacteria from remaining active in the body while absorbing a great deal of their toxins before they have a chance to spread or multiply.
Studies have shown that activated charcoal even has anti-aging properties. It helps improve liver, adrenal gland and kidney functions with regular use. Those suffering from digestive ailments such as indigestion, bloating or gas can benefit from activated charcoal because the charcoal enters the digestive tract and absorbs excess gas, which may be present there. It also improves the functioning of the liver, heart and brain and helps to decrease cholesterol levels and the risk of coronary artery disease.
When using activated charcoal, it is best to take it between meals and a few hours after using any vitamin or mineral supplements, as it may interfere with the absorption of these into the body. It must also be stored in a properly sealed container away from heat and moisture. It should preferably be used with water only, or taken alone, as anything else such as fruit juice or ice cream will cause it to lose a great deal of its effectiveness.
In large doses, activated charcoal may cause stools to turn black. This is normal. In large doses, it may also lead to diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting. Those suffering from obstruction of the bowel should not use this product.
Shona Botes blogs about green living, budgeting, saving money, natural remedies and humour (which is often combined with the abovementioned topics). Her spare time is spent tending to her organic herb garden, cycling and engaging in photography. Her blog may be viewed here Some of her photography work may be viewed here Other articles written by her may be viewed here