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Activated Charcoal

  • Information
  • Ingredients/Doseage
  • Further Reading

 

Activated Charcoal is the best single supplement for enhancing detoxification

Activated Charcoal detoxifies the body in several ways
  • Purifies the 6-8 litres of digestive fluids that are secreted daily which in turn helps remove foreign substances from the blood.
  • Adsorbs* the intoxicant substance and its metabolites that are excreted into the small intestine from the biliary tract, preventing their re-absorption.
  • Adsorbs* drugs that diffuse back into the stomach and intestines.
  • Decreases the detoxification work load of the liver and kidneys

*The term Adsorb may not be familiar to all, so please see the note on Adsorption in the further reading tab

The form of Charcoal used in modern medical science is Activated Charcoal, a pure naturally produced, wood charcoal carbon that has no carcinogenic properties. Activated Charcoal is an odorless, tasteless powder. One teaspoonful of it has a surface area of more than 10,000 square feet. This unique feature allows it to adsorb large amounts of chemicals or poisons.

Studies show that Activated Charcoal is harmless when ingested or when it comes in contact with the skin. It can be mixed with a filler such as psyllium husks and water and applied to the skin to suck out poisons. Warning: do not inhale as it can cause coughing fits, however it is ultimately harmless even if inhaled, just uncomfortable.

Very few health practitioners realize that Activated Charcoal is the best single supplement for enhancing detoxification. Detoxification is an on-going biological process that prevents toxins (from infectious agents, food, air, water, and substances that contact the skin) from destroying health. Chronic exposure to toxins produces cellular damage, diverse diseases, allergic like reactions, compromised immunity and premature aging.

 

Activated Charcoal whilst not the most appealing natural remedy, is certainly one of the most useful. Listed below are just a few other uses for activated charcoal, in addition to our main focus as a detox enhancer…
  • Cuts and Wounds: When applied topically to a wound, Activated Charcoal has been shown to neutralize many types of pathogens which can directly or indirectly promote infection.
  • Internal Poisoning: Activated charcoal works well to draw out toxins where drugs, poisons or household chemicals have been ingested, preventing them from entering the bloodstream. A single teaspoon of activated charcoal added to a glass of water. IMPORTANT: You must seek medical advice should you ingest any dangerous substances.
  • Spider and Snake Bites: A poultice of Activated Charcoal can be applied topically to spider bites and snake bites to draw out toxins IMPORTANT: You must seek medical advice should you be bitten by a venomous creature.
  • Teeth Whitening: Adding a little Activated Charcoal to your toothbrush and brushing your teeth with it will whiten teeth, as hard to believe as it may seem.
  • Flatulence: Activated Charcoal, can help to reduce the amount of flatulence resultant from eating certain foods.

Activated charcoal does not usually cause constipation, although it is listed as a possible side effect (however, if the bowel is irritated with inflammation/toxins and is "too loose" charcoal will normally quickly bring things back to balance) 

Activated charcoal may be taken on a permanent/maintenence basis at 5-10 grams daily or intermittently at higher doses if needed. (one week at a higher dose and one week at the maintenance dose for example).

Activated charcoal is kept in casualty departments of hospitals around the world to be given in large quantities in case of poisoning.


 
It is genreally best, but not crucial, to take charcoal drinks at least half an hour before other supplements or food or at least an hour after. Do not take medications within 2 hours either side of taking Activated Charcoal.

Special Precautions & Warnings: Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Activated charcoal might be safe when used short-term if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, but consult with your healthcare professional before using if you are pregnant.

 

Activated charcoal is safe for most adults. Side effects of activated charcoal include constipation (rarely) and black stools. More serious, but rare, side effects are a slowing or blockage of the intestinal tract, regurgitation into the lungs, and dehydration. Don't use activated charcoal if you have any kind of intestinal obstruction. Also, if you have a condition that slows the passage of food through your intestine (reduced peristalsis), don't use activated charcoal, unless you are being monitored by your healthcare provider.


Adsorption is a different process to absorption. Adsorption is the adhesion of atoms, ions, or molecules from a gas, liquid, or dissolved solid to a surface. This process creates a film of the adsorbate on the surface of the adsorbent. This process differs from absorption, in which a fluid (the absorbate) permeates or is dissolved by a liquid or solid (the absorbent). Adsorption is a surface-based process while absorption involves the whole volume of the material.

Charcoal works as an adsorbent and will attract and hold many inorganic chemicals and toxins and escort them out of the body via the stool. Stools will be very dark, even black. This is normal when taking Activated Charcoal.

The effectiveness of the adsorption function is measured by how much iodine can be adsorbed by the Activated Charcoal. In the case of our product it is rated at a very high level and given an "Iodine Number" of  >1400. This means that a single teaspoonful has a surface area of more than 10,000 square feet. This unique feature allows it to adsorb large amounts of chemicals or poisons. However, it is a double edged sword for those also using Iodine supplements, as the Activated Charcoal will adsorb the elemental iodine content of such a supplement very efficiently and remove it from the body. It is therefore essential to keep charcoal and iodine supplementation apart by at least 3 hours.
 
The immense surface area works to attract positively charged substances to its surface like a magnet. Toxins are generally positively charged. Nutrients are either neutral or negatively charged. Free-radicals (we may also call these toxins) are also positively charged and are attracted and held safely in the charcoal before elimination via the bowel. This action leaves the body with more negative charges overall than before, so by default charcoal can improve the overall anti-oxidant (negative charge) status of the body. This magnet like action on toxins is most powerful in the bowel/intestine, and it is here that many toxins (and heavy metals) arrive from the bile and are re-absorbed back into the blood. So consuming sufficient Activated charcoal breaks this cycle and gradually clears the body of considerable toxic load. For those with autoimmune disorders (especially inflammatory bowel disorders)* the action of charcoal in the bowel is to rapidly reduce inflammation via its anti-inflammatory and detoxifying action. To a lesser extent, but certainly not insignificantly, charcoal in the bowel will also have a magnet like drawing action on toxins in the lymph and extracelluar fluids helping to achieve and maintain health. It will not directly pull toxins out of the cells, although one can argue that a cleaner extracellular fluid will promote cell detoxification in itself. In practice it takes powerful detoxifiers like MSM to facillitate cell membrane permiability and cause cell detoxification. This is where help is needed from Activated Charcoal to get these toxins out of the body rather than just having them deposited in the bowel for re-absorption.
 
*some therapists consider that there is almost always inflammation in the bowel with all chronic disease.

Why take medical/food grade activated charcoal ?

  • Life extension: Possibly considerable and resultant from an increase in health and well-being into old age
  • Improved general health: Better health causes a reduction in disease manifestation
  • A good antioxidant
  • A unique detoxifier for daily detoxification help and when there is extra burden of toxins due to cleansing action of other remedies
  • Reduces the difficulties associated with health regeneration
  • As a bowel tonic and aid to the microbial health of the bowel and therefore the whole immune system
Dr. V. V. Frolkis, a famous Russian Gerontologist, and his colleagues have discovered that Activated Charcoal is a potent life-extending agent. Activated Charcoal has been found to increase the mean lifespan of older test animals by approximately 50% and their maximum lifespan by approximately 34%. Activated Charcoal decreases the age-related increase in the brain's sensitivity to drugs and toxins and keeps cholesterol and lipid metabolism under proper control. The regular use of Activated Charcoal improves the adaptive functioning of essential organs (the liver, kidneys, and adrenals). That translates into better defence mechanisms.
 
The effect of repeated courses of enterosorption (Activated Charcoal) upon the mean and maximal lifespan and some functional and metabolic indices was determined in 28-month old Wistar rats. Significant increase of mean and maximal lifespan of old rats was noted at certain regimens of enterosorption. The experimental animals demonstrated less marked age-related structural and ultrastructural changes in the liver, kidneys, myocardium, intestines, pancreas, as compared with control animals. Enterosorption leads to a reduction of pentobarbital-induced sleep, decrease of content of cytochrome P-450, blood cholesterol and triglyglycerides, cardiac and cerebral tissue cholesterol, total lipids, liver cholesterol and triglycerides. Enterosorption was found to increase the RNA and protein biosynthesis in the liver, kidneys and adrenals of old animals

Thus, the data presented suggests that the enterosorption has a potent effect upon an aging organism. This notion can be supported by the enterosorption-induced changes in lifespan prolongation, structural and ultrastructural changes, shifts in protein, and RNA biosynthesis and in lipid metabolism, in the content of microsomal enzymes, and so forth

Dr. V. V. Frolkis, a famous Russian Gerontologist
 
So the cumulative effects from Activated Charcoal are longer life and improved overall health. The recommended protocol for anti-aging and life extension benefits is the same as for general detoxification.
 
How does activated Charcoal work to improve health and detoxify the body ?

Charcoal has the almost unique feature of leeching toxins from the lymph, extracellular fluids and the bowel and also eliminating them from the body at the same time as reducing symptoms of detoxification. Normally, when the body is detoxifing, there are detoxification symptoms as the toxins leave the cells and extracellular fluid and lymph and are discharged into the blood. This can cause extra work for the liver and kidneys and also result in unpleasant symptoms such as skin rashes/disorders, cold or flu, headaches, aching muscles and joints and aggravation of any pre-existing condition. Detoxification will usually occur as one's internal energy improves due to healthy measures taken (such as exercise, improving diet or supplementation). This in turn can lead to a period of detoxification that can last from a few hours to months depending on the individual (general health, health history, age and environmental factors to name a few). This process is sometimes referred to as a healing or cleansing crisis or re-tracing. If the glands or organs are weak this can cause difficulties and sometimes prevent moving on to a higher state of wellness. If the adrenal glands are under-functioning then the use of Adrenal MAX Support (bio-identical hydrocortisone) or Adrenal Boost (Liquorice and Vitamin C) can be invaluable in allowing the person to proceed on the way to wellness.

During periods of detoxification or if afflicted by an ongoing disease state the use of Activated Charcoal is an invaluable aid to taking pressure off the detoxification organs and reducing symptoms. Also it should be noted that for keeping the cells mitochondria active and in turn supporting oxygenation and basic energy production of the cells, Zell Immunocomplex is invaluable. This will lift the person out of the states of enervation often associated with illness and/or detoxification and improve the overall outcome of the healing process.

In severe cases of detoxification Activated charcoal can be a life saver. For example, where a person is using natural methods to overcome cancer. If tumors are breaking down and high amount of toxins are relased during cancer (not to metion the extrme toxicity of so called chemiotherapy if used) then Activated Charcoal will speed their expulsion from the body and prevent reabsorption in the bowel.
 
I've worked with seriously ill (i.e. Cancer, Diabetes, AIDS) people for 15+ years, and if they drank 10-12 Glasses of Charcoal Slurry per day, they would almost always get well again. But if he/she did NOT drink these HIGHER amounts of Charcoal Slurry, while his/her Body was detoxing itself, he/she would usually die, because the excess toxins going into his/her bloodstream would overwhelm his/her detoxification organs (liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, skin). Activated Charcoal acts like a powerful  electrical Sponge, attracting and holding onto most of the toxins being eliminated by your body, thus allowing your body to rid itself of the much lower amounts of toxins, which remain

Tom Harrelson, Therapist

Use as a bowel tonic and microbial health aid, so facilitating the improvement of the entire immune system

Charcoal supports a healthy intestinal environment, not only by the actions outlined above, but also by supporting healthy microbial development in the intestine. The intestine produces many vitamins and enzymes with the help of synergistic microbes. This process is essential for efficient absorption of nutrition and to build a healthy immune system. The basis of health is often said to be based on a healthy gut/intestine.

The intestine has similarities to soil in so far as it is a complex mixture of microbes and nutrients working together to promote good nutrition in the body (or fertility of the soil). The value of this should not be underestimated. There are far more microbial cells in the body than our own cells and the majority of them live in our intestine/gut. By seeing the miraculous effects of charcoal on soil fertility we can intuit its benefits within our gut.

Studies on Amazonian soils with added charcoal showed dramatic improvement in crop production. According to Scott Bidstrup, author of Saving the Planet While Saving the Farm, the charcoal creates a haven for bacteria which live in symbiosis with root hairs of plants. The bacteria release minerals from the charcoal and the plant roots release enzymes to the bacteria.

Use as an effective adjunct to any anti-Candida regimen
 
Activated Charcoal can be an effective adjunct to any regimen for systemic Candida albicans infestation.
  • Activated Charcoal adsorbs many of the toxins that Candida produces; that would otherwise be absorbed by the blood and carried throughout the body. These toxins produce pathological changes in tissues and organs and interfere with proper immune function. Candida toxins cause allergic reactions and are responsible for the debilitating symptoms of Candidiasis.
  • Activated Charcoal suppresses the growth of intestinal-based yeasts.
  • Activated Charcoal counteracts the Herxheimer reaction - a severe, short-term exacerbation of Candida symptoms caused by the copious amount of toxins produced by dying yeast cells as a result of a successful treatment. The Herxheimer reaction is often so unpleasant that patients abandon treatment before completion. Activated Charcoal is one method for alleviating the symptoms of yeast die-off so people can continue their treatment and not suffer.

Suggested dosages of Activated charcoal

During intense detoxification 15g of Activated Charcoal a day in divided dosages on an empty stomach until the problem is eliminated. A larger amount can be taken for more severe situations, as detailed in the section below. It does not interfere with absorption of food or nutrients except positively charged ones such as Iodine as already discussed.
 
Charcoal added to the diet of sheep for six months did not cause a loss of nutrients, as compared with sheep not receiving charcoal. … A level of 5 % of the total diet was given as charcoal. It did not affect the blood or urinary levels of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, inorganic phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, creatine, uric acid, urea nitrogen, alkaline phosphatase, total protein or urine pH
David O. Cooney from his 1980 book Activated Charcoal
 
It is generally best, but not crucial, to take charcoal drinks at least half an hour before other supplements or food or at least an hour after. Do not take medications within 2 hours either side of taking Activated Charcoal.

Dose/Directions

As Activated Charcoal is not absorbed by the body and is 100% non-toxic there are no recommended maximum amounts as such. Dosage is largely restricted for the sake of convenience and cost. The bulk of the evidence suggests that nutrition from the diet is not impeded by Activated Charcoal although some nutrients are absorbed by it (such as iodine - see caution near the top of the page). It is therefore suggested that the dose be taken on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes before food.

For regular supplemental use a heaped dessert spoon (approx 5g) taken with water once daily. In times of extra need, such as during periods of enhanced detoxification or acute or chronic illness a heaped dessert spoon, 3 times daily (approx.15g). If one feels that they may benefit from even higher usage levels then personal experimentation would be necessary. 

Method of Use

Activated Charcoal is a very fine powder, it can be very messy. Care must be taken to avoid breathing in or spilling the powder. This can be best achieved by filling a mug with about 1/3 water. Then carefully add the charcoal to the top of the water by gently and slowly immersing the spoon. Carefully stir until all of the charcoal is under the water (alternatively leave undisturbed for an hour and all or most of it would have been absorbed into the water). Check in a strong light to make sure all the powder is under the surface and stir carefully to achieve this if required. Then top up with more water.

Stir the charcoal water mix immediately before drinking, and then add a little water to the cup/mug and swill the remainder left on the bottom and drink. Wipe lips with tissue and put cup/mug to one side. Drink some water and that may be followed by other liquid such as tea. The tongue will be black after drinking, but this will clear completely once food is consumed. We suggest that the same cup/mug is used each day and that it is not necessary to wash, merely wipe clean with tissues. This avoids soiling any sponge or similar when washing the mug.

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Activated Charcoal

Activated Charcoal
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Disclaimer: Regenerative Nutrition advocates a holistic approach to natural health and wellbeing. The body's ability and power to heal depends upon the totality of diet, nutrition, lifestyle and environmental factors. The information provided in our article is for information purposes only, it in no way constitutes a medical consultation, or medical advice, nor is it intended to be taken as a solicitation to purchase our products.

Always consult a health care practitioner when combating disease states.

No claim for the cure of any disease is intended, or implied nor do we claim that our products will treat, cure or prevent any disease.