*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…
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.
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.
Why take medical/food grade activated charcoal ?
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
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.
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.
Suggested dosages of Activated charcoal
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.