Activated charcoal might look like a silly thing to lather on your face or put on your plate, but of late, it has been able to gain a considerable recognition for its excellent use in everything from smoothies to waffles, toothpaste, face wash, and more.
Many people believe that this black powder has the potential to temper body odor, detox the body, and brighten the teeth.
Numerous individuals looking for alternative ways to treat inflammation and detox their body are showing their interest in these products. While there are multiple claims regarding its effectiveness to detox your body and cleanse your teeth, not all charcoal products are safe to use.
The primary issue is that there is no agency to oversee the effectiveness or safety of activated charcoal. Also, it is not regulated by the US FDA, i.e., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Activated charcoal is nowadays everywhere. It is added to whitening toothpaste, face masks, and also sold as capsule, powder, and tablet.
This popular food supplement is said to cleanse us of the harmful toxins, cure a hangover, beat bloating, and even detox our body and teeth, but what Activated Charcoal is and is its hyped effectiveness a myth or reality?
This brief article covers everything you need to know about activated charcoal and the truth behind all the hyped claims being made regarding its health benefits.
What Is Activated Charcoal?
Though activated charcoal looks like something you would use for firing up the barbeque, it is the latest “detox” fad. It is usually made of materials containing carbon, such as wood, which is heated at a high temperature to prepare charcoal and is then oxidized with a process called “activation.”
It contains numerous tiny holes on its surface, which comes handy in increasing its surface area along with making it porous.
The sponge-like properties of activated charcoal allow it to soak up a wide range of chemicals and that is the reason it may be seen being used extensively in a variety of filtration products such as water filters(1).
What Is Detox Therapy?
The detox process starts in your liver. It is a complex process and is completed by the liver in two stages. First, the liver converts toxins to reactive metabolites and then flushes them out. Your gut, kidneys, and even lungs play a leading role in the detox therapy.
Toxins can have a cumulative and acute impact on these organs. More dangerous are the low-grade, persistent toxins the residue you consume daily from the consumption of conventionally-grown vegetables and fruits.
Reactions are not immediate. Also, you may not realize the connection between low-grade chronic toxicity and obesity issues.
Typically, detoxification refers to cleansing your blood. The detox therapy is based on flushing out toxins from the blood in your liver, where the impurities are processed for removal.
Also, the body eliminates impurities through the lungs, lymphatic system, skin, kidneys, and intestines. However, when the essential systems of your body are compromised, toxins aren’t appropriately filtered and, therefore, your body is adversely and severely affected.
A detox therapy can help improve the natural cleansing process of your body by:
- Stimulating your liver to flush out toxins from your body
- Providing rest to the organs by fasting
- Facilitating the removal of toxins and impurities through the skin, kidneys, and intestines
- Refueling your body with healthy minerals and vital nutrients
- Improving blood circulation
Detox therapies are widely used since there’s a potential health risk associated with your continual exposure to toxins in your diet and the environment.
Also, detox therapies are known to help you avoid the risk of various health disorders, including obesity, digestive issues, allergies, bloating, autoimmune diseases, inflammation, and chronic fatigue.
However, research on detox therapies is insufficient, and the few studies that exist aren’t much convincing.
Types of Popular Detox Methods
Numerous detox methods are being practiced around the world with claims to get toxins flushed out of your body to boost your overall health and wellbeing.
Some of the common detox methods include:
1. Liver Cleanse
Processes for liver cleansing chlorophyll juices and bitter greens such as dandelion greens and wheatgrass.
Other liver-friendly foods include limes, lemons, beets, carrots, and celery. Spices that deliver potent cleansing effects on your liver include cayenne, cumin, curry, turmeric, and rosemary.
It is suggested that you avoid sodas, milk, and coffee; instead, prefer apple juice and/or purified water. To facilitate effective cleansing, you may consider adding Livatrex to water or apple juice.
2. Oxygen Colon Cleanse
Oxygen colon cleansing is one of the most effective detox therapies. It is typically a 6- or 7-day cleansing process using aloe vera, raw apple cider vinegar, distilled water, probiotic supplement, and Oxy-Powder. This natural cleansing therapy is an effective and quick way to purify and nourish your digestive system.
3. Candida Cleanse
Typically, a candida cleanser is intended to eliminate candida within your body by removing all foods having sugars. A typical candida diet needs avoiding all types of sugars (including fruit juice and fruits), wheat products and refined flour, foods having yeast, and natural sweeteners like raw honey or agave nectar.
During a candida cleansing process, you should mushroom, cheese, avoid alcohol, dried fruit, soy sauce, and pickled vegetables. Also, consuming a probiotic such as Latero-Flora and organic oregano oil can improve the results of your candida cleansing therapy.
4. Harmful Organism Cleansing
There are various herbs you can consume to prevent harmful bacteria and other organisms that can adversely affect your health. Clove, American wormseed, Wormwood, and black walnut hull are four favorite herbs that have the potential to create an environment within your digestive tract that is hostile to raiding organisms.
Also, regular use of probiotic supplements support balance and depress any intrusive visitors.
5. Liquid Cleansing
A liquid cleansing is an effective way to flush out impurities and harmful toxins from your body along with maintaining high energy levels. It includes the intake of fresh organic vegetable and fruit juices, smoothies, flax, hemp, pureed soup, miso soup, coconut, purified water, and pumpkin or sesame seed oil.
6. Alkaline/Raw Foods Cleansing
It is a preferred but temporary cleansing that advocates the consumption of uncooked vegetables and fruits along with smaller amounts of sprouts, raw nuts, and seeds.
It is an excellent detoxification therapy to flush out toxins from the liver, colon, and other vital systems in your body. Also, it reduces the body’s need to alkalize the highly acidic nature of your blood that is usually caused by a non-alkaline diet.
How Activated Charcoal Helps You in Detox?
Toxins from processed, low-quality food as well as environmental pollution tend to sap your energy along with increasing the risk of chronic digestive issues and brain fog. Continual exposure to impurities can lead to cellular damage, compromised immunity, rapid aging, and allergic reactions(2).
Using activated charcoal regularly can help flush out toxins from the body, making you feel renewed, fresh, and more vibrant, usually within minutes.
Activated charcoal promotes a healthy digestive system by flushing out toxins that lead to allergic reactions, weakened immune system function, and oxidative damage. By eliminating the toxins from your body, you can resolve the symptoms of joint pain, increase mental functioning, and boost energy.
Some Fun Facts About Activated Charcoal:
- It is tasteless.
- The first known use of activated charcoal dates back to use as a water purifier dates back to 400 BC when it was in use as a water purifier by Hindus and Phoenicians.
- It is a potent antidote to certain poisons.
Environmental factors such as exposure to mold, pesticides on food, and chemicals in the water we consume tend to induce toxic effects in the body. It is essential to regularly cleanse the gastrointestinal tract for supporting overall wellness and health.
To perform a digestive cleansing with activated charcoal, you can take 10 grams of it some 90 minutes ahead of every meal for two days.
Also, while cleansing with activated charcoal, eat only organic vegetables and fruits, wild fish, and grass-fed meat. If during charcoal cleansing you experience signs of constipation, it is a sure sign that you are not drinking enough water.
Consider drinking some warm water with a touch of honey and a lemon slice every 30 minutes till the symptoms of constipation improve.
In this modern world, numerous people are turning to activated charcoal to detox their body, cleans their teeth, and temper body odor.
Though numerous claims are supporting the effectiveness of activated charcoal for full-body detox, there’s a lack of research and evidence to support the claims. Also, the US FDA does not regulate its use.
Activated charcoal can have several side effects, particularly for your digestive system such as gas and bloating. Also, it can bind with some medicines such as anti-inflammatory medications and antidepressants, hence reducing their effectiveness.
Therefore, you must consult your health physician before going with activated charcoal for a full-body detox.