Five uses for activated charcoal

If you’re an American and you hear the word “charcoal,” there’s a good chance you think of those little diamond-shaped charcoal briquettes your dad used on the summer grill. But these days “charcoal” is the buzzword for just about anything that ails you.
But in this case we’re talking about “Activated Charcoal,” not charcoal briquettes that are full of chemicals and toxins that will make you sick if consumed. Activated charcoal is sold in capsules or powder and can be purchased at drug stores and health food stores.
It’s defined by as “charcoal that has been heated to increase its ability to absorb molecules.” It’s often been used in emergency rooms when someone accidentally ingests poison, but other uses have recently come to the forefront.
Five uses for activated charcoal
Here are five personal uses for activated charcoal, according to
1. Alleviates gas and bloating: A study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that activated charcoal prevents intestinal gas following a typical gas-producing meal. It works by binding the gas-causing byproducts in foods that cause discomfort. Take 500 milligrams with a full glass of water before eating the meal. Follow with one more glass of water to allow charcoal to absorb.
2. Helps prevent hangovers: If taken around the same time as alcohol consumption, activated charcoal has been shown to absorb the toxins found in some alcohol mixers, including artificial sweeteners and other chemicals. A study by Princeton also found activated charcoal can significantly reduce blood alcohol concentrations.
3. Whitens teeth: Activated charcoal promotes good oral health by changing the pH balance in the mouth, helping prevent cavities, bad breath and gum disease. It works to whiten teeth by binding with plaque and microscopic tidbits that stain teeth.
4. Bug bites: After a mosquito bite or bee sting, mix one capsule of activated charcoal with ? tablespoon of coconut oil, and dab on affected area. Reapply every 30 minutes until itching and discomfort are gone. As activated charcoal stains nearly everything it touches, wrap with a bandage.
5. Cholesterol management: Studies have shown that activated charcoal reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol as much as some prescription medications. Activated charcoal should never be taken within two hours of prescription medication because it’s believed to prevent proper absorption. Always check with your doctor.
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