Activated charcoal? What is it? Can it be deactivated?
Activated charcoal is a byproduct of slowly burnt wood, peat or coconut shells treated with oxygen. This results in charcoal that’s highly porous and nonpolar, enabling it to adsorb or bind to toxins and odors from gases or liquids that are up to 1,000 times its weight. The resulting powder is tasteless and odorless.
Activated charcoal shouldn’t be confused with charcoal briquettes that are used to light your barbecue.While both can be made from the same base materials, charcoal briquettes have not been “activated” at high temperatures. Moreover, they contain additional substances that are toxic to humans.
So what are the benefits?
Alcohol poisoning/hangovers: Although it does not absorb the alcohol itself, activated charcoal has been utilized to treat cases of alcohol poisoning since it binds to and flushes chemicals out of the body.
Purifying water: It’s actually a common ingredient in water filter systems for industrial or home use because it can trap pesticides, solvents, industrial waste, chemicals and other impurities. Activated charcoal has also shown promise in eliminating fluoride in tap water, which is a toxic chemical that can cause severe health impacts if consumed excessively.
Improve appearance and cleanliness of teeth: You can use activated charcoal to whiten your teeth too because it is able to absorb stain-causing plaque and microscopic compounds. Although activated charcoal can turn your teeth and mouth black temporarily, it will wash away quickly.
Alleviates Gas & Bloating: One charcoal use often overlooked is its ability to alleviate uncomfortable gas and bloating. It works by binding the gas-causing byproducts in foods that cause discomfort.
Anti-Aging: Activated charcoal can help prevent cellular damage to kidneys and liver, as well as supporting healthy adrenal glands.
Reduces High Cholesterol: Studies around the world show that activated charcoal reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol as much as some prescription medications. In one study, total cholesterol decreased by 25 percent, LDL cholesterol decreased by 41 percent, while HDL increased by 8 percent in just four weeks