VC | Creative Artist.
By Tess Bercan
Bro, do you even charcoal?
If you answered ‘no,’ you are missing out on the amazing benefits of activated charcoal. But before we dive into how this natural wonder can have you looking and feeling great, it’s worth briefly touching down on activated charcoal’s history.
Yes, it’s true, this dark powdered beauty doesn’t have the most glamorous of pasts, but it certainly has been a lifesaver to many.
Activated charcoal has been (and is still) used in the emergency room to help detoxify patients who have overdosed on certain drugs.
Rumor has it that patients who have received the charcoal therapy can be recognized by the dark ring of black around their mouths.
Like we said, activated charcoal’s use in the emerge room isn’t glitzy … but it is useful and lifesaving (no big deal).
So, now, back to the lighter side of things. How is activated charcoal made?
Here’s the nitty-gritty:
Charcoal (both regular and activated) is often made from wood. The wood is heated at a high temperature with very low oxygen concentrations.
The slow heating process removes certain elements and reduces the charcoal’s weight. In the end, we are left with a piece of charcoal that is super concentrated and is used as fuel.
At this point, activated charcoal takes a different route than its mainstream brother (the brick of charcoal in your dad’s BBQ).
After the charcoal is heated, it can then become activated.
There are a couple of different processes to activate charcoal, but a popular method is steaming. The steaming process removes elements that are non-carbon. And what you are left with is a concentrated (and highly porous) piece of activated charcoal.
Let the beauty regime begin.
Here is a list of the top 5 benefits of activated charcoal:
While it isn’t scientifically documented that activated charcoal can completely cure your happy-hour hangover, many who have used it agree that it alleviates post-fiesta symptoms substantially.
According to Dr. Dana Cohen who is a Medical Doctor of Integrative Health and the co-author of Quench: Beat Fatigue, Drop Weight, and Heal Your Body Through the New Science of Optimum Hydration, she and her patients swear that activated charcoal works to reduce hangovers.
How is this so?
“I can hypothesize that it helps eliminate toxins and byproducts of ingesting too much alcohol on an overtaxed liver (our major organ of detoxification) from the night before,” notes Cohen.
In short, minimizing the number of toxins in your body after a night out can certainly have you feeling more chipper the next day.
How can you take activated charcoal to reduce a hangover?
One way is to ingest activated charcoal pills.
“I take 2-4 while drinking a big glass of water – and remember the rule, drink a glass of water in between every drink you have,” says Cohen.
Cohen suggests that you do the same the next day. Take 2-4 capsules with a ton of water (8-16 oz).
When you stroll into work feeling as though margarita madness never happened, you have activated charcoal and water to thank for this.
Before taking it as a supplement, just be sure to confirm with a health practitioner on the dosage amount for your particular body.
Okay, we agree – coffee is delicious, and an occasional glass of Malbec sets the mood. But it can be discouraging when you smile into the mirror only to realize that your beloved indulgences have left your teeth less than white.
Not to worry, you can have your coffee and drink it, too. Activated charcoal will help to brighten your pearly whites.
According to Dr. Sarah Villafranco who is an author on the health site mgblifestyle.com, activated charcoal has an incredible ability to bind to impurities. When you use it properly, it can pull the ‘icky stuff’ from your teeth and leave them whiter than before.
To use activated charcoal on your teeth, simply dab toothpaste on your toothbrush, then dip your toothbrush in activated charcoal – and away you go. As you brush, be careful not to breathe in the charcoal, as it is not good for your lungs, explains Villafranco.
At the time, ordering another California Roll might feel like a solid plan. But before you can say ‘sake,’ and after a few rounds at the sushi bar (on separate occasions) your body feels bogged down.
Or, maybe, you already feel super fit, and you might just want to kick up your health game a notch.
Either way, using activated charcoal to detox is a fantastic option to clear your system and feel great afterward.
How does it work?
“Over the counter AC has been used for centuries as a detoxifier,” says Cohen. The many pores of activated charcoal traps toxins and eliminates them from your gastrointestinal tract.
Removing toxins from your digestive system can increase your energy levels and mental clarity. For optimal results, and especially with a sluggish colon, drink a ton of water, explains Cohen.
Before you commit to a detox plan, be sure to talk with a trusted nutritionist or doctor.
“It is important to note that activated charcoal can eliminate medications and supplements one is taking, so it should be taken two hours after taking your medications,” says Cohen.
“Activated charcoal filters chlorine, some heavy metals, phenols, and some other volatile chemicals from water,” says Cohen.
Used in combination with other filtering ingredients, activated charcoal also sieves out odors. With the right carbon filter, your water will not only taste better, but it will also be healthier.
Hydration is the first step in both looking and feeling better. “It is the baseline of health, and we need to be properly hydrated and to detoxify well,” explains Cohen.
So let’s toast to feeling great with a cool glass of filtered water!
Activated Charcoal is brilliant for your skin’s appearance, because of its ability to pull contaminants and toxins from your dermis, explains Dr.Villafranco.
In other words, it pulls those unwanted toxins right from your skin and rinses them straight down that drain.
The end result? When used in the right amount, activated charcoal can leave your skin feeling soft, clean, and clear. Beautiful skin doesn’t get much better than that.
If you use a pure powered form of activated charcoal, be sure to use it sparingly. If it is overused, it can also carry away healthy stuff (like vitamins and minerals).
Activated charcoal has hit the beauty and health markets by storm, and it’s no wonder. This black powder is beyond versatile and will have you looking and feeling great in no time.
To fully experience the benefits of activated charcoal for yourself, try out our Vegan friendly activated charcoal soap bar. Your skin will thank you for it!
VC | CREATIVE ARTIST
I have spent some 15 years building and financing startup companies, with a deep passion for positive social impacts and the creative arts. Now as I continue about my personal and professional journeys, I share everything I know and have learned with you here.