I originally wrote this article (5 Surprising Ways To Use The Detoxifying Power Of Activated Charcoal) for Mind Body Green, but wanted to share the full things here (with links) because I felt it was important for my readers to be able to read a little more detail on what I used and see where they could purchase these items at too.
This version of the article is also much longer and with more detail. So enjoy!
Earlier this month (January 2nd… I think), one of my beloved Chihuahuas had an allergic reaction to a possible toxin in my home. This particular dog is highly sensitive to chemical smells and usually sneezes profusely to let me know about it. Well, one morning I (stupidly) sprayed on some very strong perfume that had been sitting on my bathroom shelf (collecting dust). I can't tell you the exact reason I made this poor decision, but I did it. Only moments later, my poor dog started convulsing. After 30 seconds she stopped, but we were both very scared. To the best of my knowledge, this has not happened before.
But it's difficult to tell if this incident was truly provoked by the smell of chemicals or if she licked something bad off of our floors.
After she stopped shaking and calmed down, I offered her a piece of turkey dipped in activated charcoal. Because I've been a big fan of activated charcoal for a couple of years, I had known about the benefits on using it with pets.
Activated charcoal is one of the most non-toxic, adsorptive substances known to man.
Activated charcoal soaks up poisons and improves intestinal health through a process called “adsorption” which means “to bind to” rather than “to absorb.” It's commonly used by hospitals and naturopathic doctors for many ailments and drug overdoses.
Ideally, I needed to give my dog a higher dosage and more rapidly than what I was able to do, but I do believe that I did the right thing by giving it to her. It's difficult to get a pet to consume a capsule (or 4) of activated charcoal— even with food. Therefore, a couple of days later, I invested in a liquid activated charcoal (carbon) solution with an application tip to squeeze down the dog's throat. Which was a good call because about 2 weeks later, I needed to have oral surgery done for both of my Chihuahuas. They were given antibiotics at the clinic, but I was told they did not need any to go home with. What a shocker!! So, to put my mind at ease (and prevent infection), I started squirting the liquid activated charcoal down their throats once a day (evenings).
But this is only one of many ways I will be using activated charcoal in 2015!
Here's a list of some other uses:
I was seriously considering harming myself with those nasty Crest Whitestrips in order to add a little sparkle back to my coffee-stained teeth. I used those things back in the day (like 6-7 years ago) and they worked great, but left my teeth highly sensitive for a long time. I came across an article over at the very lovely and talented Wellnessmama.com on how you can open a capsule of activated charcoal and brush it on to your teeth. I've done this method of teeth whitening every day since January 2nd and I must say, it can be a bit messy, but with practice it's not too bad. And sure enough… my teeth ARE whiter now. It really works!!!
I wish I had thought to take a before/after photo as some sort of "proof" for you guys. 🙁
If you aren't a fan of the messy way, you can always try a paste that is easier to apply and has a bit of a sweet taste. I suggest doing this routine at night before bed instead of in the morning. Why? Because if you accidentally get charcoal all over your face and clothes, it's not cute. Unless of course you're a miner… then go for it. 😉
Activated charcoal doesn't just rid toxins from within the body, it soaks them up in our environments.
It naturally helps remove odors, bacteria, harmful pollutants and allergens.
I purchased a set of cute air purification bags full of activated charcoal to place in bathrooms and bedrooms in my home. I love them so much, I will be making a second purchase to add these to my vehicles, closets, other bedrooms, my office, and the kitchen because these air purification bags typically work for about 2 full years before they need to be replaced. After 2 years, the charcoal can be poured into your garden beds to help them retain moisture. Neat!!
Water filters capture unwanted materials much like the method of air purification. It’s that dust you see in some filter water pitchers or in your sink faucet filter. I've been using a Pur filter in my kitchen for about 2 years now and I feel much better knowing my water is being filtered with carbon/charcoal before I drink it. Can I personally taste the difference in my water? No… but then again, I don't think my water is THAT bad to notice. I just think it's better safe than sorry.
My husband and I LOVE homemade soaps made with super natural ingredients. So, charcoal seemed like a good choice. I'm not 100% sold on using charcoal soap just yet. I know that charcoal applied to the skin in a paste works for sucking out toxins, and charcoal is supposed to help with body odor. But soap does not stay on the skin very long before it is washed off. I am uncertain of the actual ability for any of the charcoal in the soap to soak up toxins because of it's very brief stay on the skin. However, after trying this charcoal soap for a few weeks, I will say that it leaves my skin soft. If there is any healthy benefits to using charcoal in soap, I'm betting you only notice after many, many, many uses. I'll stick with it for awhile because I have no problem with this charcoal soap.
Much like the soap idea, but just for your face. The activated charcoal is believed to pull out toxins and reduce the size of pores. My rather large pores have bothered me for at least 2 decades now, so I was open to a natural way to reduce them for fairly inexpensive cost. I've tried this sponge product out for a few weeks both without using any other soap or cleanser on it and to remove the charcoal mask (mentioned below). I have not noticed a difference from just using the sponge alone. However, the sponge was very soft and made removing my charcoal mask very easy.
I think that doing an activated charcoal mask is better than using just the bar soap or facial sponge alone on your face. I was highly considering purchasing this mask from Origins and giving it a try, but I found Freeman's Charcoal and Black Sugar Polish Mask at Ulta on sale for $1.69 so I figured that was the better deal.
Here's what happened when I used the mask 2-3 times a week for the last week: I broke out… like no one's business.
Within 4 hours of the very first application, I had a zit crop up on my forehead. I haven't had acne problems since I weighed 300 pounds. You know why I broke out at first? Because the charcoal was taking all of that crap out of my pores! I had to suffer for a couple of days with zits and redness so that I could get the results I wanted. On the bright side, the activated charcoal and black sugar mask did make my skin much, much smoother with each application. I used this mask 3 times the first week for 20-25 minutes each time. The bottle recommends 7-8 minutes for each use, but whatever. So impressed with this $1.69 mask!
If you're like me, you've tried lots of different shampoos…. some super natural (just baking soda) and some too terrible to speak their name. From my own experience, the super natural ways to shampoo hair are always the most tedious and time-consuming. I have really long and really thick hair (you wouldn't guess it from the above photo), so I suppose it would be different if there was not so much to care for!! Anyways, I tried out a charcoal shampoo bar that looked kind of neat. It has a black licorice scent to it… which I didn't really like (not my thing), but it's tolerable. The bar stayed BLACK unlike my soap bars that kind of turned grey after use. Not sure if this means there is more charcoal in the shampoo bar or not. I feel like the shampoo bar did a good job of cleaning my hair (I hardly ever use hairstyling products in my hair) and it did not leave it a tangled mess.
Much like trying to help my doggie rid her body of toxins, I use activated charcoal capsules to detox my body. It's the world’s oldest and trusted detoxifying remedy. Our food supply is very suspicious these days and you never can be sure what you're putting into your body. I can do a detox for a few days of taking 1-2 grams of activated charcoal while eating my normal healthy diet and drinking plenty of water.
This usually helps me to eliminate 3-4 pounds of toxins and water retention in just 1-2 days time.
It's that powerful! Be careful not to take with your other supplements of medication because the charcoal may render them ineffective. It is best to use activated charcoal between meals for this reason. I do not recommend consuming activated charcoal on a daily basis, although many people do (and see no side effects). Excessive charcoal consumption, especially without magnesium, can result in constipation (you have been warned!).
One More Way to Use Activated Charcoal…
I wrote about activated charcoal very briefly in this post. Give it a read if you think this is also something you would want to use charcoal for.
What I would like to see in the future:
I did not find any deodorants online that looked practical. In the upcoming weeks, I may alter my own homemade deodorant recipe to include a bit of activated charcoal for the purpose of eliminating odor and detoxing under arms & lymph system. My guess is that this would be a deodorant only to be worn with dark clothing and maybe only a couple of times a week.
More Pet Stuff:
I think it would be neat to have activated charcoal sewn in chew toys and pet bedding. If anyone knows of this actually existing, please let me know.
Affiliate Disclaimer: I was not paid to review ANY products in this blog post! However, this blog post does contain many links to charcoal products on Amazon. If you choose to click the link and purchase a product, I do receive a VERY SMALL commission (like .05 cents). Every purchase helps pay for my website hosting… so if you do decided to purchase through my links, know that I am very appreciative of your small donation towards keeping Inspire Transformation's website going. 🙂
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