Activated Charcoal is something you may be seeing popping up in many health and beauty products lately. You may be wondering why you should use activated charcoal and what it can exactly be used for. Besides looking pretty cool, as most people wouldn’t think something dark and strange would have such an abundance of uses, activated charcoal isn’t too expensive to obtain and you can really use it for some many things. Before I go over just some of the interesting ways to use activated charcoal at home, let’s talk about what activated Charcoal is.
What is Activated Charcoal?
Activated charcoal is not like the stuff you get in briquettes so you can make a killer steak. Activated charcoal is actually charcoal that has been processed (and pressed) with compounds like zinc and oxygen. Have you ever heard of someone having to go to the emergency room and have their ‘stomach pumped’? Most likely this refers to them partially being given very high dose of activated charcoal in order to counteract the effects of alcohol or poisoning. This is because activated charcoal binds to toxins and absorbs them. In the case of doing so for toxins in your stomach, it keeps them from going into your system. Rest assured, not only is activated charcoal safe, but it can actually be highly beneficial in many situations.
Ways to Use Activated Charcoal
Whiten your teeth– I did a post on my experiences using activated charcoal to whiten my teeth a while back and it had a lot of good responses. I still do this occasionally, and amazingly it does work pretty well. It’s easy to do, but messy, so make sure you have a towel to set up on to keep mess to a minimum.
Make Mascara and Eyeliner– I have seen people use activated charcoal to make their own makeup online recently. Here are some easy tutorials on how to make mascara from Simple Life Mom and eyeliner from the Coconut Mama. Beauty without toxins for the win!
Help upset stomachs– The most common use for activated charcoal is to help with upset stomach during illness or simply with indigestion. This can be done by taking 2 activated charcoal capsules before you eat something you think may upset your stomach (you can also take it after) or 2-3 times a day when you are suffering from a stomach bug (this is the adult dose, ask a doctor before giving to children).
Take the sting out of bug bites– If you have bug bites that are itchy or swollen, you can make a paste using witch hazel and activated charcoal. Just mix it and apply it as a paste on the affected area. Because it is pretty messy, you may want to cover it as well.
Fight blackheads and acne– One of the most popular posts I have done on my blog has been my foaming charcoal scrub. I have had numerous people tell me that it cleared up their blackheads, acne and solved their oily skin issues. That’s because charcoal will essentially soak up oils and it binds to toxins, reducing things that can cause issues in the first place.
Get rid of fridge funk– I’m ashamed to admit this, but once when I left for a week, I forgot about a cut up onion that was almost on it’s way out when I left in my fridge. I can’t even begin to describe the putrid smell that I was left with when I came back. I cleaned out my fridge and scrubbed it down, let it air out and even tried baking soda. None of that worked. When I set a tray of activated charcoal powder in my empty fridge and left the door shut for 24 hours (leaving my stuff in a cooler on ice), I was very happy to smell that the scent was gone.
Use in a detox bath- I take detox baths often to combat pain and sometimes I like to add activated charcoal powder to my tub when I do. It adds a boost of detox action, but one word of warning-if your tub is porcelain or it has soap scum, it will bind to that and make it hard to clean out so make sure you have a clean tub when you get in and rinse it out right away.
Pass on the gas with it– Activated charcoal can help with flatulence. Just take 1-2 activated charcoal capsules if you are experiencing it and you will find it alleviates it.