What is Activated Charcoal?
It is a fine powder made from bone char, coconut shells, sawdust, olive pits and coal. The charcoal is processed at a very high temperature to change its internal structure and reduce the size of its pores and increase its surface area.
It is processed to make it more porous and used to trap toxins and chemicals and then allowing them to be flushed out of the body a process known as adsorption. The porous surface releases a negative charge of electricity that causes the positive charged toxins and gas to bind and stick to the surface.
There are two processes used to make activated charcoal; physical activation and chemical activation.
Physical activation happens when the source material is developed into activated charcoal using hot gases. Air is added to burn out the gases creating a screened, deducted form of activated carbon also known as activated charcoal.
Chemical activation is when the source material is added to chemicals usually an acid with a strong base or a salt then it is carbonized at a lower temperature to produce activated carbons.
Types of Activated Charcoal/ Carbon
Granular activated carbon – Suitable for adsorption of gases and vapors they diffuse rapidly and are relatively large in size. Can either be in granular or extruded form. Used in water treatment and deodorization.
Extruded activated carbon – They are usually infused with a binder and used for gas phase application because of their low-pressure drops, high mechanical strength, and low dust content.
Powdered activated carbon – Have a large surface area to volume ratio and can be used in other process units such as gravity filters, raw water intakes, clarifiers since it is in powder form.
Impregnated carbon– It contains other types of inorganic materials such as iodine and silver and can be used as an adsorbent in purifying domestic water because it contains antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. It is also used to adsorb hydrogen sulfide.
Bead activated carbon – Has a low-pressure drop, high mechanical strength and low dust content but a smaller grain size. It is used in filtration.
Polymer coated carbon – Used in hospitals where a patients blood is passed through an adsorbent substance to remove the toxicity a process known as hemoperfusion.
Features of Activated Charcoal
- The surface area for the activated charcoal ranges from 500m2 to 1500 m2 or more per gram.
- They use intermolecular forces also known as Van der walls to bind materials
- Some are sensitized with other chemicals to improve the adsorption capacity.
- They are made specifically to target specific chemical characteristics
- The higher the density a carbon has the greater the volume activity
- The hardness varies with the type of raw material and activation level
Benefits of Activated Charcoal
- Help whiten teeth and promote oral health by changing the PH balance in the mouth preventing gum disease, bad breath, and cavities.
- It adsorbs plaque and microscopic tidbits that stain the teeth
- Helps people suffering from gas and bloating by binding the gas producing it to reduce discomfort.
- Helps in removing the toxins in the body that is poisonous eg alcoholic and food poisoning
- Treating body odor, acne and relieving discomforts from insect bites
- Helps in promoting a healthy digestive tract
- Help reduce joint pain, increase energy and mental function
- Helps prevent cellular damage to the kidneys and liver
- Supports a healthy adrenal glands
- Reduces high cholesterol
- Helps remove bacteria, exfoliate the skin, minimize the pores and balance the skin’s PH
- Has antibacterial properties and can help with acne and spot treatment and also prevent further breakout
- When used as a face mask it helps the face have a clear complexion and smooth skin
- Helps increase energy levels, improve mental function and support the immune system to ward off illness and diseases
- Can be used to relieve discomfort from insect bites
- Helps to clean mold off hard surfaces and prevent mold from growing.
- Helps in purifying water by trapping the impurities such as solvents, pesticides, industrial waste
- Used in methane and hydrogen storage, gold and air purification, metal extraction, sewage treatment
- Used to remove pollutants from water and air and also industrial processes such as spill cleanups
- Used by farmers in winemaking and livestock production as a pesticide, disinfectant, processing aid and animal feed additive. In winemaking it is used as a processing agent to adsorb color pigments.
- Used to filter vodka and whiskey of organic impurities which may affect color, taste, and odor
- Used to retain radioactive gasses within the vacuumed air
- Used to purify solutions of organic molecules
- Can be used to trap mercury emissions when infused with sulfur
Advantages of Activated Charcoal
- It is used in filters to purify water and air
- Used in hospitals to bind and remove toxic substances that enter into the bloodstream
- It can be used in toothpaste, powder, and oral health rinses because it prevents substances from staining the teeth.
- It can be used as a face mask or scrub because of its effectiveness in removing bacteria, chemicals, dirt buildup on the skin
- Treats cholestasis whereby bile does not flow normally during pregnancy
- Reduces gas and high cholesterol
- Reduces discomfort when applied over rashes from poison ivy, poison oaks because it adsorbs bad bacteria and soothes the affected area
- Can be used to remove unpleasant smells from the fridge
- Eliminates toxic buildup in the body caused by molds
- Helps prevent cellular damage to the liver and kidney
- Helps major organs to flush out any stored toxins and chemicals
- Slows down the rate of the brain becoming toxic due to sensitivity
- Prevents abnormal hardening in the heart and coronary blood vessels.
- It may reduce adsorption when taken with drugs such as digoxin, theophylline, acetaminophen, and antidepressants.
- When taken via mouth it might cause black stool, black tongue, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and in serious conditions cause gastrointestinal blockage
- If added to foods or drinks it might make the food less nutritious
- It can cause dehydration if you don’t drink 12-16 glasses of water a day when taking activated charcoal.
Wild coal activated charcoal – Made from 100% organic and sustainable coconut shells. It is used to make face masks and teeth whitening powder also it is a natural detoxifier and can help bind unwanted material from entering the gut
Sagano raw activated charcoal powder – It is safe on sensitive teeth and helps to refresh the breath and prevent tartar and plaque buildup. Also used to bind impurities and as a cleansing ritual
Natures sunshine activated charcoal – Helps in adsorbing and removal of toxins. Also supports the body cleansing and detoxifying effort and can be swallowed easily because it is encapsulated. It is made from the finest ingredients and was tested for purity.
Fine vine activated coconut charcoal powder – Made with 100% natural ingredients and are safe on sensitive teeth and it prevents tooth decay, removes coffee stains, detoxifies and fights cavity.
Divine bounty organic activated charcoal – Made using organic charcoal obtained from coconut shells and helps to relieve stomach discomforts such as bloating and also cleanse pores and a teeth whitener.
Bulletproof coconut charcoal – Made 100% from coconut shells and it is gluten and soy free, non-GMO used in removing unwanted materials and also promote a healthy digestive system
Viva Doria virgin activated charcoal powder – May be used for detoxifying the system and also cleansing and teeth whitening.
How to Use this Product
- You mix the activated charcoal powder with water to form a thick paste then you scoop some paste and place on top of your toothbrush brush your teeth with the mixture leave the paste on for about 3 minutes then rinse. It helps to whiten the teeth and prevent gum disease and bad breath.
- Add one capsule of activated charcoal with 2 drops of tea tree oil or any essential oil then you mix the two ingredients well and gently scoop some and smear it on your face when the mixture dries off you rinse it off with water it helps to stop skin breakouts and also acts as a cleanser.
- Add one tablespoon of activated charcoal to a glass of water to help you detoxify
- Mix activated charcoal with your favorite drink a teaspoon before and after eating it will help in digestion
- You can add 2 or 3 capsules of activated charcoal with your scrub mixture then mix well and use it as a scrubber
- Form a thick paste using water and activated charcoal powder to apply on wounds, bites caused by insect bites and stings to help in relieving discomfort
- Add a capsule or two of activated charcoal in the shampoo bottle to help rinse out any oil residue or lint left.
Pricing of Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal range between 10 dollars to 60 dollars depending on the source of material, in what form is it if its in capsule form, powder form , paste form and the level of purity .
Activated charcoal is a must have product because it caters to your internal and external needs but one has to make sure to follow instructions to the latter in order to prevent side effects. Ensure also to check on the percentage of purity and also the price that is within your budget.
Scott Williams has a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and is a Certified Personal Trainer. Apart from being an integral part of our research team, Scott Williams spends almost every single minute he can get in the gym. He has vast experience in matters supplements, diets, and workouts.