Benefits: Helps prevent poison from being absorbed in the digestive tract, helps absorb gas in the intestinal tract, may lower cholesterol.
Good food sources: Available as supplements only.
Cautions: Don't take charcoal for poisonings from: lye, strong acids (i.e. sulfuric acid), cyanide, iron, ethyl or methyl alcohol.
Substance interactions: May decrease absorption of medications taken at the same time.
Signs of toxicity: Very low toxicity.
* Activated charcoal is the only asorbent recognized by an FDA
panel for the treatment of ingested poison.
* In studies, 1/4 ounce three times a day for a month reduced
LDL cholesterol levels in patients by as much as 40 percent. It
is thought that the cholesterol molecules attach to the charcoal
and are excreted from the body.
* Charcoal will turn stool black, this is harmless.
* 1/2 to 1 teaspoon four times per day may help to reduce uric
acid levels in the blood. Take charcoal upon rising, mid-morning,
mid-afternoon, and at bedtime.
* Charcoal may be used to treat insect stings. After removing
the stinger, clean the area well with soap and water or an antiseptic.
Make a paste of the powdered charcoal and water. Apply to the sting
and cover with a bandage or even plastic wrap (the charcoal
needs to stay moist). It will adsorb (adheres it to the surface
of the charcoal as opposed to absorb - drawing it into the charcoal)
the venom in the sting area.