What is Activated or Super Activated Charcoal?
Active or activated vegetable charcoal is a black powder from the high temperature calcination of wood or coconut shells. It is activated in order to purify the plant matter and increase its porosity.
The phenomenon of activation is carried out by a second calcination of the coal and by injecting it with air and water vapor under pressure.
Following this process, vegetable charcoal becomes one of the most powerful natural adsorbent. The more porous the carbon, the higher its capacity to adsorb (or attach to the surface).
Details on how it is made?
To be at the maximum of its possibilities, vegetable activated carbon is obtained in two stages:
- The carbonization : Wood is calcined by heating it to a temperature varying between 600 and 900° in the absence of air.
- L‘activation : The wood is recalcined at the same temperatures, but this time, in the presence of steam, air or oxidizing gases. This allows the development of a network of microspores which will be real traps for undesirable molecules. The extruding of coal dust develops a phenomenal contact surface: 1 cm3 of pulverized coal has a total surface area of 1 km2 and 500 g of charcoal contains 50,000 million pores.
This explains its performance: it can absorb 97 times its volume of carbon dioxide, 165 times its volume of sulfur dioxide and 178 times its volume of ammonia…
A little history
(Source : Health Alternatives)
Activated or Activated Charcoal is the world's oldest fuel:
- The Ebers papyrus 1550 BC already mentions charcoal powder.
- Hippocrates (400 BC) and Pliny (50 BC) recommend charcoal in the treatment of epilepsy, vertigo, chlorosis and "anthrax" contracted by the tanners.
- In 1793, D.M. Kehls advised in his memoir the use of charcoal to eliminate the odors of gangrene, purify the breath, putrid fevers and all bilious states.
- In 1846, Garrod published, in England, a report on the neutralization, by charcoal, of opium, morphine, hemlock, lead salts….
- In 1862, Stenhouse is the precursor of the gas masks (with coal) which were used during the war 14-18.
- In 1865, Hunter discovered the performance of coconut shell charcoal in absorbing gases.
- Nowadays, the use of carbon filters is now common in all industrial sectors that handle toxic products. In hospitals, operating rooms are sanitized by carbon filters to neutralize anesthetic gases (halothane, ether, cyclopropane, metoxyflurane, propanidide, nitrous oxide). Water sanitizing products: chlorine, ozone, chlorine dioxide, permanganate… all toxic, can be easily eliminated by carbon filters.
The history of vegetable charcoal internally in France begins in 1813. A certain Bertrand, a French chemist, gave a public demonstration. Little historical flashback: “He is holding a vial that contains 5g of arsenic trioxide (1 heaping teaspoon), enough to kill 150 men. He raises his arm and brings the beverage to his lips. In a few minutes, he should feel the inexorable effects of this drug: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, intense burning of the mouth and throat, excruciating cramps in the stomach, rapid dehydration and death. In front of the dumbfounded and horrified eyes of the crowd, Bertrand nevertheless goes about his business quietly and does not present any trouble. » `
In 1831, a Montpellier pharmacist named Touéry performed the same trick, but this time in front of the French Academy of Medicine. He swallows 1 g of strychnine (10 times the lethal dose). This poison destroys a man in 10 minutes in uncontrollable convulsions and respiratory arrest in the middle of a frightening nervous laughter, the spectacle of which is never forgotten. Yet Touery remains calm and relaxed and has no turmoil, to the complete amazement of the teachers.
The secret ? Bertrand and Touéry had both studied the action of vegetable charcoal on poisons, in particular with rats, and both wanted to demonstrate that they had discovered the universal antidote. which could be verified later.
As for Touéry, he reported that he had previously coated the strychnine in 15 g of fine powder of vegetable charcoal. He continued his research work until 1940. Patience and length of time... and it was not until 1984 (more than 150 years after Bertrand's experiment!) that the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) published two articles on the use of activated charcoal against poisoning with theophylline (broncho-dilator) and phenobarbital.
The main functions of vegetable charcoal …
- DETOXICANT : fixed on its surface: gases, toxins, microbes and other harmful substances from the digestive tract.
- SANITIZER : acts on poisoning: chemicals, heavy metals, drug overdoses, etc.
… allowing to have the following properties
- Detoxifying – Absorbing – Sanitizing
- Anti-poisons (antidote to many poisons) as we have seen previously!
- Chemical and heavy metal detox
- Action on intestinal disorders
- Action on digestive disorders
- Lowers cholesterol and triglycerides
- Removes halitosis (bad breath)
Why Choose Super Activated Charcoal Powder Over Capsules?
Because the powder is 100% charcoal, while in capsules, we have the introduction of additive products in parallel. Although present in small quantities, daily capsule intake induces a cumulative effect of these additives. The capsules however are not bad or to be avoided but it is better to use the powder version.
All the techniques proposed in this new series of articles on natural remedies are not to be used alone in isolation, but to be integrated into the framework of a naturopathic cure. I therefore recommend that you make an appointment with a naturopath in order to establish together the techniques that will be adapted to your temperament according to your available vital energy and the priority lifestyle reforms identified.
How to use Super Activated Charcoal in cures?
Drainage treatment :
- Adult : 2 tsp before the 3 meals for 15 days (i.e. 30 g), then if you want to obtain a deep cellular drainage, resume the cure for 1 month at the rate of 1 tsp before the 3 meals.
- Child : to be adapted to the weight of the child.
In case of severe poisoning :
- Adult : recommended dose of 20 g to 50 g mixed with cold water. Repeat the doses every 4 to 6 hours for 1 to 2 days depending on the severity of the poisoning (1 tbsp = 5 g of charcoal). The theoretical quantity of activated charcoal must be at least equal to 8 times the weight of toxicant ingested. The 10 times margin is desirable.
- Child : 1 g / kg
Maintenance treatment :
1 tbsp in the morning on an empty stomach in a glass of water. Tip to avoid getting it everywhere: put the charcoal in the glass, pour a little water to dilute the charcoal and then top up with the remaining water. Drink with a straw to avoid getting it in your teeth (optional, I drink it without a straw!).
Another option for bottom drainage :
it can also be used after a 21-day green clay cure, alternating over a month with a week of super activated vegetable charcoal, and a week of green clay (coupled with psyllium at a distance – the after- noon – to avoid constipation, by going from 1 to 3 tsp gradually in a glass of water, to drink without letting it swell).
Notes abbreviation: càc = teaspoon / càS = tablespoon.
Any prep tips?
Place the quantity of powder at the bottom of the glass. Add a little water, about 1/3 of the final amount and dilute the powder. Then add the rest of the water. This process makes it easier to dilute the powder. Drink through a straw. If you have it in your teeth at night, do not brush your teeth, this will also absorb toxins or waste from the mouth.
If it is really difficult to drink the solution, it is possible to dilute the powder in a little unsweetened applesauce (not in yogurt). This will turn black. Consume it like this. Charcoal will be slightly less effective. It is generally advisable to consume charcoal away from meals.
Activated charcoal has no unpleasant taste, odor or effect. It just crunches a little.
Are there any downsides to prolonged use of charcoal?
In the absence of progressive peptic ulcer or intestinal obstruction, activated charcoal is harmless. Multiple experiments were performed on rats, sheep, and others to see if charcoal absorbed nutrients and caused deficiencies over time. Their blood always retained the adequate level of calcium, copper, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamins… and the pH of the urine remained constant.
On the other hand, coal can possibly have a constipating effect on some people. It is recommended to drink well, and possibly to combine mucilage seeds or psyllium during the day to avoid this problem.
Charcoal is an absorber. He therefore inhibits oral contraceptives and the action of many drugs (antibiotics, hypotensives, etc.). Must therefore take it several hours (2 to 3 hours) after having absorbed another chemical substance. For example: if you take the pill or medication in the morning, take the charcoal at lunchtime. But vegetable charcoal can be taken during pregnancy. Otherwise take the charcoal on an empty stomach in the morning as for a clay cure, and take the medication 2 or 3 hours later.
Super activated charcoal is not suitable for infants or very young children.
Notes of interest
Vegetable charcoal gives stools a black color, do not be surprised.
And in natural cosmetics?
Thanks to its adsorbent, detoxifying and purifying properties, it can be used in cosmetics in the following cases:
- Skin subjected to pollution, stress
- Smokers skins
- Cutaneous "detox", accompaniment of internal detox cures
- Acne skin
- Skin infections
- Plant-based alternative as a black colorant for allergy sufferers who need to avoid mineral oxides
It can thus be found in:
- Detoxifying and purifying masks (ideal especially in combination with the peel-off mask)
- Colorations of soaps, in particular in cold saponification to create attractive marbling or contrasting patterns
- Make-up products: mascaras, kohls, eye shadows, etc.