What Even IS Activated Charcoal?

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Activated Charcoal is quickly becoming the new Avocado or Matcha of the health-food-fad world.

But what is it? AND is it actually any good for us?

Let's find out...


Activated Charcoal is sold to us as a detoxifying miracle product with lots of big companies jumping on the bandwagon. But what IS it?

〈Activated Charcoal is made by heating Carbon containing materials, such as wood, to a very high temperature and then oxidising the Charcoal. The result is an extremely porous product which soaks up lots of different chemicals. It is used in medicine to treat poisonings and overdoses; it works by binding with the poison to minimise the absorption in the gut. So, yes it is a miracle product in that sense.


Now, here are some of the claimed benefits of Activated Charcoal:

☞Hangover Cure

☞Reduces Bloating

☞Cleanses Toxins

☞Skin Care


☞Teeth Whitening

☞Water Filtration

☞Promotes Kidney Health

Sounds ideal!


Let's look at those benefits again after doing a bit of research:

✘ Hangover Cure - Unfortunately, Activated Charcoal doesn't bind well with Alcohol! There are particular prescription medicines that it does bind with, so if you are taking regular medication, be aware.

✔︎ Reduces Bloating - There have been studies carried out which have proved that taking Activated Charcoal orally reduces bloating and flatulence. 

✔︎✘ Cleanses Toxins - Well yes, it helps to treat poisonings but may also bind to some prescribed medicines making them less effective. It has also been claimed that Activated Charcoal binds with Vitamin C, meaning that adding it to your super-fruit-detox-juice might actually make it less nutritious!

✔︎ Skin Care - Medical reports have stated that Activated Charcoal draws bacteria, poisons, chemicals, dirt and other micro-particles to the surface of skin. YAY!

✔︎ Deodorant - Activated Charcoal is extremely absorbant of moisture AND smells.

✘ Teeth Whitening - There is not enough research to back up the claim that Activated Charcoal whitens teeth, however, it's antibacterial quality should make it an ideal candidate for Oral Care products.

✔︎ Water Filtration - Activated Charcoal is used to filter water in commercial settings as well as at home. It is almost conclusively proven that it filters out flouride plus lots of other chemicals and impurities.

✔︎✘ Promote Kidney Health - There is still ongoing research but initial studies have shown that Activated Charcoal can reduce kidney inflammation and damage.


Although there is still a lot of research to be done, it looks like Activated Charcoal ain't half bad.

I use Activated Charcoal in my skin care regime and it does seem to magically disappear those pimples. As for the other benefits, the jury's out for me so far...

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