Written by Sarah
Activated Charcoal: What’s It All About?
Activated charcoal seems to be popping up in everything from toothpaste to lattes, but what’s it all about? Well for starters it’s not the same as what you find in charcoal bricks or burnt pieces of food. Activated charcoal is highly absorbent and made by heating carbon-rich materials, such as wood, peat, coconut shells, or sawdust, to very high temperatures. By activating the charcoal its surface will have lots of small holes, which allows it to soak up chemicals.
What is it used for?
In the past it was used mainly to treat overdoses or poisoning, as the charcoals sponge-like surface soaks up the harmful toxins. But today it’s also used for:
- Water Filtration – activated charcoal has been found to reduce heavy metal and fluoride content in water.
- Tooth Whitening – it’s believed that activated charcoal absorbs plaque and other teeth staining compounds.
- Hangover Prevention – this one hasn’t scientifically been proved, but activated charcoal is thought to reduce blood alcohol levels.
- Skincare Products – researchers have reported that activated charcoal can help draw microparticles, such as dirt, dust, chemicals, toxins, and bacteria from the skin.
- Digestion – activated charcoal is thought to be able to disrupt intestinal gas, although scientists still do not understand how.
Research into activated charcoal is still ongoing, but lots of people still praise the benefits, and it has been proven to help filter water and remove toxins from the body. Something to think about next time you see activated charcoal…