Activated charcoal is commonly used in oral health products, as well as various skin care products. It is a popular ingredient for home remedies and is often used for water filtration. Carbon-rich materials such as wood, coconut shells, peat, or sawdust are heated to a very high temperature and activated charcoal is produced. The activation process strips the charcoal of previously absorbed molecules, which frees up bonding sites again. Activated charcoal has a porous texture and works by trapping toxins and chemicals in the gut, preventing their absorption. As it is not absorbed by our body, it carries the toxins bound to its surface out of the body in feces. It is increasingly being used for purposes such as:
Fish Odor Syndrome
Trimethylaminuria (TMAU), commonly known as fish odor syndrome is a genetic condition, in which trimethylamine (TMA) accumulates in the body. The lack of an enzyme required to perform the conversion of fishy-smelling TMA into a non-smelly compound and excreting it through the urine causes TMA accumulation. As a result, it gives rise to a foul, fishy odor by making its way into urine, sweat, and breath. Activated charcoal aids in binding the small odorous compounds like TMA and increases their excretion.
Activated charcoal is a natural filter, which can absorb a range of drugs, viruses, toxins, fungus, chemicals, and bacteria found in water. They are commonly used as a home remedy to purify water of toxins and other impurities. Typical tap water is toxic and loaded with chemicals, toxins, fluoride, etc., which are effectively cleaned by activated charcoal water filters. The regular consumption of such water fights fatigue, soothes the digestive tract, and provides lubrication for joints, as well as tissues.
Oral Healthcare Products
Activated charcoal is being increasingly utilized in oral healthcare products as it binds strongly with tannins and other compounds that stain teeth. It whitens teeth and promotes good oral health by preventing cavities, gum disease, bad breath, as well as changing the pH balance in the mouth. It absorbs plaque and microscopic tidbits, which makes it a cost-effective natural solution for a bright smile.
- To gain the teeth whitening benefits, dip a wet toothbrush into powdered activated charcoal. Brush teeth in a normal manner while focusing on areas showing the most staining. Rinse your mouth thoroughly, until your spit is clear. Incorporate activated charcoal in your normal routine by brushing with it 2-3 times per week.
Skin and Body Health
Activated charcoal is an effective remedy for several internal, as well as external uses. It treats body odor, acne, and soothes mosquito bites.
- To relieve discomfort from a mosquito bite and bee sting, mix one activated charcoal capsule with ½ tablespoon of coconut oil, and then, dab the solution on the affected area. Reapply after an interval of 30 minutes until the itching is gone. To avoid stains caused by activated charcoal, wrap a bandage.
- For treating acne, mix two teaspoons of aloe vera gel with one capsule of activated charcoal, and apply the mixture over the affected area. Smooth the mixture on the skin and let it dry. Rinse it off completely after it dries.
- For deep pore cleansing face mask, mix 1-2 activated charcoal capsules with enough water to make it spreadable and apply to the face. Keep the face mask for about 10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly. Finish this routine by using a moisturizer.
- To use it as a cleanser, simply mix ½ teaspoon of activated charcoal powder into a face wash and scrub skin gently. Rinse well, pat dry, moisturize.