Pharmacist P.F. Touery, shocked colleagues in The French Academy of Medicine in 1831 by drinking a massive dose of lethal strychnine in front of them. Amazingly, he suffered no toxic effects. He had combined the deadly poison with activated charcoal, an antidote and detoxifying agent that goes back centuries.
Today, activated charcoal is in all hospital ERs and many emergency vehicles as a fast, effective antidote for poisons of all types. It is considered safe and effective even by the FDA, and it is inexpensive. Very few know of this amazing natural antidote, and even fewer know of its general detoxifying capacity.
Explaining Activated Charcoal
Don’t confuse activated charcoal with charcoal briquettes for barbecuing or anything else. Those types of charcoal contain toxic chemicals and carcinogens. The powdered or tablet forms of activated charcoal are the only safe forms for eliminating toxins. The powdered form is easy to ingest mixed with water. It is tasteless but somewhat gritty. Tablets are simply swallowed.
Food grade activated charcoal is derived from burning pure, untainted organic substances, such as coconuts or certain woods, without using chemicals in the process.
Dr. Al Seales, MD, has his patients use activated charcoal for detoxing heavy metals, and he uses it himself. For heavy metal detoxifying, he recommends a total of 20 to 30 grams per day, spaced apart in two to four doses over a 12 day period.
Powdered activated charcoal is less messy and more mixable if you pour the powder into a jar of purified water, put a lid on it and shake it well. A little gas may escape the solution, so remove the lid slowly and away from your face to avoid escaping charcoal dust.
The action of activated charcoal involves adsorption, not absorption of toxins from the intestinal tract. Adsorption describes the electrical attraction of toxins to the surfaces of the fine charcoal particles. Since the charcoal itself is not absorbed into the body, the toxins that have attached themselves to the charcoal particles exit via the bowels. Don’t be surprised by black stools.
Activated charcoal powder is so fine that it lends itself to having a very high surface area with negatively charged particles to attract positively charged toxins.
Some recommend using activated charcoal with a non toxic toothpaste to remove plaques and stains from the teeth as well as bacteria from the mouth. A bit messy, perhaps, but considered highly effective for oral cleaning and sanitizing.
There is a controversy on ingesting activated charcoal, based on the notion that it robs the body of nutrients. According to several solid sources, this is misinformation. Pharmaceutical medicines, which tend to be toxic, are removed partially or wholly, and nutrients from synthetic vitamin sources tend to be removed also. But food natural nutrients or vitamins derived from foods do not bind to activated charcoal.
If you need to be on a prescription drug for a specific reason, the charcoal may eliminate it.
Some of those concerned about nutrients adsorbed recommend taking charcoal at least two hours away from food. A few decades ago, an animal test was conducted challenging this notion of nutritional loss with activated charcoal.
From the 1980 book Activated Charcoal by David O. Cooney: “Charcoal added to the diet of sheep for six months did not cause a loss of nutrients, as compared with sheep not receiving charcoal. … A level of 5 % of the total diet was given as charcoal. It did not affect the blood or urinary levels of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, inorganic phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, creatinine, uric acid, urea nitrogen, alkaline phosphatase, total protein or urine pH.”
Another rumor has it that activated charcoal causes constipation. It can exacerbate constipation that is already present, but it doesn’t cause it. As with any type of detoxification, one needs to be free from constipation in order to eliminate the toxins easily. A swig of pure organic castor oil will usually take care of that.
Diarrhea occasionally occurs as a temporary detox side effect, which can happen with any detoxification protocol. Ironically, large quantities of activated charcoal in slurry (settled in water) forms have been used to stop excessive diarrhea from Crohn’s disease or colitis.
Keep It Around
Even if you don’t want to use activated charcoal for general or heavy metal detox purposes, it would be wise to have it on hand in a sealed glass jar for those accidental sips of poisonous substances and venomous insect and snake bites. Remember, it is quick to prepare, easy to take, and inexpensive.
Sources for More Information: