There are some who claim that the health and beauty benefits of activated charcoal can be truly amazing and, in recent years, its popularity has steadily been on the rise. For those who might be wondering, this is not the same type of charcoal you use to fire up your grill. Typically made from coconut shells, peat, coal or wood that has been exposed to extreme heat, activated charcoal is a black powder that’s more porous than average charcoal and has been known for its medical uses for hundreds of years. While there continues to be some debate over its true effectiveness, these are just a few of the benefits that it’s become known for:
Improved skin. Beauty products such as face masks use activated charcoal as an ingredient to help clean pores by drawing toxins out of the skin.
Reduced bloating. The compounds in activated charcoal have been said to help prevent gas and assist with the digestion of food. Because of this, some believe it can even help fight hangovers.
Whiter teeth. Activated charcoal’s absorbing power can benefit your mouth by drawing stains, plaque and food particles away from your teeth, leaving you with a pearly white smile.
Toxin removal. This is claimed as one of activated charcoal’s most effective uses! It can prevent certain toxins from being absorbed into the body. Under a doctor’s care, it can be taken orally if a drug overdose is suspected or if certain poisons have been ingested.
In general, activated charcoal is a supplement with many potential uses. Before incorporating it into your wellness routine, however, make sure to discuss all of your options with your physician before deciding whether or not it’s right for you. Possible side effects include nausea, vomiting, intestinal blockages and interactions with certain medications.