Activated Charcoal: Health Friend or Foe?

Every now and then we hear of a seemingly bizarre health trend. The cookie only diet? The air diet? Health enthusiasts cringe! But that’s not to say that all new health alternatives are a load of crap.

When ‘activated charcoal’ entered the wellness scene, some eyebrows were raised…after all, charcoal tends to conjure up images of smouldering fireplaces. How could it possibly be used for health benefits? There’s an important difference between traditional charcoal and its activated form. Activated charcoal is made by heating raw carbon materials, such as coconut shells and bamboo, at very high temperatures, producing fine, black, odourless powder. Air is then introduced to remove gases, producing tiny little pores on the powder’s fine particles. These tiny pores create a large surface area and allow a process called ‘adsorption’ to occur, which is a powerful method of attracting toxins. It’s said that one teaspoon of activated charcoal has approximately the same total surface area as a football field! Some hospitals use activated charcoal to help draw out ingested poisons from the stomach; however, it’s not recommended to try this at home as it can interfere with medications.

Teeth whitening is a trend that’s become very popular, but it can come at a high price and plenty of harsh chemicals, such as toxic bleach. Using activated charcoal is a teeth whitening alternative for those seeking a more organic approach at an affordable price. It may even help reduce bad breath, which is great news for garlic lovers. My Magic Mud has created an activated charcoal powder for cleaning, whitening and detoxing teeth. The same adsorption principle applies, where the powder forms a paste in the mouth that may help draw out plaque, teeth stains and toxins. Using only certified organic extracts, My Magic Mud Tooth Powder also includes calcium bentonite clay, orange peel extract and mint extract which may help further draw out toxins from gums and teeth.

Apart from dental hygiene, you may also see activated charcoal in baked goods, face masks, air purifiers and other personal use products. Speak with your dentist and health care professional before using activated charcoal. Our qualified Naturopaths are happy to offer complimentary guidance and advice in-stores as well.

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