Activated Charcoal Removes Toxins, Whitens Teeth!

Activated Charcoal

In the supplement superhero world of toxin fighting,¬†Activated Charcoal¬†is Superman. Unlike most supplements, which give the body ingredients and tools to support health, aid body processes, or act as precursors to neurotransmitters, activated charcoal works on a very literal, physical level. Forget juice fasts and detox diets for “cleansing:” pop some activated charcoal instead!

Allow me to explain.

Often used in water and air filters, activated charcoal is a processed form of carbon with a negatively charged, porous surface. This surface area is HUGE. One gram of activated charcoal has the equivalent surface area of 500 square meters. That’s 10 football fields, people. 10. And what does this surface area do?¬†It binds to positively charged chemicals and toxins, transporting them through your digestive system.

In layman’s terms, activated charcoal enters your digestive track, signals out all the bad guys in hiding/waiting/etc., grabs them, and ushers them out the {ahem} door… and straight into the porcelain bowl. Like they never were there. In fact, activated charcoal is¬†so¬†effective at toxin elimination, that it is often used in hospitals after poison overdoses.

You can take activated charcoal internally to clear out toxins (it itself is nontoxic), or even brush your teeth with activated charcoal for¬†TEETH WHITENING! The teeth whitening is kind of awesome. Simply cut¬†open a charcoal capsule over the sink (Warning: it has a tendency to cling to EVERYTHING and go EVERYWHERE), and drop it on a wet toothbrush. Then brush away! Your mouth will turn completely black, and your first thought will be¬†“OMG what am I doing? My mouth is going to be black for 5 years. Why did I do this????”¬†But trust me: simply stay calm, continue brushing, then swish around some water and spit it out. Repeat the water rinsing until all the charcoal is gone. It¬†will¬†go away, trust me. (Though you won’t believe me when you first try it.) You’ll be left with squeaky clean and (likely) noticeably whiter teeth, just like you went to the dentist! Except without the laughing gas and watermelon flavored goop. {sigh}

Activated charcoal can also be particularly helpful for dealing with¬†Herxheimer (“HERX”) reactions¬†if you’re battling candida, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (“SIBO”), or other such problems. The Herx reaction involves “die off” symptoms, when killing nefarious invaders in your body (via fasts, antimicrobials, etc.), causes them to release toxins in their last stand, which makes¬†you¬†feel like utter crap. (It’s the whole “it gets darker before it gets lighter” thing). Activated Charcoal can help sweep away those toxins before they have a chance to enter your bloodstream and wreck havoc on your mood, and life in general.

Also, if there’s one way to possibly prevent HANGOVERS, activated charcoal may be it! If I’m ever feeling icky from accidentally consuming some nebulous food, or from a bit too much wine, activated charcoal can immediately IMG_4834clear my head and restore a positive mood.

NOTE: Activated charcoal should not be taken with medications or other supplements, as it may bind to them as well, inhibiting their absorption.

RESOURCS
http://www.drugs.com/monograph/charcoal-activated.html
http://journal.publications.chestnet.org/article.aspx?articleid=1062244
http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5067194&acct=nosb
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0196064487805188 http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00561677

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