Superfood Me: activated charcoal
You may have been hearing about activated charcoal benefits recently. It is being used in beauty products, beverages and even baked goods. Although it may seem a recent trend, healers from Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine and western medicine have been using it for over 10,000 as a way to absorb and eliminate toxins in the body as a result of your food and environment, counteract ingested poisons, as well as enhance digestion health.
What is Activated Charcoal?
Activated charcoal, which is odorless and tasteless, is not just your normal leftover charcoal in your grill or campfire.
Coconut shell, wood or other material is heated to create a char. The char is then activated in a furnace at 1700-1800 degrees F with steam in the absence of oxygen. All volatile compounds are removed, and a carbon skeleton is left behind, that is highly absorbent, with millions of tiny pores that capture, bind, and remove poisons, heavy metals, chemicals, and intestinal gasses which have thousands of times more weight than the charcoal itself.
what are the benefits of Activated Charcoal
Benefits of activated characoal include the following:
Try it as a teeth whitener! An interesting video on YouTube showcases a somewhat eerie, black smile, but do not fret! Simply use a spoonful of Activated Charcoal powder to brush your teeth and whiten them naturally -- all the while ridding yourself of bad breath. Sounds like a win-win to us. Body odors including bad breath are caused by release of toxins from the body. Other beauty trends is to create a charcoal-based face mask that purifies your skin and removes makeup.
Additional benefits from consumption of activated charcoal are reflected in the prevention and/or reduction of many biological changes linked with the aging process, our adrenal glands and kidney function. It also slows the rate at which the brain becomes sensible to toxins, making for improved cognitive functioning.
There is also evidence that activated charcoal helps lower the amount of total lipids, cholesterol, and triglycerides in your blood, liver, heart, and brain. In one study, several patients with high cholesterol were treated over a period of several weeks with regulated doses of activated charcoal, and showed a 25% reduction in total cholesterol.
Activated Charcoal uses
Because activated charcoal is primarily used to remove toxins from the body, it can be used for a variety of at home remedies and treatments.
Activated charcoal can be found in a fine powder form and is perfect for uses which you have the need to mix it - i.e. that fun, detoxifying face mask or by adding it to a beverage (ahem, Black Magic - yum!) to counteract toxins you may have ingested.
You can also purchase in the form of capsules! These are great to have on hand the next time you eat an unhealthy meal, have a few too many cocktails, or just want to boost your overall health. However, as with any supplement you add to your daily ritual be sure to review and discuss with your physician.
Enjoy the benefits of activated charcoal in Project Juice's Black Magic! Try it in the Weekend Recovery Kit (available online) to help you recuperate after an overindulgent weekend!
What’s your favorite way to incorporate activated charcoal in your routine?
Lori Kenyon Farley @ Project Juice
Co-Founder of Project Juice, Lori is also currently a member of the New York State Bar Association and a certified nutritional consultant. While upholding her degrees, she adds international fitness competitor (she placed first in the FitnessModel Category in the 2010 Natural Olympia), model and public speaker to her resume. Lori also maintains a very active lifestyle in addition to investing most of her time, energy and expertise into Project Juice.