This powerful supplement has been used for hundreds of years for the use of removing harmful toxins, poisons, bacteria, parasites and other pathogens from the body. Ancient Egyptians, Native Americans, and even the father of modern medicine himself, Hippocrates, frequently used activated charcoal for the treatment of many serious health conditions. Health Canada has had a tight grip on the distribution of activated charcoal until very recently, however, it has been widely used in the United States for many years.
The surface area of the activated charcoal is riddled with small pores that absorb substances like a spunge. Most activated charcoal is made by heating coconut shells in the absence of air, which transforms it into a form of carbon, an element that is the basis of all living matter. Once it has become carbonized it is then heated with oxygen in order for it to become activated. It has a dark black colour with a light powdery texture. When taken internally it absorbs impurities, toxins, poisons, harmful bacteria, and parasites as it passes through the entire digestive tract and is then eliminated through the bowels.
The main concern to have when using activated charcoal is that it can remove important nutrients from the body and can interfere with the use of some medications. For this reason I do not recommend using this supplement on a regular basis, but rather only use it when trying to pull harmful substances from the body, such as in the case of food poisoning. Other possible uses for activated charcoal include the treatment of drug overdoses, heavy metal toxicity, and venomous bites. It can also be applied externally to the skin in the case of skin infections, bee stings, venomous bites, etc. You can even mix some of the powder with a bit of water and swish it around your mouth to whiten your teeth, prevent cavities, remove harmful bacteria from the mouth and treat other dental issues. When using this supplement in the case of food poisoning, also be sure to follow-up this treatment with the use of a good quality probiotic.
For those living in the lower mainland of British Columbia, Swiss Naturals makes an Activated Charcoal product that can be purchased at any of the Alive Health Centre locations in Vancouver or the Fraser Valley.