A Humble Remedy
Since most of us cannot go out to gather a green herb in January, we will take a closer look at charcoal, a tasteless and odorless substance, very, very porous, and unequaled in its field. Man’s use of charcoal extends back as far as human history itself. Charcoal is defined as a form of carbon produced by heating wood or another organic substance in an enclosed space without air. You may have heard the fact that one teaspoon of charcoal contains the surface area of more than 10,000 square feet! I will only scratch the surface of charcoal’s usefulness as a remedy, and the research that is out there.
The carbon in charcoal adsorbs (not to be confused with absorbs) a wide range of impurities and contaminants, making it one of the most incredibly versatile products you will encounter. Charcoal absorbs because it has a negative ionic charge that attracts the positive ionic charges of toxins and poisons, causing it to bind and remove up to 100 times it’s weight. Activated charcoal is made by a reheating process, increasing it’s adsorbing ability.
Medical uses for Activated Charcoal
Activated Charcoal, while not the most appealing natural remedy, is certainly one of the most useful. It is simple to take by mouth or make into a poultice, however; it can be really messy to use because it is so black and fluffy! It is relatively inexpensive and has a very long shelf life if kept in a tightly closed container.
No home should be without it-particularly if you have small children-as charcoal can be mixed in water and be given in cases of accidental poisoning and overdoses from many drugs and chemicals. Even though that is what it is best known for, it can be used in many other ways!
Today’s research has validated most of the early uses for activated charcoal and found exciting new applications. Here is a partial list:
-general detoxification (It is the best single supplement for this)
-infections, external and internal
-stomach bugs (can eliminate fungi, viruses and bacteria)
-gas and colic
-indigestion and heartburn
-eye and ear infections
-stinging insect bites
-heavy metal poisoning
-pain, inflammation and pain of joints
For most ailments it is recommended to take several TBS of activated charcoal in water & to also apply a poultice over the area.
Recently, I read in this study that charcoal can effectively be used to slow or prevent the absorption of peanut protein allergens from the intestinal tract. Read the study here.
Dr. Leung, the editor of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology explains: “After you’ve eaten the peanut and you have an allergic reaction, you still have peanut in your stomach, and so rather than allow further peanut to be absorbed and have an even more severe reaction … drinking the charcoal will prevent the further triggering of increased symptoms.”
So I am curious what it could do to alleviate other allergy symptoms?
And how about the intriguing study here “Enterosorption in prolonging old animal lifespan”? It found charcoal to extend the life of rats. (Enterosorption happens when you ingest charcoal.)
According to David O. Cooney in his book Activated Charcoal, charcoal DOES NOT deplete your body of nutrients: “Charcoal added to the diet of sheep for six months did not cause a loss of nutrients, as compared with sheep not receiving charcoal. … 5 % of the total diet was charcoal. It did not affect the blood or urinary levels of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, inorganic phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, creatinine, uric acid, urea nitrogen, alkaline phosphatase, total protein or urine pH.”
. . . Part 2 in this Humble Remedy Series will be coming tomorrow. Information on dosing, poultices, etc. See you tomorrow!