In 2008, a Chinese chemical company had an accidental explosion that released massive quantities of toxic benzene into the Songhua River, which provides the drinking water for over 10 million people in the city of Harbin. The Chinese government used activated charcoal to filter out the benzene from the river. The experiment was a success and saved the village from a near fatal exposure to toxic benzene.
Charcoal is most often made from burning wood or coconut husk in very high heat without the presence of oxygen. This `activated` process creates millions of little pores within the charcoal material. These pores take in and hold large amounts of liquid and toxic debris. It does so through Van der Waals forces or London dispersion forces.
Activated charcoal has been shown to catch and hold more than 100 times its own weight in outside materials. The inner surface is between 300 and 2000m (to the power of 2)/g coal. This translates to mean that 2 grams of activated charcoal corresponds roughly to the area of a football field. This property makes activated charcoal a powerful resource to seize and eliminate toxins from the air, water and from within the human body when used correctly.
Activated charcoal is said to adsorb foreign materials rather than absorb them. Sponges absorb liquids but do not bind them, and therefore they can be squeezed right out. On the flip side, substances like charcoal that adsorb actually bind the toxins so they cannot escape. When toxins and other impurities interact with charcoal, they are bound tightly at a molecular level and cannot escape.
Activated charcoal is good at trapping other carbon-based impurities ("organic" chemicals) that are commonly found in pesticides, herbicides, plastics, and other industry and environmental pollutants. Additionally, charcoal has been shown to be effective at binding to chlorine, viruses, bacteria, and their metabolic byproducts and toxic excretions. It is estimated that daily use of activated charcoal reduces the toxic load in the human body by over 60%. The activated carbon itself is not resorbed in the gut but is eliminated in the feces.
Activated charcoal is very mild on the colon and does not interfere with the natural mucus lining of the intestines. It is wonderful for cleansing the intestines. It is great at binding to toxic gases, Candida, parasites and other physical impurities and at rendering them harmless. Bloating, flatulence and constipation are relieved. Charcoal supplementation is best when bound with fibers such as psyllium powder or celery seed powder and good levels of hydration.
Important Notes when Using Activated Charcoal:
1. Never take activated charcoal at the same time of day as other supplements. Give yourself at least 2 hrs between use.
2.Because activated charcoal will bind to certain medications please advise your doctor before using this if you are taking medications.
3.Be sure to drink at least half your body weight in water while using activated charcoal.
4.Activated charcoal should be combined with a good fiber source such as psyllium powder or celery seed powder that will effectively push the charcoal through the intestines and out in the feces.
5.Best to take before bed and 3-4 hours after eating dinner.
About the author
Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care.