What is Activated Charcoal?
Activated charcoal is not the same coal we use to cook or grill.
It is made from heating carbon-rich materials, such as wood, coconut shells, or sawdust, at very high temperatures, thereby “activating” it. The activation removes previously absorbed materials, freeing up the binding sites again and making them highly absorbent.
The highly absorbent activated charcoal can bind to atoms, ions, and molecules. In fact, reports say one teaspoon of this substance has more surface area than a football field.
The Benefits of Activated Charcoal
Below are the purported benefits of activated charcoal:
1. It Might Help With Poisonings
One report said clinicians could consider administering an oral suspension of activated charcoal within one hour of ingesting toxins. This is because this substance has been shown to reduce absorption of ingested toxins significantly.
Note: While activated charcoal shows potential in treating poisoning or toxicity, we still don’t have enough information about patient-oriented outcome benefits, such as length of hospital stay, morbidity, or mortality with its use.
2. It May Help with Intestinal Gas
Another one of the possible benefits of activated charcoal is relief from intestinal gas.
A 2012 study examined some participants who had excessive intestinal gas. For two days, they took 448 mg of activated charcoal thrice a day. On the morning of the ultrasound, they also took 672 mg of the substance.