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An Excellent, Inexpensive Multi-Purpose Detox Agent You Probably Don’t Know About

Paul Fassa
December 21st, 2011
Updated 05/20/2013 at 1:59 am
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naturetree1 210x131 An Excellent, Inexpensive Multi Purpose Detox Agent You Probably Dont Know About

Pharmacist P.F. Touery shocked colleagues at The French Academy of Medicine in 1831 by drinking a massive dose of lethal strychnine in front of them. Amazingly, he suffered no toxic effects. He had combined the deadly poison with activated charcoal, an antidote and detoxifying agent that goes back centuries.

Today, activated charcoal is in all hospital ERs and many emergency vehicles as a fast, effective antidote for poisons, including pharmaceutical toxins, of all types. It is considered safe and effective by the FDA, and it’s inexpensive. Very few know of this amazing natural antidote, and even less know of its general detoxifying capacity.

Explaining Food Grade Activated Charcoal

Don’t confuse activated charcoal with charcoal briquettes for barbecuing or anything else. Those contain toxic chemicals and carcinogens. Using the powder form of activated charcoal is recommended. It’s easy to ingest as a fine powder in water. It’s tasteless, though a tad gritty.

It is derived from burning pure, untainted organic substances, such as coconuts or certain woods, without using chemicals in the process. You can even get a one pound bag of food grade activated charcoal for less than $10.00 to $15.00 US from online retailers (note: NaturalSociety is not affiliated with these retailers, we are simply providing this information for your convenience).

Dr. Al Sears, MD, has his patients use it for detoxifying even heavy metals, and he uses it himself. For heavy metal detoxifying, he recommends a total of 20 grams per day, spaced apart in two to four doses, over a 12 day period. I prefer taking a heaping tablespoon once in the morning, well before breakfast for general detoxification.

The fine powder is placed into six to eight ounces of pure un-fluoridated water in a jar. Let it settle for a moment, then cap the jar, shake well, then drink it quickly. Again, there’s no weird taste, just a slightly gritty texture.

The activated charcoal particles are extremely fine, so a small amount covers a lot of territory. According to Dr. Sears, “ … one gram of it – an amount the size of your fingernail – can absorb enough toxins to fill the square footage of four tennis courts.”

The action of activated charcoal involvesadsorption, not absorptionof toxins. Adsorption is the electrical attraction of toxins and heavy metals, but not beneficial nutrients, to the surfaces of the fine charcoal particles. This is more of a chelation process. The charcoal itself is not absorbed into the body, so the toxins attached to the charcoal particles exit via the bowels. Don’t be surprised by black stools.

Dispelling Rumors

A controversy on ingesting activated charcoal is based on the notion that it also robs the body of nutrients. According to several solid sources, this is misinformation.

Pharmaceutical medicines, which tend to be toxic, are removed partially or wholly, and nutrients from synthetic vitamin sources tend to be removed also. But food and herbal sourced nutrients are left alone. However, it’s actually better to take the activated charcoal one to two hours away from food because food hampers the charcoal’s detox activity. This has been proven with animal testing.

From the 1980 book Activated Charcoal by David O. Cooney: “Charcoal added to the diet of sheep for six months did not cause a loss of nutrients, as compared with sheep not receiving charcoal. … A level of 5 % of the total diet was given as 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.”

However, it’s actually better to take the activated charcoal one to two hours away from food or milk because those hamper the charcoal’s detox activity.

Another rumor is activated charcoal causes constipation. This is could be true if you’re already blocked a bit, but it doesn’t cause it. As with any type of detox, one needs to be free of blockages to eliminate easily.

A simple purge before eating anything can clear the way. Two ounces of grapefruit or orange juice mixed thoroughly with two ounces of pure Castor oil is what I use before starting a 10 day run of daily charcoal consumption. Then I skip breakfast and eat lightly for the rest of that day.

The charcoal drinks begin after that one day of purging, a day when you should stick around and not venture out much. Drink a little more fluoride free water than usual as you eat normally for the week to ten day period (or more) of daily early morning charcoal drinks. Black diarrhea can occur as a temporary detox side effect.

Keep It Around

Activated charcoal is cheap and easy to use often as an antidote for our toxic world. But even if you’re not keen on using activated charcoal for general or heavy metal detox purposes, it would be wise to have it on hand in a sealed glass (not plastic) jar for those accidental sips or bites of poisonous substances and venomous insect and snake bites.

I don’t like using activated charcoal capsules, although they can be found in health food stores easily. There’s not enough bang for the buck for an extended detox period. But they’ll be handy for emergencies. Here’s where you can order bulk bags of food grade activated charcoal.

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  • Wendy Allen

    See my comment below.

  • Wendy Allen

    Zeolites felt like sand in my blood vessels. It did detox, but I did not want the sand in the blood. Each person is different..others may not feel this way.

  • Wendy Allen

    EDTA/DMPS IV chelations in day (no food) but drink lots of distilled water during the detox or zeolites or cilantro 600mg taken with no food in the body at night may help may help remove mercury. Organic sulfur, Vit C, glutathione, chorella, Now brand- Detox Support may help remove chemicals. Best wishes.

  • Wendy Allen

    Alcohol detox: Vit C IV’s or VitC, Now brand- Detox Support…Nature’s plus- Source of life multiple, B vitamins, zinc, Mg citrate, Vit D3 5000IU, 2000mg of fish oil and more may help. I would think charcoal may absorb many chemicals. Best wishes.

  • lgcamp

    You are correct. That is why I use EDTA and DMSA, depending on what I’m trying to chelate.

  • lgcamp

    I have reverse osmosis in my home but I also distill water. I don’t know of any filtration that removes fluoride but distillation removes it. And you don’t have to buy a distiller to distill water. If you don’t have the money for a distiller (around $200 to $300) you can use a large stock pot with a glass lid. Put a smaller pot inside the stock pot, fill the larger pot with water to a level that it will NOT get into the smaller pot when it boils. Some people weight the smaller pot with a clean rock if it tries to float because you don’t want it to float around. Turn the lid upside down on the larger pot and turn on the stove. The water will boil, the steam will go up onto the lid and run back down to the center of the lid and drip into the smaller pot. The water that accumulates in the smaller pot is distilled water. There are also set-ups that you can make in which you attach food grade tubing to a kettle and direct the steam through the tubing into a container. You can find some of the set-ups on youtube if you’re interested in learning how to make a distiller. Some of them use a cooling bath to run the tubing through. I just use a distiller that I bought online.

  • lgcamp

    I have read several reports by medical doctors that say activated charcoal does NOT chelate heavy metals but it does chelate a LOT of chemicals and other toxins. However, I’ve also seen lists that include heavy metals… so who knows?

    • Selini

      I wouldn’t believe one single word out of the mouth of any so-called “doctor” in today’s medical profession….they couldn’t diagnose a bloody nose if their damned lives depended on it. Totally worthless jackasses who are in bed with BIG PHARMA!!!!!!!!

      • lgcamp

        You’re absolutely RIGHT about that! Even nurses know more than doctors today, but even THEY don’t know much… and almost nil about nutrition (which is where health starts and ends). Anyway, back to my original post on chelation… even if charcoal does not chelate heavy metals, EDTA does… except for arsenic. Arsenic is chelated by DMSA. There are also some foods that chelate certain things from the body.

        • Stevieo

          You are entirely correct too. Doctors know nothing about nutrition. I had a physical and my cholesterol was up. Dr didn’t say a word about diet, just put me on a pill.

          • Wendy Allen

            HI, Higher cholesterol may be due to lower thyroid due to eating gluten (wheat/barley/rye..oats.). Statin drugs may eventually cause heart failure as they block the production of coenzyme Q10. No gluten/dairy/soy/sugar/GMO food helps me and vitamins/good oils, LDN…fish oil, Vit D3, Vit C, zinc, Mg citrate and more. Best wishes.

        • Wendy Allen

          DMPS may help remove arsenic. Strawberries may help detox.

      • Stevieo

        Selini you are ABSOLUTELY correct. Today’s doctors don’t know anything except prescribing meds and most of the time they can’t even get THAT right. It’s “here take this pill. If that doesn’t work come back and I’ll give you another one”. Give us back the old country doctor who know how to diagnose an ailment and made house calls too!

    • Wendy Allen

      It would have to go into the blood to remove heavy metals. The charcoal detoxes the intestines/stomach. Heavy metals maybe hiding in fat/brain/tissues. Hair tests show good minerals and heavy metals. Amazon has hair tests.

  • Tiger

    Have lived in state after state in the United States and there's no such thing as water without fluoride, and so far we know that reverse osmosis is the only thing that will remove it. So I ask you where do you get water that has no fluoride in it, to put the Charco in?

    Thank You

    • http://N/A Anonymous in TX

      Have you ever been to Kansas? :) I grew up there and it doesn’t have flouridated water (if you count Kansas as a state) but sadly they are trying to get that law to pass there as well. Luckily it was voted against in Wichita for the vote last November. Hopefully they can keep the water there free of harmful fluoride.

      I’m not sure where else has unflouridated tap water, and Kansas is probably not on most people’s list as a first choice as a place to live :), so purchasing distilled water may be a good option? I will say the state I currently reside in has flouridated water. I drank it to wash down activated charcoal capsules to treat diarrhea and had instantaneously successful results. Good luck!

  • Ian

    Since bile carries toxins from the liver and is also reabsorbed in the gut and recycled by the liver, I believe activated charcoal is a great interceptor and preventorof toxins being reabsorbed. I’m feel I am recovering quicker from Cipro poisoningby using it.

  • Farren

    Studies DO exist showing the potential benefits of adsorptive carbon being used medicinally – for example, fistulizing Crohn's:

  • Dan Ivancie

    Zeolite, as a micronized pure volcanic substance is claimed to be superior to most detoxing substances.

    Zeolite's molecular structure can effectively remove toxin's at the cellular level including blood-brain barrier. Completely safe, using it facilitates the destruction of many types of cancer while improving the immune system. See:

    • Getreal

      As with activated charcoal there is no scientific basis for claiming that consumption of zeolites has any beneficial effects, however unlike with activated charcoal, it has NOT been demonstrated that there are no harmful effects.

  • Getreal

    It is naive and wishful thinking to assume that activated charcoal is going to "detox" your body. It can only adsorb chemicals that is in physical contact with. This means it will only affect whatever is inside of your digestive system. Any suggestion that it can more than this is simply a lie.

    As well, it is also NOT selective about what it adsorbs, and cannot choose harmful things in preference to beneficial things.

    There is no scientific evidence of any sort, anywhere, that consuming activated charcoal is beneficial in any way whatsoever and I challenge the author of this article to produce such if they can.

    • DKruger

      It is always the readers responsibility to do the research. Having said that, there is a TON of information on detoxing with activated charcoal at your fingertips–you, obviously, have not completed any. In the future, try to be helpful instead of annoying and condescending.

  • Joey

    There's a reason that even mainstream healthcare workers use this, it is definitely effective when used correctly.

    • Getreal

      It is used to remove toxic substances from the digestive system BEFORE they have been digested. If it is not used in time it has no benefit. So any toxins that are already in your body will stay there.

  • Kate

    Will activated charcoal adsorb the mercury and squalene oil from vaccinations?

  • sam

    can this be used to thwart alcohol intoxication?

  • Elena

    Loving NaturalSociety the more I visit it. Thanks guys.

  • Marc

    Excellent article, thanks a lot!

  • Wholesale Apparel

    I have some activated charcoal and has no idea you could ingest it and use it to detox. great information!