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.
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.