What is Activated Charcoal?

For the millions of people in the world with IBS and/or other various gut health issues, it can be hard to find safe and healthy solutions. Things that can aid in your pain.

Personally struggling with my own gluten allergy and the bloating/stomach pains over the years, I feel like I have tried everything.

In an effort to help others like me, I am going to be highlighting a few solutions that have helped me to feel better over the years. To start, I want to talk about activated charcoal. A powerful, sometimes overlooked supplement, used to help remove toxins from the body in various ways.

What is Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal is a type of charcoal (a lot of the times it will be burnt coconut husk, or similar compounds) that has been processed with oxygen to make it highly porous and able to adsorb (not absorb) substances.

Adsorption is the process by which molecules or particles adhere to the surface of another substance, rather than being absorbed into it.

Activated charcoal is used commonly in a business applications due to this adsorption process. Some of these applications include water filtration, air purification, and life saving medical treatments.

It is also used as a natural remedy for a variety of health concerns. Today, we are going to be talking about the ways activated charcoal can help people with Celiac Disease or a gluten allergy/intolerance.

activated charcoal powder


Activated Charcoal for Gut Health Issues

One of the main benefits of activated charcoal is its ability to adsorb toxins and impurities. For extreme cases, activated charcoal is often used in the ER to treat drug overdoses and poisonings. It can help remove harmful substances from the body with the adsorption process.

In addition to its use in medical treatments, activated charcoal is also popular as a natural remedy for digestive issues, such as bloating and gas. It is believed to work by adsorbing gas-producing compounds in the digestive tract. This is particularly helpful to people with gluten related stomach issues, because bloating and gas are a major symptom, especially when you’ve been glutened!

It’s important to note that while activated charcoal has many potential benefits, it can also have side effects and may interact with certain medications. It is always a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider before using activated charcoal or any other natural remedy.


How Do You Take Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal is available in a few different forms. These include capsules, tablets, powder, and liquid. The method of taking activated charcoal may depend on the reason for using it and the form in which it is available. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Capsules and tablets: These are taken orally with water. Follow the recommended dosage on the product label, as dosage may vary depending on the brand and form.
  • Powder: Activated charcoal powder can be mixed with water to make a slurry and then consumed. Alternatively, it can be added to food or drinks. It’s important to mix the powder well and drink plenty of water afterward to prevent dehydration.
  • Liquid: Activated charcoal is sometimes available in liquid form, which can be added to water or juice and consumed.

Activated Charcoal can interfere with your medications, supplements, nutrients, and vitamins, so never take it within two hours of taking your medicine. It is important that you consult with your doctor before taking this, to ensure there are no concerns or conflicts with your own medications.


When Do I Take Activated Charcoal?

For me, I find activated charcoal to be very helpful when I am dealing with painful bloating, gas, or just an upset stomach. I usually don’t feel this way in the morning or after lunch, but after dinner or if I’ve had a big meal like Thanksgiving.

I always take capsules or tablets, and just take them with a glass of water. Always read the label and NEVER take more than the suggested dosage. It’s important to be careful anytime you put a substance in your body. Even something that is safe and meant to help, like activated charcoal.

Within about 15-20 minutes, my stomach will start to feel some relief and I can tell the activated charcoal is helping to break down the gas and bloating in my stomach.

It’s amazing how it works. Especially because I’ve never known of a solution before. But, it’s not the end all be all. It is more so an aid to help reduce your suffering. When taking activated charcoal, you will still feel some of that gas/bloating. It isn’t like an instant cure that wipes it out, but instead helps reduce it to a more manageable level.

activated charcoal water beverage


Gas and Bloating Relief

Taking supplements of activated charcoal can truly provide some relief for gas and bloating pain. It is a nice tool to have in your kit, so that in the future, when you aren’t feeling so well, you have a possible solution!

I hope this article was helpful in educating you on activated charcoal and its various benefits. In the future, we’ll cover some other supplements, exercises, and methods to reduce your stomach agonies.


View next: [Infographic] The Mysterious Science of Gluten

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