Activated Charcoal Health Benefits

| Modified on Nov 21, 2022
Heavy Metal Detoxing
Posted by Lauren (Queens) on 11/11/2021

Hi Mama to Many… hope all is well with you.. just have a quick question for you…. Is it ok to use charcoal for heavy metal detox along with cilantro? Not sure if I can use the two together without side effects. Appreciate an early response. Thank you so much… have a blessed evening..

Posted by KS (Glenview, IL) on 07/01/2021

Nurses would feed patients cooked rice when I worked in a hospital in pediatrics for diarrhea and coca cola to drink. Rice is good for both diarrhea and constipation.

Body Odor
Posted by Therese (Maui) on 05/18/2018
5 out of 5 stars

I use activated charcoal externally as my natural deodorant. But this takes practice to make sure you don't go out in public with a tank top on a blackened arm pits!

About 20 minutes before I shower I apply a mixture of activated charcoal and water that I keep in a jar (say 1 teaspoon of charcoal to 2 teaspoons of water) to my armpits and let them dry with the charcoal on them. 20 mins later when I shower, I use a MICROFIBER cloth to remove the activated charcoal from my armpits. It doesn't always wash off easily so you must use a microfiber cloth, which is soft and won't scratch your armpits. And voila! No need for deodorant and lasts all day. Try it please in the morning and let me know what you think and don't get mad at me if you forget to wash it off and get weird looks. Me? Never! Heh heh.

Tooth and Mouth Care
Posted by Debbie (London) on 02/21/2018
5 out of 5 stars

Hi, I've been doing exactly the same and it's brilliant. I've been suffering with an abcess which I have used the same method on and it really helps. The only thing, which has thrown me a bit, is I've just read that the paper used for the teabags contain plastic in them! Nightmare! I've decided to start using coffee filter paper instead.

Charcoal Feedback
Posted by Anon (Anon) on 11/28/2017

Taking several gel caps of charcoal is a bad idea if the release of charcoal adsorbs stomach acid and prevents the remaining gel caps from dissolving. This could theoretically create a mass of undigested capsules that could be difficult to pass.

Activated Charcoal and Meds
Posted by Anon (Usa) on 11/28/2017

I would also eat something in between the charcoal and meds, such as fresh fruit - cantaloup would be a decent choice I think, as it is bulky and has a lot of water. It should sweep away the charcoal before your meds get near it, or provide a barrier between the charcoal and meds if you take the meds first. I would not take the charcoal and meds together without doing this.

Raw potatoes are also bulky and have a lot of water. Both are low in sugar and fats. The amount you need would depend on how much charcoal you took if you took the charcoal first. If you take the meds first you would want to wait 30 minutes to an hour perhaps before eating the melon. That way the meds are not mixed into the melon in the stomach, but have exited into the small intestine and will not contact the charcoal at all. Taking psyllium fiber after taking the charcoal may help sweep it from the digestive tract in case it lingers and adsorbs the meds. Wait perhaps an hour after taking the charcoal to take the psyllium. Away from the meds, of course. Mixing psyllium and charcoal in water and taking them together seems to reduce the effectiveness of the charcoal in my experience as it is trapped in the psyllium.

Charcoal is wonderful stuff. Sulfur is also a good detoxifier, though it works differently. Probiotics like kefir may be helpful in case the charcoal removes the beneficial gut microbes. I have been getting hives recently after using store bought kombucha, though I enjoyed it for a few years before the hives started. You may want to stear away from it temporarily if you are ill.

Bee Sting
Posted by Anon (Usa) on 11/28/2017

I wonder if holding a cloth soaked in apple cider vinegar would penetrate the skin and disolve the toxins from the sting. Or an aspirin or vitamin c tablet.

Also, chia seeds would work in place of the flax.

Viruses, Charcoal and Cayenne
Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 09/02/2017

See if you can find "capsicum annuum, " the scientific name.

Viruses, Charcoal and Cayenne
Posted by Chris (South Australia) on 09/01/2017

Dear John from N.Z.

I read with interest your experience with african birds eye chilli. I have endevoured to find a source but its of little help without a botanical name of the chilli.
Are you aware of another way I may be able to source the chilli you refer to?

Regards Chris, Adelaide Australia

EC: Hi Chris,

Sorry, it's unlikely that John will respond since 9 years have passed since he posted. Perhaps someone else can advise...

Viruses, Charcoal and Cayenne
Posted by Tracey (London) on 07/12/2017 1 posts

Check Ebay, I found lots of vendors selling African Birds eye chili pepper, pods, seeds etc.

Charcoal Feedback
Posted by Aja (New Zealand) on 05/29/2017

I took it to mean that it had been used for many different things over that 14 year period, not daily for 14 years. We also have had it in our first aid cupboard for many years, but we are not using it daily, except for this one use: grandchildren just love a little bit in home-made toothpaste & the get a kick out of grinning at themselves in the mirror. I make different flavours or colours each time, and black is the favourite colour so far.

Viruses, Charcoal and Cayenne
Posted by Asis (Kenya) on 03/31/2017

@ John Wayne NZ post of 2008. ABE & activated Charcoal. I am currently a student of organic/bush medicine used by the kelenjin people of Kenya. While African birds eye ABE chilli is not part of this tribe's use, activated charcoal only from certain indeginous trees used to be a daily routine. I am an organic farmer of ABE & cayenne. The pharma world use it for medical purposes but not enough for theraupic purposes. One is better off with direct consumption for better results for a broad spectrum of illnesses from ulcers to heart problems.

Tooth and Mouth Care
Posted by Vicky (Ohio) on 03/02/2017
5 out of 5 stars

I couldn't live without activated charcoal. It is so good for so many things. I buy a box of 100 cheap tea bags, I cut the top off of them and dump out the tea and discard. I then put about a teaspoon of activated charcoal in the empty bag, fold over the top and tape it with scotch tape. I keep them sealed in an air tight container. If I get any tooth or gum pain, sore throat or signs of thrush I wet one of of the charcoal filled bags and place on the sore area, I change it after several hours or even sleep with it in all night. AMAZING!! This stuff really works! I have also wet the bags and put on bee stings etc. Just remember charcoal only works when it is kept wet, so if you are using it for a bite or sting you need to keep the bag moist by covering it with some type of plastic wrap etc.

Charcoal Feedback
Posted by Janyl (La Porte, Indiana ) on 02/23/2017

This post from 2005 says she used charcoal that for over 14 years and there are several areas or info that state you shouldn't take it long-term. Do you happen to know the real answer to this??

Where to Buy
Posted by Kassius (Usa) on 11/11/2016

I bought mine on Amazon (USA) from hardwoods. Research the best type and the larger amount you buy, the better the price.

Charcoal Feedback
Posted by Jennifer (Duluth, Ga) on 07/11/2016

Food grade activated charcoal is made from hardwood, coconut, or bamboo if I'm not mistaken. Amazing product! I bought the hardwood activated charcoal and it has worked very well for me and my family. I used it when my son got stung by a wasp and it took the pain away very quickly. It also helped me avoid a nasty stomach virus that was going around my house. And if I eat something that I know will give me gas. I just take some activated charcoal and I don't get gas. Love this stuff!!

Spider Bites and Boils
Posted by David (Austin, Tx) on 06/04/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I have successfully treated myself and others with activated charcoal. Quickly pulls out toxins and poisons from spider bites and boils. I mix it with high quality clay mask to make a paste which is applied directly to the affected area. Continue to wash off and re apply every few hours until healed. Apply generously and be sure to cover well beyond any swelling or redness. Generally a three inch diameter should be sufficient.

Posted by Faith (Tacoma) on 03/22/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Activated charcoal has amazing power to absorb thousands of times its own weight in gases, heavy metals, poisons, and other chemicals. It has no side effects .

I was very ill with unknown illness 2 years to find the cause. It was a jaw bone infection. I had it after oral surgery, a fistula formed and the infection moved to front of my mouth and my temple was swollen. My MD gave me some stuff but I had a reaction to it. I decided to just mix charcoal with distilled water and pack into the infected areas mouth did this daily for several hours I also went to bed with a poultice in my mouth I put a towel over my pillow I made a poultice for my swollen temple . It was nothing short of miraculous I was healed! I also took a bunch of Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE), collodial silver, garlic and oregano oil and mega vitamin C.

Charcoal Side Effects
Posted by Reba (Stockton, Nj) on 03/18/2016

Take magnesium oxide capsules or a dose of epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) hopefully that should do it. I'm sorry I didn't see post till now...hope this helps someone else with constipation.

Where to Buy: Japan
Posted by Fukuda (Tokyo) on 03/01/2016


Is there anyone who could tell me where to find Activated Charcoal (preferably granulés) locally in Japan ?

I have seen Kremezin but it is a specialty and not OTC product and used for renal conditions.

Activated Charcoal for Dogs
Posted by Joan (Ca) on 11/18/2015

The brand KAL charcoal activated seems pure and only has charcoal and gelatin due to the capsule. U can find it on

Activated Charcoal for Dogs
Posted by Steve (Nevada) on 11/18/2015

I've had good success with starwest activated charcoal. They should have 1lb bulk bags. Not sure about the VIP labs that sell this.

Activated Charcoal for Dogs
Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 11/17/2015

Dear Italiandobergirl,

Well, my charcoal source is not a VIP approved pharmacy, as far as I know. But I have used them for years and have always been very happy with the service and products. We use charcoal to treat our people, our farm animals and our pets.

~Mama to Many~

Activated Charcoal for Dogs
Posted by Italiandobergirl (Nj) on 11/17/2015

I am a now retired Vet Tech yet will be opening a Pet Rehab in NJ I pray. I also run a 501(c)(3) Animal Rescue. We save all B& S, yet many Dobermans that are very gassy and prone to bloat.

I am a huge fan from my work at a Vet of the use of Activated Charcoal (AC). I always had it on hand. Issue until I open my Business/Clinic I am looking for any OTC compatible AC. The AC at stores has dyes and other ingredients not good for our furkids.

Has anyone found a brand OTC as I am not a fan of ordering, and now will NOT order any online meds that is NOT a VIP Approved Pharmacy.

Yes sidenote other non VIP Online Pharmacies have had many reports of tampered meds or not even the correct PLEASE make sure you utilize a VIP Pharmacy. I.E. Dr. Foster & Smith is VIP. JW any specific brands to add to my first aid kit for my furkids and our Rescues? Grazie.

Charcoal Feedback
Posted by Marsha (Australia, Victoria) on 09/03/2015

I only learned about activated charcoal here and knowing what it can do convinced me to store some in the house in addition to apple cider, baking soda, turmeric, and honey. I'm so glad that I found this site as the remedies I got here easy to prepare and very effective! This is now my to go site for various ailments. Thank you all!!

Where to Buy
Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 06/22/2015

For food poisoning and all sorts of other issues,

Here is where I get my activated charcoal -

I actually get two different types.

Hardwood Charcoal Powder is what I use for poultices. It is not quite so fine and "poofy" when I am mixing it up.

Coconut Shell Charcoal Powder is what I use for internal use. It is finer and less gritty when you mix it in water.

Both can be used internally and externally.

This company does sell charcoal tablets. They do have some fillers that I wish were not included, but sometimes a tablet is what is most convenient. (To lay against a sore tooth or for a toddler.) I have never had any trouble with them, though.

I have also bought charcoal capsules for convenience, which the only concern for some would be what is in the capsule itself. The only filling is the charcoal.

I have made some attempts to make my own charcoal tablets. They are really much more expensive than the powder. But so far my efforts have been futile! Perhaps I will try again. In my attempts though, I did find that charcoal adsorbs essential oils! I added some peppermint essential oil to my mix and when I cam back to my dry (but dreadfully crumbly) charcoal tablets, there was NO smell at all!


How to Use Charcoal for Internal Use
Posted by Earth Clinic (USA) on 06/14/2015

EC's contributing writer, Mama to Many, explains how to use Activated Charcoal for Internal Use in this recently uploaded video.

If you haven't seen Mama's first video on the subject, How to Make a Charcoal Poultice, please click here.

Thank you, Mama!

Posted by Meg (Kansas City, Mo) on 05/27/2015

Dear Mama to Many,

Thank you so much for your prompt reply. I will begin your suggestions for either a charcoal poultice or tablets immediately. I am so grateful. Thank you again, and I will keep in touch.

Posted by Mmsg (Somewhere, Europe) on 05/27/2015

Mama to Many, the teabag is a very good idea, but I use a trick I've seen here on EC: cut a small square out of a coffee filter paper. Put a small mound of activated charcoal (or green clay) and fold up. Wet it. When wet, it works like a piece of cloth! One coffee filter lasts for many one- time -use applications.

Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 05/27/2015

Dear Meg,

I appreciate your tenacity!

I think charcoal would be a great thing to try. It may take some persistence on your part, but you seem to be well researched and persistent!

You could make small poultices (I would make a week's worth at a time and keep them in the refrigerator) and use them daily. One way to make poultices that aren't so bulky in the mouth are to empty a tea bag (or buy empty tea bags if you have a source for this, though really, it may be cheaper to just empty some.) and replace the tea with activated charcoal powder (about 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon). Moisten and hold this in the affected area in your mouth. You could keep in in your mouth for an hour or two during the day, even a couple of times a day. Or, you could buy charcoal tablets (not capsules) and each night, put one against the area and let it sit between the gum and cheek all night. It will slowly dissolve. I have done this and still have remnants of the tablet in my mouth when I wake up in the morning. I would try this daily for at least a month. I have read about charcoal drawing out deep infections over quite a number of days. It can seem like nothing is happening for a while.

You could also continue with some of the other things you have tried at other times a day. You have tried several excellent remedies.

I look forward to hearing how this works for you.

~Mama to Many~

Posted by Meg (Kansas City, Mo) on 05/26/2015

Dear Mama to Many, I am an avid reader of earthclinic and all the helpful comments from everyone and am so grateful to all for their input and general advice.

I want to know your thoughts on using a charcoal poultice in my mouth. I have had an infection in the gum for years; painless unless touched, it is a lump high above the gum line, and oozes out through the gum in tiny lesions at times; hence, no pain.

I have tried swishing with iodine, turmeric, oregano oil, turpentine and currently colloidal silver. Everything helps and the gum looks pink again as long as I keep it up, but the lump remains.

Reading about the charcoal poultice makes me wonder if it would draw out the infection once and for all. My general health is not the greatest and I am sure the infection does not help.

Dentist would suggest oral surgery etc., root canals, and I do not want to go that route. There must be a way to overcome this and I would appreciate any advice you might have. I am now 73, not young, but will not give up on trying to restore my health as far as possible. Thank you so much for your wisdom and experience.

Charcoal Poultice in a Hurry
Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 05/07/2015
5 out of 5 stars

My three year old came into the house with a really bad fire ant bite on his foot. (It crawled into his shoe! ) I didn't have any poultices pre-made (my bad, especially this time of year! ) and I needed a poultice for him super fast!

I put a paper towel on the counter, put a spoonful of charcoal into it, folded the towel over to enclose the charcoal (like an envelope) and wet it at the sink. I was able to get this onto his foot in less than a minute. I put plastic wrap and a cohesive bandage on it. He stopped crying.

While the method I have described in the past in writing and in my video are ideal (less messy and will hold moisture longer) this method is easier to execute and quicker to make in a hurry.

~Mama to Many~

Where to Buy
Posted by Aby (Bacolod, Philippines) on 03/04/2015

you can also find activated charcoal at Health Express here in bacolod and in manila

Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 02/27/2015


I have used activated charcoal for children as young as 9 months. I give little ones one tablet to suck on or 1/4 tsp. of the powder in juice or applesauce. I repeat in 2 hours if needed.

I actually find turmeric to be even stronger (though still very safe.). I give little ones 1/4 teaspoon turmeric in applesauce and repeat in two hours If needed.

I am guessing the company doesn't want to worry about liability, so they say not to give it to little ones.

I hope your little guy feels better soon!!

~Mama to Many~

Posted by Vandu (Maryland, US) on 02/27/2015

Can activated charcoal be used for small child of 4 who is having diarrhea. He had it all day yesterday, twice during night, woke up from it today. So it seems it continues..

When I called the company for the activated charcoal we have, he said it's only for 12 and above. Didn't explain why. I thought it would be fine for 4 year old just smaller amount?

Upset Stomachs
Posted by Belkis (Houston, Tx) on 02/20/2015

Where in Houston can I buy activated charcoal?

EC: Try your local pharmacy. All of them sell activated charcoal tabs.

Where to Buy
Posted by Lorna (California, US) on 01/08/2015


Try Healthy Options at SM malls.

Where to Buy
Posted by Judith (Japan) on 01/05/2015

I'm originally from the Philippines. My family are living there. Can I ask where can I buy activated charcoal in the Philippines?

Kidney Pain
Posted by Faith (La, US) on 11/28/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I had a bad kidney infection, I went antibiotics. My ND suggested charcoal poultice over my kidneys to help with inflammation and told me to keep the poultice pretty wet. I made a charcoal poutice into thick paste put on my kidneys and put plastic wrap over it and bandaged in place and put two towels down on my bed and went to sleep the next day the inflammation was gone, but I continued doing this for few hours a day for two weeks.

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