Activated Charcoal Health Benefits

Charcoal Feedback

5 User Reviews
5 star (3) 
1 star (1) 

Posted by Christine (Lancaster, CA) on 11/28/2005
5 out of 5 stars

I have been using charcoal for approx 14 yrs. In our home it has been used for nausea/vomiting; diarrhea; upset stomach; belching; heart burn; gas; indigestion; poultices over painful areas on diffent parts of the body; pasty poultice over insect bites, over the stomach in a poultice for fevers. As a nurse, I highly recommend it to all.

Replied by Janyl
(La Porte, Indiana)

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??

Pam E.
(SouthWestern California)
109 posts

Christine simply forgot to include that *HER FAMILY* was only using it as needs arose - those that she listed. I hardly think any of them were using it every month, let alone every day!

Replied by Aja
(New Zealand)

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.

Charcoal Poultice in a Hurry

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

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~

Charcoal Side Effects

1 User Review

Posted by Newlynatural (Fl, Usa) on 08/27/2013
0 out of 5 stars

Hi. I have a problem. I started taking activated charcoal on a regular basis and now I am bloated and cannot go. My stomach is solid as a rock. I stopped taking the Charcoal of course but what can I do to fix this problem, it's been 4 days?

Replied by Bobbie
(Rowlett, Tx)

Try drinking Senna Tea. This usually works on the worse cases of constipation problems. Because it's been four days you may need a cup on an empty stomach in the morning and another around noon. You can try a cup before bed and usually in the morning you get relief. I dilute my cup by 1/2 by pouring 1/2 in another cup and filling with water because it usually works when I don't need it to work if I use the undiluted cup. If It's been more than two days, I use the undiluted cup. Put a tea bag in a cup and pour boiling water into the cup and cover it and let it steep for about five minutes. Drink as warm as you can get it. I don't put any sweetner in mine and I don't know if it makes a difference.

Replied by Timh
(Ky, Usa)
2073 posts

@Newlynatural: Three natural remedies for help in elimination are Milled Flax Seed, Vit-C, and Magnesium. The benefits of these certainly go beyond simply elimination. Begin w/ recommended doses and increase until you get results.

Replied by Toourlady89
(Ca, Usa)

Hi, taking activated charcoal on a regular basis as I understand is not really a good idea. It is used for certain occasions for absorption of bad bacteria from the stomach such as: in food poisoning, abdominal distention with gas, or absorption of excess medication in cases of over dose. It could absorb large amounts of liquid from the stomach and thereby cause constipation. There are many other uses of charcoal but Use it as needed only. Not for regular daily use. You would wanna take it separately from your meds or vitamins as it would also absorb some of those. For constipation, hydration is most important, Milk of Magnesia could help followed by 6-8 glasses of water for the day. Magnesium Oxide daily would help prevent constipation in the future.

Replied by Reba
(Stockton, Nj)

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.

Charcoal Side Effects
Posted by Kelly (Mt. Healthy, Ohio) on 08/19/2009

I have been considering using activated charcoal for multiple conditions, but i'm not sure if it causes constipation, that's the last thing I need right now. any advise and experience would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Replied by Tina
(Toledo, Ohio, Usa)

I take a heaping tablespoon of activated charcoal in 2 cups of water and have lots of fiber-foods(vegetable!)during the day as well as lots of water. I don't have a problem with constipation as long as I drink sufficiently and eat fiber-foods.

Replied by Diamond
(Salisbury, Usa)

Kelly from Ohio; I usually do a complete cleanse before introducing my system to some thing new or different;so if the charcoal does block you up, you have enough time inbetween bowel movements to do the charcoal then again work on your bowel movements. I use one of the very best cleanses ever for the past fifteen years, it's a twin pack of multi-herb digestion & detox support the other bottle is multi-fiber cleanse;you take one of each herb(2), morn. Noon & night and this herb will let you know it's time to go potty haha because it's Dynamite, but it's bought in an herbal store & very affordable. Good luck


3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

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?

Replied by Mama To Many


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~

Replied by KS
(Glenview, IL)

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.

Posted by Isabel (Edinburgh, Scotland) on 07/17/2012

Activated Charcoal Tablets worked like a miracle for me last night. Thank goodness I had them in the cabinet.

For the first time in ages, I landed up with such a painful, swollen, distended stomach, tender and painful to the touch all over so much pain and gurgling noises. Then diarrhea, then feeling sick and woozy. Don't know if it was too spicy a dinner, food poisoning, just an allergy/intolerance or what. But at midnight, what can you do?

These trusty, simple, old-fashioned charcoal tablets (made from coconut shells, I have read) sorted me out COMPLETELY in less than ten minutes. What a miracle cure, when used to treat the right ailment.

Posted by Cameron (Brisbane, Qld, Australia) on 12/14/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Yes, works very fast. Mix some Activated Charcoal in some juice, about a Teaspoon, let it fall to the bottom before mixing and drinking because it floats and any vigorous mixing bfore it sinks will have it all over the place. Also works for stomach upsets, gas and vomiting. Vomiting may take up to 3 doses but it will work, be prepared as black Charcoal Vomit is awful if you miss the bag or toilet.

Posted by Lisa (Kevil, Ky) on 11/28/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Those with negative effects probably took too much, didn't drink enough water, didn't counter with extra fiber from veggies, fruits or fiber supplements. I had a little constipation. Stools were a little dry and hard to pass. So I backed down from a teaspoon 2 or 3 times a day, to 1/2 a tsp. 2 or 3 times a day, and made sure to drink plenty of water and eat enough fiber from foods and I also followed the charcoal with slippery elm, about a tablespoon in a pint of water, which makes a thin mucilaginous drink that is soothing to the gi tract and moves things on through it. I have had great results. Totally stopped the bout of gas and diarrhea that I had hit me, I guess from a bug or food poisoning.

Posted by Odilon (Palm Coast, FL) on 01/16/2006
5 out of 5 stars

Raw Activated Charcoal, works like a dream for diarrhea, in hours not days.

Food Poisoning

8 User Reviews
5 star (8) 

Posted by Cameron (Brisbane, Qld, Australia) on 10/24/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Charcoal works in the Colon just as effectively as it does in the stomach and for the same reason as an enema. It prevents any toxins in the gut from being reabsorbed by your body from your gut due to a slow or blocked bowel. There are no better alternatives for ERs than charcoal, medical research shows charcoal as the most effective primary treatment for poisoning or drug overdose and is effective until at least an hour after poisoning/overdose. Do not administer Charcoal to a person who is unconsious except in the most dire circumstances.

My daughter has Leukemia and we were forced by Authorities to submit her for Chemotherapy, she had a severe reaction to a Chemo drug during treatment and eneded up in ICU, then a regular ward for 3 weeks recovering. I use Charcoal to detox the Chemo drugs out of her now to avoid side effects. Recemntly though she had some Doxorubicin an extremely dangerous Chemo drug along with Pegaspargase, we did not get home to administer the charcoal until at least 4 hours after her dose, all of a sudden she was suffering from severe abdominal pain, nausea, joint, bone pain and vomiting. I gave her 1 tablespoon of charcoal in juice and she was in bed asleep less than 5 minutes later with no more syptoms. I am the biggest fan of Charcoal, I have a lot of experience applying it and have done extensive reading about the most amazing and under rated substance I have ever discovered. I never ever leave home without it now.

Charcoal is still the treatment of choice at virtually all ERs that I am aware of, current 2011. Charcoal is the most effective remedy for poisons and toxins of all sorts, it has no known side effects of any sort except to make your Poo go black. Charcoal is not known to ADsorb Nutrients from the body! Charcoal is effective for anything except Solvents, Acids, Highly Alkaline Products or other petroleum based products. Ruling out those few things, it leaves us with an effective remedy for bites and stings of all sorts including spiders and snakes, please seek urgent medical attention for snake or spider bites. To use Charcoal as First Aid for snake or spider bites, apply as a wet Poultice, covered in plastic wrap to stop it drying out. Change as often as possible until you recieve medical help. You can also use Charcoal in a bath, it relieves pain almost instantly.

Diahhrea, Stomach Pain, Nausea, Topical Ulcers and a host of other conditions all can be treated with Charcoal. Nausea can be stopped in as little as 1 minute, vomiting stops in less than 5 minutes, retake charcoal if the charcoal slurry is vomited until vomiting stops, usually less than 3 times. Diahhrea, take a tablespoon in water or juice after each runny stool, your next firm stool will be quite black but do not worry. For Topical Ulcers, make a Poultice with 3 tablespoons Charcoal and 3 tablespoons Starch or Ground Flax Seed (keeps moisture in) and apply this to the cleaned Ulcer site on the back of a clean dressing. Cover the dressing with Plastic to stop the poultice drying out, change every 4 hours to 6 hours.

You may also try Charcoal as a Poultice for Kidney or Liver problems as it will help detox these through the largest organ of your body(skin) quite easily and effectively, change every 4 to six hours, you will notice a urine smell, this means its working.

Food Poisoning
Posted by Ngok Ti (Busan, South Korea) on 05/22/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Last may 10, I accidentally drank tea from a restaurant which might not have prepared it clean. Within 30 mins from when I finished drinking, my stomach started churning painfully and I had severe diarrhea for 3 days. Since I was already alarmed that the condition didn't get better even after taking loperamide, I turned for help from the Chinese drugstore which advised me to take 3 activated carbon capsules before bedtime 3 hours after dinner. As soon as I took the first dose that evening, the diarrhea stopped. My stomach was still a bit painful so I took another dose the following evening. That worked great.

Food Poisoning
Posted by Leah (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) on 04/11/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Oh yes, charcoal is an incredibly effective solution for food poisoning!

Food Poisoning
Posted by Yoda (Dubai, Uae) on 08/18/2010
5 out of 5 stars

Charcoal is very effective against food poisoning and diarrhea. It stops the vomiting and trips to the toilet in a matter of hours. Several years ago I had food poisoning and diarrhea after having salad. The cream in the salad had gone bad in the summer heat. Soon after having the salad I started vomiting and after an hour diarrhea. I visted a doctor who prescribed me medicine for the food poisoning. However, I was in the same condition the next day and had become severely dehydrated and weak from the diarrhea. I remembered an article I had read in Readers Digest about a certain Canadian doctor Ben Wheeler. He had saved countless lives in a Japanese POW camp by giving the prisoners charcoal made by burning bamboo sticks and water from boiled rice. I found a piece of wood lying in the shed and burnt it on the kitchen stove to make charcoal (much to my mothers dismay). After having a teaspoon of the wood charcoal, my diarrhea stopped in less then an hour. Then I boiled some starchy rice and and drank a glass of water from boiled rice with some salt. In the evening I repeated the treatment and totally recovered in less than 12 hours. In food poisoning and diarrhea, the intestines become inflamed and cannot absorb any nutrition. The rice water contains simple starches which the body easily absorbs and gets nutrition. It is therefore able to fight the illness and recover much more quickly. The salt in the rice water helps in replacing a part of the electrolytes.

Food Poisoning
Posted by Mitsue (Wishart, Queensland Australia) on 11/06/2008
5 out of 5 stars

One late afternoon I bought Sushi with raw salmon in it, it must have been sitting there all day, after eating it I had very bad case of vomiting and diarrhea for almost 3 weeks. I remembered that charcoal helps with the poison, and I had charcoal my mother sent me for purifying water. I just was so desperate I just cracked a small piece and ate it. Surprising as it is, my vomiting and diarrhea stopped almost immediately. I should have taken it sooner.. So I have medicated charcoal tablet in my medicine cupboard now and when I had vomiting the other I took one straight away and I was fine!!

Food Poisoning
Posted by Al (Opelousas, USA) on 06/30/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I had food poisoning so bad that I was sent to the emergency room, during which time, I was given 2 liters of Sodium Chloride(??). Of course the hospital wants you to pass (diahrrea) the poison, so nothing was administered. I sent a relative to the drug store for Activate Charcoal capsules and followed the recommended dosage; 1gm/hour...within 6-7 hours I could eat small amounts and not experience nauseau or diahrrea(sp?)You should keep a bottle in the refrigerator (safely).

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