Activated Charcoal Health Benefits

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.

Charcoal Feedback
Posted by Diamond (Salisbury, Usa) on 06/19/2011

Jeanne;I think the inscription might read take only 1/2 a teaspoon of Activated Charcoal, then work your way up gradually to one tsp. Most people will have negative results to anything, even food, but our bodies will let us know when enough is enough or that it's not good for one person but is for another.

True? good luck

Spider Bites
Posted by Elizabeth (Woodbury, TN) on 09/29/2006
5 out of 5 stars

We've used activated charcoal many times in our family and friends for the brown recluse spider bite. Even a couple of doctors here were amazed at what it did! We would make up a paste and change the first day about every 2 hours and then the next day just a few times and would keep watching it. Usually the bite was shrunk and just a little scab after a few days. Usually we would also drink some so that we would have any poison from the bite eliminated from our system.

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 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~

Kidney Pain
Posted by Grace (Portland, Oregon) on 11/16/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I had kidney inflammation, it was kidney infection my MD prescribes antiobiotics for two weeks, sometimes one just must take it. My ND told me to make a thick wet charcoal poultice keep it wet all night and keep in on my kidney to decrease inflammation, I put the charcoal poultice on my skin thick wet and put saran wrap plastic over that and secured it with medical tape. I put a big piece of plastic on my bed and towel over it just in case , put my pajamas on went to bed . In the morning I would just took the plastic wrap off in the shower and gently wash the charcoal off my kidney area this was the easiest, and mess free way. I did this for a few nights.

Kidney Dialysis
Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee, Usa) on 09/25/2013

Dear Anon from Chicago,

Yes, charcoal will filter toxins from the kidneys. Here is a very encouraging story about the use of charcoal for kidneys.

Also, on that website, if you type in the search box "kidney dialysis" you will get a number of other pages that mention it. You may have to scroll down to find the part about kidney problems on each page, but there are many exciting stories of charcoal being used to treat kidney problems.

Basically, your wife can take charcoal internally and use poultices over the kidneys. Internally, she would want to take charcoal 2 hours after or before prescription medication. You can get charcoal capsules or tablets, or just put 1 t. Of activated charcoal powder into a glass of water. If you can time it properly, you would do this twice a day. But once a day is good to start and see how that goes.

I know a man who used a charcoal poultice over his kidneys overnight and by morning the poultice was soaked with urine! it was definitely drawing out from the kidneys. And I believe the charcoal helped him, but I can't recall the details - it was a long time ago.

To make a charcoal poultice, you will mix 3 T. activated charcoal powder with 3 T. ground flaxseed (you can also use cornstarch, but I prefer the flaxseed. ) Mix this in a paper cup. Add about 2/3 cup of water and mix with a plastic spoon. (You don't have to use disposable, it is just easier than cleaning up the charcoal. ) Let it sit a few minutes and it kind of gels up. You may need to add a little more charcoal or water to get a good consistency. You will get the hang of it quickly. Spread the charcoal over a paper towel. Top with another paper towel. (Try not to let it get to the edges--it is messy if it comes out. ) This will make about 4 poultices. (Not sure if you will need one or two at a time. Keep extras in the refrigerator for a week or two. ) Place a poultice on the back over the kidney area. Cover with plastic wrap. Use an ace bandage to attach to the body. If you could do this over night, that would be ideal. You can do this as often as you like. You may need to do it very often - maybe 4 nights a week.

Be aware that charcoal has been used to lower blood pressure. (I believe charcoal baths were used for this. ) Anyway, it is something to be aware of.

Regarding diet, I am assuming the "white flour diet" is to keep it a low protein diet as protein is hard on the kidneys? I don't want to suggest anything that would counteract what your doctor suggests. You might ask him about fruits and vegetables that would be okay for her to use. I think the nutrients in those would be important. Also, plenty of water is important.

Also, read through Earth Clinic's kidney page and you may find some ideas for diet and other things to help your wife. She is blessed to have you as her advocate!

Please keep us posted and let us know what helps your wife!

~Mama to Many~

Kidney Dialysis
Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee, Usa) on 09/27/2013


Yes, you can put a poultice over each kidney. Even if one isn't as affected, it is fine to use two and may have extra benefit.

Hopefully someone who has been through this will have some thoughts regarding diet. Otherwise, if you read around on Earth Clinic, you will probaby get some ideas for good items in the diet that are within your wife's diet that will be helpful to maximize her nutrition and health.

May God give you great wisdom in taking care of your wife!

~Mama to Many~

Kidney Pain
Posted by Lucy (Santa Cruz, Ca, Usa) on 03/23/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Kidney pain for me is the worst. When I get this pain I open 4 capsules of activated Charcoal mix it in water drink and within minutes the pain is gone. I've always used this with lemons. If I have blood in my urine I do the juice of 4 lemons, the Charcoal, and drink lots of water.

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!!

Posted by Annabell (Bakersfield, California) on 08/04/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: I am 33 years old female with a sensitive stomach..Almost everything I consume always result in heavy gas and bloating. A friend recommended to take Charcoal pills..I have tried almost every prescription medications there is and was excited that charcoal is an old asian alternative medications. I take 1-2 capsule 1-2hours prior to eating..I make sure to have water intake at least 8 glasses a day. Within 1wk I felt immediate results, less bloating, irrability and back to having a regular bowel movement.

Happy stomach.

Posted by Killer Bees (Brisbane, Australia) on 05/15/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I had the same problem as Sharon from Santa Fe. I'm 42 now and for the last couple of years, I've had problems with everything I eat making me bloated and uncomfortable. I've tried everything I can think of, including elimination diets, with no luck. But activated charcoal really worked for me. I take 2 tabs in the morning and then 2 at night, each time about an hour after eating to give my body time to digest the meal's nutrients. I don't usually take it at lunch time because I only have soup or tea and that doesn't seem to upset me too much. I didn't have the diahorrea. My stools were solid and did change to a very dark brown/black and I felt very cleaned out. They passed more easily as well. I'll keep taking the tabs twice a day until I feel like I don't need them. My thanks to Sharon from Santa Fe for recommending this product. Girl, you rock!

Viruses, Charcoal and Cayenne
Posted by Connie (Manitowoc, Wisconsin, USA) on 08/13/2009

John!! God bless you!! You are so correct. How fortunate we are that all the darkness in the universe cannot extinguish the light of a single flame. Capitalism may have temporarily quashed the benefits of Bird's Eye pepper for the majority of mankind, but God offered us a way, through you, to healing. Amazing. In our search for the Truth, in our attempts at achieving a perfect relationship with Jesus, it is soooo important to acknowledge our own weakness, to admit our own faults and our own inability to save ourselves. When the perfect man, Jesus, was crucified, it was proven that the old system of laws failed, else a perfect man could not have been condemned to death. When we truly put Him first, we naturally seek for the good of ALL mankind, and when that happens we will not be troubled by the fear of appearing foolish or making mistakes. Remember, "For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God."

Also, in my search for the truth, I notice there is some debate online as to whether African Bird's Eye peppers actually exist. Have you considered growing them for your own use, or to give away/sell in health food stores?

Food Poisoning
Posted by Shawna (Mountlake Terrace, WA)
5 out of 5 stars

I have had multiple issues with food poisoning all throughout my life. I had a Naturalpath tell me once to take 3-4 charcoal pills two times a day at the onset of pain and queasyness, then continue the same for 3 days afterwards. You can purchase charcoal pills from any health food store or in some local corner drug stores. I have used this remedy for about 15 yrs now and it's ALWAYS worked. My husband just had it and he took the pills and he felt better right away and was able to keep down food and water.

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.

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 Mark (Las Vegas, Ca) on 03/30/2012
5 out of 5 stars

Activated Charcoal is good for food poisoning, Gas and bloating and Accidental poisoning. Always keep some on the house. I take it fairly often. I have never had a bad experience using it but many times it has saved me from problems such as gas, bloating and bad food.

Those that warn people to stay away always fail to recognize that maybe it will work for others and their problems might be an abberation and not the typical experience. I have never had charcoal cause constipation.

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.

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!

Tooth and Mouth Care
Posted by Jenlyn (Colo Springs, Co) on 02/28/2010
4 out of 5 stars

Had severe tooth pain. Had charcoal on hand and tried a paste with water and 4 broken capsules. The pain when I applied the guaze definitely lessened. I still plan on seeing a dentist, but it is a Sunday and at least it is temporary relief.

Charcoal Feedback
Posted by Jeanne (Atl, Georgia) on 06/25/2008
1 out of 5 stars


Please be careful if you try activated charcoal! I was getting stomach pain 20 minutes after every meal. I finally figured out that my stomach pain started after I took activated charcoal (heaping tablespoon for 2 days in a row - not a lot!). I located the pain in my stomach, found a little lump in the colon, and then used my fist to move the lump to the left. A day later my husband took over, found the lump,(which had moved slightly) and did acupressure for about 2 minutes on the spot-- ohhh yes, it hurt. But within minutes I had to run to the bathroom and the rest is history. No more stomach pain. So please be careful with the charcoal, especially if you have a sensitive stomach! I think that people's stomach aches can be often be an impacted colon. The same thing has happened to me before after eating bread and another time, after drinking psyllium without enough water!

If you press on your stomach and have a painful spot that moves slowly from one day to the next, you may have clogged your colon/intestines. Tons of water helps, but acupressure massage is best to move the obstruction to your bowels and out. One last note is that I was having normal bowel movements even while my colon was impacted, so don't rely on that (constipation or elimination) to judge, but more on the location of pain and whether or not a little lump exists.

Bee Sting
Posted by Pam (Southern California) on 05/25/2022 94 posts

I have used AC for cases of infected teeth with abscess, though ... and found it to be very effective!!! However, I keep a spray bottle of white grain-based vinegar handy, & when something stings me, I head straight for that & spray the sting-site a few times ... rubbing it into the skin around & over that area.... I used to swell way up several inches around a sting, with skin turning red & so painful I wished I would die! Since I started immediately spraying with 5% vinegar to treat stings, though, I no longer experience much if any swelling or pain! And it only requires a 1x application, for myself....

1 2 3 4