Activated Charcoal Health Benefits

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.

Hangover Cure

Posted by Adrian (Sydney, Australia) on 01/18/2006
5 out of 5 stars

When my friends and i used to drink a lot in our early twenties, to avoid hangovers we would eat charcoal after having drank a lot of alcohol. Must be taken with food to work properly. The charcoal would absorb the toxins (i suppose colours and preservatives in the scotch, bourbon etc) and we would not get the slightest hangover!

Posted by Shane (Trail, BC, Canada) on 01/02/2006
5 out of 5 stars

I was told that if you want to prevent the unpleasant effects of a hangover you can take an activated charcoal capsule with each alcoholic beverage which will absorb the harmful elements in the alcohol which cause the hangover.

How to Use Charcoal for Internal Use

Posted by Earth Clinic 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 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 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.

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.

Replied by Mama To Many

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~

Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe

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.

Replied by Meg
Kansas City, Mo

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 Lauren (Brooklyn, NY) on 02/13/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I had a miscarriage and inflamation developed in my uterus as a result. I was unable to stand or walk for mor than 10 minutes. The pain in my lower back and pelvic area was excrutiating. I used 1 tbs of charcoal in a glass of warm water every morining and night for 10 days. The inflamation and the pain were gone by the end of the program.

Kidney Dialysis

Posted by Anon (Chicago) on 09/25/2013

To Mama To Many from Tennessee:

My wife is currently on dialysis, does activated charcoal filter out the toxin with the kidney also ? How do you do it ? Plus she received some blood transfusion also. She is currently on liquid restriction diet with potassium and phorphorus restriction and has a high blood pressure. Do you have guidance on diet? Their guidance is white flour diet mainly. Any advice would be appreciated.Thanks.

Replied by Mama To Many
Tennessee, Usa

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~

Replied by Mama To Many
Tennessee, Usa


I realized I suggested plenty of water for your wife and you had said she was on a fluid restricted diet. I had thought you meant she was restricted about types of fluid and not quantity. So, scratch that recommendation as I realize you mean quantity.

If she is allowed to have fats, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is an excellent fat to have. It is very good for the body and nutritious. If apples and berries are okay for her, organic apples are an excellent food (The old adage, An apple a day keeps the doctor away really does have some truth in it! ) and berries are antioxidant.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Anon

Mama to Many: Thank you Mama for your response.

Currently she has high blood pressure 150, it will be great if activate charcoal could help since she already on medication.

Should I put the poultice on both kidneys?

The reason I asked about the diet guidance because to see if anyone you know from practical experience what diet do they follow that been helpful?

Replied by Mama To Many
Tennessee, Usa


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 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.

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.

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.

Multiple Cures

Posted by Cheri (Texas) on 09/13/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I have been using activated charcoal for a few years and I always by mine on Ebay. You can get any size in powder form. My dog likes to eat Deer droppings (yuck) and it makes her sick, but when I see her licking her lips after being outside I know, if I get the charcoal in her she won't be sick, I use an empty syringe by sticking it in the side of her mouth between the teeth. I have used it for the flu and it stopped the vomiting.

Powder Form Vs. Capsule

Posted by Organicqueen (Chandler, Az, Usa) on 11/05/2011

Hi...was curious to see if taking the charcoal in powder form or capsule? Also, if taken in powder, what is a good method to mix it in?

Replied by Cc
Illinois, Usa

I don't think it matters whether you use the bulk powder or capsules. I currently have bulk powder, but only because I got tired of opening capsules to use as a poultice. I prefer capsules, internally, just because I'm a clutz and it's so messy. LOL!

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.

Replied by Sandy
In the sticks, Nevada
5 out of 5 stars

A huge thank you to Elizabeth from Woodbury, TN, for posting the charcoal remedy for spider bites. I was sweeping webs off my house & must have been bitten, but didn't notice the bite until the next morning. It itched like a mosquito bite, but felt hot & was beginning to swell. Long story short, I went away on business and could not treat it until 36 hours later. It had swollen up terribly and had been weeping off and on -- it was also very hot. When I got home,I treated it with activated charcoal mixed with colloidal silver as a paste applied to my arm, changing every 30 minutes or so. At bedtime, I covered it with a thick paste & then with a bandage. The next morning, the heat & the swelling were almost completely gone. I continued to apply fresh paste to the bite throughout the day & bandaged it again at night. The recovery from this bite was just short of miraculous -- I wish I had taken photos. Also, I did take several activated charcoal capsules each day along with the application of the paste. I never found out what bit me, although I suspect a hobo spider or brown recluse. Activated charcoal is my new favorite remedy! Thank you earthclinic for providing this information.