Ultimate Guide to Activated Charcoal: Benefits and Uses

Posted by Lisa (Kevil, Ky) on 11/28/2011

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.

Charcoal Side Effects
Posted by Mercedes (Wilkes Barre, Pa/usa) on 05/25/2011

I took natures way activated charcoal for gas pains it caused worse pains then I started I also feel a lump in my stomach it has been 6 days and I still cannot have a bm. I also went to the hospital for this pain. They couldnt do anything for me because I took exlax which made me go but not the hard lump above belly button. The exlax made me dehydrated so they sent me home. I wouldn't recomend this to my worst enemy. So to all who read this before taking it please don't take it.

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?

Posted by Odilon (Palm Coast, FL) on 01/16/2006

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

Food Poisoning
Posted by Shawna (Mountlake Terrace, WA)

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.

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.

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!


Tooth and Mouth Care
Posted by Jenlyn (Colo Springs, Co) on 02/28/2010

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.

Activated Charcoal and Meds
Posted by Heartrhythms (Santa Fe, Nm) on 02/14/2010

Hi Rita, activated charcoal would probably reduce the absorption of your medicine if taken around the same time (to be safe, I'd leave at least 4-5 hours between the charcoal and meds).

Spider Bites, Mosquito Bites
Posted by Anonymous (Denver, CO) on 07/30/2009

I had two mosquito bites that swelled to little eggs on my arm. I mixed a little charcoal with water and dabbed that on. The itch stopped immediately and I kept putting it on several times. The swelling went down as well.

My husband cut some tree branches and got three spider bites on the back of his knee. Two of them had already started seeping by the time he showed it to me and one especially looked pretty scary. We put some charcoal on mixed with water and then covered everything with bandaids. We changed this several times and after about three days one bite is gone and the other two look like they are healing nicely.

Food Poisoning
Posted by Al (Opelousas, USA) on 06/30/2008

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).

Bee Sting
Posted by Gean (Salina, Kansas) on 05/05/2008

I am very allergic to bee stings. I had gotten stung a few times during my childhood and teens, each time with more severe swelling. The last time I had gotten stung (stepped on a bee going barefoot), my leg swelled up like an elephant leg all the way to the thigh (the time before that it was just above the knee). So I knew it would be worse the next time, so I carried an Epi-pen around for a while until it expired. Then I carried nothing with me, but I knew if I got stung again esp. above the waist it would probably cut off my airway circulation. Well, lo and behold, about 20 years later I got stung again, right on my throat, so I yelled for my husband to call 911, thinking I was done for. Then a few seconds later I said, "Never mind! Hang up and help me mix up this charcoal!" So we took some powdered activated charcoal, mixed it with water, and applied it to the sting site. When the paramedics showed up a few minutes later (they had traced the call), we told them we were fine, since there was no swelling at all. I changed the charcoal poultice quite often during that first day, I don't remember exactly how often. Maybe every hour for a few hours. We also ground up some flax seed and mixed it with the charcoal and water. This makes it gelatinous and less runny. I kept the poultice on for about 3 days. Two days later I felt it itch and begin to swell, and then I realized the poultice had slipped off the sting site. So I knew I was still very allergic, and the charcoal had probably saved my life.

Posted by Lauren (Brooklyn, NY) on 02/13/2008

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.

Bites, Poison Ivy, Wounds, Infections
Posted by Maria R. (Knoxville, TN) on 04/01/2023

ACTIVATED Charcoal for bites, poison ivy and wound infection

My husband worked in the forest building trails and came back with what looked like poison ivy. He treated both legs with an ointment. One leg was remedied, the other leg stayed red for two weeks and started becoming hot to the touch. We knew that it meant he had systemic infection so I made him a poultice of Activated Charcoal, rice flour (for thickening, you can use arrow root or corn starch), and castor oil. I spread it on his wound and put a gauze over poultice and a plastic wrap over the gauze. I then wrapped the entire would around the thigh in an Ace Bandage. He did this for four days, making sure he removed the bandage in the shower as the AC is VERY messy. We replaced with new gauze each day for four days. I used an activated charcoal for whitening teeth found at Bed, Bath and Beyond!

On top of this I had him do four days of taking activated charcoal internally by capsule, found on Amazon.

Day 1 he took only 2 capsules in morning and two in evening with lots of water.

Day 2 he did the same.

Day 3 he took 1 capsule every hour all day long.

Day 4 he took 1 capsule every hour all day long.

Day 5 all was clear - accept for a VERY dry thigh, (which we rubbed Coconut oil into until dryness was gone)

All the heat and redness was gone!

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

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.

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 vitacost.com

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

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

Charcoal Side Effects
Posted by Tina (Toledo, Ohio, Usa) on 06/06/2010

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.

Upset Stomachs
Posted by Helen (Houston, Texas) on 05/16/2009

I just had my gallbaldder removed and I have been so sick and can't sleep.....miserable....I got some charcoal tablets and now feel alot better and can sleep......I recommend this for upset stomachs instead of baking soda and other remedies at the pharmacy....charcoal works! Helen D.

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.

Hangover Cure
Posted by Adrian (Sydney, Australia) on 01/18/2006

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!

Multiple Cures
Posted by Pam E. (SouthWestern California) on 11/21/2022 140 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!

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