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What Is Activated Charcoal?

If you are like most people, you probably think it’s more than a little strange to see something like charcoal being advertised as a health product. You are probably thinking, charcoal is something that is used to help heat up my barbecue in the summer. How is it that all of a sudden, it’s being put into everything from toothpaste to body soap?

With this short document, we are going to clear things up and help explain this health trend.  We’ll be talking all about activated charcoal - what it is, why it’s not the same as regular charcoal, and why it’s not only safe to consume, but also a POWERFUL compound with a number of serious health benefits. 

What Is Activated Charcoal?

Technically, “activated charcoal” is another word for activated carbon, and it generally works like this - carbon is combined with a number of different gases, and then heated to high temperatures. 

Through this process, the nutrients in the carbon expand and enlarge dramatically, enabling them to bind to various chemicals.  Activated charcoal traps these chemicals through a process called “adsorption” (not to be confused with “absorption”), by pulling them towards it.

Physically speaking, the end result is what you’d recognize as regular charcoal - the same black, brittle, powdery substance that you usually see in your fireplace. 

The difference between “regular” and “activated” charcoal (apart from the chemicals that are often added to the former) is the activation process.

This not only makes activated charcoal safe for personal use and consumption, but it’s also what gives it its tremendous health benefits.

What Are The Benefits Of Activated Charcoal?

One of the greatest benefits of activated charcoal is its potential as a health remedy, since the tiny pours that result from its enlarged nutrients are able to trap various toxins and expel them from the body.

Activated charcoal has a long history in medicine.  The use of this compound as a poison treatment has been well documented as early as the 19th Century and is still used in some emergency rooms today.

In fact, charcoal for medical purposes is a phenomenon that dates back thousands of years and has been used by both practitioners of Ayurveda and early Chinese medicine. It’s even been used by early societies as a primitive form of water purification.

Activated Charcoal For Detoxing?

While its potential to combat poison has been well documented, recent research has suggested that it may be beneficial as a detox agent as well.

Let’s be honest, most people in the modern world live extremely unhealthy lives.  Poor diets, lack of movement, and exposure to modern environmental toxins wreak havoc in our bodies and our immune systems.

And while the damage from poor diets and lack of exercise can be mitigated by adopting a healthy lifestyle, even those of us who do take care of ourselves find that its incredibly difficult to stay totally free of low level environmental toxins. 

While most of these won’t kill you, they do take their toll in other ways - lack of focus, energy and concentration are all signs that it may be time to detox.

The research is still in its infancy, but there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that activated charcoal can have a similar effect on toxins and heavy metals as it does on poison - by binding to and eliminating it from the body.

How Else Can Activated Charcoal Be Used? 

In addition to purifying the body, activated charcoal has an absolute ton of other uses as well.

In fact, if you pay attention, you’ll notice that it’s an active ingredient in a number of health and beauty products - capsules, deodorants and, yes, even “charcoal soaps”.

Let’s start with anti-aging.  In addition to affecting your mood and energy levels, excessive toxins have a similar effect on our appearance as poor dietary choices - dull, puffy skin is not only unpleasant, but it can make us look older than we actually are. 

So, if anti-aging is a priority for you, this is a fantastic step to add to your routine. 

Activated charcoal also has another benefit that almost everyone will appreciate - the fact that it’s hands down one of the best natural odor fighters on the market.

Remember how we talked about the adsorption properties of charcoal?  Well, here’s the good news - this isn’t just for poisons and toxins, but also for unpleasant odors as well.

And yes, that includes the dreaded body odor as well.  It’s why we’ve included it in our Musty Balls Detoxing Soap, a natural product which combines activated charcoal with tea tree oil to fight and rid the body of toxins, chemicals, and unpleasant odors.

The bottom line on activated charcoal is this - it’s a safe, effective compound that everyone should definitely think about adding to their supplement and hygiene repertoire.

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