Yesterday I mentioned the fact that there are a number of home remedies and natural options available to most of us, ones that we never even know of. This next post is about a product that I did not start using until about a year ago, I wonder what I ever did without it!
I remember a friend mentioning a few years ago that she ALWAYS kept a bottle of activated charcoal capsules on hands for the flu season and liberally dosed anyone who had the stomach bug or food poisoning with this miracle anecdote...sounded kinda hokey to me. Fast forward to a visit I had with a young lady who was about to embark on her life on he mission field in a faraway country (far away from modern medicines) and she let me know that the number one product that many other missionary women had suggested she take to the mission field with her was, you guessed it, activated charcoal. My interest was piqued so I began researching.
It is now one of the products that you will always find in my "medicine" cabinet as it is cheap, easy to use, and works wonders.
So, what is activated charcoal? According to WebMD:
"Common charcoal is made from peat, coal, wood, coconut shell, or petroleum. “Activated charcoal” is similar to common charcoal, but is made especially for use as a medicine. To make activated charcoal, manufacturers heat common charcoal in the presence of a gas that causes the charcoal to develop lots of internal spaces or “pores.” These pores help activated charcoal “trap” chemicals."
"Activated charcoal is used to treat poisonings, reduce intestinal gas (flatulence), lower cholesterol levels, prevent hangover, and treat bile flow problems (cholestasis) during pregnancy."
If you are really into science, HERE is a very technical explanation of how activated charcoal works.
Activated charcoal has a long history of medicinal use, and according to this article HERE there is a tale of a professor who avoided poisoning.
“It was 1831. In front of his distinguished colleagues at the French Academy of Medicine, Professor Touery drank a lethal dose of strychnine and lived to tell the tale. He had combined the deadly poison with activated charcoal."
It is often used in emergency rooms to absorb toxins for certain types of poisonings or accidental ingestion but is less known for its ability to aid in digestion or, as in the case of my friend the missionary, it is fantastic for food borne illnesses or gastrointestinal intolerance to certain foods.
Though not known to be toxic, charcoal should not be taken within 2 hours of ingesting vitamins or other medications because it can interfere with the body's ability to absorb substances.
So, where do you get this miracle product? I purchase mine either on Amazon or at a local health food store. (this is the brand I currently have in my cupboard)