Healing Wonders of CharcoalFitness Gear & Equipment
Preparation and amount
Powder: Take 1/2-1 1/2 teaspoon in 1/2-1 cup water - swallowed, spread onto a poultice, or taken as a slurry (see below for details)
Tablets: 4-8 chewed in mouth and then swallowed
Although not an herb, yet charcoal is invaluable in a number of ways. It is pure carbon and will adsorb (not absorb, but bind with) 29 of the 30 most dangerous poisons, thus neutralizing them.
Usually obtained from a hard wood, charcoal is produced by slow combustion in a relative absence of oxygen. If you do not have any available, in an emergency, you can burn a piece of hard wood and scrape or chip the charcoal from the charred wood. After moistening it with water, force it through a food grinder. Commercial sources are usually made from coconut shells. (Burnt toast or charcoal briquettes are not charcoal.) Treatment with superheated steam can produce "activated" charcoal, which is capable of much greater adsorptive effect. This is because more surfaces of the charcoal have been exposed. The surface area of charcoal is astounding, for it has millions of micro-pores with surface areas ranging from 400 to over 1,800 square meters per gram. There are 50 million charcoal particles in one pound.
Internally, charcoal cannot adsorb all poisons, but it can bind with, and thus neutralize many of them. Here are but a few of the many things it adsorbs:
- Many industrial toxins including: DDT, dieldrin, strychnine, malathion, and parathion.
- Many medicinal drugs including: aspirin, barbiturates, cocaine, opium, nicotine, morphine, penicillin, and sulfas.
- Many inorganic chemicals including: mercury, phosphorus, chlorine, iron, lead, and silver.
In any type of acute poisoning, the best thing to do is to induce vomiting, followed with a large dose of activated charcoal, diluted in water, to render most substances harmless. Usually 30-60 grams (about 1/2 cup) is needed, suspended in water and taken as soon as possible after the injection of any toxin.
Charcoal can also be taken to stop intestinal gas (about a spoonful in half a glass of water, followed by another glass of water). It is also very good for diarrhea.
In cases of colitis or unusual chronic inflammations of the bowel, a charcoal slurry solution can be made by stirring powdered activated charcoal into water. Then use only the cloudy solution which results after the liquid has set for a couple of hours. This "slurry enema" will reduce inflammation locally, giving considerable relief.
Externally, you can use it as a poultice on wounds, skin infections, and above inflamed body areas.