Vegetable charcoal:
its virtues for our health

Written by Paul Musset, Doctor in Pharmacy | published on

Vegetable charcoal: its virtues for our health

Are you looking for a 100% natural remedy to purify and detoxify your body? Don’t look any further: vegetable charcoal has everything to make you feel satisfied. What is it? What are the benefits of vegetable charcoal? How does one use it? Follow us, we'll tell you everything you need to know.

Vegetable charcoal: origin and benefits

What is active vegetable charcoal?

Several organic raw materials are used to make up vegetable charcoal. Their common point is their wealth of charcoal. It can be:

  • Wood bark;
  • Plant residue;
  • Walnut shells (especially coconut);
  • Kernels.

To obtain the activated vegetable charcoal, these organic products are carbonized until one obtains a black powder. The calcination treatment takes place in two stages: the raw material is first exposed to very high temperatures (between 600 and 900 ° C), without oxygenation. Then a second calcination is carried out to activate the benefits of charcoal and optimize its porosity.

How does it work?

Due to its porous nature, charcoal has a high adsorption capacity. Therefore, it takes action within the body by capturing and retaining undesirable substances (impurities, toxins, gases, etc.) on its surface and by promoting their evacuation through the digestive tract or the kidneys.

Adsorption: not to be confused with absorption
Adsorption can easily be confused with the concept of absorption. Some may also think of a spelling mistake. This isn’t the case. In reality, these two phenomena do exist, and they are even opposed. In the case of absorption, the external elements are aspirated and retained by an organism. On the other hand, adsorption helps reject unwanted molecules.

Under what form can we find vegetable charcoal?

Naturally, activated vegetable charcoal comes in the form of granules or powder. However, to facilitate its consumption, it is also often marketed in the form of capsules or tablets.

In addition, to take advantage of some of its benefits (which we shall detail in the next section), you can also find activated vegetable charcoal in the composition of certain hygiene and care products such as toothpastes or masks.

On Cocooncenter, vegetable-based products have been carefully selected so that you can make the most of its benefits in every area.

What are the benefits of vegetable charcoal?

There are several virtues of activated vegetable charcoal. It mainly allows to:

  • Detoxify the body: it makes it easy to evacuate waste and toxins through the stool.
  • Promote the proper functioning of the intestines: activated charcoal mostly limits problems related to bloating. Gases which may stagnate in the digestive tract are attracted by the charcoal which binds it and directs it outside.
  • Reduce skin discomfort: used as an active agent in cosmetic products (mask, scrub), vegetable charcoal cleanses and purifies the skin by capturing and getting rid of the impurities present on the upper layer of the epidermis.

There is another benefit of charcoal which concerns teeth. When added as a pure substance to toothpaste, charcoal acts as a polish. It has the ability to whiten teeth and prevent tartar. However, these properties are not scientifically proven and precautions while using are important, to avoid damaging the enamel.

To limit the risks associated with improper use of pure charcoal on toothpaste, charcoal toothpastes are available, such as Bicare Gifrer Plus, which includes other active agents in its composition, such as fluorine. This protects the enamel.

How to enjoy the benefits of vegetable charcoal?

Who can make the most of vegetable charcoal?

Everyone can enjoy the benefits of charcoal, adults and children. However, for young children or in the event of pregnancy or breastfeeding, you should seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist, before taking on a charcoal treatment.

In addition, there are also some contraindications to its use. In case of peptic ulcer or intestinal obstruction, it is not recommended to consume charcoal.

When to use vegetable charcoal?

Vegetable charcoal is mostly used to decontaminate an organism attacked by a toxin or poison. Therefore, it is particularly useful in the case of food poisoning to help the body get rid of bacteria.

Vegetable charcoal also has useful therapeutic properties, which fights against drug overdoses.

At the same time, this natural remedy can be used in the event of digestive disorders such as aerophagia, bloating or gas.

Directions for use

What quantity of vegetable charcoal to take?

The dosage depends mainly on two factors:

  • The disorder one needs to soothe;
  • The format (capsule, powder, or granules).

For powder, it is important to dilute it in water to avoid the risk of suffocation. In addition, it is also recommended to drink a second glass of pure water so that you don’t suffer from constipation or dehydration.

Last but not least, charcoal powder can also be mixed into yogurt.

As for capsules and granules, the amount to take depends on the brands and manufacturers. It is therefore required to get advise on how to use the product.

Side effects and precautions for use

Vegetable charcoal doesn’t have many side effects if the dosages are well respected. However, you must know that it is likely to darken stools. This phenomenon is harmless.

In terms of precautions for use, do not forget that activated vegetable carbon has an adsorbing effect on many substances, including drugs. Therefore, you are advised to space out your drug intake with activated charcoal, at least by 2 hours. Birth control pill is one of the substances that can be captured and eliminated by charcoal. This could negate its effect. Therefore, all women using this type of contraceptive, need to be careful.

Due to its varied forms and many benefits, vegetable charcoal is a real ally for your health. Good for the skin and digestion, charcoal can be taken during a course of one to two weeks.

The three key points to remember about vegetable charcoal:

  • Vegetable charcoal comes from a double carbonization of organic matter. Coconut is the most used raw material, because, once it is calcinated, its adsorbing capacity is very important;
  • Activated vegetable charcoal is mostly used for its detoxifying power. It has the ability to capture toxins and germs, which are responsible for poisoning and these get eliminated through the digestive tract;
  • Vegetable charcoal is in the form of powder, granules or capsules and can be consumed by adults but also children and is subject to the precautions for use. If you have a doubt, please get advice from a healthcare professional.
Regarding the author
Paul Musset
Paul Musset
Doctor in Pharmacy
Certificated of a pharmacy doctorate at Reims University (French University), Paul Musset is passionate by natural medicine and in sport nutrition. He accompanies you in "My well-being and beauty journal" by providing you his health and well-being advices.
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