Activated Medicinal Charcoal for Health and Healing
Ddi you know that you can use activated charcoal for a ton of useful health concerns?
In fact, if you could choose just one natural remedy, activated charcoal should be it!
There are many resources on the usefulness of medicinal charcoal, so I won’t reinvent the wheel, but here are a few of my favorites.
- John Dinsley’s book, Charcoal Remedies.com, is the most thorough on the topic of medicinal charcoal that I’ve come across.
- His companion website, https://www.charcoal remedies.com is full of helpful advice, plus tons of stories on the use of charcoal. https://charcoalremedies.com/your-stories/
- My post here, about Brown Recluae Spider Bite, where I share how we used charcoal and herbs to effectively treat our young son’s spider bite.
- Natural Remedies Encyclopedia—just an overall good instructional manual for all kinds of natural remedies. Includes how to make charcoal applications.
- Agatha Thrash’s Natural Remedies for Children
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What do we use Activated Charcoal for on our Homestead?
At Ridge Haven, we always have a jar of charcoal around! In the van, and every other vehicle as well. It is our emergency go-to remedy for many ailments, including:
- Bee stings
- Spider bites
- Swollen feet,
- Canker sores
- Post-op pain
- Infected/inflamed areas, like boils, even painful pimples, cat scratches, wounds
- Eye pain/pinkeye
- Joint pain
- Broken bones
- Brushing teeth (actually whitens them)
- Removing splinters
- Snakebite (on our dog)
- General pain from thorns
- Over kidneys/back for covid pain
- Foot or any body part soaks for edema/pain
- Skin rashes (some kinds)
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
- Soaked charcoal tampon for candida
- COVID nausea/vomiting. It’s a special kind of sick! Slurry water worked very well!
To get the charcoal inside, where it will be able to begin absorbing toxins, the quickest and easiest way is to simply stir a Tsp of activated charcoal powder into a cup of water or juice, and down it!
Be aware that charcoal doesn’t have a taste, but it will “taste” gritty. It’s a bit unpleasant if you get a gritty charcoal. Some brands are very finely ground, and you’ll hardly notice at all, except that the water will be black.
We look for charcoal made from coconut hulls, not bones!
Around the home:
- In our Berkey water filter
- Fish tanks
- Fridge to absorb odors
- RV black tank odors
How we Get Activated Charcoal
- Black Ice Hydrogel Patch These are pre-made stick-on patches that are open-and-go! They stay moist and work very well. They are perfect for keeping in a first-aid kit for a quick, topical charcoal application.
- Tablets or capsules. Personally, I like tablets, because they dissolve easily. You can use a tablet in your mouth—just hold it over an oral (like a canker sore) sore, and let is slowly dissolve. Or suck on a couple tablets for a sore throat. Many times, that’s all it’ll take to knock out a sore throat, if you catch it immediately. Tablets are convenient for traveling, to kick Montezuma’s Revenge!
How we use Activated Charcoal
- Powder–usually mixed in water or juice, and drink with straw.
- Poultice for exterior. See Make a Charcoal Poultice the Clean and Neat way
- Slurry water. Mix 2 Tsp charcoal powder in 1 qt water. Set aside, I disturbed, until the black settles down to the bottom. Carefully pour top water into another jar ( it will be clear but still retain suspended charcoal). Drink this water for nausea, general detox, and use for wounds.
- Black Patch. See above
- Tablets. See above.
Tips for Getting it into Kids
Charcoal powder can taste a little gritty, and some kids balk at that, more so when they’re not feeling well.
Here’s what we did when our kids were small when we felt that activated charcoal would help them to feel better:
- Mix into a DARK JUICE to hide it
- Give them a STRAW
- Drink a little yourself with them
- Mix in applesauce or a smoothie if they can’t/won’t drink it. Better than not getting it in at all.
- Encourage small sips. Even a little is better than none at all. This is helpful for nausea–small sips of slurry water can slowly settle the stomach, where big gulps will almost certainly come right back up and out!
- Take a picture of their black mustaches if they drink it from a cup!
- Note that CHARCOAL STAINS FABRIC! Double diaper, use chux pads on bedding, and remove good clothes and sheets if they have vomiting or diarrhea. What goes in must come out! And it’ll be black eventually.
Make your own Charcoal!
You can make your own activated charcoal. I’ve not done it, but I know missionaries who have! It’s a messy, time-consuming process, but still something good to know how to do!
Here’s a Wikipedia article with illustrations.
And here is a video from our friend, Walt Cross, discussing many practical home remedies, including activated charcoal.
Go give it a try!
I hope that you are at the very least intrigued by the use of medicinal charcoal, and at best, that you give it a try! Whether you make it yourself, or purchase it ready-made, charcoal is one remedy that every homesteader should get to know!
God bless you!