Activated charcoal aka Activated Carbon is a fine black powder which is odorless. It has an ability to absorb toxic substances. It is absorbent in nature and thus has a potential to be an effective therapy, for eg, using activated charcoal for food poisoning can be a successful remedy. But there is still a need for a lot of research to be done on this.
What is Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is derived by super heating the naturally occurring carbon rich substances like saw dust, coconut shells, wood etc. This activated carbon is packaged in form of tablets and powder.
How does Activated Charcoal Work
The activated charcoal particles are negatively charged and thus they have a tendency to attract substances with positively charged molecules. Most of the pollutants like toxic chemicals, molds, pollen etc. possess positively charged ions.
This can be put in a simpler way as ” Activated charcoal attracts the toxins and prevents them from getting absorbed in the body”
How Does Activated Charcoal Work For Food Poisoning
Activated charcoal is used in some cases of food poisoning and drug overdose. According to a study ” Activated Charcoal must be administered promptly”. In order for it to work it is essential for the Activated carbon to come in contact with the toxic substance concerned.
If activated charcoal is given timely it will reduce the bio-availabily of the toxic substance or drugs, thus preventing them from entering into the blood stream.
Taking Activated charcoal for food poisoning is effective only in absorbing the toxins that are still available in the stomach, toxins that are already absorbed by the GI tract will not bind to the activated charcoal. The activated carbon will absorb the positively charged ions that are still available in the stomach, which also includes certain vitamins and minerals too.
Should I Take Activated Charcoal For Food Poisoning As A Home Remedy
The answer to this question is an absolute No. Before administering activated carbon in form, weighing up the potential risks and benefits is to be performed essentially. This can only be done by a professional. The dosage and repetitions are also determined by the professional depending upon the poison/drugs in questions.
Moreover a medical personnel will also determine the efficacy of activated charcoal pertaining to the toxin/ drugs which are to be eliminated.
Does Activated Charcoal Works on Every Toxic Substance
Activated charcoal will bind the substances that have a positively charged ion. It will not absorb iron, petroleum products. heavy metal etc. This makes it very clear that Activated charcoal can work effectively on some events of food poisoning and may not work at all in some.
This is why in an event of emergencies like food poisoning administration of activated charcoal in any form should be done in an emergency room performed by medical personnel. It has to be preceded by detailed analysis of efficacy and risk factors.
Other Uses of Activated Charcoal
Suggested Read: 6 Best Uses of Activated Charcoal for Your Skin
Activated charcoal has taken the beauty and skincare industry by storm. It came as something very intriguing and promising at the same time, given its ability to attract toxins.
Its is also used extensively in water purification. A wide range of water purifier’s filters are now laced with a layer of activated charcoal.
Word of Caution: This article is for information purpose only. Activated charcoal for food poisoning should be taken under medical supervision only.