Activated Charcoal: Wellness as Dark as Your Soul (just kidding)
Activated charcoal is all the rage right now in the beauty and wellness world. It's showing up in everything from ice cream and pizza crusts to face masks and toothpaste...and everything in between. But there are some things you should consider before jumping on the charcoal bandwagon.
Activated charcoal is known for it's potential detoxification abilities and it's often created from coconut shells. According to WebMD, 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.'” Natural Healthy Concepts explains, "to 'activate' charcoal, the powder is broken down into nearly pure carbon, then it is treated with steam, oxygen, carbon dioxide, acids and other chemicals to make it more porous." These pores help activated charcoal to essentially "trap" chemicals to then be eliminated by your body.
It's given to some individuals at hospitals to prevent the absorption of certain poisons and is sometimes used to treat hangovers. That being said, ingesting charcoal can also inhibit the body's absorption of medications as well as vitamins and nutrients. This can be hazardous for individuals who take medications to manage health conditions and can even make your birth control less effective. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy a little vegan, goth-themed Nice Cream from time-to-time, but not without consulting your medical professional about if it's safe for you to do so.
There are numerous ways to enjoy the benefits of this gorgeous dark powder. One being in a lukewarm bath in my Black Mermaid Bath Salts. So if you, like Anais Nin, must be a mermaid because you, "...have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living," then this relaxing, ocean-scented bath salt recipe featuring beneficial sea kelp is for you. Make sure the water is not too hot because it can make the detoxing effect too intense. (My fizzy bath bomb version of this will be available on the Shop after I'm more recovered from the accident.)
Charcoal is also known to whiten teeth. I love my charcoal bamboo toothbrush, which helps to draw chemicals out of the mouth, an often ignored area of amazing detoxing potential (i.e. oil pulling, tongue scraping, etc.) AND they're biodegradable! They biodegrade in around two years as opposed to the 300 it can take regular plastic toothbrushes. You can also check out my Magical Moon Dust Tooth Powder recipe, perfect for the out-of-this-world space babe (or space dude.) In the past I've used activated charcoal to channel my inner ancient Egyptian queen by mixing it with a little coconut oil or aloe vera gel to make an all-natural, jet-black eyeliner/mascara. You can also mix 2-3 activated charcoal pills with Desert Essence Tea Tree Skin Ointment for a blemish-busting face mask.
In short, incorporating activated charcoal into your life can be easy and beneficial, but it's not a bad idea to check with your healthcare professional (preferably a naturopathic doctor of course) to make sure it's safe for you to use.
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*I am not a medical professional, this post is for informational purposes only. The information on this web site is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. Any information presented is not a substitute for professional medical advice and should not take the place of any prescribed medication. Please do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consultation with your physician.