Activated Charcoal For Food Poisoning
Activated charcoal for food poisoning (stomach flu) is a traditional remedy that has been used in many cultures for hundreds of years. The extensive use of activated charcoal in medicine is no secret. It is a powerful detoxification agent and remains a common antidote for many ailments to this day.
What is activated charcoal?
It is important to note that activated charcoal is not the same substance as the coal used to burn in the stove. The medicinal substance of activated carbon is usually specially processed wood, lignite, peat, as well as the shells of nuts, coconuts, bamboo or even fruit seeds are used to make it.
Activated carbon is usually created by processing materials at very high temperatures, such that the intermediates form a fine, odorless black powder. Further processing involves systematically passing it through a series of chemicals, such as oxygen, steam and certain acids. This process makes the resulting material more porous in nature, which traps toxins.
The medicinal carbon itself is free of toxins and carcinogens. It is safe for ingestion, as well as topical application to the skin.
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How activated charcoal works?
Activated charcoal has so many uses because it binds chemicals together and thanks to its unusual porous surface, a small amount of powder or tablet is able to absorb thousands of times its weight in toxins.
Carbon’s porous texture has a negative electrical charge, which causes it to attract positively charged particles such as gases and toxins. As a result, it binds harmful substances, and since it is not absorbed by the body, it is excreted along with the toxins bound with it.
Activated charcoal removes toxins from the body during poisoning
Activated charcoal is most often used to help in emergency cases of poisoning or exposure of the body to toxins. It is also considered a very effective antidote during drug overdoses.
Despite its advantages, activated charcoal is unable to absorb heavy metals, including iron, potassium and cyanide. It also does not work for alcohol poisoning.
What is food poisoning?
Food poisoning occurs when an individual ingest food that has spoiled or been contaminated with bacteria, parasites or toxins.
Food poisoning symptoms
There are many pathogens responsible for food poisoning infection. Symptoms can develop in as little as 1 hour or take up to 28 days to appear. Common food poisoning symptoms include:
Abdominal pain and cramps
Activated charcoal is a great stomach flu remedy
Stomach flu is also known as food poisoning.
In the same way that activated charcoal binds with toxins or poisons, it can also bind to bacteria in the stomach, helping relieve your symptoms.
It can bind to potentially pathogenic bacteria like E. Coli.
Taking it as soon as someone comes down with symptoms can help stop the symptoms or even keep you from getting sick if you are the caregiver.
Soothes indigestion and reduces gas
Activated charcoal can reduce gas and bloating in the digestive system. Liquids and gases trapped in the intestines can easily pass through the porous surface of the charcoal, and so the charcoal can neutralize them.
Consuming a small teaspoon of activated charcoal powder mixed with water before a hard to digest meal can calm enzymatic activity and chemical reactions that contribute to indigestion.
Treats intestinal poisoning
Activated charcoal is excellent for gastrointestinal poisoning. Carbon absorbs bacteria and toxins that cause diarrhea, and then gets rid of them from the body.
In addition, it coats the mucous membrane of the gastrointestinal tract, thereby protecting it from the effects of adverse substances. Activated charcoal, compared to drugs for diarrhea, has no side effects.
Activated charcoal dosage information
I’m going to refer to the Mayo Clinic for specific dosing suggestions.
Below are the general recommended dosages for activated charcoal. If a secondary dosage is necessary, use half of the recommend dosage.
Adults and teens: take 25-100 grams of activated charcoal mixed in 8oz of water. If using capsules, take 6-8 of 260 mg capsules.
Children ages 1-12 years old take: 25-50 grams of powdered activated charcoal mixed with 4-6 ounces of water, or the dose may be based on body weight. It may be 0.5 to 1 gram per kilogram (0.23 to 0.45 gram per pound) of body weight mixed with water.
Children up to 1 year of age: 10 to 25 grams mixed with 4 ounces of water, or the dose may be based on body weight. It may be 0.5 to 1 gram per kg (0.23 to 0.45 gram per pound) of body weight mixed with water.
It’s very important to consume adequate amounts of water in tandem with activated charcoal to prevent dehydration. In addition, this helps to flush out the toxins quickly and prevents constipation experienced by some individuals.
Activated charcoal isn’t something that needs to be taken on a regular basis but it is good to have it on hand for flu bugs, food poisoning, and even for topical use on bug bites and as a teeth whitener.
Activated charcoal is most commonly purchased as a loose powder, but you can also find activated charcoal as a supplement in easy-to-swallow capsules.
Side effects of taking activated charcoal
There are certain risks associated with taking activated charcoal orally. These can include:
- Black stools
- Black tongue
In case of vomiting, it’s necessary to take another large dose of activated charcoal. Sometimes the quickest way for the body to eliminate toxins is by emesis. This is a normal occurrence and should not be cause for concern. Make sure to take another dose within 15 minutes after vomiting has subsided and drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
Taking activated charcoal can also interfere with the absorption of some drugs. Wait at least 2 hours before taking any other medications. The use of activated charcoal can also lead to limited absorption of some nutrients.
There are situations where activated charcoal is not recommended, such as “if the person is unconscious, has a gut issue that might require surgery, or has taken substances that are not absorbed well by activated charcoal.” (4)
The information here is provided for informational purposes only. It is not presented with the intention of diagnosing or treating any disease or condition. It is in no way intended to substitute for the advice provided by your doctor or other health care professional. No responsibility is assumed by the author for the use of this information and no guarantees of any kind are made for the performance or effectiveness of the recommendations provide. By using this site you agree to these terms. (Read more)
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