Is Activated Charcoal Good For You? With Facts

  • By: Author: Irene Mills
  • Date: June 7, 2020
  • Time to read: 8 min.

You’ve probably noticed that everybody’s talking about activated charcoal.

As you might imagine, it can be used in hundreds of different ways. From toothpaste to ice cream.

So is activated charcoal good for you?

Yes, studies suggest that activated charcoal helps with adsorbing toxins in the body. And is often used to treat drug overdoses and acute poisonings. It also has a wide range of medical and cosmetic benefits.

Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of activated charcoal and what the experts are saying about it.

Why Is Activated Charcoal Good For You And How Does It Work?

Activated carbon also called activated charcoal is an all-natural carbon-rich powder that comes from coconut shells, peat, olive pits, bamboo or even hardwood.

These sources are made into activated carbons by using very high temperatures around the 600-1200 C mark. And baked slowly.

However, don’t get confused with regular charcoal that you grill hot dogs and hamburgers with.In fact, that can be bad for your health and can be toxic.

Here’s How Activated Charcoal Works:

Is Activated Charcoal Good For You

Activated charcoal has millions of tiny pores within it and it works like a magnet. It adsorbs Heavy metal and toxins.

The toxins easily bind to the surface of it.Think of it like a sponge covered in glue.

This causes the molecules to become stuck. And no matter what happens the molecules won’t come off.

Unlike when you soak a sponge into water. The water absorbs into the sponge. And when you squeeze the sponge the water comes out. Adsorption works differently than absorption.

For these reasons, it is used as an effective treatment for removing toxins in the body.And it is also great for home remedies.

However, it’s not recommended to use activated charcoal daily. But it can be used in emergency situations or can be used only for the short term for about one month.

Ways To Use Activated Charcoal Powder

1. Toothpaste

is activated charcoal good for you

Do you want whiter teeth?

Brushing your teeth with charcoal toothpaste has become more and more popular. You’ve probably seen it all over social media.

You’ll also be glad to know that activated carbon helps binds to and removes stains off your teeth.

Many people swear by this stuff.According to the American dental association, people claim that oral activated charcoal toothpaste not only whitens teeth.

But it has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and breathes freshening properties.

How To Use Activated Charcoal For Teeth Whitening

Dampen your toothbrush with water and dip it into the charcoal powder. Activated charcoal has no taste to it and is odorless.

Brush your teeth gently. Your whole mouth will turn black even your teeth.But looks super cool and weird and a little scary all at the same time.And works.

Wait 3 minutes before rinsing.Make sure you buy the extra-fine activated charcoal powder type so it’s not too harsh on your teeth.


You might want to have a special toothbrush just for activated charcoal.This Because it will discolor the bristles on the brush.

Is Activated Charcoal Good For Your Teeth?

There is a chance that activated charcoal could cause abrasions to the teeth.However, there are no studies to confirm this on what activated charcoal does to the mouth.

But there could be a chance it could cause sensitive teeth.However, keep in mind only to use a small amount.And not use it daily.

2. Face Mask

Is Activated Charcoal Good For You?

Is activated charcoal good for your face?

Yes, it helps to draw out blackheads. And it instantly helps to make your skin glow.

Here is how it works:

 It works by trapping the toxins and impurities beneath your skin.It has many benefits for the skin.

Such as:

  • Exfoliates your skin
  • Tightens pores
  • Smooths out skin
  • Cleanses and detoxes

You can buy a face mask with activated charcoal already in it.

But if you want to make your own home remedy and save money.

Here is how.

How To Make A Face Mask With Activated Charcoal:

For a clarifying face mask

  • 5 teaspoons of Powdered Charcoal
  • Add to warm water
  • Wait until the charcoal turns into a paste
  • Add a teaspoon of honey or aloe Vera
  • Then apply a thin amount to face

Rinse off after 5 to 10 mins

Keep in mind this mask is not recommended for daily use. Use it as you would normally use any deep cleaning product. Don’t use it if you have dry skin.

3. Kills Dust Mites

A recent study found that activated charcoal stops dust mites from breeding.

What does this mean for you?

This means that if you suffer from allergies or asthma activated charcoal can help with these frustrating problems.

These awful tiny creatures love to feed off of flakes of dead skin.And dander that is shed by humans and pets.

They commonly live in pillows among other things.If you suffer from allergies it is recommended that you give special attention to:

  • Bedding
  • Pillows
  • Airways
  • While you sleep.

Researchers found that synthetic pillows have a higher rate of dust mites.And are associated with severe asthma in adolescences.

On the other hand, pillows with mesh or fine charcoal coated threading help to eliminate dust mites.

The way it works:

Is the dust mites ingest the charcoal and it cleans their stomachs.

Thus killing dust mites.

You never again have to worry about allergies from your pillow again. The one I use is by Sweet night bed pillow. It is highly reviewed and you can find it on Amazon.

4. Detox Cleanse 

Today more than ever, activated charcoal is one of the most popular methods to detox.

In fact, it is one of the top substances listed by the World Health Organization for an antidote to poisoning. It helps to speed up the natural detoxification process. And it helps to neutralize toxins in the stomach and GI tract.

Furthermore, activated charcoal powder or capsules can be used as a supplement to treat:

  • Heavy metal
  • Poisoning,
  • Nausea,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Indigestion,
  • Intestinal gas and reducing gas
  • Flatulence
  • Kidney diseases

Unlike other superfoods that can be used for the long term, charcoal is recommended to consume only for short periods of time.

The best food-grade charcoal on the market is from hardwood or coconut shells which are washed to remove all impurities.

Although activated carbon is safe to consume for the short term you still have the risk of constipation.

This is because it binds to all vitamins and fluids inside your body.However, hardwood activated charcoal is slightly less absorptive than coconut shell based charcoal powder.

How to use it to get the most health benefits?

A good rule is to keep the activated dosage to about 1 tablespoon to about eight ounces of water.

Lastly, drink the water detox mix for about an hour before you eat. And an hour after your last meal.

This will help your body to fully receive the benefits of activated charcoal.

As a final point, it is important that when you are detoxing your body. And flushing toxins out to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and nuts.It is important to drink  12-16 glasses of water while using activated charcoal. This will prevent dehydration.

5. Water Filtration 

Have you ever thought about what is in the shower filter that makes the water feel better?

Or have you ever wondered what is in the filter underneath your skin that gives water a beautified clean taste?

Most likely it is activated carbon.This stuff has been around a long time and works to make your water taste and smell better.

In fact, water filters that have activated charcoal in it are either from hardwood or coconut shells. Although Water filters that have coconut shells work best.


Because it is a renewable resource and it also blends well for water filtration.The way I look at it, activated charcoal is a must-have in any survival kit.

For example:

If you are lost in the wild or if you are hit by a horrific hurricane.And have to filter UN clean water you can easily use activated charcoal from your survival kit to do so.

How To Make Your Own Water Filtration With Activated Charcoal

  1. Boil water
  2. Take a mason jar and put a coffee filter or cheesecloth on top
  3. The thicker the filter the better. Double the coffee filter or cheesecloth together to make it thicker.
  4. Place about 1 cup or as much as you can fit of Activated Charcoal into the coffee filters.
  5. Put a couple of filters on top of the charcoal. And place a rubber band around the filter to secure it to the Mason jar.
  6. Slowly pour the dirty water on top of the Mason jar to start filtering the water. The slower the water runs through the filter the better.

The first time you do it you will see the difference between the filtered water and the dirty water.

You can repeat the process as many times as you would like to do it. The more it is done the clean the water will be.

See More activated carbon filters on Amazon.

Did this post answer the question:

Is activated charcoal good for you?

To learn more about how activated charcoal gets rid of odors you can find a helpful post about it located here.

This post is not medical advice please consult with your doctor before using activated charcoal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the side effects of activated charcoal?

It’s no secret that activated carbon can be a wonderful home remedy.

However, there could be some side effects. These potential Side effects can be rare but can happen.

Side effects:

  • Allergic reactions such as Hives, rashes, itching, blisters
  • Tightness in breath
  • Trouble breathing
  • Swallowing
  • Swelling of the mouth or body
  • Dark stools
  • Constipation

If you have kidney diseases, liver disease or any type of serious medical problem.

For these reasons, it’s always best to check with your doctor before using activated charcoal.Never take charcoal with other medicines. Because it binds to prescriptions.This can create drug medications to become less effective.And could create even more serious health issues.

Can You Take Activated Charcoal Every Day?

Activated charcoal is only intended for short term use. And not intended for everyday use.

This is because the effects of activated charcoal capsules and powders pull toxins and vitamins from the body.

Which can result in dehydration and other potential side effects?

According to Web MD, the following dosages below have been studied in scientific research:

For Adults 

Taking orally for drug overdose or poisoning:

  • 50-100 Grams first hour
  • Followed 2-4 hours at12.grams per hour
  • Single-dose 25-100 grams of activated charcoal may be used

Children By mouth for drug overdose or poisoning:

  • 10-25 grams recommended for up to 1 years of age
  • 25-50 grams children 1-12 years of age
  • 10-25 grams recommended for multiple-doses of activated charcoal are needed

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