Many of us have heard of the substance known as activated charcoal. We might have seen it listed in the ingredients of health and beauty preparations, yet many people do not understand what this substance is, where it comes from, and what benefits it provides to overall health. In this article, we’ll address everything you’ve ever wanted to know about activated charcoal and its relation to living bare.
What is Activated Charcoal?
Activated charcoal has been used for thousands of years stretching back to ancient Egypt. In the early days, it was used to preserve foods for travel and was used as a fuel source during bronze-casting. It is produced by carbonizing natural plant materials such as coconut husks, nut shells, woods, or fibrous material from palm trees, among many others. Heating the materials in a low-oxygen environment, the plant materials are transformed into a rich, black carbon substance.
What Does Activated Charcoal Do?
Activated charcoal works through the principle of adsorption, or the binding of chemicals to a surface through a reactive process. In activated charcoal, the substance is negatively charged, attracting the positive charges of toxins and gases, forcing them to bond together. In the human body, those toxins are trapped, then flushed from the body. The millions of tiny pores and incredible surface area of the charcoal material traps harmful chemical contaminants.
How is Activated Charcoal Used?
Activated charcoal is commonly available in easy-to-swallow capsule form, or it can be obtained as a powder for mixing with foods, beverages, and beauty products. It is critical to source only food-grade activated charcoal, as some manufacturers derive the substance from petroleum products.
Taken orally or ingested with foods, activated charcoal traps harmful toxins and prevents them from being reabsorbed by the digestive system. Mixed with beauty products, the activated charcoal can strip away free radicals and environmental contaminants, leading to healthy, glowing skin and hair.