If you live within proximity to a Whole Foods or a Juice Shop, you may have heard of activated charcoal. Lately, I've seen it in lemonade, at juice shops, Whole Foods, and all over Instagram. I even saw foodies waiting in line for black ice cream, made with activated coconut charcoal.
WHAT "PEOPLE" ARE SAYING.
"It's healthy!" "It's cleansing!" "It's good for you!" It's a buzz ingredient. It's trendy. But do you know what it is? You can also find people whitening their teeth with it on Instagram or using it in homemade face masks. We haven't tried either because it looks messy, but we are familiar with activated charcoal as a detoxifying agent.
WHAT IT ACTUALLY DOES...
Charcoal is really more like a mop. It soaks up whatever is in its tracks so it can flush through the body without being absorbed. So, if you are on a professional nutrition protocol for dysbiosis or gut health, and you're experiencing die off of bad bacteria, the charcoal can sop it up and flush it out. This way there's less chance it will recirculate back into your body, making you feel not so great.
That's why Emergency Rooms use it for various poisoning accidents and drug overdoses.
HOW NOT TO TAKE ACTIVATED CHARCOAL
Charcoal is the mop that binds and flushes. Not only does it bind and flush out bad bacteria but it can bind to important vitamins and minerals. So, if you are drinking it IN your smoothie or green juice, you're counteracting the benefits of drinking greens. Avoid taking charcoal with meals too.
HOW TO TAKE CHARCOAL PROPERLY
Remember, activated charcoal is a potent natural remedy. Be sure to take it at least 90 minutes prior to meals, vitamins, or medications. Doing so may help alleviate gas. We like to keep a bottle on hand for the occasional and hopefully rare stomach flu/food poisoning. While it does not prohibit alcohol absorption, it can ease a hangover when taken before bed or first thing in the morning. We don't recommend making it a part of your long-term self-care routine because it may leach much-needed nutrients from your body. It is likely to be something you take as part of a healing protocol that is supervised by a Practitioner or Nutritionist.