ACTIVATED CHARCOAL – Uses In Modern Natural Healing
A NEW LOOK AT AN OLD REMEDY-CHARCOAL
Here is modern medical proof that the old natural remedy, Charcoal, is truly a very safe and highly efficient Natural Healing Agent. Presented here for your interest and examination are a few of the many articles and scientific papers that tell of charcoal research and its uses in modern natural healing.
Activated Charcoal has been used effectively in the healing arts for centuries. Doctors still use it today as a healing agent, an antidote for poisons, and an effective treatment for indigestion and gas. Modern Industry also relies on Charcoal to deodorize, decolorize and purity solutions. Charcoal can do these varied tasks because of its amazing ability to attract other substances to its surface and hold them there. This is called adsorption. Charcoal can adsorb thousands of times its own weight in gases, heavy metals, poisons, and other chemicals, thus making them ineffective or harmless.
The form of Charcoal used in modern medical science is Activated Charcoal U.S.P., a pure naturally produced, wood charcoal carbon that has no carcinogenic properties. Activated Charcoal is an odorless, tasteless powder. One teaspoonful of it has a surface area of more than 10,000 square feet. This unique feature allows it to adsorb large amounts of chemicals or poisons. The powder must be stored in a tightly sealed container, as it readily adsorbs impurities from the atmosphere. Charcoal from burnt toast is not effective, and Charcoal briquettes can be dangerous because they contain fillers and petrochemicals to help them ignite.
Studies show that Activated Charcoal is harmless when ingested or inhaled, or when it comes in contact with the skin. In rare cases, charcoal may mildly irritate the bowel in sensitive persons, but no allergies or side effects have been recorded. Ingested Charcoal may linger in the colon, but this is not harmful. Many pediatricians and pediatric handbooks recommend that Activated Charcoal be kept on hand as an antidote in the family medicine chest, especially in households that include small children (5, 10, 38, 41, 53, 64).
Scientific experiments over many years attest to the effectiveness of charcoal as an antidote. In one experiment, 100 times the lethal does of Cobra venom was mixed with charcoal and injected into a laboratory animal. The animal was not harmed (15). In other experiments, arsenic and strychnine were mixed with charcoal and ingested by humans under laboratory conditions. The subjects survived even though the poison dosages were 5 to 10 times the lethal dose (1, 3, 14, 16, 17, 38).
HOW MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS USE CHARCOAL
Today doctors, paramedics and medical centers use Activated Charcoal in a number of different ways:
1. to eliminate toxic by-products that cause anemia in cancer patients (33, 50, 54).
2. to disinfect and deodorize wounds (48, 50, 58, 59).
3. to filter toxins from the blood in liver and kidney diseases (31, 48, 65).
4. to purify blood in transfusions (48, 60, 65).
5. to cut down on odors for ileostomy and colostomy patients (20, 22, 48).
6. to treat poisonings and overdoses of aspirin, Tylenol and other drugs (10, 30, 46, 48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 62, 63).
7. to treat some forms of dysentery, diarrhea, dyspepsia, and “foot and mouth” disease (20, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 37, 38 & 48).
8. to treat poisonous snake, spider and insect bites (38.).
Activated Charcoal is REQUIRED by law to be part of the standard equipment on many ambulances, for use in poisonings. Mushroom poisoning, brown recluse spider bites, and snake bites can all be treated with Activated Charcoal. Doctors also use Activated Charcoal to prevent and treat intestinal infections, and as a cleansing and healing agents. Jaundice of the newborn, bee stings, poison ivy reactions, and many other illnesses can be helped with Activated Charcoal.
SUBSTANCES ADSORBED BY CHARCOAL
2, 4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid
Multivitamins with Minerals
Some Silver & Antimony Salts
Many Herbicides 32, 39, 40
& 4000+ chemicals, drugs, toxins, & wastes
HOME USE OF ACTIVATED CHARCOAL
Indigestion and Gas-
A study made in 1981 shows that activated charcoal cuts down on the amount of gas produced by beans and other gas-producing foods. It adsorbs the excess gas as well as the bacteria that form the gas (57). Activated charcoal helps to eliminate bad breath, because it cleanses both the mouth and the digestive tract (38). It is also helpful in relieving symptoms of nervous diarrhea, traveler’s diarrhea (Turista), spastic colon, indigestion, and peptic ulcers. For such problems take between 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon of powdered charcoal up to 3 times a day. Take it between meals, as food can reduce its effectiveness. Swirl the charcoal in a glass of water and drink it down or mix it with olive oil for easy ingestion by use of a spoon (38, 47, 57, 58).
Activated charcoal is inexpensive, simple to use and is a time-tested natural remedy that has many valuable uses without dangerous side effects or contradictions, a very efficient cleaner of the body when taken orally. It also helps to purify the blood (10, 38).
Charcoal may adsorb and inactivate other medications. Usually you can take charcoal two hours before or after other drugs. If you are taking prescription drugs, check with your doctor before beginning treatment with charcoal.
You can take charcoal intermittently for long periods or regularly for up to 12 weeks.
TREATMENT OF WOUNDS, ULCERS, AND BRUISES
Lancet, the prestigious British medical journal, describes the use of charcoal compresses to speed the healing of wounds and eliminate their odors. This article tells about the amazing ability of human skin to allow transfer through its permeable membrane and pores of liquids, gasses and even micro-particles by the application of moist activated charcoal compresses and poultices which actually draw bacteria and poisons through the skin and into the poultice or compress. Poultices must be kept moist and warm to allow this healing process to take place (59).
Make a poultice by putting 1-2 tablespoons of charcoal powder in a container and adding just enough water to make a paste. Spread the paste on a paper towel, cloth, or piece of gauze cut to fit the area to be treated. Make sure the cloth is moist, warm, and thoroughly saturated with the paste. Place it over the wound cloth-side down and cover it with a piece of plastic wrap or plastic bag cut to overlap the poultice by an inch on every side. Fix in place with adhesive tape. Poultices should be changed every 6-10 hours. Do not put charcoal directly on broken skin, as it may cause a tattooing effect (21, 23, 24, 29, 38, 50).
Activated charcoal can be used as an antidote in poisoning from most drugs and chemicals. DO NOT USE WITH THE FOLLOWING: cyanide, mineral acids, caustic alkalies, alcohol, or boric acid. Other antidotes are more effective. Consult a Poison Control Center or a doctor immediately for instructions and information in any poisoning emergency (10, 51, 52).
In poisonings, activated charcoal works by adsorbing the poison or drug, inactivating it, and carrying it inert throughout the digestive system so that it can be eliminated from the body. Charcoal is neither adsorbed nor metabolized by the body (6, 13, 47, 53).
In a poisoning emergency, if the patient is conscious, first induce vomiting if it can be done quickly. Syrup is ipecac is a commonly used emetic preparation. The dosage is 1/2 oz. for children and 1 oz. for adults. Induced vomiting will bring up about 30% of the poison from the person’s stomach. Then give charcoal to help inactivate the remaining 70%. The usual dose of charcoal is 5 to 50 grams, dependent on the amount of poison taken and the person’s body size. Adults should receive at least 30 grams, or about half a cup of lightly packed powder. Larger doses are needed if the person has eaten a meal recently. A dose of 200 grams is not excessive in severe poisoning cases. Powdered charcoal can be given in fruit juice, chocolate syrup, jam, or honey to make it easier to get down. Ice cream is not recommended as it makes the charcoal less effective. Powdered charcoal reaches its maximum rate of adsorption rapidly, within one minute. The sooner it is given the better the chances of successful treatment. The dose can be repeated every four hours, or until charcoal appears in the stool (3, 10, 41, 47, 48, 52, 53, 60, 61).
Do not give charcoal or anything else to an unconscious patient. Consult a doctor at once. Do not give charcoal before giving an emetic, because the Activated Charcoal will adsorb the emetic and make it ineffective. Charcoal does not work in every poisoning situation, so be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Activated charcoal taken as a powder is the most effective form of charcoal that can be used. The best method of use is to take the required spoonfuls of powder, place them in the bottom of a cup or glass, and add water while rapidly stirring the charcoal into the water, then drink it down, along with a second glass of water to include any residue. Alternate methods listed below can also be used.
You can put charcoal into empty gelatin capsules. They may act more slowly than powder; the capsule must dissolve before the charcoal can work. Vegetarians who object to gelatin can use starch papers called Kokko-Oblates to allow convenient ingestion of activated charcoal powder. These are obtained at health food stores.
Medical researchers have discovered, that Activated Charcoal is so effective both chemically and physically, because of the it’s electrical charge and the thousands of microscopic tunnels created by the process used to make it. The medical profession uses it as an antidote (10, 38, 41). It is inexpensive, harmless, and easy to use.
1 tsp./8 oz. Glass-PURE Water (1-3 times/day) – General Health
1 tsp./8 oz. Glass-PURE Water (4-7 times/day) – General Illness (Flus, Colds)
1 tsp./8 oz. Glass-PURE Water (8-12 times/day) – Serious Illness
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2. Cooney, David O. Activated Charcoal, New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc. 1980, p. 33, 47.
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4. Journal of the American Medical Association 64:1882, May 29, 1915.
5. Thrash, Agatha & Calvin Rx: Charcoal, New Lifestyle Books, 1998.
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7. Bulletin de la Society de Chime Biologique 27:513-518, October-December, 1945.
8. Journal of Animal Science 34:322-325, February, 1972.
9. Cooney, David O. Activated Charcoal, New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc. 1980 p. 63.
10. Clinical Toxicology 3(1); 1-4, March, 1970.
11. Annals of Emergency Medicine 9:11, November, 1980.
12. AMA Archives of Industrial Health 18:511-520, December, 1958.
13. Archives of Environmental Health 1:512, December, 1960.
14. Journal of the American Medical Association 240(7):684, August 18, 1978.
15. Comptes rendus Hebdomadaires des Seance de 1-Academie des Sciences 187:959-961, November 19, 1928.
16. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 26; 103-108, September, 1973.
17. Journal of the American Medical Association 209(12); 1821, September 22, 1969.
18. Management of Poisoning, Pediatrics for the Clinician, p. 325.
19. Journal of the American Medical Association, June 15, 1984, 3104 & 3130.
20. Patient Care, October 30, 1977, p. 152.
21. Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Monthly 47;652-655, December, 1968.
22. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 12:500-502, May, 1964.
23. Journal of the American Medical Association 64:1671, 1915.
24. Chirurg 19:191, April, 1948.
25. Quarterly Journal of Pharmacology 1:334-337, July-September, 1928.
26. Cooney, David O. Activated Charcoal, New York; Marcel Dekker, Inc. 1980, p. 123.
27. Ibid, p. 131.
28. Ibid, p. 133.
29. White, Ellen G. Selected Messages, Volume Two, Washington, D.C.
Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1958, p. 294.
30. Nature 184(Suppl 15); 1165-6. October 10, 1959.
31. Medical World News, February 17, 1967.
32. Cooney, David O. Activated Charcoal, New York; Marcel Dekker, Inc. 1980.
33. The Lancet 1:1301, 1974
34. Annals of Internal Medicine 93:446-449, 1980.
35. British Medical Journal 2:1465, November 25, 1978.
36. Medical Tribune, April 12, 1978, p. 2.
37. Surgery, Gynecology, and Obstetrics 96:873-878, 1930.
38. Home Remedies, A. Thrash, M.D. & C. Thrash, M.D., 1981.
39. Common Poisons & Injurious Plants, U.S. Public Health, FDA 1981-7006.
40. Handbook of Common Poisonings in Children, U.S. Public Health, 1976-7004.
41. Pediatrics, Vol. 54, No. 3, Sept, 1974, Drs. Corby & Decker.
42. Am. J. Hospital Pharmacy, Sept. 76, pp. 965.
43. Am. J. Hospital Pharmacy, June 79.
44. Am. J. Hospital Pharmacy, Aug. 79.
45. Clinical Toxicology, May 75.
46. Hospital Formulary, 1983.
47. Martingale Extra Pharmacopeia, 28th edition, pp. 72, 1982.
48. AMA Drug Evaluations 5th Edition, 1983.
49. Wildwood San. & Hospital, Wildwood, Ga. Marjorie Baldwin, M.D.
50. Conn’s Current Therapy 1984, pp. 925 & 927.
51. Merck Manual 14th Edition.
52. American Society of Hospital Pharmacists, 1976.
53. Facts & Comparisons, 1981.
54. Klin Wochenschr, 1982.
55. Our Earth, Our Cure, R. Dextreit, 1974. Swann House Publishing Co., Brooklyn, N.Y.
56. Effect of orally administered activated charcoal on Intestinal Gas. Hall, Thompson & Strother.
Loma Linda Medical School, 1981.
57. Prevention, Feb. 1981, pp. 136.
58. Lancet, Sept 13, 1980.
59. American Medical News, pp. 37, June 22, 1984.
60. European Journal of Pharmacology 24:557, 1983.
61. The Pediatric Clinics of N.A., Vol. 17, No. 3, Aug. 1970.
62. Hospital Pharmacy News, pp. 6, May 1984.
63. Journal of Pediatrics, Holt & Holz, pp. 306.
64. British Medical Journal, pp. 51, Oct. 7, 1972.
(Information Supplied by TOTAL HEALTH Newsletter July 1998 Vol. I No. 5, Uncopyrighted for Public Use)