Activated charcoal is an extremely porous form of carbon, a common chemical element used since the days of antiquity. Also known as active charcoal or activated carbon, the substance is a centuries-old remedy for poison control and intestinal detoxification. Active charcoal is available in powder or tablet form, with or without a doctor's prescription.
Taken orally, active charcoal is used by medical professionals for the emergency treatment of poisons. The effective decontaminant works in the body's gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which consists of the stomach, small intestines and large intestines. The charcoal prevents the body from absorbing toxic drugs or chemicals into the bloodstream through a process called adsorption.
Activated charcoal adsorbs chemicals to reduce their toxic properties. It works throughout the stomach and upper and lower GI tracts. During the adsorption process, the toxic substance adheres to the charcoal's surface. Because it cannot be digested, the charcoal remains in the GI tract until a bowel movement eliminates it along with the toxin.
The adsorption process is different from absorption. Absorption involves the passing of a substance through tissue. Once a toxic substance is absorbed by the stomach or intestines, activated charcoal can no longer affect the ingestion of poison. It can only attach to substances that remain in the GI tract.
Activated charcoal has numerous benefits for holistic therapy. Ancient medicine practitioners from ancient Egyptians to Native Americans used active charcoal to treat various ills. Today, holistic health therapists recommend it for various health conditions. It is widely thought to relieve symptoms of diarrhea, indigestion, spastic colon and peptic ulcers.
As part of an intestinal detoxification program, activated charcoal may be taken as a dietary supplement. The antidote for poisonous chemicals and drugs may be effective for dietary and environmental toxins too. In addition to treating overdoses and accidental poisoning, charcoal in tablet and capsule form is often used to treat heartburn, gas pain, and bad breath.
The adsorptive surfaces of active charcoal bind to toxins of all kinds and transport them efficiently out of the body. This makes activated charcoal a popular choice for body detoxification.
At OVitaminPro.com, we have activated charcoal supplements from Integrative Therapeutics to aid in detoxification. Have questions? Need assistance? Give us a call and we're happy to help.