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Activated charcoal may sound like something you’d use for your barbecue. But, in fact, it’s a detox remedy which, over the last few years, has become increasingly popular in the wellness world. From reducing bad breath to increasing antifungal protection, here’s a look at some of its reportedly significant benefits.

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20. General detoxification

There’s a reason activated charcoal has recently become fashionable when it comes to detoxifying. By using it regularly, individuals could find that the number of harmful toxins in their body reduces significantly. As a result, they might discover a new-found sense of energy, sometimes within a matter of minutes.

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So what kind of toxins does it remove? Well, it can help reduce those you consume via environmental pollution and cheap processed foods. Repeated exposure to these kinds of contamination can not only lead to digestive issues, but may also result in allergies, cellular damage and a weakened immune system.

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19. May reduce cholesterol levels

From edamame beans and fish oil to flax seeds and plant stanols, there are several ways to lower cholesterol levels. Activated charcoal, it seems, can also help with this problem. And it does so by binding together both bile acids, which contain cholesterol, and cholesterol itself, which forms in the gut.

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In fact, one particular study in this area showed surprising results. Participants’ total cholesterol levels were reduced by a not insignificant 25 percent after taking just 24 grams of activated charcoal every 24 hours for approximately a month. The amount of harmful LDL cholesterol was also lowered by the same amount. Even better, cholesterol regarded as good improved by eight percent.

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18. Helps with anti-aging

Of course, activated charcoal can’t literally stop you from aging. But according to studies, it might help slow the process down. In one particular test conducted on older animals, the compound was found to have a significant effect on their average lifespan. Indeed, it increased longevity by an incredible 34 percent.

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So how does the compound do this? Well, as you get older the brain typically becomes more toxin-sensitive. Activated charcoal, however, can help prevent this from happening so quickly. As well as improving cognitive function, it can also benefit vital organs such as the kidneys, the adrenal glands and the liver.

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17. Can help to treat wounds

The possible healing power of activated charcoal was seen in one particular month-long study whose findings were published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. During two regulated trials it was discovered that activated charcoal was effective when it came to wound dressings. Indeed, it reduced both toxins and other dangerous fluids from leg ulcers that had previously been deemed chronic.

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And there’s more evidence of the compound’s possible healing qualities. The British Journal of Nursing published a study in 2016 which revealed that wounds improved quicker with activated charcoal than any other type of antimicrobial dressing. However, it’s not a be-all, end-all solution. According to online information service MedlinePlus, it doesn’t have the same effect when on bedsores.

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16. Can help prevent diarrhea

Activated charcoal’s ability to trap gut toxins could have one particularly major benefit. By stopping diarrhea-causing bacteria from absorbing itself into the body, it could aid in the prevention of some illnesses. However, there is some debate as to whether the compound can also work as a treatment option for specific infections.

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In 2017 the Current Medical Research and Opinion journal published a review which claimed that activated charcoal could be used to treat diarrhea. It also noted that it had far fewer side effects than other medical therapies. However, the Mayo Clinic believes that not enough research has been conducted to present any truly authoritative findings.

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15. Binds poisons

This is undoubtedly one of activated charcoal’s more dramatic benefits. But yes, it can be a vital tool when it comes to binding poisons. The compound is capable of absorbing the majority of both organic and inorganic chemicals, pesticides and even hugely harmful substances, such as lead, before they do significant damage to the body.

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And one particular man knows all about charcoal’s poison-binding powers. The individual in question accidentally took a liver-damaging overdose of paracetamol after getting his medicine bottles mixed up. But before visiting the emergency room, he took a number of capsules containing activated charcoal, which he believes were vital to keeping his liver intact.

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14. Alleviates allergies

A single teaspoon dissolved in a cup of water. That’s reportedly all it takes for activated charcoal to have an alleviating effect on various allergies. In fact, this method could help with allergy symptoms within just half an hour. It may also help to block allergens for a period of an entire day.

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The remedy is potentially able to trap the toxins, impurities and organic compounds that result in allergies by working its way through the body, digestive system and bloodstream. The cardiovascular, hormonal and metabolic systems natural stability is reportedly restored when such allergens have been removed. This could, in turn, help with cognitive, digestive and respiratory problems.

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13. May support kidney function

Those who suffer from chronic kidney disease may find some relief by taking activated charcoal on a daily basis. The remedy can reportedly help to remove waste products from the kidneys, such as urea, something those with the condition find difficult. And further evidence was discovered in a small study that the Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation published.

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In that case, nine mature individuals with renal disease in its final stages took 30 grams of charcoal every 24 hours. They also switched to a diet that was low in protein during this ten-month testing period. By the end of the study, the group’s creatinine and blood urea levels had reduced by a significant amount.

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12. Cleanses blood

Lemon juice, basil and apple cider vinegar are just a few of the remedies that reportedly help cleanse the blood. And you can also add activated charcoal to that list. In fact, the compound reportedly has several absorbent qualities which enable it to work its way through the body, brain and bloodstream.

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Activated charcoal’s journey around the body may help absorb various compounds, chemicals and toxins that would otherwise increase the risk of damaging a person’s blood health. It’s reportedly particularly effective when it comes to tackling the infiltration of viral, fungal and bacterial infections. As a result, the remedy is regarded by some as a natural and safe therapy..

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11. Teeth whitening

Do you dream of flashing the kind of pearly white smile that would put a Kardashian to shame? Well, you might not have to spend a small fortune at the dentist to do so. Simply brush activated charcoal onto your teeth twice a day and you may be able to achieve the same effect.

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By using activated charcoal as a form of toothpaste, you could help remove bacteria, stains and plaque from your teeth and gums. This process may also aid in dealing with gum disease and cavities. And for those more interested in Instagram likes, it can additionally result in the brightest and whitest of smiles.

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10. Increases antifungal protection

Activated charcoal also reportedly has its uses when it comes to antifungal protection. It can be taken orally to help the body eliminate pathogens that are deemed harmful. But you can also directly apply the compound to the fungal infection itself. With the former, just a simple teaspoon of activated charcoal powder mixed in with a cup of water will do the trick.

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If you put activated charcoal directly on an infection, you also need to use an equal amount of coconut oil or water. Once applied, this combination must then be dressed with fabric or gauze and covered with plastic wrap or surgical tape. Whichever method you use, the fungal infection recovery process will allegedly be much speedier.

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9. Naturally relieves pain

Quite simply, activated charcoal could be used as all-round natural pain relief. After attracting inflammatory compounds, it can then also absorb and guide them out of the body. By eliminating the type of elements which cause pain, this amazing substance may reduce problems with tissues, joints, muscles and bones.

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Activated charcoal could also have a similar cleansing effect on the digestive system, brain and bloodstream. By detoxifying and removing the kind of compounds, organic elements and chemicals that have a negative impact on bodily processes, it may improve everything from hormone production to the immune system. As a result, the individual is reportedly also less likely to experience illness and infection.

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8. Helps with hangovers

Drinking a glass of raw egg and rubbing lemons into your armpits. Anyone who’s ever woken up with a splitting headache after a night out knows that you’ll do anything to be rid of it. But it turns out that a teaspoon of activated charcoal dissolved in a cup of water may be the best thing to take care of a hangover.

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In fact, activated charcoal is often the go-to treatment for clinics and hospitals across the globe when it comes to alcohol poisoning. The substance is able to absorb the types of chemicals and toxins that negatively affect the function of the brain and body. And, therefore, those who have over-indulged the night before might get back to relative normality far quicker if they opt for activated charcoal as their hangover cure.

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7. Promotes nutrient absorption

Another, possibly major, benefit of activated charcoal is its key role in nutrient absorption. By helping to remove the compounds, toxins and impurities that can inhibit this process, the substance may allow the body’s systems to work as they should. And it only takes a small dose to achieve it.

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It reportedly takes just a single daily teaspoon of activated charcoal mixed with water to start helping you gut. This simple act may enable nutrients in the body to be processed more efficiently. It could also help prevent the degradation of the immune system and improve the health of both the heart and brain.

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6. Can treat acne

Activated charcoal could be a godsend when it comes to those with combination skin. When used as part of a cleanser or face mask, the substance can help absorb those, pesky excess oils. As a result, the skin is left feeling silky-smooth. It’s also said to be effective in the treatment of acne.

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Indeed, activated charcoal can help to draw out dirt, bacteria and other harmful microparticles to the skin’s surface. And many beauty companies are taking advantage of this reported benefit. A quick glance at the skincare aisle next time you visit the drugstore will reveal several products featuring the remedy on the shelves.

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5. Reduces fish odor syndrome

Activated charcoal may also help with trimethylaminuria (TMAU). This is genetic condition which causes the body to accumulate an unpleasant odor akin to rotten fish. Most people can convert TMA, a fishy-smelling compound, into something less noxious before it’s excreted in urine. However, those with TMAU, or fish odor syndrome as it’s commonly called, don’t have the right enzymes for this conversion to take place.

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When the body accumulates TMA, it develops a putrid, fishy odor in the sweat, urine and breath of the sufferer. However, activated charcoal can reportedly help speed up the excretion process by binding together tiny odorous compounds such as TMA. In one particular study, just 1.5 grams of activated charcoal every day for ten days notably reduced the problem.

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4. Reduces bloating

We all know that eating baked beans can result in the unfortunate side effect of excessive gas. This is because the digestion of such foods causes bacteria resulting from the decomposition process to create these embarrassing conditions. However, activated charcoal could prevent such issues by entering the digestive tract and binding itself to these byproducts.

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And excessive gas isn’t the only digestive problem that the remedy may help to relieve. By absorbing the bacteria found in the bowel, it could also reduce bloating and general discomfort. Reportedly, all those who suffer with such problems have to do is take a capsule or tablet a couple of hours prior to, or 60 minutes after, a meal.

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3. Can reduce halitosis

Activated charcoal has not only become a frequent ingredient in toothpastes, it is also commonly used in mouthwashes. And that’s because the remedy has proven to be effective with the common problem of bad breath. In the former it helps with plaque removal and tartar buildup to provide much longer-lasting freshness.

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Several brands of mouthwash also make use of activated charcoal’s antibacterial properties. The remedy can help to neutralize foul-smelling odors and help keep an individual’s breath fresh for much longer than other mouthwashes on the shelves. As a result, it’s become a widely used tool in the battle against halitosis.

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2. Can harm gut bacteria balance

Of course, just like any other type of remedy, activated charcoal also has some potential side effects. One of the most notable is that it can negatively affect the balance of gut bacteria. Indeed, as well as getting rid of unhealthy toxins, the compound could also take away nutrients that are important to the digestive tract.

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In 2015, the International Journal of Molecular Science published a review which also stated that activated charcoal can interfere with how medications are absorbed. And the side effects don’t stop there. Ingesting the compound can also lead to unpleasant illnesses such as constipation and nausea as well as vomiting.

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1. Can harm teeth

Activated charcoal is said to be beneficial when it comes to cavities and gum disease. But in 2017, the Journal of the American Dental Association published a review disputing these claims. In fact, the piece concluded that the compound does more harm than good when it comes to teeth.

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According to three studies featured in the published review, activated charcoal could actually lead to tooth decay. It may even cause, rather than prevent, cavities due to enamel abrasion. As a result, the authors of the study advised American dentists to make patients aware of the potential risks of using the compound.

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