Charcoal. It’s the new black. Or is it the old black? Regardless, it’s definitely black and something I’m totally digging right now and it’s getting a fair bit of traction in the Wellness world! I use it for loads of different things from pimples, teeth whitening, face masks, cold sore treatment & even aiding the dreaded hangover!!
So why charcoal? Activated charcoal is a natural substance that can be useful for helping to trap toxins & unwanted chemicals in the body. Charcoal works by ADsorbing toxins rather than absorbing them. This means that the toxins bind to the porous surface of the charcoal which can then be eliminated by the body. In my experience it is VITAL to drink lots of water when taking charcoal internally to help prevent constipation because ain’t nobody got time for being blocked up especially because that’s how all those toxins are going to get eliminated from our body! So here’s a quick run down on the things I find this super useful for but I’m sure there is loads more!
1. Teeth Whitening
It seems very counter intuitive to put something black on your teeth to make them white but it works! The charcoal helps to pull toxins from your mouth and remove stains. It’s also touted to help bad breath and strengthen enamel. I personally just can’t get on board with the over-the-counter-bleach-your-teeth at home kits. Seriously, our mucous membranes in our mouth are one of the fastest ways for things to enter our blood stream and you think I’m going to put something that’s going to bleach my teeth in there?? Pass.
So how do you do it? First take heed, it’s black. Like real black. If you have white grout on your floors & you spill it, it’ll go black so keep that jazz in the sink! Take your toothbrush, wet it then dip it in activated charcoal powder then brush your teeth as usual, nice and gently for a couple of minutes. Rinse well and enjoy your pearly whites!
2. Spot Treatment
Activated charcoal works a treat for those annoying pimples that pop up on your skin at the most inconvenient times. Just wet your finger, dip it in a bit of charcoal powder and pop it directly on the spot. I leave mine on for at least an hour but longer if possible.
3. Face Mask
Sometimes your skin just feels toxic. Whether that’s from eating less than ideal food, drinking alcohol, hormones or something else I find an activated charcoal face mask does a great job at drawing out the crap and leaving my skin fresh. It’s important to note that this can cause a little dryness of the skin afterwards so make sure you follow up with drinking lots of water and a great moisturiser.
Just mix about a tbs of activated charcoal with 1/4 cup water then pop on your face like a regular mud mask. Leave on for 15-30 minutes then wash off. Again, be careful where you are washing it off so you don’t stain things black!
4. Cold Sore Treatment
Now I don’t know if this is actually a thing but if you have ever had a cold sore you will try just about anything and it’s my first stop now every time. I have no clue the how or why this works but it’s stopped my last 3 cold sores dead in their tracks so I’m on board. It works best if you pop it on like the pimple spot treatment above when it’s at that tingling stage and keep doing that as often as possible. I have had one when I missed the tingle and broke out with a massive blister. Usually that would hang around for me for at least 7-10 days before it is completely healed but I started putting charcoal on it as often as I could and even slept with the charcoal on my lip at night (protect your pillows) and it was 100% gone in 4 days. Like I said, I don’t know if it’s a ‘thing’ but it’s surely worth a try.
5. Hangover Aid
Now I’m not much of a drinker so when I do have a few beverages the after effects hit me hard. Like many tons of bricks and I feel really crappy for days. Enter activated charcoal. Long used in hospitals and emergency centres to treat poison & drug overdoses it can be a very useful tool for helping with the dreaded hangover. If I know I’m going to have a couple of drinks I will take a couple of activated charcoal capsules a few hours before and ensure I drink plenty of water throughout the night. If I’ve missed that boat, didn’t realise I was going to indulge is so much booze and wake up feeling shady I take a couple of charcoal caps first up and again, ensure I drink lots land lots of water for the rest of the day.
I think activated charcoal has tons of awesome uses in my life and probably plenty more I haven’t explored but surely will in the future. The fact that I can use a natural product to do all these things gives me peace of mind and confidence which is why I am sharing my experience. Obviously you do you and work out what works best for you.