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From charcoal tablets, to charcoal powder, to charcoal toothpaste, to charcoal lattes – charcoal is everywhere! And seeing as I’m such a big fan of the stuff myself, I thought it was the perfect item to get writing about in my latest ‘pick of the month’ article. So why is it having such a huge surge in popularity?

Activated charcoal can be used as an effective natural agent for trapping toxins and chemicals within the body, which then allows them to be flushed out and excreted safely, preventing them from being reabsorbed back into the bloodstream. The harmful toxins and chemicals effectively bind to the surface of the charcoal, and become trapped inside its tiny porous cavities, and then away it goes with the charcoal on its exit route out of the body.

There are numerous uses for activated charcoal, but I have chosen my top 5 to spill the beans about below…

1, Digestive cleansing – activated charcoal can help to keep your digestive tract nice and healthy by removing toxins and chemicals that cause oxidative stress and damage. These toxins can more often than not be one of the driving forces behind conditions such as low energy and fatigue, decreased mental awareness, impaired cognitive function, autoimmune disorders, and joint pain, so using charcoal as a way to eliminate them can often lead to significant improvement of associated symptoms.

Environmental factors, such as pesticides, chemicals present in tap water, and exposure to mould and fungus, can all serve to increase our body’s toxic burden, that’s why it’s so important to take time to regularly cleanse the digestive tract, and give our detoxification systems a helping hand in the fight against these little unwanted nasties.

2. Anti-ageing – unfortunately, ageing is a natural part of life, and no matter how hard we try, we can’t halt it forever, but due to the toxic load we are exposed to throughout our lives, via food, our environment, and certain stressors, this toxic burden can sometimes lead to premature ageing.

Activated charcoal assists the major detoxifying organs, namely the liver, the kidneys, and the skin, by helping the body to flush out the toxins and chemicals that cause this premature damage. Taking 2 charcoal tablets a day after exposure to pollutants, toxins, and non-organic food, can help to lessen this burden and keep you looking and feeling as fresh as a daisy.

3. Teeth whitening – activated charcoal can help to keep teeth pearly white by altering the pH balance in the mouth, whilst also helping to prevent cavities, gum disease, and unpleasant odours.

Similarly to how charcoal works inside the body, it helps to whiten teeth by adsorbing plaque and any microscopic particles that leave a nasty stain on the tooth. Using charcoal for teeth and mouth hygiene is inexpensive and a lovely natural way to keep that Hollywood smile glowing.

Simply wet a toothbrush, dip it into powdered activated charcoal, and brush away. Wash mouth out with water afterwards until saliva is clear.

4. Skin health – as well as working its magic properties inside of the body, activated charcoal can also be used safely externally as an all-natural cleanser and detoxifier. Many standard facial cleansers and scrubs contain lots of man-made ingredients and chemicals, which can add to our toxic burden, making charcoal a great alternative.

Every day toxins from our environment clog up our pores, and activated charcoal can be used as an effective detoxifier, trapping the toxins and pulling them out, leaving our face looking fresh. If you suffer from oily skin charcoal can also be used to draw out the excess oil, leaving the skin smooth and glowing. For most effective use do this once or twice a week max, to avoid drying out the skin. It has also been shown to be effective in the fight against acne, when used in the form of soap. The soap’s slightly gritty texture provides gentle and soothing exfoliation which helps to absorb toxins and oils on the skin’s surface, and below the skin. However, because there are different forms of acne, be cautious and use sparingly, try out a little bit first and see if it’s right for you.

5. Water filtration – we all know that drinking water is essential for good health, however, standard tap water unfortunately comes with a whole host of toxins, chemicals, and flouride. Because of its toxin eliminating properties, activated charcoal is fast becoming used all over the world as an effective water filtration agent, and works by trapping impurities, such as pesticides, chemicals from industrial waste, solvents, and other harmful substances.

Activated charcoal water filters are widely available for whole-home filtration systems, countertop filters, and as filtration discs that you can conveniently pop into your house or desk water jug.