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Charcoal (Activated) - For Food Poisoning and Many More Health Problemsposted on 7 December 2009 | posted in Health Articles
Homeopathic doctors have used charcoal for over 200 years to absorb and expel intestinal gas. In fact, according to an article published in 1981 in Science News, charcoal has been given a rating of 1—safe and effective—by the FDA for acute toxic poisoning.
Charcoal is classified as an "adsorbent" substance, which means particles stick to the outside of the structure, rather than being sucked inside as with "absorbent" materials. Charcoal's unique electrostatic properties are developed during production. Activated charcoal is made by using controlled burning of bone or wood, which is then subjected to an oxidizing gas, such as air or steam, at high temperatures.
Charcoal has been shown to be more effective for drug overdoses or poisonings than Ipecac. Charcoal reduces the amount of poison absorbed into the blood stream from the stomach; charcoal also significantly adsorbs toxins in the enterohepatic (intestinal-liver) circulation; charcoal has been found to attain its maximum effectiveness of adsorption within approximately one minute, working instantly on contact; and charcoal has been found to eliminate 50-75% of the poison, increasing another 10% if vomiting is induced by stimulating gag reflex with the finger. In contrast, Ipecac can take as long as 30 minutes before vomiting begins, and has been found to eliminate only 25-35% of ingested poisons.
Furthermore, according to information published in the Archives of Environmental Health, activated charcoal forms a strong bond with adsorbed substances, preventing them from becoming dislodged and reabsorbed into the body.
The list of substances adsorbed by activated charcoal is quite extensive, but among the more common overdoses or poisoning treated are aspirin, barbituates, carbon dioxide, cocaine, cyanide, gasoline or kerosene, narcotics, penicillin, pentobarbital, potassium cyanide, radioactive substances, strychnine, tylenol (acetominophen), tricyclic antidepressants such as ativan and triavil, and valium (diazepam).
Of course, charcoal is also a well-known remedy for diarrhea, intestinal gas, nausea, and vomiting. In fact, several studies have shown charcoal also helps relieve the production of gas by as much as 75%.
Activated charcoal is also a good filter for absorbing cholesterol. A European study showed 7,000mg of activated charcoal taken daily for one month reduced LDL cholesterol by 41%.
Charcoal has also been studied for its use in treating diabetes mellitus. Charcoal adsorbs glucose in the bowel which has enabled some individuals to reduce their insulin intake.
To date, there have been no confirmed scientific findings to substantiate the loss of nutrients as a result of ingesting charcoal. In fact, research studies have consistently shown there is neither a loss of nutrients nor an interference in the absorption of nutrients, even after taking charcoal daily for extended periods of time.
Charcoal applied topically helps draw out poisons and other toxins from insect bites and stings, poison ivy, skin infections, and wounds. Care should be used in administering a charcoal poultice on freshly broken skin, as a "tattooing" effect is possible if the charcoal is absorbed below the dermis. Typically, charcoal poultices are only needed in the event of infection, inflammation, or swelling.
In cases of food poisoning, Dr. James Balch, author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, recommends taking 6 activated charcoal tablets (which is the equivalent of approximately 3 charcoal capsules) every six hours until symptoms subside. The earlier one begins charcoal treatment, the less severe symptoms will normally be.
Activated Charcoal for internal use is available from here.