Activated charcoal was once considered the universal antidote
Nowadays, it continues to be promoted as a potent natural treatment.
It has a variety of proposed benefits, ranging from lowering cholesterol to whitening teeth and curing hangovers.
Activated charcoal works by trapping toxins and chemicals in the gut, preventing their absorption
The charcoal’s porous texture has a negative electrical charge, which causes it to attract positively charged molecules, such as toxins and gases. This helps it trap toxins and chemicals in the gut
Thanks to its toxin-binding properties, activated charcoal has a variety of medical uses.
For instance, activated charcoal is often used in cases of poisoning.
That’s because it can bind a wide variety of drugs, reducing their effects In humans, activated charcoal has been used as a poison antidote since the early 1800s
It may be used to treat prescription drugs overdoses, as well as overdoses of over-the-counter medications like aspirin, acetaminophen and sedatives
For instance, studies show that when a single dose of 50–100 grams of activated charcoal is taken within five minutes of drug ingestion, it may reduce drug absorption in adults by up to 74%
This effect decreases to around 50% when the charcoal is taken 30 minutes after drug ingestion and 20% if it’s taken three hours after the drug overdose