The use of charcoal for health has been around since the time of the Egyptians. That might sound strange, given all the evidence that the black stuff on your barbeque grill and the charcoal briquettes most people use to cook with are chock-full of cancer-causing toxins. When it comes to these kinds of charcoal, the warnings are absolutely true. These substances should be avoided at all costs. But activated charcoal is different.
Activated charcoal is beneficial for the body and can be used for anything from diverticulitis flare-ups to natural teeth whitening. Some historians even claim that ancient physicians used it for epilepsy and anthrax. In modern times activated charcoal is known as a strong detoxifier for the gut and the body overall.
What Is Activated Charcoal?
This charcoal is created by burning all-natural, non-toxic woods such as coconut without the use of any chemicals. It is gentle on the system, especially the colon when used in the right amounts and is fairly cheap to buy in powder or capsule form at your natural foods store or online.
Healthy charcoal is said to be “activated” because of its porous consistency, which contains a negative charge that attracts positively charged toxins. Charcoal is said to attract 100 times its weight in actual toxic materials. Some specific ways activated charcoal can be used include:
- Heavy Metal Detoxification: This is by far the most common use for activated charcoal today, and rightly so. In 2005, a study spearheaded in part by the Environmental Working Group found “an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in umbilical cord blood from 10 babies born in August and September of 2004 in U.S. hospitals. Tests revealed a total of 287 chemicals in the group. The umbilical cord blood of these 10 children, collected by the Red Cross after the cord was cut, harbored pesticides, consumer product ingredients, and wastes from burning coal, gasoline, and garbage.” The scary fact is that no matter how clean your diet and lifestyle is, we ALL have various toxins within us, simply due to environmental factors such as pollutants in our air, water and soil. Activated charcoal has been known to remove such heavy metals as mercury, copper, arsenic and lead.
- Intestinal Health: Intestinal health is important not only for the process of digestion but also because the majority (60 to 80%) of your immune system cells live in your gut. In the intestines, charcoal works through a process of adsorption (not absorption). Adsorption has to do with the electrical attraction of toxins to the surface area of negatively-charged particles (in this case, fine particles of activated charcoal) in the intestinal tract. Charcoal is not absorbed by the body and will eventually exit through the bowels, along with the toxic substances it has attracted to it. If you use activated charcoal for intestinal detox, you may experience very black stool. Don’t be surprised! This is normal and can actually help you discover the speed at which materials are passing through your system as a whole.
- Lowering Cholesterol: In a study conducted almost thirty year ago by the British journal The Lancet, patients with high cholesterol who took activated charcoal (8 gm) three times per day had a lowered LDL of 41% and a total lowered cholesterol level of 25%.
- Wound-Healing and Infection-Fighting: For thousands of years, carbon (i.e. charcoal) has been used around the surface area of wounds in order to keep infection at bay. It has also been used for accidental poisonings as well as insect and snake bites, again because of its toxin-drawing abilities.
Activated Charcoal as Part of a Healthy Breast Protocol
One of the most important components of the 7 Essentials System™ is to “reduce your toxic exposure,” which includes safe yet effective detox protocols to remove the toxins that you may have inside of our body already. Activated charcoal has proven to be a powerful and safe way to help you eliminate toxins and begin to feel vibrant and energized again.
To date, there have been very few scientific studies which look specifically at activated charcoal’s effect on cancer and tumor reduction specifically, let alone its effect on breast cancer.
That being said, one Russian study done in 1984 found that taking activated charcoal after chemo treatments reduced the toxic effects of certain chemotherapy drugs. Other purely anecdotal reports discuss women with breast cancer tumors seeing a reduction in lymph node size and tenderness as well as a general reduction of pain in the area when they liberally applied a poultice of warm water and activated charcoal or olive oil and activated charcoal. Although these claims have not been proven by science yet, what is clear is the need for more trial-based research on this powerful detoxifier that has been used for thousands of years all over the globe.
If you decide to use activated charcoal as part of your Healthy Breast protocol, the most important thing to look for is a quality source. Make sure the charcoal you obtain, whether in capsule or straight powder form, comes from fine-grain woods. Many experts recommend coconut woods as the best for this purpose.
Recommended doses for activated charcoal will vary with your situation and body type, but the general recommendation amongst experts is 1,000 to 2,000 mg (one to two grams) per day taken for one to two weeks. Make sure to ingest activated charcoal two hours before or after eating. I do not recommend taking activated charcoal on a regular basis, but as part of a specific detoxification protocol of between one to two weeks. Whatever regimen you decide upon, make sure to stick to recommendations to avoid constipation (especially if you have a tendency towards this normally).
 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2612535 Kuusisto P et al. Effect of activated charcoal on hypercholesterolemia. Lancet 16: 366-67, August 1986