Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal has been coming into my life so many ways that it's hard to believe that there was a time that I knew nothing of it at all. Activated charcoal is profoundly powerful and useful in so many ways. First off, let me explain what it is. Most people would probably know what charcoal is. The charred portion of wood after a fire is what is referred to as charcoal. This alone has some great qualities just to a lesser degree than its more powerful cousin, activated charcoal. In short, activated charcoal is charcoal that has been treated with oxygen. The treatment process results in creating multitudes of tiny pores on the surface of the charcoal. It can actively absorb impurities and contaminants including chlorine, odors, and other toxins such as poisons in insects. Because we don't absorb activated charcoal in our systems, we can take take it orally and it will help draw out toxins in our body. Hospitals give out activated charcoal in cases of poisoning. You can find the same product in many health food stores.

You can clean water with activated charcoal because it will attract and absorb water contaminants such as bacteria, herbicides, and other chemicals. Recent studies of the wrecks of Phoenician trading ships from around 450 B.C. suggest that drinking water was stored in charred wooden barrels. This practice was still in use in the 18th Century for extending the use of potable water on long sea voyages. Wood-staved barrels were scorched to preserve them, and the water or other items stored in them. How ingenious it was, a completely natural, organic, and environmentally friendly preservative!

You can even use activated charcoal as a poultice (activated charcoal mixed with water) and apply it to a beesting to pull out the poison and speed up the healing of the wound. In fact any time you have pus, it is a sign that there is an infection. Sometimes that is caused by something foreign getting past the first barrier your body has - the skin. Activated charcoal can help draw out the foreign object and again start your body on the path to healing faster.

Activated charcoal is a great thing to have on hand in the house. You can buy it on line or pick some up at any pet store in the aquatic section. You can learn how to use it to make an emergency water purifier at an upcoming class at Riverside High School. To find out more and sign up, go to

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