With all the toxins in our environment, it’s a good idea to cleanse your innards every now and then. Sipping on charcoal lemonade can do just that!
Some toxins aren’t readily eliminated from your body and need a little help to push them along. There’s no such thing as a completely toxin-free human but there sure are toxin-laden humans, and lots of them. There are many foods that will help to clear your body of unwanted microbes and gunk. Something you may have heard about or use for whitening your teeth or settling an upset stomach is supremely good at cleaning out the bad stuff; it’s not food but burnt wood. Yes, we’re talking about activated charcoal.
What is Charcoal?
Activated charcoal (or Activated Carbon) isn’t the little squares you put in your barbecue or the bits that are left in your fireplace—those are not fit for human consumption. Activated charcoal (AC) is specially formulated from non-toxic ingredients (coconut shells, peat, olive pits, and/or biochar) and slowly burned at high heat so any contaminants are released in steam and smoke.
What’s left are only carbon and other nutrients. “Activated” refers to the oxidation of the carbon with steam or hot air; oxygen molecules fill up the spaces between carbon molecules. Once burned through, the AC is pulverized into a powder.
Detoxifying your body is simple and easy.
The way AC works to detoxify is by adsorption: by virtue of its electrical charge, carbon attracts other atoms that then bind to it. Many toxic substances and chemicals (like heavy metals and chlorine) will adhere to the AC and be thereby escorted out of the body. AC is odorless and tasteless, although a little gritty.
Similar in action to diatomaceous earth, AC has been used for many hundreds of years to ease stomach upset and cleanse the body. A study published in the Western Journal of Medicine states, “recent studies…suggest that activated charcoal may be the single most effective treatment in many types of poisoning.” (1)
Historically, AC has been used to filter water and as an antidote to poison ingestion; in 1813 and again in 1831, two different French chemists drank 5 grams of arsenic and strychnine, respectively, mixed with activated charcoal. They both lived (what was it with 19th-century French chemists?). (2)
This is why it’s widely used in emergency rooms as the first resort to treating poison ingestion. (3)