Can eating activated charcoal really rid your body of toxins? Let’s find out

Activated charcoal, when included in your diet, works wonders for your gut health by removing harmful toxins. And we have the science to prove it!
charcoal detox
Learn how activated charcoal can be used in your diet to help you ward off harmful toxins and chronic illnesses. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Grace Bains Updated: 14 Feb 2021, 12:57 pm IST
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You might wonder that first there were charcoal face masks, and then people started using this ingredient for their hair but. Now, making it a part of the diet seems to be stretching it a bit far, isn’t it? Well, that is just how beneficial and powerful activated charcoal is. It is great for your skin and hair but can also benefit your health in numerous ways.

What is activated charcoal?

While common charcoal consists of peat, coal, wood, coconut shell and petroleum, its “activated” form is created by heating common charcoal at high temperature in the presence of a gas. The high temperatures change its internal structure, reducing the size of its pores and increasing its surface area, resulting in charcoal that is more porous than regular charcoal, and even odourless.

Also read: 3 reasons why charcoal is a godsend for all you oily-skinned peeps out there

But, why eat it?

You might be surprised to know this but, activated charcoal has long been known to treat food poisoning. Sufficient dosing allows it to bind with certain toxins, reducing their absorption in the gut and minimising the detrimental effects.

activated charcoal
We know that activated charcoal is great for the skin, but what can it do for your gut? Image courtesy: Shutterstock

You can, however, also use it to clear your body of toxins even when you don’t have food poisoning. Activated charcoal’s porous texture has a negative electrical charge, which causes it to attract positively charged molecules, such as toxins and gases and as your body does not absorb activated charcoal, it can carry the toxins attached to its surface out of the body. Factors such as pesticides in food, chemicals in drinking water and exposure to mould create toxins in our bodies, leading to chronic illnesses. A detox regime using activated charcoal could be useful in getting rid of the toxins.

Not only does activated charcoal prove to be useful in easing the function of the kidneys, but it also binds cholesterol and bile acids preventing the body from absorbing them. Hence, it also lowers cholesterol.

Additionally, research by the University of Michigan suggests that foods supplemented with activated charcoal may provide some relief from gas because it can bind to intestinal gas and help your body eliminate it.

activated charcoal
Research suggests that supplementing your diet with activated charcoal can help relieve gas. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Since activated charcoal traps toxins in the gut, it could prevent diarrhoea-causing bacteria from being absorbed into the body, as per Current Medical Research and Opinion.

It will clear your system of substances that can prove to be harmful and lead to illness. Overall, it is one of the best options when you want to go on a cleanse!

So, how to get on a charcoal diet?

Don’t go by the term ‘diet’ because, unlike other trends, making activated charcoal a part of your routine is super simple and doesn’t require much effort!

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An activated charcoal (AC) diet is one in which you may add the activated charcoal powder to your tea or lemonade or sprinkle it over food items, such as frozen yoghurt and use it while baking sourdough bread as well.


As per Mayo Clinic, the recommended dosage for activated charcoal for adults is 25 to 100 grams. Hence, food items or juices containing AC powder should be in alignment with the acceptable and recommended dosage requirements.

While activated charcoal is generally considered safe when taken by healthy adults for a short period of time, and in restricted quantities, cautious use must be the norm here as it prevents absorption of chemicals—both good and bad. Also, medical professionals should be consulted in case of any pre-existing conditions.

So, ladies, make the activated charcoal diet a part of your routine cleanse, and you’ll see the difference in no time!

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About the Author

Grace is someone who likes writing enough to make a living out of it. When she isn’t writing, you will find her having chai and reading a book. ...Read More

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