Medicinal Uses for Activated Charcoal

| 1/29/2015 7:00:00 AM

What do the AAP-approved homeopathic remedy for infant colic and the International Space Station have in common? The same thing they have in common with nuclear submarines, EMTs, kidney dialysis machines, NBC suits (Nuclear Biological Chemical), water filters, emergency hospitals, poison control centers... and savvy doctors, nurses, mothers, farmers, world travelers and environmentalists.

infant colic

Infant Colic

Armed with a mother’s heart, J went to her kitchen to formulate something that would relieve her first born from his misery and crying. The family was all worn out from sleepless nights as baby C cried and cried from infant colic. With no formal training in herbs, no chemistry degree, J researched to find something other than the different gripe waters she had tried that contained alcohol and just weren’t working for her baby. After blending together half a dozen herbs, known for their medicinal benefits, she added her not-so-secret outlandish ingredient: activated charcoal. In only minutes baby C stopped crying, the colic was gone, the sleepless nights were history. Since then that simple remedy has helped tens of thousands of babies, and no doubt saved many a marriage from the brink of divorce—if you have ever experienced the strain and stress of a colicky baby that can cry almost 24/7 then you can understand why.

universal antidote

A Universal Antidote

Only a small fraction of the population are aware that charcoal is often referred to as the “universal antidote” for poisoning.* Activated charcoal is GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) for people and animals, and the FDA lists charcoal as Category I, “Safe and Effective” for poisoning. What kind of poisons? It is estimated in the neighborhood of 6,000+ natural and manmade toxins. From classic poisons like strychnine, arsenic and some heavy metals; to the endotoxins produced by tetanus, diphtheria, E. coli, and other microbes; to the cocktail of poisons coming out the ends of cigarettes and coal-fired generators; to virtually all psychotropic drugs (Lithium being one exception), just to name a few. In fact the neutralizing effect of activated charcoal on poisons is so wide reaching that when doctors prescribe it for various conditions, they are careful to stress not to take it within 1-2 hours of prescription drugs (pharmacologically also classed as poisons) because the charcoal may interfere with their absorption by the body.

Charcoal is basically inert. When given for poisoning, drug overdose, or food poisoning (by EMTs on the way to the hospital) the charcoal is not digested nor does it pass into the blood stream. Instead it passes from one end of the GI tract mopping up** toxins as it moves along, and together the toxins and charcoal are voided from the body at the other end.

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