Activated charcoal has gained tremendous popularity of late for its wide variety of applications that help to rid the body of toxins. It is not a naturally occurring substance, but rather is made from sources such as coal, wood or coconut shells and becomes “activated” through a heating process.
Activated charcoal traps unwanted chemicals in its tiny pores by a process called adsorption, defined as “the chemical reaction where elements bind to a surface,” where positively charged toxins attach themselves to the negative charge of activated charcoal. Curious about what exactly it’s used for? Here are the seven most common applications.
1. Whitening Teeth
Using activated charcoal offers many oral hygiene benefits, including the prevention of cavities, bad breath and gum disease. It is also highly effective for whitening teeth, as it absorbs plaque and stain-causing deposits.
To get bright pearly whites, simply mix a small amount of activated charcoal (approximately 1-2 emptied capsules) with water until it forms a thick paste, then brush or apply directly onto the teeth. Wait three minutes and then rinse. While a special toothbrush is not necessary for this treatment, the charcoal will likely cause discoloration of the bristles, so it may be worth keeping a special one just for this purpose.