Charcoal is no longer limited to the camping and BBQ aisle. It’s infiltrated the soaps and shampoos, the cleaning products and the stores full of fruity and fresh scents. But why? Activated charcoal has a long history of medical benefits, but is any of it actually true? How could using products with charcoal in them actually benefit your life?

What is activated charcoal?

Chances are, the charcoal labels you’re seeing on household products are listed as “activated charcoal.” This is a bit different than the charcoal you’d use to keep a campfire going, and for all the best reasons. Activated charcoal is more porous than the charcoal you’d find in a briquette, so it can attract and trap all sorts of bad toxins and chemicals in your body and get rid of them with no negative effect on you.

Sounds pretty great, right?

Activated charcoal has traditionally been used as a poison control treatment, and in your body (in smaller doses) it works the same way. The charcoal itself won’t be absorbed into your body, but it will pull out many different and potentially detrimental toxins, helping your body stay healthy and happy.

What are the benefits of activated charcoal?

Researchers and scientists are still working to develop thorough lists of all the benefits of charcoal, but so far, they’ve come up with some big ones.  The benefits of activated charcoal are almost as numerous as the ways you can use it. Charcoal is pretty diverse and flexible, so it can be effectively integrated into a number of different products beneficially. Whatever it is you’re looking to improve or fix in terms of your physical health or the health of your home, charcoal can probably help.

Personal use

Activated charcoal powder can be used on your toothbrush to whiten your teeth. Simply dip your toothbrush into powdered charcoal and brush like you normally would. Repeat a couple of times a week for a bright, white, and affordable smile. Charcoal can also limit the gas and bloating you might feel after a big meal. Take 500 milligrams of charcoal with a big glass of water about an hour before you eat, and you’ll enjoy the meal (and the rest of your day) so much more.

Although charcoal doesn’t remove alcohol from your system or prevent alcohol poisoning, it may help prevent that nasty next morning hangover. Take some charcoal with your drink, and you might start feeling better already! Your skin can be cured, treated, and beautified by using charcoal-enhanced products as well. Use charcoal-based creams (whether homemade or over the counter) to cure insect bites and stings, acne, and even body odor.

Overall, taking and/or using charcoal on a daily basis can help cleanse your body of unnecessary and dangerous toxins, making your adrenal glands and kidneys more effective. Charcoal can even help you think more clearly.

Household use

Not only does charcoal get rid of toxins in your body, but it can also get rid of nasty substances in your home. Use charcoal (possibly with a combination of other natural cleaners) to get rid of mold. If you or your family notice mold in your home or start experiencing mold-induced symptoms, such as headaches or coughing, use some charcoal to get rid of the mold.

Charcoal can also be used to purify your water. It can trap all sorts of invisible toxins living in your water and make it healthier for you and your family to drink. If you use a water filter, it is possible charcoal is already doing its part to keep you safe. Charcoal has been around for a long time, but its varied benefits are just starting to go mainstream. Whether you use it for personal use, for a little household boost, or both, pretty soon, you’ll wonder how you lived without it.