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Activated Charcoal - the Forgotten Antidote

Activated Charcoal - the Forgotten Antidote

Thursday, August 12th 2004

An astonished meeting of the French Academy of Medicine watched as a pharmacist named Touery downed one grain of strychnine (10 times the lethal dose) without any noticeable ill effect! A few years earlier in 1813 another Frenchman swallowed a whole teaspoonful of arsenic trioxide, about 150 times the lethal dose. He also did not suffer any ill effects. Why?

Both men had mixed the poison with finely ground charcoal, which has an incredible ability to stop poisons from being absorbed by the body. We should make it clear that we cannot recommend that anyone try the above 18th century experiments!

During WW 1, the Germans used poison gas against the Allied forces. Shortly after that a gas mask was developed with an air filter packed with "activated" charcoal - which is used today in modern designs.

Charcoal does not function like a sponge (absorb) by pulling into its structure various pollutants and poisons. Instead the poisons stick to its surface (adsorbs) until the body expels both of them. The charcoal is not absorbed into the bloodstream but merely acts as a carrier of the poisons.

"Activating" the charcoal

Activated charcoal is made by treating charcoal with steam under tremendous pressure. The result is a fine black, odourless and tasteless powder with greatly increased adsorptive power. Two kilos of Nature's Way Activated Charcoal as used in capsules has a surface area equivalent to almost 200 acres.

Uses for Activated Charcoal

Stomach gas

Gas in the stomach and upper part of the digestive tract is mostly swallowed air, created by bolting food, gulping drink, chewing gum or consuming drinks containing carbon dioxide (gas).

Intestinal gas

Flatulence is caused primarily by the breakdown of foods in the intestinal tract by digestive enzymes and bacterial fermentation. A great deal of gas may be formed when undigested food reaches the large intestine and is acted upon by colon bacteria.

Food poisoning

Many people have experienced vomiting and diarrhoea from bad food. Activated charcoal is a first line remedy for food poisoning. However, Activated charcoal also has the ability to adsorb vitamins, minerals, prescription medicines and the good and bad bacteria in the intestine so it is important only to take it short term and replenish the good bowel bacteria with a Primadophilus product.

Swallowed poisons

Activated charcoal has been called "the most valuable single agent we possess against poisoning". It is used in hospital emergency rooms in large doses. It is the only adsorbent recognised by an American FDA expert panel for the treatment of swallowed poison.

Reproduced unabridged from the July - September 2004 issue of Health and Herbal News, with the kind permission of Health and Herbs International Ltd.

Footnote from Ideal Health:

The following products are all useful for Intestinal Gas & Discomfort:

Activated Charcoal
Clean Lean Protein
Burdock Root
Advanced Bowel Support
Hydrated Bentonite
Endura Rehydration Formula
Gastro Relief
Inner Health Plus
Liquid Chlorophyll
Natural Digestion
Travel Bug
Primadophilus Reuteri
Tissue Salt Comb S
Thisilyn Digestive Cleanse

Related health information can be found here:

Ensure healthy gut function with probiotic supplementation
FOS to assist with candida, diarrhoea, constipation or other bowel problems
Looking for a natural energy booster with the added cleansing power of chlorophyll?
The Good Health Diet
Ulcers - Stomach
Water, the elixir of life

Related articles can be found here:

Chlorophyll- nature's green wonder food
Ease stomach discomfort with Slippery Elm
Enzymes: The weakest link in your digestive system
Indigestion: Could be too little stomach acid
Intestinal relief with Peppermint Gels
The Benefits of Primadophilus Reuteri
Why take Primadophilus?

If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.


The Winter First Aid Kit in a Bottle

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