What is Activated Charcoal?

what is activated charcoal

Introduction on “What is Activated Charcoal?” 

Activated charcoal is a black powder available everywhere. Besides, it is in toothpaste & skincare products. It contains baked goods, drinks. No worries, after reading our article, you will come to know what activated charcoal is.

This thing comes from carbon-rich materials. When you burn carbon-rich materials at a high temperature, you get these ingredients. When you burn wood at 600-900 degrees Celsius, you will get activated charcoal.

After getting it, people add other materials like chloride salt. Chloride salt is essential to keep a leaky structure. After washing, extra material pure carbon exists. It also created more surface area. Fifty grams of things has 17.5 times more surface area.


From the 18th century, people have been using it. First, they used activated charcoal for a water change. In the early 1880 Ad, scientists found out the power of it. French Scientist Bertrand managed arsenic oxide along with the charcoal powder. Surprisingly he survived. In 1831, another scientist worked on this. He enclosed a lethal poison mixed with it, and he also survived. Another doctor Hort saved a patient’s life who took metal poison with charcoal. He gave the patient charcoal water, and the patient lived.

In the following 150 years, they studied the properties of charcoal. But, people accepted activated carbon in the last fifty years. Because it has healing benefits, people use its powder to clean the waters in the tank. Some people also started using charcoal with their drinking water—the other used charcoal for riveting odors or wetness.

How does it work?

Active carbon works by taking stuff and waste products in the stomach. By taking materials, it avoids action in the blood system. The leaky texture of the charcoal has a negative electric load. This electrode attracts positive atoms such as a toxin. 

Additionally, it helps to trap toxins and portions in the gut. The body does not absorb such elements. So, it can carry the toxins out from the body through the stool. Now, what is activated charcoal used 


Activated charcoal is mostly used as a cure against poisons. The initial use of it is to clean water. But because of its absorbing quality, doctors use it as a remedy also. Besides, it is used in different places. A few of the use of charcoals are,

Kidney health

Activated carbon can improve kidney function. Besides, it can filter out toxins and drugs that are not digestive. The critical by-product of protein digestion is urea. It seems to have been useful for removing activated charcoal. However, it can help to raise the functionality of the kidney. Scientists proved it by animal studies, adding that it can reduce GI harm and fervor. A rat obtained 4 grams per kg of oral activated charcoal readiness a day. Doctors did this test in 2014. The scientists observed that the charcoal reduced GI redness. They also saw that it cures injury in the animals.

In another 2014 study, rats ate mixtures of 20% activated charcoal. They had mediated chronic renal disease and kidney function. And charcoal reduced all of them.


Intestinal gas

Has your doctor ever discussed “what is activated charcoal” with you? Activated carbon also reduces intestinal gas. Researchers tried to find out, but they failed. Liquids and gases trapped in the intestine will travel through the reactive carbon. Hence, it will weaken these gases. In a 2012 trial, scientists used 448 mg of charcoal three times a day by a small group of people. They had an excessive gas problem in their intestines long before. They took it before the intestinal imaging test. On the morning of the trial, they took another 672 mg of charcoal.

The study showed that medical testers could recognize specific areas of the organ. Hence, it was impossible before because intestinal gas always masks these. A 2017 survey recorded a large decrease in abdominal pain. These people took 45 mg simethicone and 140 mg of charcoal, which they took three-time for ten days.

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There is much evidence to boost the use of activated charcoal. It can cut the excessive gas. However, the research is minimal. No definite use of it in intestinal gas is possible. But, EFSA suggests taking at least 1 g before and after every meal. They also suggested taking it; at least 30 minutes before the meal.

Water Filtration

The charcoal comes with a glorious history as a natural water filter. Active carbon can ingest a variety of poison, medicines, and infective agents. Besides, it can absorb germs, fungi, and chemicals. These all are present in water. The work is the same as in the intestines and stomach. Operators also use activated carbon grains as a part of the filtration process in factory works. Hundreds of water filtration devices use carbon cartons. It purifies contaminants and wastewater.

Research in 2015 tested 32 unfiltered water samples. It was a six months test. They showed that carbon from charcoal pulled out 100% fluoride.


People use this substance to treat diarrhea as doctors use it in overdoses and poisonings as a GI receptive. Researchers recently used activated carbon for diarrhea. They said that it could control the intake of bacteria and antibiotics that can cause diarrhea. Charcoal traps them on a textured porous surface. They also said that it has no side effects. It is already compared with traditional antidiarrheal drugs. Finally, they noted that activated charcoal is a suitable therapy for diarrhea.

Teeth Whitening: 

For teeth whitening, people use charcoal very often. From the beginning, people use charcoal to brush their teeth. The benefits of charcoal are

  • It is antiviral
  • Besides, it kills bacteria
  • It kills fungus
  • Moreover, it detoxifies the teeth.

Its potency is so different that doctors tested it. But they did not find any information on why it is so effective. But still, people use charcoal to brush their teeth. Moreover, toothpaste companies also show an ad that they use charcoal. Toothpaste companies like Pepsodent, Colgate use active carbon in their toothpaste. 

Skin Care

Sometimes people ask-“what is activated charcoal?” to use for skincare. It is useful in skincare. Furthermore, researchers say that charcoal could clean microparticles Such as- dust, chemicals, toxins, bacteria. It also makes the skin smooth. So, companies use charcoal in their skincare products.


Charcoal can take up bacteria, and bacteria are the main reason for foul odors. Moreover, carbon-based deodorant removes bacteria from the body. So, charcoal also makes the body fresh. People also use charcoal in their houses to absorb the foul odor. It also absorbs wetness from the air. Besides, it makes the air fresh. Only you have to put the charcoal bag in the sun after three months. After keeping in the sun for ½ hours, charcoal is good to use again.

Skin Infection

Active carbon is perfect for skin ill-health cure. Earlier doctors use charcoal powder from a coconut shell. The charcoals from coconut shells are best for the most part. And so, people nowadays also use it for a soft tissue infection cure.

It has a medicinal drug effect. It can absorb harmful germs from wounds. So, it also uses wounds. However, some medicine agencies use this thing to make medicines. And nowadays, doctors also order these medicines to treat injuries. Now you know “what is activated charcoal” to prevent skin infection.

Medical Use To Know About What is Activated Charcoal?

Doctors use activated charcoal in the emergency room also. They use it to treat poison or overdose of medicines.

Activated charcoal can clear several toxins and drug overdoses. They are

  • NSAIDs
  • OTC Anti-Inflammatories
  • High dosage of sedatives
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Dapsone
  • Carbamazepine
  • Exaggerate of malaria medicine
  • Overdose of mild stimulants
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Although activated charcoal can bind most of these drugs, They are

  • Alcohols
  • Lye
  • Iron
  • Lithium
  • Petroleum products
  • Paint thinner
  • Gasoline

When a person comes for the treatment, doctors give them liquid charcoal water if he is awake. If the patient is not alert, then doctors feed activated charcoal water by tube. If it isn’t possible, then doctors use iv bags to inject activated charcoal water. It works when a person takes between 1 to 4 hours of taking poison. Hence, the charcoal won’t work if the poison is already in a person’s system. It also won’t work if a patient comes to the hospital after 4 hours of taking poison.

But no one should use activated charcoal without a Doctor’s direction. Also, activated charcoal can be deadly.

Advantages of Activated Charcoal

As a natural factor, activated charcoal has many advantages. Hence, people using activated charcoal since the 18th century. The benefits of activated charcoals are

  • Activated charcoal take in the poison
  • It absorbs overdose of drugs
  • Furthermore, this can make teeth shine
  • It can purify water
  • This carbon can clear wetness 
  • It smoothes skin
  • Additionally, it can cure skin wounds
  • It can cure hangovers
  • Besides, it can lower cholesterol
  • Activated charcoal can cure gastric and liver redness.
  • Moreover, it promotes kidney function.
  • It is a natural factor, so it does not pollute the environment
  • After using activated charcoal can be used as plant food.

Risk of taking activated carbon

Anything in this world has its benefits and risks. So, activated charcoal has its advantages and risks. If you take active carbon without direction, you will face problems. The side effects and risks of this element are, 

  • Black stools
  • Black tongue
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • If it becomes a series, it can cause GI blockages.


It is best to use activated charcoal without drugs. It can cause solution instability. The electrolyte can reduce very fast, and it can make you very weak. So, this thing should take only consulting with doctors.


Activated charcoal can reduce the taking of some medicines. So, it would help if you came to know the types of drugs activated charcoal is. These drugs are

  • Painkiller
  • Digoxin
  • Theophylline

Some people use treated carbon as supplements, but it’s not right. Because it can reduce food also, and this can be difficult for anyone. So, without direction, one should not take charcoal as a medicine. Like any good medicine, an overdose of activated carbon can become harmful.

FAQs of activated charcoal

How can I make activated charcoal?

Answer: You can make activated charcoal from hydrocarbon. You can also make it from coconut shell and wood.

Which Activated Carbon should I use? 

Answer: You can use reactive carbon both in liquid and powder form. But before using, you need to take advice from a doctor. Only a doctor can advise which one is better for you.

Does activated charcoal absorb paint thinner? 

Answer: No, it does not.

What is activated charcoal end note

From ancient times, people use activated charcoal. They use it to treat wounds & for skincare. Some even use it to cure stomachaches. In the 19th century, people used it to treat poisons. Some also used it to control hangovers. Even nowadays, older people use it to brush their teeth.

Some people drink charcoal water in the morning also. They believe that charcoal water helps them to control gas. As a natural element, active carbon is a lifesaver. Hence, people use it regularly. Who knows, maybe soon, we will find the more effective use of it. Hopefully, you don’t need to ask again, “what is activated charcoal?”


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