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#Trending: Activated Charcoal

Posted by Cat Canada on

Don’t fire up your BBQ just yet—this month’s trend highlight won’t help win you a backyard grill-off, but it will definitely win you some points in the health and wellness department. Get the download on activated charcoal below to find out why we’re loving this natural treatment.

What It Is

Now that we’ve clarified that this isn’t charcoal for your dad’s vintage Weber, let’s delve into what exactly it is. Activated charcoal (activated is the key word used to differentiate from the BBQ type) is one of the world’s oldest and most effective natural detox remedies—helping to remove toxins, chemicals, and all the nasty stuff from your body.

Way back when, it was used as a poison antidote and for intestinal health. Today, it can still be used for the same purpose (and more), but now comes in a variety of different products and forms. Even though it’s been around for years and years, the reason we’re seeing more of it (and the reason why we’re classifying this as trending) is because mainstream consumerism has become increasingly receptive to natural or holistic treatments—as a result, awareness and demand has increased, and now even big retailers like Target and Sephora are offering activated charcoal based products.

The Benefits

When a medicinal tradition has been around for as long as this one, you have to assume that there’s good reason—the bad ones usually phase out after trial and error (case in point: we used to use leeches to treat disease, yuck!). Fortunately, we don’t have to assume anything at all because the evidence is far and plenty: activated charcoal does a whole lotta good. Primarily known as a detoxifier, there are a lot of other causal benefits related to its detoxifying properties that will clean you out from head to toe. Full body health cleanse? We’re in.

Where to Start

If you’re looking to get in on this awesome ancient remedy, you’re in luck—it’s pretty easy to find and there’s tons of different ways to incorporate activated charcoal (let’s call it AC for short) into your routine. From powder to pills, from soaps and scrubs to cleansers, from lotions to deodorants, and even beverages, you can choose to buy a product already containing the ingredient or make your own.*

A few of our faves right now include:

Luli Tonix Black Magic Activated Charcoal Elixir

Good for: hangover treatment/prevention

Alaffia Activated Charcoal Deodorant

Good for: eliminating body odor and removing the toxins that cause it

Herbivore Botanicals All Natural Bamboo Charcoal Body Soap Bar

Good for: cleansing the body of environmental toxins

Nature’s Way Activated Charcoal Capsules

Good for: general detoxifying, intestinal/digestive health, heart health, reducing inflammation, cleansing the intestines

Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Cleanser

Good for: removing dirt & impurities, treating acne, anti-aging

Active Wow Activated Coconut Charcoal Powder & Teeth Whitener

Good for: whitening teeth, killing bad breath, general detoxifying properties, treating insect bites or allergic reactions, cleansing digestive system

If you’re a first timer and aren’t sure what to look for, make sure that any AC you buy for natural healing is made from coconut shells, identified wood species or other natural sources; forms that use artificial ingredients or sweeteners (common in powder form) are full of chemicals, which is entirely counterproductive to the point of taking AC—dontcha think??!

It might take you a day or two to warm up to the idea of ingesting or lathering yourself in activated charcoal—it seems a bit counterintuitive, we know—but once you make it over that hump, you’re opening yourself up to a whole new world of health benefits. No matter how you choose to bring it into your routine, you’ll be glad you did when you’re feeling better than ever and you’ve got the most detoxed bod on the block.

*(If making your own product and/or plan on ingesting, make sure to drink 12-16 glasses of water each day as it can be majorly dehydrating when its flushing out all the gross stuff. Also, make sure you’re not on any medication that may have an adverse reaction when mixed with activated charcoal.)