Activated Charcoal: How It Works and What Kind to Use
Activated charcoal is one of the most effective emergency flatulence remedies available. But what is it, how does it work and what’s the right kind to use?
Here’s what activated charcoal is, how it helps stop belly bloat and intestinal gas, and if you should use tablets, charcoal capsules or the bulk carbon powder.
How Is Activated Charcoal Made?
Food grade charcoal powder is a deep black powder with very fine particles. It is odorless and relatively tasteless and should have less than 4% ash residue.
Activated carbon is made from coconut shells, bamboo or hardwood. The wood or shells are super heated in an atmosphere of inert gas like nitrogen, and then oxidized with steam, oxygen or carbon dioxide.
This creates a highly porous molecular structure with a massive surface area for absorption. Under a microscope it looks like honeycomb with millions of tiny pores. These pores act like sponges, attracting and absorbing gases, toxins and other impurities.
Tablets or Capsules?
For therapeutic uses, activated charcoal comes in either a fine powder, granules, tablets or capsules. I personally much prefer charcoal capsules over tablets for their superior gastrointestinal dispersion.
Capsules are also a lot easier to take than powder and you don’t risk getting it in your teeth (though charcoal is a great teeth whitener).
No matter what form you choose, always take it with a big glass of water 2 hours away from food, and particularly prescriptions and supplements.
Hardwood or Coconut Shell?
Powdered charcoal is generally better value than capsules or tablets and the best option for regular use.
Some authorities recommend activated charcoal made from coconut shells as being slightly more absorptive than powders made from hardwood. Other resources maintain there is little difference.
Ultra-fine powders like these have exceptionally high adsorption rates and outperform cheap bamboo charcoal from China, which is best avoided.
Activated Charcoal for Farting
Activated carbon, whether taken as capsules or powder, is very effective at quickly relieving digestive upsets, such as bloating, intestinal cramps and smelly gas problems.
It does, however, have to be taken at certain times and in a certain way that makes it less suited for everyday use than fennel tea or ginger tea. It’s best kept as an occasional, but powerful flatulence remedy.
I hope this article has answered what activated charcoal is, how it’s made and why it’s better to use carbon capsules over tablets.
There’s detailed instructions for how to take activated charcoal for gas here, with dosage, timing, side effects and possible precautions.
Could you please tell me if these tablets are natural? I want them for long term use, I have bought some from holland and barret, which is supposed to be all natural, yet from what I am reading on line it is not a natural product.