What Is Activated Charcoal and How Does It Stop Intestinal Gas?

Charcoal for fartingCharcoal capsules may well be one of the best emergency flatulence remedies available.

Let’s have a look at just what is activated charcoal and how it can help stop intestinal gas and flatulence.

How Is Activated Charcoal Made?

Activated charcoal is a unique form of charcoal that has been first carbonized, then oxidized at very high temperatures to give it incredibly porous properties.

Under a microscope it looks like honeycomb with millions of tiny pores. These pores act like sponges, attracting, absorbing and trapping many toxins and impurities and giving activated carbon its unique health benefits.

Activated carbon is usually made from coconut shells, bamboo and other woods. 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 an amazingly porous molecular structure with a massive surface area for absorption. Just one teaspoon of activated charcoal will typically have a surface area the size of a football field.

Food grade activated charcoal powder, sometimes called USP grade, is a deep black powder with very fine particles. It is odorless and relatively tasteless and should have less than 4% ash residue.

For medicinal and health uses, activated charcoal comes in a fine powder, granules, tablets and capsules. I personally prefer charcoal capsules over tablets for their superior dispersion. Capsules are also a lot easier to take than the powder and you don’t risk getting it on your teeth.

No matter what form you choose, always take it with a big glass of water and at least one and a half to two hours away from food and particularly medications and other supplements.

Using Charcoal for Intestinal Gas

Charcoal is a popular flatulence remedy for good reason. When you take food grade activated charcoal it travels through your gastrointestinal tract absorbing toxins and impurities as it goes.

This includes trapped intestinal gas and, importantly for preventing those really smelly farts, charcoal can also absorb hydrogen sulphide (also known as rotten egg gas for good reason).

Activated carbon can be very beneficial for intestinal gas and better digestive health in general if used occasionally and properly.

It may also absorb other compounds that cause gastrointestinal problems and is often successfully used as a treatment for IBS and diarrhea.

I hope this short article has answered what is activated charcoal and why it’s so good for intestinal gas. The next page on is on how to take activated charcoal for flatulence and will cover some important things to consider before using it.

This article may contain affiliate links to products I recommend. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Photo credit with thanks: Zephyris

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Where can l get charcoal capsules in Ghana


Hi Eric,

By far the best value for charcoal capsules would be https://flatulencecures.com/go/iherb/ with $5 international delivery.

Hope this helps,



On the contrary, Activated Charcoal has always GIVEN ME GAS!
I remember taking capsules that gave me such bloating and gas that I had to stop taking them.
Now I am taking 1 teaspoon of activated charcoal in 1 cup of water every 2 days and 1 day after I do this, I bloat and gas right with terrible gas smell and uncomfortability.
This could be that is is ‘gathering and adsorbing(thats right- AD-SORBING- look it up) any ‘toxins’ in my body and this is what is causing the pain and gas. But really?! I eat very light diet of 90% vegetables! And I get colonic hydrotherapy every 3 months and have been for 10 years.


Hi Mel,

I’ve never read of anyone else having these symptoms. Since activated charcoal is proven to absorb hydrogen sulphide (rotten egg gas) and not be metabolised by the body in any way it should, and many other people report does, have the opposite effect.

If this is what you are experiencing then I’d avoid it and try an alternative like fennel tea https://flatulencecures.com/what-is-fennel-tea-good-for

All the best,


Lisa King

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.


Hi Lisa,

The activated charcoal recommended in this article https://flatulencecures.com/where-to-buy-activated-charcoal is made from coconut or bamboo that is superheated to change the structure and make it highly absorbant. The original base material is natural but you would not find it in this form in nature and should not use regular charcoal for this purpose. Only activated charcoal, which is not metabolized by the body in any way.

All the best,



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