Activated Charcoal: How It Works and Best Brand to Buy
Activated charcoal powder and capsules are one of the best emergency flatulence remedies available. But what is it, how does it work and where can you buy it?
Here’s what activated charcoal is, how it helps stop belly bloat and intestinal gas, and the best brand of charcoal capsules and bulk carbon powder.
How Is Activated Charcoal Made?
Food grade charcoal powder, like this highly recommended one, 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, like these organic coconut ones I use, 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 medications 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.
If you’d prefer to use charcoal powder made from coconut shells then Schizandu Organics make this popular steam activated one from USA organic coconuts.
Ultra-fine powders like this have exceptionally high adsorption rates and outperform cheap bamboo charcoal from China, which is best avoided.
Where to Buy Activated Carbon
Activated charcoal is relatively inexpensive for just how effective it is at relieving gastrointestinal problems and absorbing toxins from your body.
Here’s the best brands I’ve found online, both in easy to take capsules and bulk USP food-grade powder.
1. Best Carbon Powder Capsules
NaturaLife Labs use organic coconut shells to make high quality activated carbon capsules, available here at Amazon. They’re great value for the large 1200 mg serving size.
These are a good choice for occasional use and it’s worth keeping a bottle at work as well as home if you find them beneficial for intestinal problems.
2. Top Bulk Charcoal Powder Brand
If you prefer activated charcoal powder for teeth whitening, skin treatments, or to keep an emergency supply, then bulk powder provides the best value.
Schizandu Organics sell a high quality activated hardwood charcoal powder, made in the USA from American Fir trees. It’s a bit cheaper than their coconut version too.
Read the customer feedback and see pictures of their impressive results here on Amazon for this popular food-grade powder.
You can use it mixed into a glass of water for an inexpensive way to get all the digestive benefits of activated charcoal.
It’s also great for preventing hangovers if you drink it before you go to bed after a big night of too many alcoholic drinks.
There’s no taste to charcoal powder so no need to sweeten it. Just add a small amount, such as a quarter of a teaspoon, stir it up and drink it down.
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, why it’s so good for intestinal gas and the best brands to buy.
There’s detailed instructions for how to take activated carbon for gas here, with dosage, timing, possible precautions and how to use it for teeth whitening.