Is charcoal detox worth the hype? Here’s what a nutritionist has to say


Detoxification is becoming more popular in the fitness and health industry and for all the right reasons!  It enhances your health by clearing your system of all toxins. Charcoal detox is one method that has been doing rounds for a while now. Do you know what it is and how it works? Let’s find out if its safe for you or not.

Detoxifying your body using activated charcoal has become a trend recently. Few people are aware that charcoal is only effective on specific toxins in specific situations. Many individuals choose detoxification procedures based on charcoal to eliminate toxins from the body. Therefore, understanding what conditions you should be thinking about getting this treatment is required.

Health Shots reached out to Deepti Lokeshappa, Senior Consultant, Nutritionist, and Dietitian, Motherhood Hospital, Indiranagar, Bengaluru, to understand this trend and the benefits of charcoal detox.

What is activated charcoal detox?

Doctors use activated charcoal to treat patients who may have consumed a specific poison. The poison is bound to by the activated charcoal in the upper digestive tract, preventing it from being absorbed by the gut and causing larger harm. Lokeshappa says, “Charcoal comes from the burning of carbon-rich material, such as wood, to produce a fine, black substance that is later treated by manufacturers to make it more porous. So, it can easily bind with other substances. This is what makes the charcoal activated.”

charcoal detox
Activated charcoal can be used in your diet to help you ward off harmful toxins and chronic illnesses. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5 benefits of using activated charcoal for detox:

1. Emergency poison treatment

For a very long time, charcoal has been utilised as an immediate anti-poison remedy. It can quickly bind to a wide variety of drugs, and by absorbing the most hazardous substances from the digestive tract, it can lessen the impact of most toxic agents.

2. Improves kidney function

By lowering the number of toxins that the kidneys have to filter, charcoal detox can aid in improving kidney function, which is important for the process of detoxification. Remember to talk to your doctor if you have kidney problems.

3. Lowers cholesterol levels

Activated charcoal is also known to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in your body. Hence, it also lowers cholesterol levels. Charcoal detox is better for heart health as well. You may try incorporating charcoal powder into baked goods or smoothies.

4. Great for skin

Activated charcoal can benefit your skin in many ways because of its ability to remove toxins and bacteria from the body. It can assist in cleansing your skin and removing dead skin cells. Additionally, it can cure wounds and infections as well as treat acne or breakouts.

charcoal detox
Charcoal detox can make your skin radiant, supple and smooth. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Domestic uses

Activated charcoal has various popular domestic uses as well like gas reduction, diarrhea reduction, and water filtration. Additionally, research by the University of Michigan found that mixed with activated charcoal may provide relief from gas.

Read the side effects of activated charcoal:

Using activated charcoal is considered safe in most cases and experiencing adverse reactions because of it is quite uncommon. Though, Lokeshappa says, “It may cause some unpleasant side effects like vomiting especially if you have consumed sorbitol with it in any way. In some very rare cases, consumption of charcoal has been linked to bowel blockages and you may be at greater risk if you are suffering from gut motility disorders.”


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