I first discovered activated charcoal when I was bit by a brown recluse spider. I had been gardening and took off my gloves for a moment. I saw another weed and by instinct just reached down and pulled it. I felt a sting and knew I had been bit but didn't know by what. The next day my finger itched like crazy and was turning red. I felt a painful surge (venom) shoot up my forearm and the skin began to literally deteriorate on my knuckle, so much so that you could see my bone! Now any normal person would have been heading to the hospital, but I was heading to research a natural remedy for spider bites. I learned about making an activated charcoal paste by simply opening two capsules of the black powder and mixing it with a couple drops of water to create a paste. You then apply it to the site of the bite and it apparently absorbed the venom back out. So I had to try it! The second I put the paste on the spider bite, it took away the sting and the itch, instantly! The pain had been constant for two days. Because the charcoal is black and messy, you put a bandage over the wound. I would reapply a fresh charcoal patch to my finger every morning and afternoon. To my amazement by the third day my finger had completely healed! That's when I really dug into the benefits of Activated Charcoal.
Activated charcoal is carbon produced from carbonaceous source materials such as nutshells, coconut husk, wood, coir, peat, coal, bone char, olive pits, sawdust and lignite. Activated Carbon, known as activated charcoal, has oxygen added to it to increase its porosity, thereby, adding to its surface area. This isn't the same charcoal as what you use on your grill. Charcoal briquettes are toxic. They have additional agricultural wastes and toxins, similar to lighter fluid, that are added. Activated charcoal is made with all non-toxic substances. It's normally used to remove chemicals, toxins, and gases. Activated charcoal also has a negative charge, that works like a magnet to draw the positively charged toxins, chemicals and gases to it, absorbing them. This is how it could heal my spider bit so quickly. It's porous surface with it's negative charge, attracted and absorbed quickly the venom shot into my hand and arm.
Here are a few benefits of having Activated Charcoal kept in the house.
* Alleviates bloating and gas
* Helps with alcohol poisoning and hangovers
* Can be used in emergencies as a paste to heal bug bites and stings of the worst kind
* Can also be used in emergencies where someone has ingested poison (always call 911 first)
* Cleanses digestive track
* Reduces high cholesterol
* Can whiten teeth
* Can be used to help heal dog mange and other skin issues on animals
*Can be used in a mud mask for the face to cleanse the pores
It's important to note that if you are taking medications, please be aware that Activated Charcoal will absorb those as well, so this may not be a good idea to take until you are cleared by your doctor.
How To Make An Activated Charcoal Patch
*Take 1 tablespoon of bentonite clay and add 1/2 teaspoon of activated charcoal powder.
*Add a few drops of water to the powder mix and stir until you make a paste.
*Apply the paste to sting or bite and cover with a bandage.
This method can be done without the bentonite clay, but I add it in to give it some extra detoxing power and to help form the paste. Water alone is fine too!
The aloe vera plant, Aloe barbadensis miller, has more healing properties than most other plants. The gel found on the inner leaf contains vitamins A, C, E, folic acid, choline, B1, B2, niacin, B6 and B12. There are several minerals found in the aloe plant as well. Calcium, zinc, chromium, selenium, magnesium, sodium, iron, potassium, copper and manganese. All of these contribute to a healthy metabolism, activated cellular communication and help produce enzymes. They also contribute to strong teeth, bones and joints. A really simple and fabulous homemade toothpaste would be taking the gel from the leaf and mixing it with a drop of pure peppermint or spearmint essential oil. These two simple ingredients make a powerful, non-abrasive toothpaste that fights bacteria and strengthens the enamel.
The aloe vera plant is also anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. When taken orally (I advise drinking aloe vera juice, I just feel it works better than taking pill-form), it can help with digestion, strengthen the immune system, help with nutrient absorption, reduce inflammation, provides essential amino acids, help treat diabetes, heal stomach ulcers, relieve constipation, detox the body of toxins, parasites and candida and then some. This plant is powerful and a gem of the Earth!
You can find aloe vera juice sold in stores and it's best to find pure, whole leaf organic aloe vera juice. That can get expensive though. An easy way to go about this is to buy an organic aloe vera plant to sit in your house, in some sunlight and water it everyday. You can then take a leaf and make your own aloe vera juice. Slice open a leaf and with a spoon, dig out the inner gel. Put the gel in a blender with a little bit of filtered or spring water and blend together. You can add fresh juice (lemon, orange) for added vitamin zing!
Besides taking aloe orally, it can be used topically too. Because aloe has a neutral taste, smell and touch, it can be used in several different ways. In our house, we have healed pink eye three different times, in less than 24 hours. We have also healed ring worm. In fact, any time our boys have ever had a "skin issue" or irritation, we grab aloe, rub it on the skin and it's gone the next day. The important thing to remember when using a natural remedy like this to heal an infection or irritation, is to do it several times throughout the day. I cut open a leaf and open it up, then literally rub the inner gel right on top of the skin until ALL of the inner gel has been absorbed into the skin! You do this every few hours! This method has worked for us over and over for healing viral and fungal infections. Living in Texas and having a fair-skinned, redhead, I have also seen the aloe plant work it's wonders on sunburns. A part of the wonder is how quickly it heals!
You can get an aloe vera plant at just about any store that sells plants or has a nursery. I picked up a handful of aloe plants at Home Depot and have them sitting around the house. I have two boys so there are a lot of scrapes, cuts, sunburns and a few of other childhood viral/fungal infections that have come through our house. Our favorite plant is the Aloe Vera plant, because it has helped us heal every single time!
If you don't have apple cider vinegar in your kitchen cabinet (or bathroom cabinet) (or cleaning caddy) you will want to make sure you pick some up at the store next time you go. Apple cider vinegar has worked it's magic in our house, from healing sore throats, sinus congestion, irritated skin to stomach bugs, I have seen and experienced the wonders of this lovely vinegar! I have also seen it heal our dogs irritated skin and digestive track of parasites when added to his water. You can also add ACV to a spray bottle mixed with water to use as a natural cleansing agent on your kitchen countertops and bathrooms. Oh, and you want to know the best part? It's inexpensive.
When taking ACV orally, I advise no more than 1-2 tablespoons a day. And of course drinking it with water or hot tea and honey. Doing so first thing in the morning is a good ritual to start. For sinus congestion, I take a tablespoon of ACV and add 2 tspns of fresh, powdered cayenne pepper, mix it well together and take as a shot. I then wait a few minutes and follow with a glass of water. It's not an easy health shot to take, but if you are congested and in pain, this will most definitely help you!
Kelly is a registered nutritionist, fitness trainer, author, blogger and mother.