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If you’re anything like me, you cringed the first time you saw a picture of someone with black sludge covering their teeth. Of course, upon further investigation, you realize the benefits outweigh the gross factor.
I’m talking about charcoal powder, and if you haven’t tried it yet, you definitely should. There are a few different varieties out there, but today, I want to talk specifically about activated bamboo charcoal. Before we dig in to its awesomeness, let’s talk about the “activated” part.
If you don’t have time to read the full article (I’m a super busy mama, I understand!), here’s my pick for the best activated bamboo charcoal.
What Is Activated Bamboo Charcoal?
When it comes to charcoal, activated simply means “active.” The charcoal is processed to have incredibly small pores that increase its surface area. This process and the resulting pores are what make activated charcoal so effective in its primary purpose. More on that in a bit.
Why Choose Bamboo Charcoal?
Even before being activated, bamboo charcoal has a 600:1 surface area-to-weight ratio. That means every 1 gram has a surface area of roughly 600 sq meters. Once processed and active, that number jumps to an impressive 1200:1. As you keep reading, you’ll find out why that sort of ratio is so great!
Besides its ultra-porous surface, bamboo is an environmentally friendly, sustainable resource. Because it’s a grass (yep, it’s actually not a tree!), it quickly regrows from its original root system, so harvesting doesn’t “wipe it out” as some naturally sourced products are infamous for.
Not to mention, activated bamboo charcoal has been used throughout Asia for centuries and is known there as the “black diamond” of healers. Here in the states, we’d probably call it the “cream of the crop.”
Benefits of Activated Bamboo Charcoal
Remember all those pores mentioned earlier? Here’s why they’re so important:
The primary benefit of activated charcoal is its ability to trap toxins and usher them out of the body. The more pores available to house these toxins, the greater the charcoal’s ability to do more with less, so to speak.
Many people mistakenly believe that activated charcoal powder absorbs toxins, but that’s not the case. Its toxin-trapping ability is all thanks to a process known as “adsorption” with a D.
With adsorption, elements (the toxins) bind to a particular surface (the charcoal). Bamboo charcoal is especially effective in this process because it has a negative electric charge, attracting positively charged toxins to itself.
It’s a fatal attraction for the toxins, but a glorious victory for you as you pursue a toxin-free life!
Is It Safe?
Yes, activated charcoal is actually used by hospitals worldwide as an effective treatment for drug overdoses and poison cases. It’s even been used during pregnancy to remedy issues with bile flow as well as to treat gas and bloating.
A word of caution here though:
Activated bamboo charcoal is not the same stuff you’d throw on your grill.
(Side note: Barbecue coal is actually quite toxic. Sorry…I know the draw of a chargrilled burger is hard to pass, but it’s really best to just say no. #thestruggleisreal)
The type of activated charcoal we’re discussing is medical and food grade with no chemicals whatsoever.
Also, whenever you use activated charcoal, you need to drink a ton of water – about 12-16 glasses per day. The reason for this is two-fold:
1 – Activated charcoal can lead to dehydration.
2 – Drinking lots of water flushes the toxins out faster (plus prevent constipation – double win).
Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, let’s get to the fun stuff!
Creative Ways to Use Activated Bamboo Charcoal
When it comes to versatility, activated charcoal is at the top of my detox must-haves, but it’s also nice to keep on hand for beauty and even wound-treatment applications
Here are just 2 of its most popular uses.
1. Whiten Teeth
If you’re a fan of coffee, tea or wine, chances are your pearly whites aren’t quite as pearly as they use to be.
Fortunately, activated charcoal can help with that while supporting overall oral health in the process.
To whiten teeth, just wet your toothbrush and dip it into powdered activated charcoal, then brush as usual!
The only difference is you’ll have to rinse a little more than you normally would. Keep rinsing until the water comes out clear.
Some people notice a change after 1 application, but give yourself about 2 weeks to see a difference, and I think you’ll be blow away with the results!
2. Cleanse Pores
Have you tried a bamboo charcoal face mask yet? It makes you feel a little zombie-like in the process but the results are pretty incredible.
The same way it draws out toxins from the body and mouth is the same way it works on skin. When you apply activated charcoal to your face, it cleans pores, reduces black heads and soaks up extra oil.
You can make your own charcoal face mask at home with activated charcoal powder and aloe vera. Just mix the the 2 ingredients together, apply & let it sit for about 30 minutes then wash off!
Where to Buy Bamboo Charcoal Powder
You can pick up a bag of activated bamboo charcoal at your local health food store or order it online.
As you shop for charcoal powder or products, keep in mind that many manufacturers (especially those selling charcoal toothpaste or teeth whiteners) add artificial sweeteners to make them more palatable. Read labels carefully to avoid these and other harmful ingredients.
As mentioned, powdered bamboo charcoal is a great option, but charcoal derived from coconut shells is effective as well.
What’s the Best Activated Bamboo Charcoal?
You can certainly do your own market research to find the best option for you, but here are 2 brands that are 100% pure with no fillers or additives:
This powder mixes easily with water, whereas other brands can be a little clumpy. It’s also food-grade and safe for internal use.
I like that this one is organic and food-grade as well. It’s sourced from Thailand, and I prefer to buy US, but that’s really just a personal choice.
Hope that helps!
Want exact recipes for detoxing with activated charcoal? Grab your free Activated Charcoal Detox Guide below: