Activated Charcoal and the Juice Rage
Activated charcoal is every where these days, and most notably, a seemingly fashionable detox ingredient for high-end juice cleanses. But is it safe for regular consumption? It depends.
Activated charcoal has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries as a poison antidote and digestive aid, among others, because it has the ability to absorb up to 60% of organic and poisonous compounds from the body.
What is Activated Charcoal?
- AC is a fine, odorless, tasteless black powder
- AC is made from wood, or other material that have been exposed to very high temperatures in an airless environment, then oxidized to increase its ability to absorb various substances
- AC can be ingested to aid relief from poisoning and digestive issues like gas and diarrhea
- AC can be mixed with little water to create an external treatment paste for poison, itching and pain from bites and stings
- AC is used in emergency rooms for overdose victims
- AC is known for its purification properties and can be found in many water filters and air purifiers
- AC acts as an extremely effective teeth whitener
- AC makes for a healing ingredient in some face masks
- AC has proven to be safe and effective in humans, dogs, rabbits, rats and other animals
Activated Charcoal in the Juice Cleanse Movement
So why is there an appeal to add this to fresh pressed juices? Since it has proven to be effective in detoxifying the body, juiceries have begun adding it to their menu of drinks as a Detox-On-Steroids-Without-Steroids of sorts.
Consuming an activated charcoal beverage can be effective for:
- Energy: If your body is overwhelmed with toxins, the detoxification process will help lift that sluggish feeling you may have been weighed down with
- Hangover: As part of the detox process, your liver and kidneys will benefit from the flush and, in turn, speed up the unpleasant aftermath
- Bloating: Whether we see them as toxins or not, some foods react poorly in our stomach causing uncomfortable bloating. As the charcoal makes its way down the digestive tract, it leaves behind a cleaner pathway from the stomach through the intestines.
Though the fresh pressed juice industry is hip and trendy, the activated charcoal drinks may prove to be not-so-glamourous as your citrus and leafy green blends.
Since Activated Charcoal has the ability absorb compounds up to 100x its weight, it makes for an extremely powerful detoxifying agent, one that you should not take without precaution.
You should not consume activated charcoal within 3 hours of a meal, supplements or medication. This is not a "smart" detox system that picks and chooses what to absorb - if not taken properly, you could unintentionally be stripping your body of necessary nutrients and any added supplements/medication you need.
If you have never cleansed with vegetables or juice before, you should start there first. Adding activated charcoal right away could be too harsh on your body so its best to work up to it.
Since the activated charcoal is binding to toxins, you want to drink as much water as possible to help flush it all out, which means you are gonna be peeing all the live long day.
So if you are a veteran cleanser, can take it at the right times and don't mind peeing your day away, by all means, join the club.
I must say, though, I'm not entirely sold on the idea of the charcoal being mixed with a variety of veggies and nutrients since it would seem they would not be properly absorbed.
I read an article where a Juice executive was encouraging people to drink it in the event they have gluten and want the charcoal to soak up the gluten. The problem is, that's not how it works. It won't just soak up the gluten, it absorbs everything else as well. I understand part of the sentiment though, I just don't want people to misinterpret those words to mean the charcoal absorbs only be bad stuff.
I just ate dinner and had a cookie. Man how I wish I could erase just the cookie with the charcoal!
I have kept activated charcoal in our home for years for teeth whitening or in case of food, chemical or venomous poisoning.
Any of these are good buys:
- Hardwood Activated Charcoal Powder
- Coal-Conut Activated Coconut Shell Charcoal
- Activated Charcoal Capsules
Have you used Activated Charcoal for anything else or tried the juices?? I'm curious!