Uses of Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is a smooth, black, odorless powder that has been in use since ancient times to treat different diseases. While there is not enough backing on activated charcoal, it is believed to have numerous uses that can be helpful when applied correctly.

Discover more about these uses of activated charcoal through this post. But first, let’s understand what it is in the following section.

What is activated charcoal?

Activated charcoal is not similar to the substance found in burned pieces of food or charcoal bricks. Making this product involves burning carbon-rich minerals like peat, wood, sawdust, or coconut shells up to very high temperatures.

The manufacturing process makes activated charcoal highly absorbent, enabling it to bind to ions, atoms, or molecules and separate them from dissolved substances.

The activation process clears the charcoal of the initially absorbed molecules and creates the bonding sites. Also, the process reduces pores size in the charcoal creating more holes in the molecules, increasing the overall surface area.

Possible Uses of Activated Charcoal

Though the World Health Organization approves activated charcoal for use in resolving drug overdose and poisonings but owing to its strong toxin removal properties, other medical practitioners advocate for it as a relief to various conditions. Read on to discover these conditions.

Kidney Health

Activated charcoal can improve kidney function by removing undigested drugs and toxins. It is highly effective in filtering out toxins generated from urea, the primary by-product of protein digestion.

Though more studies are required, some animal studies have shown that it may help reduce inflammation and gastrointestinal damage and improve kidney function in those having kidney problems.

Skin Care

Studies have shown that activated charcoal for soap can help remove micro-particles such as dust, dirt, bacteria, toxins, and chemicals from the skin.

Also, using activated charcoal for soap aids in treating snake and insect bites. Though there is almost no clinical evidence proving this claim, people have used this product with notable success.


There are different ways through which this product can be used, such as activated charcoal for soap and as deodorants. Since charcoal can absorb harmful gases and bad smells, it can be used as an underarm, refrigerator, or shoe deodorant. Also, it is reported that activated charcoal can absorb excess heat and stabilize the humidity at micro-levels.

Teeth Whitening and General Oral Health

Most teeth-whitening products have activated charcoal as one of their primary ingredients. And such products are claimed to possess several benefits like being antiviral, antifungal, detoxifying, and antibacterial. While the toxin-absorbing properties can be helpful in this case, there is still no conclusive evidence to support it.

Water Filtration

Activated charcoal has been used as a natural water purifier since ancient times. The same way it works in the stomach and intestines, this product can absorb various toxins, bacteria, drugs, chemicals, and fungus found in water.

In a commercial setup like waste management centers, one of the filtration processes involves activating carbon granules. This further supports the use of activated charcoal in water purification.


Activated charcoal has several uses at home and in the medical field. However, only diarrhea reduction, water filtration, and stomach gas reduction are scientifically supported.

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