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5 ways to use charcoal

Charcoal is a bit amazing and 2017 (and 2018) was a good year for the black powder. It can be used for teeth and skin whitening, detox, masks and I have seen it in everything from healthy juices to ice cream. And don't confuse it with your BBQ or fireplace charcoal. We are referring to activated charcoal.

How does this happen?

  • Activated charcoal is a fine black powder from a variety of different charred elements. We prefer the coconut shell variety.
  • What makes it "activated" is its high temperature. It is more porous. This is what sets is apart from other types of charcoals.
  • Charcoal binds to everything from toxins, poisons and drugs thus preventing their absorption by the body.
  • As it is,  it also absorbs nutrients and minerals that the body needs. You should either take charcoal on an empty stomach or wait before taking any supplements or medication.

Here are my top 5 uses:
1. Whiten your armpits and knees
Carefully mix 1 teaspoon of activated charcoal and 2 teaspoons of honey to form a thick paste (add more charcoal if needed) and apply to the area you want to whiten for 20-30 minutes. I tend to do this before I hop in the shower. Remove with a dark flannel (charcoal stains).

2. Charcoal lemonade (full recipe here)
A great way to treat hangover and lightly detox. Mix 500ml water, the juice of one large lemon or 2 limes, a pinch of Stevia and 1 teaspoon of activated charcoal. Add 2-3 ice cubes. Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until all mixed up. Have it first thing in the morning after a night out (or before you go to bed).

3. Whiter teeth
Brush your teeth using an oral charcoal based formula for 2 minutes, rinse and then brush your teeth again with your normal toothpaste. Try The Clay Cure Activated Charcoal Tooth Powder for a brighter smile.

4. Treat bloating
Take 1-2 capsules of activated charcoal 1 hour before your meal (a meal that usually can cause discomfort) or mix 1 teaspoon with plenty of water (1 large glass before and another glass after). Whenever you consume charcoal, drink plenty of water.

5. Soothe insect bites or acne
Mix 1 teaspoon activated charcoal with 2 teaspoons aloe vera gel. Apply on the bite or acne prone area and leave to dry and wipe off with a flannel and warm water. The charcoal binds with the toxins that can cause the spots.

** Important Note - because of it's detoxing effect, charcoal can interfere with absorption of nutrients, its very important that you do not take activated charcoal in any form at the same time as any supplements/pharmaceutical drugs. Wait for at least 2 hours.

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More About The Author - Marie-Eve Maitland

Marie-Eve Maitland Marie-Eve (pronounced the French way and, yes, you guessed it, Henry's wife) is our kitchen and food-wiz and is behind our healthy recipes and also manages our twitter account (get in touch!).  Having graduated in dietetics in Canada, Marie-Eve is passionate about eating, discovering new foods and leading a healthy lifestyle to make sure she in tip-top shape to look after her little girl, Elodie. Marie-Eve loves cooking (of course), weight training, yoga, walking, matcha green tea and chocolate (amongst other things).

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