What Is It?
As I'm sure you've seen by now, activated charcoal has hit the wellness scene pretty hard over the past several months, even though it's been around for ages (i.e. since the Ancient Egyptians days). Since then, it's mostly been used in the ER for people who have ingested poisons and/or drugs, because of its amazing absorption abilities. In regards on how it's made, to make a long story short, it's made from heating up things such as nut or coconut shells or wood to super high temperatures until they're so lit they turn to ash. The surface area of the ash is treated again with more super high temps until its surface area becomes porous. Once other materials are absorbed by those pores, it's then considered to be activated.
Do I need activated charcoal in my life?
There's SO many claims on the benefits of activated charcoal but are they true?! If you do research online, there's mixed reviews, but here's my take...For the last couple of years, I've been using the Binchotan charcoal facial puff, that my girlfriend, Lil, put me on and I can't live without it now!! It makes your skin super soft since it exfoliates and does a deep cleanse. Just don't take it with you if you travel to a place that's super humid as it will crumble to bits which I found out the hard way :(. I also use Shamanuti Activated Charcoal Cleanser which really neutralizes my combo skin. As far as a toothbrush or toothpaste for teeth whitening, my dentist said although he's heard positive and negative things, nothing has been proven. So for now, I'm going to skip it. It's also been said that ingesting activated charcoal can cure hangovers, but unfortunately, it looks like it's another myth -- since the alcohol has already hit your bloodstream by the time you're hungover and even if you ingested the charcoal before you drank, it wouldn't really matter since the molecules from alcohol are a different size for them to bind properly. According to Insta (it's not real if it's not on Insta), it seems as if most people are mixing activated charcoal into their food and drinks and using it for its awesome detoxing properties. It helps flush toxins from your body and is said to decrease bloating. Amazing, right?! BUUUTT it's not something you should do all the time since if you use it too often, you're going to absorb some of the nutrients that your body needs to thrive. In addition, just like it absorb toxins, it can also absorb medications, making them not as effective.
Since I wanted to try to make some fun, little treats, I bought a bag of activated charcoal on Amazon for about $15 and I use it a couple of times a week as a detox. It's totally flavorless and odorless so you don't even know you're eating it. It's super messy though so be careful handling or you'll have black chalk-like marks everywhere. My go-to way of consuming activated charcoal is in an acai bowl. Here's the recipe for you!
Activated Charcoal Acai Bowl Recipe*:
1/4 cup almond/coconut milk
1 frozen pouch of unsweetened acai
1 Cup frozen kale or spinach
1/2 Cup frozen berries
3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons activated charcoal powder
1 teaspoon turmeric power
Blend together until thick (but thoroughly blended) and top with your faves. My bowl usually has granola by our fave granola brand, Purely Elizabeth, coconut flakes, goji berries and a touch of organic, local honey. So good!
*Just kidding, I don't actually measure anything! But if I did, it would probably be similar to this. Use your creative license to make your bowl to your liking :-)