top of page

EveryDayHealth: Activated Charcoal 101

Activated charcoal, once primarily used in emergency rooms to treat poisonings and overdoses, has emerged as the latest "detoxifying" supplement of choice for healthy people. However, before people jump on the bandwagon, there are several things they should know. Activated charcoal can trap toxic substances in the gut and prevent their absorption into the body, and its potential health benefits include treating poisoning and drug overdose in a clinical setting, treating wounds, and supporting kidney function. However, activated charcoal may not be effective in all cases of poisoning and overdose, and its effects on wound healing may be mixed. Meanwhile, it may affect the absorption of nutrients and medications, and it is important to check with a doctor before using it.

10 Key Takeaways

  1. Relieves digestive issues: Activated charcoal may help alleviate digestive issues like bloating, gas, and constipation by absorbing excess gas and toxins in the gut.

  2. Reduces high cholesterol levels: Activated charcoal has been found to help reduce high cholesterol levels by binding to cholesterol in the digestive system and preventing its absorption into the bloodstream.

  3. Improves kidney function: Activated charcoal may help improve kidney function by reducing the levels of toxins and waste products in the body.

  4. Prevents hangovers: Activated charcoal may help prevent hangovers by adsorbing the impurities found in alcohol and reducing the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream.

  5. Treats drug overdose and poisoning: Activated charcoal is often used in emergency situations to treat drug overdose or poisoning by adsorbing the toxins and preventing them from being absorbed into the bloodstream.

  6. Whitens teeth: Activated charcoal can be used as a natural teeth whitener by adsorbing surface stains on the teeth.

  7. Reduces bad breath: Activated charcoal may help reduce bad breath by adsorbing odor-causing bacteria in the mouth.

  8. Improves skin health: Activated charcoal can be used topically to improve skin health by adsorbing excess oil and impurities in the skin.

  9. Boosts immune system: Activated charcoal may help boost the immune system by adsorbing harmful toxins and chemicals that can weaken the body's defenses.

  10. Promotes overall detoxification: Activated charcoal can be used as part of a detoxification program to help eliminate toxins and impurities from the body.


bottom of page