Activated Charcoal: A Must-Have Item in Every Preppers Med Kit
If I were to guess, activated charcoal is probably not one of the items found in your med kit right now.
Well, it’s time you change that…
The thing is, in a long-term disaster or a post-collapse situation, you’ll likely not have access to professional medical help. And if you or your loved one accidentally ingests something poisonous, it could end up being a very bad day for you or yours.
That’s where having activated charcoal could be a very real life saver.
In this article you’ll discover just what activated charcoal is and how it can be used to ward off potential disaster when things go very bad. In addition, you’ll learn about many of the other potential uses that this long-standing “medicine” has.
Activated Charcoal Throughout History
The first recorded use of charcoal for medicinal purposes comes from Egyptian papyri around 1500 B.C. as a method of staving off infection of open wounds. Since then, activated charcoal has continued to be an effective form of treatment for a variety of ailments down to the present time.
In fact, it’s common to find activated charcoal in modern emergency rooms for treatment of drug overdose and poisoning.
How does it work you ask? Well, read on…
How Activated Charcoal Performs its “Magic”
It may at first seem a bit unbelievable as to how a simple black powder can be so effective at removing poisons from the body. But there’s real scientific reasons as to why.
Activated charcoal works mainly by adsorption (no I didn’t spell that incorrectly). Since activated charcoal is 100% alkaline (i.e. negatively charged), this negative ionic charge attracts postive ionic charges like toxins and poisons, causing them to bind to the charcoal which then gets escorted out of your body through the eliminative process of your intestines.
Even when made as a poultice (a moist paste of charcoal and water that you spread over a wound or sting) this adsorption process will work to draw out poisons caused by stings and bites of animals.
Basically the process that creates activated charcoal (steam heating and oxidation) ends up creating an internal lattice of very fine pores. This structure allow s charcoal to adsorb over 100 times its weight in bacteria, toxins and other positively charged chemicals (like drugs and unwanted medicine).
For that reason, it’s important that you don’t ingest charcoal if you’ve recently (within the last 2 – 4 hours) taken perscription medicine for medical reasons since it can also adsorb certain medicines as it does poisons.
Here are just some of the examples of charcoal remedies (both internal external) that you’ll find used in modern as well as folk medicine:
- food poisoning / drug overdose: This is really the only remedy I’ve found where charcoal is used in modern medicine. My ER doctor friend has used charcoal a number of times in the Emergency Room for drug-overdose patients.
- elimination of toxins that contribute to anemia in cancer patients
- stomach bug/flu: This has worked very well in my family. Anytime we feel a stomach bug coming on we take a teaspoon of charcoal in a cup of water which stops it in its tracks.
- filter toxins from blood
- minor arthritic symptoms
- sore throat irritation
- tooth abscesses
- disinfect wounds
- teeth whitening: Charcoal surprisingly does an excellent job at removing tartar and plaque buildup on teeth (no the black will not stain your teeth) and even removes stains (especially those caused by coffee).
- cold sores
- insect bites: Very effective against bee and wasp stings. I’ve personally seen this work wonders for my 4-year old daughter with a wasp sting. The pain subsided very quickly after making a poultice and covering her sting.
- snake bites
Is Activated Charcoal Something I Can Make?
As a quick warning, this is not the charcoal that comes as briquettes that you use in your charcoal grill. Since many of them are laden with dangerous fillers and petrochemicals (firestarter) to help them ignite, ingesting or using these for medical purposes could certainly lead to a very bad day for you or your loved ones.
True activated charcoal is made industrially through a process of exposing pure charcoal to hot steam in order to oxidize it. So while you can certainly make normal charcoal from a woodfire and grind it up fine enough to be somewhat effective (if that’s all you had available to you), it’s not the same.
Given the purity that you can buy as well as it’s practically limitless shelf life I would still highly recommend you purchase it.
Where Can I Purchase Activated Charcoal and How Can I Learn To Use It?
It’s important that you purchase a high-quality charcoal. Here’s the one that I recommend and buy for my own family:
In addition, if you want to learn all of the fantastic ways to use this as well as dosing information be sure to check out some of these resources:
- Posted in Medical