What Is Activated Charcoal Powder?

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What Is Activated Charcoal Powder?

Activated charcoal powder was introduced in the early twentieth century. It was used at that time to remove colour from sugar and to improve the taste and smell of water. Also called activated absorbent charcoal and medicinal charcoal, activated charcoal powder is still used today, primarily for health care purposes.

What Is Activated Charcoal Powder?

Activated charcoal powder is a natural substance. It is derived from raw materials such as vegetables, wood and even coconuts. Though this black powder is quite fine in texture, activated charcoal powder has significant binding power, making it an effective absorber of toxins and other substances that need to be removed from the body or the environment.


Some of the medically indicated uses for activated charcoal powder include detoxification, poisoning, overdose, bloating and excess gas. Typically, the activated charcoal powder is mixed with water and ingested. In cases of suspected poisoning or overdose, however, the use of activated charcoal powder should be supervised by a medical professional. Some people use activated charcoal powder in poultices to be applied externally for skin infections and injuries. It can be mixed into bath water for detoxification of the body, as well. Filtering water and air and absorbing toxic spills are some of the environmental uses of activated charcoal powder.

Side Effects/Safety

Some of the side effects of using activated charcoal powder include black stools, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhoea or constipation. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use activated charcoal. The use of activated charcoal powder is not recommended for the elderly, as well. If you take medications or nutritional supplements, check with your physician before using activated charcoal powder.

How to Use It

Always use activated charcoal powder as directed by a physician, or according to label directions. For medical purposes, activated charcoal powder is typically mixed with a full glass of water before ingesting. Note: Intestinal blockage and bowel problems could result if you do not mix it with adequate fluid.


Activated charcoal is available in liquid or powder form. It is a popular ingredient in colon cleanse products and some nutritional products. While no major problems have been reported, the long-term safety of using nutritional products containing activated charcoal powder has not been determined.

Where to Find It

You can purchase activated charcoal powder from nutritional stores, most pharmacies and online retailers.

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