Friday, September 13, 2013

The Medicinal Properties of Charcoal


I would like to share with you a valuable resource.  Go Healthy for Good is a program on the Hope Channel that features natural remedies from time to time.  Dr. Nerida McKibben, MD is the host and her husband Daniel McKibben, CMT participates on occasion.  My children were involved with the filming on some of these programs.  

The Medicinal Properties of Charcoal

When I attended the Natural Remedies and Hydrotherapy Workshop at Andrews University in Michigan last summer, I was already familiar with the use of hydrotherapy and herbs. However, I was totally blown away by the lecture on charcoal. I had little experience with it and had no idea what charcoal was capable of.  Why it isn't used more for problems like brown recluse spider bites is beyond me. I believe every household should have some (both in tablet and powder form) around at all times in case of some emergency. Charcoal or charred, blackened, powdered wood is an absolutely powerful product of nature.  Being familiar with it and how to use it can mean the difference between life and death in certain situations.

Becoming Acquainted with Charcoal as a Natural Remedy

Absorptions is something that is familiar to most of us.  What a sponge does to water is called absorption.  Adsorption is what a magnet does to iron.  Charcoal's star power is it's ability to adsorb and neutralize all kinds of toxins and poisons.  In 1830 a pharmacist, P.F. Touery, set out to prove to himself and others that charcoal was indeed a powerful adsorbent and did something that was pretty daring if you ask me!  He swallowed strychnine,  10 times the lethal dose, mixed with charcoal.  He suffered no ill effect from this experiment.  Charcoal is very porous, and looks like a sponge under a microscope.  It is this endless surface area that makes it able to adsorb so much  toxicity.  Home made charcoal, which is not activated, has spots where it will not adsorb.  Activated charcoal on the other hand has had these spots removed making it even more effective.  Therefore, the best quality charcoal is activated charcoal.  Inactivated charcoal is still very effective and should not be disregarded in an emergency.

The following is excerpted with permission from Home Remedies Manual by Harold Cherne MD and Daniel Mckibben CMT

"Charcoal will adsorb gases, solids, liquid, bacteria, viruses, bacterial toxins, hormones, products of wound secretions, carcinogens and... will reduce swelling by taking up excess tissue fluid and products of allergies.

Internal Indications: Flatulence, nausea, colic, jaundice (The need for exchange transfusion in babies with jaundice has been cut by more than 90% with the use of charcoal.), Crohns, IBS, Ulcerative colitis and peptic ulcers...Prostatitis, Colostomy odor, poisons, food poisoning, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, sore throat,  toothpaste, toothache, bad breath, bacteria and viruses. 

Will adsorb: tylenol, aspirin, opium, cocaine, amphetamines, phenobarbital, lead, DDT, hemlock, mercury, chlorine, pesticides, penicillin, kerosene, radioactive substances and cobra venom just to name a few."

External uses include: Gangrene, infections, spider bites including the brown recluse, snake bites, bee stings, mosquito bites, poison ivy and other poisonous plants.  This is by no means an exhaustive list.

A Few Facts to Consider

As a side note, you may need to consider the fact that drugs are adsorbed by charcoal, including birth control pills.  Take proper precautions and don't blame me if you get pregnant from taking charcoal!  Food can interfere with charcoal's effectiveness.  Charcoal is messy and becomes airborne in a black cloud from the slightest disturbance.  It also can stain fabric very readily.  Internally, charcoal must be taken with water as a slurry.  Please note that over time it can cause constipation. Use charcoal only when necessary.  Extended use can make your body accustomed to it, thereby losing it's effectiveness.  Externally it can be made into a paste or poultice.  Start with powdered charcoal and add water to a yogurt consistency.  Add some flax meal to the paste so that it can retain  moisture for a longer period of time.  Please note, If placed on open wounds, tatooing will occur.  My suggestion is for you to pick up a couple of books to read up on the uses, indications and contraindications of charcoal more thoroughly.

Suggested Books

The first book I suggest is Charcoal - The Complete Handbook of Medicinal Charcoal and It's Applications by John Dinsley.  This book is available on Amazon.

This book reads more like a novel and chronicles the experiences of the author and his amazing stories helping people with the use of charcoal.  As the title of the book suggests, he also has a website where people have submitted their testimonials with the use of charcoal.  Check it out here.

The second book I recommend is by Agatha Thrash, MD and Calvin Thrash, MD.  Charcoal - Startling New Facts About the World's Most Powerful Adsorbent.  Available at the Potomac Adventist Book and Health Food Store.

Finally, I also recommend the manual from which I excerpted.  Home Remedies Manual - Treatments for Arthritis to Herpes Zoster (A to Z) Using Water, Herbs, Stretching Exercises (Similar to Chiropractic), Massage and Common Sence By Harold Cherne MD and Daniel McKibben CMT

This manual is available from the Potomac Adventist Book and Health Food Store

Make Your Own Charcoal at Home

Making your own charcoal at home is not complicated.  It's just burned wood.  But there are some steps that make the process more effective.  In this link, you will find instructions on how make your own charcoal at home.  Harder wood such as Oak or Manzanita does make for better charcoal, but make sure to use untreated wood.  Charcoal briquettes for grilling are not to be used medicinally.  Store your charcoal in a food pantry in an air tight container.  If you happen to store it with other chemicals, it will adsorb the chemicals in the air.  Most definitely not what you want.

I like the secure feeling of knowing that I won't be helpless in certain situations.  If, God forbid, all hell were to break loose and hospitals were unable to help me, I have an extensive reliable list of  home remedies to rely on - just in case.

Have a great day!