2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Activated Charcoal

What Is It?

Poison control centers often recommend activated charcoal to treat accidental poisonings, making it a useful supplement to keep in the home. Activated charcoal is made from organic materials such as wood pulp and then treated to further enhance its absorptive powers. Once ingested, it binds with certain chemicals in the digestive tract, preventing them from being absorbed into your system and causing harm.

Activated charcoal has also been used–in far smaller doses than what’s recommended for poisonings–to treat such digestive complaints as intestinal gas (flatulence), diarrhea, and stomach ulcer pain. There is good evidence to support some of these uses. A small study published in 1986, for example, showed that people who took activated charcoal experienced less gas, bloating, and abdominal discomfort after eating than they did when they took a placebo or an over-the-counter anti-flatulence medication.

Some nutritionally oriented doctors contend that the absorption abilities of charcoal can help prevent fats from entering the bloodstream, thus lowering cholesterol levels and reducing the risk for heart disease. There are also claims that activated charcoal can rid the body of environmental toxins. To date, there’s little evidence that the charcoal is effective or safe for these uses, however.

Activated charcoal comes in pill and powder form. If you opt for the powder, mix it with a tall glass of water and drink it through a straw to avoid staining your teeth. (If your tongue and teeth are blackened by the charcoal, quickly brush your teeth and rinse; it should come right off.) Avoid taking activated charcoal with milk or other dairy products because they may lessen its effectiveness.

For flatulence, take 500 mg of activated charcoal after meals and every two hours as needed; take care not to ingest more than 4,000 mg in any 24-hour period.

General Interaction

Because activated charcoal can interfere with the absorption or metabolism of various nutrients and medications, take it at least two hours after (or before) other products.

Cautions

For suspected poisonings, consult a poison control center expert before taking activated charcoal. Don’t use activated charcoal at the same time as another common home remedy for poisoning, syrup of ipecac. Charcoal can be used after ipecac has done its job, which is to induce vomiting.
When taken in large doses, activated charcoal can cause black stools, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, and vomiting. Consult your doctor if you have any questions.

Avoid activated charcoal if you have any type of bowel obstruction.

For product recommendations and orders from the Natural Apothecary click here or call 773-296-6700, ext. 2001.


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Telemedicine – Now Available at WholeHealth Chicago

In order to maintain your continuity of care, WholeHealth Chicago now offers telemedicine appointments with most of our practitioners. During a telemedicine visit, you and your healthcare provider can review medical history, discuss symptoms, arrange for prescriptions, and more. When necessary, labs and diagnostic imaging can be ordered from a facility near your home, and our Natural Apothecary can ship supplements quickly to your door.

Please contact Patient Services for details and scheduling a telemedicine appointment, or to change a regular appointment to telemedicine by calling 773-296-6700.

We’re looking forward to meeting with you in our virtual consultation room soon.

DIAGNOSE-IT-YOURSELF: COVID-19

Far and away, the commonest phone call/e mail I receive asks about COVID-19 diagnosis.
Just print this out, tape it on your refrigerator door, and stay calm.

ALLERGIES

• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Red, swollen eyes
• Itchy eyes and nose
• Tickly throat
• No fever

COLD
• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Sore throat
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild dry cough
• Rarely a low fever

STREP THROAT
• Painful sore throat
• Hurts to swallow
• Swollen glands in neck
• Fever

FLU (Standard seasonal flu)
• Fever
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Sudden onset over few hours
• Headache
• Sore throat
• Fatigue, sometimes quite severe
• Muscle aches, sometimes quite severe
• Rarely, diarrhea

CORONAVIRUS-COVID 19
• Shortness of breath
• Fever (usually above 100 degrees)
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Slow onset (2-14 days)
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild fatigue
• Mild sneezing

Recent Health Tips

  • We Are Fighting For Our Lives: Covid-19 Update

    This Health Tip might contain more about Covid-19 than you’ve read online or heard on a news program. It might even be more than you really care to know. Obviously we Americans we have some real challenges, far greater than many countries smaller and less “powerful” than the US. We’re running out of personal protective equipment (PPE) for our healthcare workers and first responders. There Read More

  • DIAGNOSE-IT-YOURSELF: COVID-19

    Far and away, the commonest phone call/e mail I receive asks about COVID-19 diagnosis. Just print this out, tape it on your refrigerator door, and stay calm. ALLERGIES • Runny nose • Sneezing • Red, swollen eyes • Itchy eyes and nose • Tickly throat • No fever COLD • Runny nose • Sneezing • Sore throat • Mild muscle aches • Mild dry cough Read More

  • Immune Superstar #3: Vitamin C

    –Take 3,000 mg daily in tablet form (three 1,000-mg tablets) OR –2,235 mg powder (one scoop of this powder) OR –1,000 mg liquid (one teaspoon of this ultra-absorbable liquid) **Our staff works tirelessly to source the highest quality products, and because of high demand, specific brands and sizes sell out almost daily. Call our Natural Apothecary at 773-296-6700 for the most up-to-date stock or click Read More

Join our Discount Program

Member benefits include 10% off all your purchases. Low, one-time membership fee of $25 ($35 for family).

MORE INFORMATION

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!