The Science Behind Charcoal

By: Belle Hartles |

Black activated charcoal, the ancient Egyptians’ secret weapon, made its way into modern
medicine due to its ability to absorb toxic substances. For many centuries, charcoal has been
used for a variety of medicinal purposes, with Hindu documents from 450 BC recording its
power to purify water (Cecen & Aktas, 2007).
After studies carried out in the 1960’s, it became more widely accepted in medical practice
and used to address toxin ingestion in the body.
There is a crucial difference between standard charcoal and activated charcoal. Activated
charcoal is processed with steam or hot air at extremely high temperatures to erode the
material’s internal surfaces and increase the surface area. This increased surface area
provides the charcoal with a greater ability to absorb toxins as the surface area is directly
proportionate to how much can be absorbed (Cooney, 1995).
Activated charcoal has the ability to adsorb a range of noxious substances, including highly
poisonous chemicals. It essentially works by binding to the toxic substances found in the
body and preventing the toxins from being absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. The
absorptive surface of activated charcoal contains several chemical forms that work together
to absorb the toxic substances (Jurgens et al., 2009).
Studies have been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of charcoal when administrated for
the purpose of severe toxicity in the body. These studies have revealed that it is effective for
approximately 4 hours after ingestion (Jurgens et al., 2009).
Hospitals see numerous cases of intoxication from a variety of sources, and commonly use
activated charcoal to absorb the toxins from the body. The administration of activated
charcoal is often used to treat moderately severe to life-threatening intoxication (Zellner et
al., 2019). It is also commonly used in medical practice to remove toxins from kidneys and
livers for patients whose kidneys and livers can’t function to remove toxins on their own.
This is conducted through a machine that has a charcoal filter (Pilapil & Peterson, 2009).
Activated charcoal absorbs the components in alcohol, such as tannins, esters, and acetone
(Wiese et al., 2000). This helps to eliminate the common feelings of nausea, dizziness, and
fatigue that a substantial amount of alcohol intake can cause. The success of activated
charcoal in absorbing toxins from the body in severe cases is why we are confident in the use

of the ingredient for our Detox shot to eliminate toxins that enter the body as a result of
drinking alcohol and provide relief from hangover symptoms.
Activated charcoal also has the ability to adsorb impurities in the skin, which is why it has
become more widely used in skincare products (Kabra et al., 2018).