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10 Tips To Get A Good Nights Sleep Naturally

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10 Tips To Get A Good Nights Sleep Naturally
Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

Alex ‘Earthie Mama’ Du ToitGuest Writer

Everyone knows how important sleep is to your health and wellbeing. Who wants that feeling of sluggishness and low concentration when you have been deprived of a good night sleep. Not only does not having enough sleep cause issues to the way you feel, it also has been linked to health issues such as weakened immune system, diabetes and heart health. It is important to make sleep health a priority and there are ways you can help yourself naturally while improving your sleep quality nightly.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 60 million U.S. adults don’t get enough sleep. 1 out of 5 people have a problem with insomnia. This is a big problem in our society if sleep contributes to mental wellbeing and performance. So many people are walking around half asleep because they are not getting the quality or quantity of sleep needed to function normally. However, there are ways to change your daily routines to support healthy sleeping habits.

1. Reduce Caffeine 

Not getting enough sleep snowballs into that afternoon coffee which then contributes to not being able to fall asleep and stay asleep. This vicious cycle stops when you break that afternoon cup of coffee. Replace with a decaf coffee, tea, water, juice, etc. Have you tried Rooibos Tea? Don’t forget to drink water all day long.

2. Turn Off Screens/Devices and Get Protective Glasses

Studies have shown that smart Phones, Tablets, Computers emit a blue light that messes with melatonin levels, the hormone that makes us feel sleepy. The bus light damages the duration of sleep and even more so, the quality of sleep. Before going to sleep, even an hour or two before, shut all devices down. Also, getting a pair of blue blocking glasses to wear during the day when on a blue light emitting device helps limit the exposure to blue light which in turn makes a difference on sleep quality at night. Click here to order a pair of blue light blocking glasses.

3. Move Your Body

Studies have shown that physical activity during the day improves the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Ultimately it would be ideal to exercise 30 minutes per day at least 5 days a week. However, it would be even more beneficial to try and move the body some way every day.

4. Avoid Alcohol 

Those night caps or drinks that you consume in the evening could be a problem to your sleep quality, studies have shown. Alcohol is known to cause disruptions in sleep patterns and the production of melatonin. Melatonin plays a role in sleep quality and patterns. Alcohol has also been linked to Magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is needed for every function of the body, including sleep. Regular levels of magnesium helps to relax the mind and body but magnesium deficiency can result in anxiety, irritability and poor sleep. Read more about Why Alcohol Disrupts Your Sleep.

5. Create a Good Sleep Environment

How can you make your bedroom a sleep friendly place? Maybe black out curtains or an eye mask? What is the temperature, ideally below 67 degrees? Does your bedroom smell nice? Maybe consider adding an essential oil diffuser? Maybe add plants to clean the air while you are sleeping. Make your bedroom a sanctuary for sleep.

6. Hot Bath and a Cup of Tea

A few studies have shown that taking a bath at night can help the quality and duration of sleep. Lying in a bath of warm water is so relaxing. By adding epson salts and/or magnesium flakes your body will be able to absorb the magnesium that every cell needs to function. Try my Detox Bath Salt recipe and soak before bed as a night time ritual with a cup of tea. Teas like Sleepy TimeRooibos and Chamomile are all very relaxing and great in preparing the body to get into sleep mode.

7. Magnesium Spray

Lather the skin with magnesium spray after your bath and before bed. The skin will absorb the magnesium which creates relaxation in the body and promotes a restful sleep. You can get Magnesium Spray in my store here or click here for DIY Magnesium Spray Recipe.

8. Melatonin

Melatonin is the key hormone that tells your brain when it is time to relax and get some rest. Studies have shown that taking a 2 mg supplement of melatonin before bed aids in falling asleep quickly without feeling drowsy the next day.

9. Meditation and Deep Breathing

If falling asleep is difficult for you, try focusing on your breath. Breathe in and out slowly, about 15 minutes before bed. This will calm your mind, body and soul, preparing you for a good night sleep. Studies have shown that by using relaxation techniques and changing sleeping habits can help you fall asleep faster and get a better night sleep.

10. Sleep Journal

Keep a journal of when you go to bed and when you wake up. What did you eat during the day? (Try and stay away from heavy, spicy and sugary foods and drinks especially towards the end of the day). What did you drink during the day? (Make sure you are drinking lots of water). When was your last cup of caffeine? Did you do any relaxation techniques like breathing, meditation or taking a bath with a cup of tea before bed? Did they work for you? Did you exercise today? Is your sleeping environment comfortable? This will be a great reference for you to look at as you figure out how to get yourself a good night sleep.

The quality and amount of time you spend sleeping is extremely important to your health, wellbeing and longevity. Many people go to Big Pharma sleeping pills to give them a quick sleeping solution. However, they do not come without side effects. Please look into the sideeffects before taking any sleeping pill.

I always recommend trying to go the natural route before any other path when trying to help yourself. I hope this list above gives you some tools to help you get the sleep that you deserve, in order to live a life where you are thriving not just surviving. Be the hero in your own life.

Be well,

Alex

Recommended Articles by Alex ‘Earthie Mama’ Du Toit
About the Author

Alexandra is a true Earthie Mama, helping others tune into their most natural, thriving state while bringing harmony and balance into all areas of their lives. She hosts a well-known blog, EarthieMama.com, where she writes about health and wellness, conscious parenting, green living, self-sustainability and getting off the grid. Alex also has an MA in Psychology, and is a registered Yoga Instructor, environmentalist, conscious mother, green living advocate and natural birthing expert. She also sells all natural products and her eBooks through her website.

Please check out her website at EarthieMama.com, connect with Earthie Mama on Facebook, or sign up to the free EarthieMama e-newsletter here!

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How A 3-Day Fast Resets Your Immune System

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Immune system fasting
Photo Credit: Getty

Dr. Edward F. GroupGuest Writer

The benefits of fasting are many and various. Fasting supports good health by promoting a healthy body weight, encouraging normal cognitive function, and even facilitating detoxification. Now, research has also shown that fasting may help reset the immune system.

How Does Fasting Reset the Immune System?

Like every other system in the body, the immune system is subject to wear and tear. Aging, aggressive medical therapies, oxidative stress, environmental toxins, and the like can all accelerate the degradation of immune cells.[1, 2, 3] When immune cells are weak and frail, they’re not as effective as they should be in protecting your health. This is where fasting can help.

When you fast, your body looks for nourishment everywhere it can. It goes after stored fat, but it also recycles malfunctioning or inactive cells, like those old, worn out immune system cells.[4] This cell recycling process, known as autophagy, makes room for your body to create fresh, new immune cells. It’s similar to spring cleaning, in that you declutter your body and end up with a rejuvenated immune system. Many people, especially those whose immune system is compromised, make a concerted effort to fast for a few days once or twice every six months to reset and reboot their immune system with fresh, strong cells.[5]

How to Perform a 3-Day Fast

Forty-eight hours appears to be the minimum duration to see benefits to the immune system, but it may take a bit longer for the desired effect. A three day fast is a long enough duration to see some of the benefits, but short enough that most people won’t need professional supervision.

If you’ve never performed a fast before, start small. Going a full three days without eating can be emotionally and mentally stressful if you’re not prepared for the side effects. Start with intermittent fasting, a pattern of eating that involves alternating cycles of fasting and eating. Try extending how long you go between meals. Slowly increase the amount of time between meals until you can go most of the day without eating food.

If you tolerate this well and aren’t under the care of a health care professional, you can try alternate day fasting. When you feel ready, you can embark on an extended water fast to boost the immune system even further.

Have you tried fasting to improve your immune system?

Article Sources
About the Author

Dr. Edward F. Group III (DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM) founded Global Healing Center in 1998 and is currently the Chief Executive Officer. Heading up the research and development team, Dr. Group assumes a hands-on approach in producing new and advanced degenerative disease products and information.

Dr. Group has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the internet.

For more information, please visit Global Healing Center.

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How To Make Your Own Hemp Milk At Home In Two Minutes

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Photo Credit: Pexels/Alexas Fotos

Anastasia, Guest Writer

Originally published at kindearth.net and reproduced here with permission.

Hemp Milk is quite possibly the healthiest plant-based milk out there! So, it definitely deserves a bit of love here in the Kind Earth Kitchen.

I am not into over complicating stuff, so my way of making hemp milk is pretty easy.

In fact, you can make it in a couple of delicious, minutes – flat.

There are different ways of making hemp milk. For ease and speed, I use shelled hemp seeds (also known as hemp seed hearts). This means that I can blend them up quickly without the need for straining at all. You’ll get a little bit of sediment settling to the bottom (after a little while) – if you don’t strain it – but to me, that is all part of the fun and goodness. I never strain my plant-based milk if I am making with hemp seeds hearts.

Remember: No straining is required IF you use SHELLED hemp seeds. All you need to do is give it a quick swish and a jiggle in the jar before you drink it.

However… if you use whole hemp seeds with the shells on you WILL need to strain it

This recipe here is for shelled/hulled hemp seeds. However, if you do actually use whole hemp seeds (with the shells/hulls still ON) then you will need to strain it; otherwise, the sediment will be too coarse. Straining it involves, either a cheesecloth, a piece of muslin or a purpose made nut milk bag to do so and squee-e-e-eze.

Hemp Has A Sort Of Nutty Taste

Hemp has a nutty sort of taste. If you aren’t instantly taken by it, then give it a chance, because it really can grow on you. A lot of people I know, absolutely adore it and couldn’t live without it now! I add a little bit of coconut sugar and vanilla to this recipe – just to make the whole hemp milk experience dance and sing. Although you can make it plain (hemp and water only) if you prefer.

Why Are Hemp Seeds So Good For Us?

It has to be said… hemp is one of the most amazing plant foods that exist on our planet! It is a protein power superstar, having one of the most complete protein profiles in the plant food kingdom. It contains a fabulous balance of essential fats (essential fats are crucial to include in your diet for health) including omega 3. It’s excellent for skin health, cholesterol levels and is especially high in beneficial antioxidants.

Read more about hemp benefits here: All about Hemp Seeds and their health benefits.

Getting Your Shelled Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds are available in all good health food stores (in most countries). I am not talking about the hemp with the high THC levels that gets you high though… I am talking about the culinary hemp seeds. It helps a lot to buy shelled hemp seeds (also called hemp hearts or hulled hemp seeds) without the crunchy outer shell on them; this makes it very easy to blend smoothly.

In the UK, I use these ones all the time: RealFoodSource Organic HEMP SEEDS. They are excellent value (you can get their non-organic version for even more of a bargain) and also grown in the EU – yay! I absolutely love them. Using them on a daily basis I probably go through about 1kg (2lbs) every two months – for my own personal use. If you don’t use them all the time, they’ll probably last you longer and you could buy a smaller packet. When I visit North America I’ve purchased these onesManitoba Harvest Shelled Hemp Hearts and used to my hearts’ delight.

Quick Hemp Milk Video – See How I Make It Myself

Check out my super quick visual guide for more tips on making hemp milk…

How to make Hemp Milk in two minutes

How To Make Your Own Hemp Milk At Home

Yield: 4 SERVINGS

Prep time: 2 MINUTES

Total time: 2 MINUTES

Hemp milk recipe using hemp seeds hearts, vanilla and coconut sugar. Super healthy and made in two short minutes

Ingredients
  • 100g (1/2 cup) shelled hemp seeds
  • 500ml (2 cups) spring water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons coconut sugar
Instructions

Please check out my video above first for more tips and a quick visual guide

  1. Add all ingredients to a jug for blending.
  2. Blend for about a minute or until everything is combined.
  3. Pop the hemp milk into a large jar or bottle.
  4. Pop it into the fridge to chill before serving (it tastes best chilled).
  5. You will still get some sediment settling from the hemp seeds. This is all super healthy.
  6. Note: If you don’t want the sediment OR if you have used whole (seeds that aren’t shelled) hemp seeds then you will need to strain it will a cheese cloth or purpose made nut milk bag.
  7. Give it a swish and a jiggle before using.
  8. Enjoy!

I do hope that you enjoy this.

From my heart to yours. Anastasia

About the Author

Plant-based workshop leader, retreat chef, recipe developer and life coach Anastasia was born in England and is currently nomadic. After a profound spiritual awakening in 1995, she recognised that all things are deeply connected and adopted a lifestyle of compassion and respect for all sentient beings. With a deep affinity with Mother Earth she founded KindEarth.net a space dedicated to compassionate, heart-centred living, plant-based recipes, meditation and reconnection with nature. Having enjoyed a vegan diet for over 24 years, she has experienced optimal health along the way, publishing several cook books and developing a plethora of original high vibe recipes. Anastasia invites us all to rise up from our deepest depths, to honour our true calling and is always delighted to hear from others who resonate on this journey back to a higher paradigm of love and respect.

Follow Anastasia

This article was shared with permission. Original article here.

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The 5 Most Common Thyroid Disorders And What You Need To Know

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Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

Dr. Edward F. GroupGuest Writer

When most people think of the thyroid, the first thing that may come to mind is an image of a simple, obscure gland located somewhere in the neck. The thyroid is often seen as serving unknown functions as it is rarely discussed in popular press. Likewise, it’s not at all surprising that few understand its exact function and just how important it is to our overall health, wellness and vitality.

In this article we will briefly cover what the thyroid is and its functions, and discuss the 5 most common thyroid disorders today.

Thyroid Functions

The thyroid is an endocrine gland that produces and directs various hormones in the body. The health of the thyroid is paramount to overall wellbeing, playing a vital role in cell growth, metabolism, and energy levels. The thyroid produces two major primary hormones called triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). T3 is the more bio ­active version of the hormone, while T4 is considered the less active, storage form. Surprisingly, the thyroid outputs roughly 20 times more T4 than T3.

Lesser known, the thyroid’s secondary role is the production of the calcium­-regulating hormone calcitonin, which regulates and balances blood calcium levels and calcium deposition in bones.

Thyroid­-stimulating hormone (TSH) released from the pituitary helps regulate the hormonal output and balance of the thyroid, regulating how much of the primary T3 and T4 hormones are manufactured and released. Before all of that happens, the TSH release is first stimulated by the area of the brain that controls neuroendocrine and central nervous system function. The hypothalamus then sends out its own stimulatory hormone called thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH).

The 5 Most Common Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid disorders affect millions of Americans yearly, and the number of people afflicted continues to grow with each passing year. Growing research data suggests that aside from the genetic origin of the various clinically significant thyroid disorders, much of the causation is likely due to lifestyle factors such as  constant exposure to a toxic environment, the consumption of chemically­-laden food and water, as well as a deficiency of certain nutrients.

Though thyroid disorders affect men and women alike – up to 20 million Americans – the predominance of disorders are found in women, upwards of 80%. 1 in 8 women will experience some type of thyroid disorder in their lives. [1]

1. Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is defined as an overactive thyroid gland which produces an overabundance of T3/T4 hormones. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include goiter, heart palpitations,  anxiety, excess sweating, diarrhoea, weight loss, and muscle weakness. Causes are as diverse as its symptoms, but nevertheless are important to understand. Autoimmunity of the thyroid often leads to Grave’s Disease, a disorder that results in an overactive thyroid. Also, nodule formation and/or goiter formation in the thyroid, leading to inhibition of necessary hormone feedback loops, contributes to excess production of thyroid hormones. Excess dietary iodine intake can also increase risk for hyperthyroidism.

Conventional approaches to hyperthyroidism include beta ­blockers, radioactive iodine­, and surgery. Natural approaches are numerous and often boil down to one thing: diet. Eliminating goitrogenic foods may be helpful, as would removing fluoride, bromine, and chlorine from water via a high-quality filtration system. Reducing dietary gluten and dairy casein may also help protect the thyroid gland in sensitive individuals. Nascent iodine, lithium orotate, probiotics, vitamin D3, omega ­-3 fats, L ­-dopa (mucuna pruriens), and L-tyrosine are possible helpful supplements that can be taken for supporting thyroid health. Make sure to get plenty of sleep to recharge the thyroid, and avoid synthetic chemicals whenever possible. Deep breathing meditation and general relaxation may also be helpful for reducing stress associated with the thyroid. [2] [3]

2. Hypothyroidism

On the opposite end of the spectrum, an underactive thyroid which produces inadequate amounts of T3/T4 thyroid hormones is defined as hypothyroidism. Symptoms include tiredness, excessive weight gain, cold intolerance, baldness, depression, dry skin/hair/nails, and irritability. Common causes include a congenital abnormality (thyroid deficiency from birth), autoimmune inflammation of the thyroid such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, nutritional iodine deficiency, TSH ­ hormone deficiency via pituitary gland abnormality, heavy metal toxicity, and dysbiosis (imbalance of good vs. bad bacteria).

Common treatment is the injection of synthetic thyroid hormone called Levothyroxine to boost hormone levels. With the exception of increasing exercise, the natural action steps ­to reduce risk for hypothyroidism are exactly the same for hyperthyroidism. [4] Exercise may help boost thyroid hormones, providing support for a sluggish, underactive gland.

3. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder whereby the thyroid gland is attacked by the immune system in response to antibodies produced by exposure to an  allergen. This reacts with the cells and tissues of the thyroid, causing inflammation and destruction of the gland, ultimately leading to hyperthyroidism followed by hypothyroidism. Fatigue, cold intolerance, constipation, goiter, weight gain, paleness/puffiness in face, sleepiness, joint/muscular pain, dry/brittle hair, and depression are common symptoms. [5]

Medical experts postulate that viruses, bacteria, and other foreign substances initiate the process of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis autoimmunity. Iodine deficiency in conjunction with fluoride/chlorine/bromine exposure may also be a contributing factor. A gluten allergy may be another hidden culprit behind Hashimoto’s disease. Vitamin D deficiency and dysbiosis are also common concerning factors. Conventional and natural approaches are similar to that of hypothyroidism.

4. Grave’s Disease

Similar to Hashimoto’s disease, Grave’s disease is an autoimmune disorder whereby the thyroid gland is attacked by the  immune system  from antibodies produced in response to an allergen. This confuses the cells of the thyroid, causing inflammation and the overproduction of T3/T4 thyroid hormones, eventually leading to an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroid). [6]

Symptoms include anxiety, heart palpitations, goiter, hand tremors, weight loss, insomnia, irritability, muscle weakness, diarrhoea, heat intolerance, and eye problems. The causes are very similar to that of Hashimoto’s disease. Approaches are generally the same as with general hyperthyroidism and include beta ­ blockers, anti ­-thyroid medications such as methimazole and propylthiouracil, radioactive iodine ­, surgery, and avoiding goitrogenic foods.

5. Thyroiditis

Thyroiditis is defined as the swelling or inflammation of the thyroid gland.

There are a few main types:

  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Postpartum thyroiditis potentially caused by autoimmune response, often in two phases:
    • The first phase occurs months 1 through 4 postpartum, resulting in hyperthyroidism.
    • The second phase generally lasts from months 4 through 8 postpartum and often results in a hypothyroid condition due to the exhaustion of thyroid hormones in the earlier phase. Recovery usually happens naturally 12- ­18 months postpartum.
  • Silent/painless thyroiditis, similar to postpartum but not related to birth.
  • Subacute thyroiditis, similar to the others but causes pain in jaw/neck/ear, possibly from autoimmunity or infection.

Iodine deficiency in conjunction with fluoride/chlorine/bromine displacement may be an important contributing factor in thyroiditis. Gluten allergy, vitamin D deficiency, and dysbiosis may also be factors associated with the condition. Depending on the type of thyroiditis, medications usually vary depending on whether it presents initially with hyper ­- or hypothyroidism. [7]

– Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

References
  1. American Thyroid Association.  Thyroid Disease.  Fact Sheet.
  2. Delitala G, Masala A, et al.  Plasma prolactin response to L ­dopa TRH and metaclopramide in thyrotoxicosis.  Biomedicine. 1976 Jul;25(5):173 ­6.
  3. NIH/NEMDS.  Hyperthyroidism.  National Institute of Health. Fact Sheet.
  4. JNIG/NEMDS.  Hypothyroidism.  Fact Sheet.
  5. NIH/NEMDS.  Hashimoto’s Disease.  Fact Sheet.
  6. NIH/NEMDS.  Grave’s Disease.  Fact Sheet.
  7. Office of Women’s Health/U.S. HHS.  Thyroid disease.  Fact Sheet.
Recommended Articles by Dr. Edward Group
About the Author

Dr. Edward F. Group III (DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM) founded Global Healing Center in 1998 and is currently the Chief Executive Officer. Heading up the research and development team, Dr. Group assumes a hands-on approach in producing new and advanced degenerative disease products and information.

Dr. Group has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the internet.

For more information, please visit Global Healing Center.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

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Activated Charcoal: 15 Benefits And Uses For Health And Wellness

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Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

Dr. Edward F. GroupGuest Writer

Activated charcoal is a hot topic in health and wellness these days, gaining recognition as a powerhouse agent for detoxification with a wide range of potential uses. We see activated charcoal in everything from facial masks and teeth whiteners to digestive remedies and even an exotic new food trend that uses its charcoal hue for an element of surprise (think jet-black ice cream).

Activated charcoal benefits are no secret. A staple in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, activated charcoal remains to this day a common emergency room antidote for cases of toxicity and poisoning in developed nations around the world.[1] As for activated charcoal uses in daily life, this natural healing product is extremely versatile and generally considered safe. Yet activated charcoal should be handled with care (scroll down for an overview of activated charcoal side effects).

What Is Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal is a by-product of burning coconut shells, bamboo, olive pits, wood, or various other substances. For your natural medicine cabinet, we recommend purchasing activated charcoal that is organic and made from coconut shells.

Processed at very high temperatures, this unique charcoal is “activated” in a way that changes its structure to increase the surface area and make it more porous. It is the porousness of activated charcoal that makes it effective at attaching to (“adsorbing”) toxins and flushing them out of the body. This is the principle behind activated charcoal detox.

Unlike the charcoal briquettes you use to light your barbecue, activated charcoal is free of toxins and carcinogens and is generally safe to consume and apply topically. Never substitute regular charcoal for the activated charcoal used for health and wellness!

What Are the Benefits of Activated Charcoal?

With its purifying qualities, activated charcoal offers potential benefits including detoxification, alleviating gas and bloating, digestive health, lowering cholesterol, reducing the effects of radiation, and anti-aging.

Detoxification

The most scientifically proven of all of activated charcoal’s benefits, detoxification happens naturally with this powerful agent. Because activated charcoal’s porous surface has a negative electrical charge, it attracts positively charged molecules such as toxins and gases for safe removal from the GI tract. In hospital emergency rooms throughout the developed world, a high single-use dosage of activated charcoal is the most frequently used method of gastrointestinal decontamination after certain kinds of poisoning, toxic exposure and drug overdose.[2]

Activated charcoal is considered to be effective for acute poisoning from a wide variety of drugs and poisons including acetaminophen, aspirin and tricyclic antidepressants. However, it is not useful for poisoning from lithiumiron, cyanide, potassium, and ethanol.[3]

While some use activated charcoal as a hangover cure, there is currently no evidence to support this. More than one study has shown that activated charcoal is not effective at adsorbing alcohol.[4]

Alleviating Gas and Bloating

Activated charcoal’s ability to reduce gas and bloating in the digestive system is scientifically proven. A double-blind clinical trial found reduced gas and bloating in subjects that used activated charcoal compared to the placebo group.[5] And in 2011, the European Food Safety Authority presented its scientific opinion in favour of using activated charcoal to reduce excess gas in the digestive system.[6] For more tips, see 10 Natural Remedies for Gas.

Digestive Health

When used for digestive cleansing, activated charcoal can promote overall digestive health. Considered a natural gut cleanser, activated charcoal can help lighten the body’s toxic load — potentially reducing allergic reactions and oxidative damage, as well as strengthening the immune system.

Lowering Cholesterol

Some researchers have found that activated charcoal can help people regulate their cholesterol. Just as it does with toxins, activated charcoal can attach to (adsorb) and flush out cholesterol in the intestine, preventing its absorption in the bloodstream. In a controlled study of people with high cholesterol, activated charcoal was effective at lowering total and LDL cholesterol levels.[7]

Reducing the Effects of Radiation

Piggybacking on its powers of detoxification, activated charcoal can also reduce the effects of radiation. Through the process of adsorption, activated charcoal attaches to radionuclides in the same way that it attaches to other toxins. See “13 Natural Remedies for Radiation Exposure” for more about activated charcoal’s ability to neutralize radiation, as well as the science behind it.

Anti-Aging

Through its ability to rid the body of toxins, activated charcoal has the potential to be a natural approach to healthy aging. With a reduced toxic load, the body experiences less of the oxidative damage that drives the aging process. In the same way, it may help to prevent cellular damage to our natural detox organs (the kidneys and liver) and also support adrenal gland health.

Activated Charcoal Uses

Activated charcoal use runs the gamut from gut-cleansing detox to purifying facials, teeth whitening, bug-bite care and more. Keep activated charcoal on hand for natural healing remedies like these.

Digestive Cleansing

The digestive tract is where a myriad of toxins can enter our bodies, from pesticides and heavy metals in food, to chemicals in water and exposure to mold. When you eliminate toxins with a digestive cleanse, you can feel lighter, stronger, and more energetic. While there are many different kinds of digestive cleanses, a simple approach is to eat whole, organic foods and avoid sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.

Activated charcoal can supercharge your cleanse by assisting with the removal of toxins through the process of adsorption — that is, the toxins attach to the activated charcoal like metal to a magnet, and then pass safely out of the body with a bowel movement.

Recipe: To add activated charcoal to your cleanse, take 10 grams (either as a powder added to water or in pill form) 90 minutes before each meal for two days. Be sure to drink plenty of water to avoid constipation.

First Aid for Poisons or Toxins

An antidote to certain types of poisoning or exposure to toxic substances, drugs, or household chemicals, activated charcoal is handy to keep in your first aid kit or medicine cabinet. It is essential, however, to first contact 911 or a poison control center immediately. Depending on the type of poison, they may instruct you to administer activated charcoal at home before going to an emergency room.

Note: Having activated charcoal in your first-aid kit or medicine cabinet can help jump-start the recovery process but should never replace a healthcare professional.

Facial Mask

In the same way that activated charcoal draws toxins out of the digestive system, when applied topically, it can draw oils, dirt, bacteria and other impurities from the pores, leaving skin clean, clear and less prone to breakouts.

Recipe: Mix a teaspoon of activated charcoal powder with a tablespoon of honey to make a paste. Apply to face and neck with a cosmetic brush. Keep on for 5 to 10 minutes, then wash off with your favourite natural cleanser.

Note that activated-charcoal powder is very messy when spilled! Avoid using it over hard-to-clean areas such as tile grout.

Acne Spot Treatment

Mixed with a bit of aloe vera gel, activated charcoal makes an effective acne spot treatment.

Recipe: Break open one capsule of activated charcoal in a small bowl. Using a cotton swab, mix with a half-teaspoon of aloe vera gel to create a thick paste. Apply paste to acne. Let dry about 30 minutes. Wash off with warm water.

Teeth Whitening

It may seem counterintuitive to turn your teeth black in order to whiten them (don’t worry — the black washes off!), but many people have success using activated charcoal as a natural teeth whitener. Because activated charcoal is abrasive to the teeth, dab it on gently rather than using a toothbrush.

Recipe: In a small bowl, break open two capsules of activated charcoal. Using a cotton swab, mix in just enough water to make a thick paste (less than 1 teaspoon). Dab paste onto teeth, let sit three minutes and rinse.

Flatulence Relief

Activated charcoal’s ability to alleviate gas and bloating is clinically proven. If certain foods trigger gas, activated charcoal is one way to keep flatulence at bay.

Tip: Take 1 gram of activated charcoal at least 30 minutes before you eat and 1 gram an hour after you eat.

Bug Bites

Activated charcoal can be a great remedy for mosquito bites and bee stings, as it can alleviate the itching and discomfort that they cause.

Recipe: In a small bowl, break open one capsule of activated charcoal. Using a cotton swab, mix with ½ tablespoon of coconut oil and apply to the bug bite or bee sting.

Water Filtration

Just as it can remove impurities from the body, activated charcoal can also remove contaminants from water. Activated charcoal is a key component in many commercially available water filtration systems, and works in a similar way to the carbon filtration in the popular Brita water pitchers.

Activated charcoal in water filters may be effective at removing pesticides, solvents, and other chemicals. However, it is less effective at removing fluoride, viruses, bacteria, and hard-water minerals.

Air Purification

In the same spirit, activated carbon is also effective as a filter for air purification. Much like baking soda, commercially available charcoal bags can be placed in the refrigerator, car, pet areas, gym bags, and other places to freshen air, neutralize odours, and combat mold.

Activated Charcoal Forms

Activated charcoal is available in pills, tablets, capsules, and loose powder for multipurpose use. In all forms, activated charcoal is odourless and neutral-tasting.

Pills and Tablets

Activated charcoal to reduce gas and bloating is often taken in pill or tablet form. Generally, two pills or tablets are recommended to be taken at least 30 minutes before eating gas-producing foods, and one hour after.

Capsules

Purchasing activated charcoal in capsule form is a handy way to use small amounts for recipes. Simply break open a capsule into a small bowl to release the powder, and mix it with water, coconut oil or another ingredient to make a paste for DIY healing.

Powder

A jar of fine, jet-black activated charcoal powder is handy for a variety of uses. In cases of poisoning or the ingestion of toxins, activated charcoal powder is mixed with a liquid and given as a drink (or, in emergency rooms, administered through a tube from the mouth to the stomach).

For more common household use, activated charcoal powder can be used in small amounts for teeth whitening and other remedies.

Are There Side Effects to Using Activated Charcoal?

It is important to remember that activated charcoal not only adsorbs to toxins and unwanted chemicals in the body but it can get rid of good things, too, such as nutrients from food, supplements, and prescription medicines, making them less effective.

It is best to take activated charcoal on an empty stomach between meals so that it does not affect the absorption of nutrients. Activated charcoal should be taken 90 minutes to two hours prior to supplements and prescription medications.

Keep in mind that activated charcoal can make your stool turn black, but this is a temporary and harmless side effect. In addition, be sure to drink plenty of water to prevent constipation when taking activated charcoal.

Activated charcoal is generally considered safe for use during pregnancy. At least one study supports its use for cholestasis, which is a condition marked by the reduction or stoppage of bile flow, during pregnancy.[8] Some pregnant women use it to alleviate symptoms of nausea and vomiting (morning sickness) as well as diarrhoea, though its effectiveness in such cases is not well documented. In some people, activated charcoal can cause side effects of vomiting and diarrhoea — the very symptoms it may be used to relieve.

Your Story

What about you? Have you ever used activated charcoal? What’s your favourite recipe?

References
  1. LoVecchio F, et al. “The feasibility of administration of activated charcoal with respect to current practice guidelines in emergency department patients.” Journal of Medical Toxicology. Sept. 2007.
  2. Juurlink DN. “Activated charcoal for acute overdose: a reappraisal.” British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. Mar. 2016.
  3. Olson KR. “Activated Charcoal for Acute Poisoning: One Toxicologist’s Journey.” Journal of Medical Toxicology. 2010.
  4. Hultén BA, et al. “Does alcohol adsorb to activated charcoal?” Human Toxicology. May 1986.
  5. Jain NK, et al. “Efficacy of activated charcoal in reducing intestinal gas: a double-blind clinical trial.” The American Journal of Gastroenterology. Jul. 1986.
  6. Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to activated charcoal and reduction of excessive intestinal gas accumulation (ID 1938) and reduction of bloating (ID 1938) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006.” European Food Safety Authority Journal. 2011.
  7. Neuvonen PJ, et al. “Activated charcoal in the treatment of hypercholesterolaemia: dose-response relationships and comparison with cholestyramine.” European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 1989.
  8. Kaaja RJ, et al. “Treatment of cholestasis of pregnancy with peroral activated charcoal. A preliminary study.” Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology. Feb. 1994.
Recommended Articles by Dr. Edward Group
About the Author

Dr. Edward F. Group III (DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM) founded Global Healing Center in 1998 and is currently the Chief Executive Officer. Heading up the research and development team, Dr. Group assumes a hands-on approach in producing new and advanced degenerative disease products and information.

Dr. Group has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the internet.

For more information, please visit Global Healing Center.

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