Foul or unpleasant odors can fall into several categories including:
In cases where individuals have lost part of their bowels, gas odors can be a problem. Some take charcoal internally to help control flatulence. Others use stoma bags that are specially designed with charcoal filters to adsorb any odors.
Inflammations can abscess and, along with injuries and postoperative wounds, can become infected. They in turn can produce very unpleasant odors. These odors are the result of destruction of the tissue by bacteria. Just as charcoal is used industrially to adsorb artificial gases, it is also very effective in controlling wound odors. In fact the first recoded medicinal use of charcoal was recorded 1500 B.C. when it was used to adsorb unpleasant odors from putrefying wounds. But charcoal does more than just adsorb the foul smells from wounds, it may also stop the very process of decay that causes the odors.
While working in Nepal, Joel encountered a regular stream of infections and abscesses. “One older teen had a deep tropical sore about a half dollar in size. Pus oozed from the ulcer, and it was really foul smelling. I cleaned out the rotten flesh, and just poured dry charcoal powder into the wet wound. By the second day you could see healing had begun. The stench was gone, the wound was clean and new pink tissue had started filling in.” CharcoalRemedies.com page 149
For those of you who have
suffered a broken limb that required a hard cast to immobilize it, you
are no doubt familiar with the bad odor that develops. Most often the
smell is just from dead skin, but it may be from an open draining
wound. These odors are not only unpleasant, they are themselves toxic,
and they slow the healing process. This requires that the casts be
To avoid such frequent
changes, Dr. Frank Haydon, MD, at Fort Benning, Georgia, developed a
simple technique. He took fifteen grams of activated charcoal powder
(about three to four tablespoons) and mixed it with enough water to
make a slurry. After the first layer of cast was applied, the charcoal
slurry was then poured over the area of expected drainage. The
remainder of the plaster was then applied over this wet charcoal. The
cast appeared slightly gray, but was accepted well by patients. The
unpleasant odor of draining wounds was controlled for much longer, and
there were no adverse effect on wound or fracture. (Orthopaedic Medicine, September 30, 1985)
The doctors Thrash relate this case in their book Rx Charcoal (page
47) of an overdose of X-ray. “We had a patient who had a large, deep
ulcer (twelve inches in diameter) due to an x-ray burn on his back. The
burn was from an overdose of x-ray used for treating a skin cancer. The
ulcer became infected and foul smelling. His entire house smelled of
the ulcer, despite the most fastidious care. We started dressing the
ulcer by sprinkling dry activated charcoal powder
from a saltshaker on all the moist areas before applying gauze.
Instantly the odor vanished from the ulcer, and gradually left the
house. Although the patient eventually succumbed to the radiation
sickness, he and his whole family were grateful for the charcoal.”
The prestigious British medical journal, The Lancet
(Sept. 13, 1980 p. 594), reported this exciting study. In varicose leg
ulcers and in infected surgical wounds, a single layer of charcoal
cloth covered with a porous fabric sleeve dressing gave a noticeable
reduction in wound odor in 95% of 39 patients. Wound cleansing was also
noted in 80% of the patients. There were no adverse reactions to the
material. The dressings did not stick to the wounds and could be
removed without difficulty. Because the human skin allows for the
transfer of liquids, gasses and even micro-particles through its
permeable membrane and pores, it was also shown that warm, moist
activated charcoal poultices were actually able to draw bacteria and
poisons through the skin and into the poultice.
Emergency Medicine (September
30, 1985) reported on the foul odor that comes with inoperable cancer
of the cervix. This too can be speedily remedied with a solution of two
tablespoons of activated charcoal powder to one quart of water given as a douche.
Then there are foot odors. One reputable footwear company is now
marketing a patented gel insole that is layered with super-activated
charcoal. There are several other companies offering a variety of footwear products with charcoal to combat odor and promote general relaxation.
As for halitosis, charcoal
helps to eliminate oral odor, because it cleanses both the mouth and
the digestive tract. Since the main cause of bad breath is found in the
mouth, swishing some charcoal slurry around in the mouth will promptly
neutralize most offensive breath.
In the case of an upset stomach after eating, whether one overate, ate wrong food combinations, ate too fast, ate meals too close together, ate too late at night, or ate food that was too old, you may be benefited by activated charcoal powder as a health aid. The foul odors produced by putrefaction in the stomach will be quickly adsorbed by activated charcoal.
Suffering from just plain gas? Michael Levitt is the gastroenterologist at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Touted as a world authority, he has authored dozens of articles on the subject of flatulence. While it is undisputed that charcoal taken internally dramatically decreases the volume of gas, it does not manage the odor as well as some would want. So he developed a seat cushion to see how much of the remaining offending sulphur (the chief offender) was adsorbed. After a hefty meal of pinto beans and lactulose (a poorly absorbed sugar), “to enhance output”, volunteers were dressed in gas-tight Mylar pantaloons to collect what managed to get through the cushion. “I didn't think the activated charcoal layer would be adequate to absorb all of the sulfur,” he recounts. “It was only a thin layer. But it worked.”
You may laugh, but different companies have developed underwear layered with charcoal. One was initially advertised as the Toot-Trapper. But imagine if you were up in space in a space station or outside in a space suit – you can’t just open a window. These earthly products were first developed for space travel, and are now incorporated in military uniforms for more deadly forms of gas. A napkin is also available for feminine needs.
From musty refrigerators and gym bags to pet smells, there are any number of unpleasant odors that spoil our enjoyment of the space around us. Numerous activated charcoal products have been made to combat not only bad smells but pleasant ones too. More and more people are becoming sensitized to scented products due to the extensive use of aromatics in so many different products other than perfumes.
The development of
activated charcoal really began with the production of air filters in
gas masks during the Great Wars. Today activated charcoal is used in
surgical masks, auto-body paint masks, and….
Mothball Odors in House
Noel was advised to put
mothballs in their attic to eliminate rodents. It did get rid of the
rodents, but the odor (naphthalene) not only stank up the attic it
permeated the entire house. They had thrown the mothballs everywhere
and were not able to retrieve them all. What to do?? Someone suggested
activated charcoal. They purchased a 2-gallon pail of granular activated charcoal.
“We hung the charcoal in nylon bags (stockings) in our attic to dispel mothball odors. We did notice a difference although it took a few weeks. We aren't sure if the charcoal did the trick, or if the mothballs just dissolved. The charcoal is still hanging in about a dozen nylon bags in our attic. We used the entire 2 gallons.”
To find out more how charcoal can help you manage different odors at home or at work, order the book CharcoalRemedies.com now.