WELCOME to the Third Issue of CharcoalTimes™, a courtesy newsletter of BuyActivatedCharcoal.com.
We want to thank those who responded to our February Issue. This is still a new venture so please let us know what you think, what works and what doesn't.
In this Issue:
Sincerely john dinsleyeditor@CharcoalRemedies.com
In our February Issue we briefly covered some of the science that has made charcoal so famous as a purifier, poison neutralizer, and a simple natural remedy for many common and some not-so-common ills. In this issue we will look back and see how charcoal gained a solid reputation as a simple yet powerful cure for many of those common and some not-so-common ills that date back to the early 1800s yet are still a plague to us in the 21st century.
For those of you who, like me, enjoy the richness of history, included here are an assortment of experiences from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This was a time in the development of charcoal, when its application as a healing remedy was being widely experimented with. It was also a time when doctors typically resorted to extremely poisonous concoctions. By comparison, charcoal was a lamb among dragons.
In Europe, interest centered mostly on charcoal’s antidotal properties with respect to poisons. Whereas in America, physicians were exploring other possibilities for charcoal, such as intestinal disorders.
If eating some fancy food gives a person nausea and indigestion, heartburn and gas, is it possible a little biscuit could bring quick relief? Notice these two ads from the early 1900s:
“Absorb all impurities in the stomach and bowels. Give a healthy tone to the whole system, effectually warding off cholera, smallpox, typhoid, and all malignant fevers. Invaluable for indigestion, flatulence, etc. eradicate worms in children. Sweeten the breath.”
“Every person is well acquainted with the great benefit derived from willow charcoal in gastric and intestinal disorder, indigestion, dyspepsia, heartburn, sour or acid stomach, gas upon the stomach, constant belching, fetid breath, all gaseous complications and for the removal of the offensive odor from the breath after smoking.”
Are these just wild claims of the day? As you will see in the following excerpts the uses and benefits of charcoal as a medicinal were widely known and used by physicians well over a hundred years ago. Their claims have since been repeatedly substantiated by modern scientific research.
Of the different schools of medical practice in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, it can be shown that, despite all their different strategies for treating disease, doctors at least agreed on the efficacy of charcoal. Let’s begin with a few of the medical textbooks of the day. It should be noted that, when ‘animal’ charcoal is mentioned, it is referring to charcoal produced from animal bones. The reader is left to research for himself the more archaic medical terms. The portions described approximate modern measurements.
"...Charcoal mixed with bread crumbs or yeast, has long been a favourite material for forming poultices, among army and navy surgeons. The charcoal poultice has also obtained a high character in hospital practice as an application to sloughing ulcers and gangrenous sores, and recently, this substance has afforded immense relief in numerous cases of open cancer, by soothing pain, correcting foetor, and facilitating the separation of the morbid structure from the surrounding parts. It is unnecessary to mention other instances of its utility; for in this form Charcoal is now admitted into the London Pharmacopoeia, and it is in general use in all naval, military, and civil hospitals...
… Charcoal has been mentioned by many of the British medical authors, as an useful remedy in certian forms of fever and dysentery, as they occur in tropical climates; and Sir J. Pringle, Drs. Calvert, Chapman, and Calleagno, having used it with success on various occaisions, they have written favourably of its properties. Still more recently, Dr. Abercrombie, Mr. Guthrie, Mr. Martin, and others, have admitted its efficacy, and the Army medical reports contain isolated cases, in which its use has been attended with considerable benefit." James Bird M.R.C.S. (Surgeon - Royal Glamorgan Militia, 1857)
“It acts as an absorbent (both fluids and gases) and disinfectant. Its internal employment will be found useful in those digestive derangements which are associated with offensive breath and disagreeable belchings; also to correct the fetid condition of the stools in dysentery. It is also useful in acidity of the stomach, flatulency [gas], and in the nausea and constipation attending pregnancy. It is also very useful in internal heat and irritation of the stomach, with acidity; sick headache; diarrhoea; cholera infantum, etc. In cases of sick headache, due to gastric acidity or derangement, and which are ushered in with blurred vision, photopsia, and finally nausea and intense headache, I have found a drachm [dram] of charcoal mixed in a little syrup, to which is then added about a gill of water, and ten or twelve drops of ether, to afford prompt relief; in very obstinate cases, the dose may require to be repeated two or three times, every twenty or thirty minutes (J. King). In some cases charcoal may be advantageously combined with the subnitrate of bismuth as a sedative; and where a laxative action is required, rhubarb may be beneficially added to it. Bilious colic is said to have been cured by it, in doses of one drachm in two fluid ounces of burnt brandy, repeated as required.
Externally, it may be used in poultices to correct fetor of ulcers, arrest gangrene, etc., and is efficient in many cutaneous [skin] diseases. It absorbs foul gases generated in vaults, sewers, etc. It is also a useful haemostatic [agent to control bleeding], having arrested epitasis [nose bleeding] when subsulphate of iron had failed.
“The specific use of charcoal,” says Dr. Scudder (Spec. Medication) “is to arrest hemorrhage from the bowels. It has been used in enema, finely powdered, to four ounces of water, thrown up the rectum. Why this checks it I can not tell; that it does it, I have the evidence of my own eyes. For several years I have employed the second decimal trituration [finely ground powder] as a remedy for passive hemorrhage, with most marked benefit. I employ it in threatened hemorrhage during typhoid fever; in menorrhagia [abnormally high menstrual bleeding], especially when chronic; in prolonged menstruation; the watery discharge that sometimes follows menstruation; hemorrhage from the kidneys; hemorrhage from the lungs; and in some cases of leucocythemia. A good indication for this remedy is a small, pallid tongue with lenticular spots, and with this it may be given in any form of disease.” It occasionally enters into tooth-powders, and may be used with advantage to correct the fetor of the mouth, and cleanse the teeth.”Under Charcoal cataplasm (poultice) we read:
“Preparation: Macerate bread, two ounces, with water, ten fluid ounces, for a short time near the fire; then gradually add and mix with it powdered flaxseed, ten drachms, stirring so as to make a soft cataplasm. With this mix powdered charcoal two drachms, and when prepared for application, sprinkle one drachm of charcoal on the surface of the cataplasm. Action and Medical Uses. Charcoal, properly prepared, has the property of removing the fetid odor evolved by gangrenous and phagedenic [rapidly spreading] ulcers, for which the above cataplasm is designed. It should be renewed two or three times in every twenty-four hours.”Clearly, charcoal was not only recognized as a valuable remedy, but was used internally and externally as a poultice for a variety of ailments. You will find that the combination of flax seed and charcoal used in poultices is still popular today. The flax seed, when powdered or boiled whole, acts primarily as a binder for the charcoal which, by itself, dries out fairly quickly. Flax seed is also known for its own healing virtues.
“Action and Uses … It is used internally as an antiseptic and absorbent, in flatulent dyspepsia [acid indigestion], intestinal distension, diarrhea, and dysentery. Its action is mainly mechanical, removing mucus and stimulating the movements of the stomach and intestine. Externally, charcoal is absorbent and deodorant. It is sometimes employed as a poultice for fetid ulcers, some of the charcoal being spread on the surface of the poultice to retain its oxidizing properties. The powder… may also be administered on buttered bread in the form of sandwiches. Lozenges of charcoal… and charcoal biscuits are a popular form of administration. Charcoal tooth powders may contain from 25 to 75 percent of wood charcoal.”
“It is also advisable, when the feet are swollen from a long walk or much standing, to bathe them in water in which charcoal has been boiled. The water should be strained through a cloth before putting the feet into it. Swelling and fatigue will both disappear rapidly. Alcoholic friction is also very good.”
“Health is one of the requisites to the making up of a fine complexion. A sickly plant commands our care, but not our admiration. So with the individual. A buoyant step and healthful glow on cheek and lip, are irresistible in their power over us. To possess these the greatest care should be taken. Plenty of nutritious food well cooked and at regular intervals. Exercise in the open air. Early hours for rest and sleep are all absolutely necessary. Avoid medicine of a drastic and debilitating nature, and in the spring, when circulation is clogged and digestion sluggish, take a tablespoonful of French charcoal mixed carefully in water or honey before meals for several days, following this each evening with a teaspoonful of extract of dandelion; or take the same dose of charcoal at night, follow it with a large spoonful of finely minced onion. There is no greater purifier in the medical pharmacy than charcoal. In the spring of the year, eat freely of cabbage, lettuce and all herbaceous food. If this diet is accompanied and followed by the requisite amount of bathing, it will work wonders with the most stubborn complexion and give health and elasticity to the sluggish frame. If spring tonics are prescribed, never take them until after charcoal has been used as above directed, when the system will be found in a state to be benefited by their use… Powdered charcoal easily removes stains and makes the teeth white, though it occasionally works under the gums… Charcoal may be mixed with honey if it is used for a dentrifice.”
“I recently received a ‘hurry call’ to attend Mrs. H. — ‘very sick’. The patient, a woman in good circumstances aged about fifty years, was found to be in fact very ill; pale-gray in the face, forehead and limbs covered with a clammy perspiration, pulse so small and rapid that counting was next to impossible, suffering severe gastric and abdominal pain, ‘had been vomiting copiously till nothing but a stringy mucus could be ejected’. Asked what she had eaten; I was told coffee, cross buns and canned boneless chicken; I at once diagnosed toxins, and gave charcoal, prepared as per the following Rx: Calcined willow charcoal and wheaten flour two heaping tablespoonfuls each; common table salt a level teaspoonful; warm water four ounces. The charcoal, flour and salt were first well mixed. Water was added little by little for convenience and speedy result.
Dosage, a brimming tablespoonful every ten minutes regardless of recurrent vomitings. The first dose was partly ejected. The second retained in spite of attempts to vomit. After taking the third spoonful, pain and nausea gradually subsided. Of course a hot water bag and bottles were put to her feet, warmed flannels wrapped around her knees and a hot water bottle placed in her hands, which she smilingly and soon nested upon her stomach… I directed continuance of hourly doses of the charcoal mixture till all should be taken. An uneventful and rapid recovery ensued.
Not long after I attended another patient similarly but not so severely affected. She was much younger; had “lunched,” taking coffee, doughnuts and canned salmon. The charcoal mixture and applied heat, brought similar result, and the admonition to use charcoal in food poisoning.”
We want to thank the many who have shared their personal testimonies with us and apologize that we are unable to post all of them. Each are a witness to the efficacy of activated charcoal as a simple natural remedy for a wide number of conditions - for people and for pets. We would invite you to the Your Stories pages to read some of the many touching stories we receive regularly. We have included a number of stories from February and March.
"I've been so sick for so long. Anorexia/bulemia and using cigarettes to deal with the pain: emotional, spiritual, physical. My doctor gave me a scrip: 2 meal per day (vegan); don't eat after 3 p.m. (trying: my issue is night-time binging or I cannot sleep - it's like paying a terrorist); and 1 T. activated charcoal in glass of water 2-3 x /day. This is saving my life. When I would try to stop eating wrong or smoking I would have such dreadful detox sickness that I would have to [have a] "pick up". But the charcoal makes not smoking now (7 days) possible. Also, please have mercy on me; will you pray to Jesus for me: I don't know how or what to eat for just two meal/day. Thanks,
"…You ask what can you eat for 2 meals a day? A plant-based diet is especially helpful for individuals getting off coffee, tea, cigarettes, and alcohol. A diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts allow the body to taper off nicotine and other stimulants/depressants naturally so there are fewer withdrawal symptoms. Variety is a fundamental principle of good eating, not all at one meal but spread over a week. That way the body is exposed to a wide variety of nutrients to build good health with.
The apostle Peter tells us to "add to your faith ...knowledge..." (2Peter 1:5)
I have attached a cooking school program with vegan recipes and some health handouts that we use in some of our programs. These will give you some ideas to plan you menu around, and support your growing faith.
You are in our prayers…
K. works at the Mayo Clinic and is a great fan and advocate of medicinal charcoal.
“Another co-worker, B., had a stomachache. She approached my desk and said, 'J. told me you have something for my stomachache. Of course when I said charcoal, she asked 'What?' After explaining, I had her take 5 tablets. Thirty minutes later she approached my desk and asked 'what did you give me? I replied, 'Charcoal.' She continued, “K., I had my stomachache for three days and even went to the doctor and was taking medicine that he gave me. That didn't work. My stomachache is almost gone.” Another time when B. had the stomach flu, she was out two days and came in her third. She didn't want to ask me for charcoal, she later admitted, but when I offered her some, she was thankful and took four tablets. I sent more home with her. She was back to work the next day…
The ironic thing is that I work at Mayo Clinic, and it seems like such an oxy moron that I work here and take natural remedies when I do become ill. They all work much better than traditional medicine. People know to come to my desk when they have ills as I keep the charcoal.”
"Hello from India - Ear Infection"
“I just went through your site. I would like to know if I can put charcoal paste into my ears as I have been suffering from ear infection since a month now and have taken a lot of antibiotics too. Please let me know if it is safe to put activated charcoal paste into the ear. I remember my doctor telling me that I do have a fungal sinusitis infection that is maxillary sinusitis. I used to take in charcoal water through my nostrils and it did help me a lot. But can I use the same for my ears too?”
Yes charcoal can be used for ear infections either inside the ear or as a poultice on the outside. The one precaution with using the charcoal inside the ear is to make sure the eardrum is in tact and not ruptured or punctured - in that case a charcoal poultice would be used.
We do have one story posted on our site (click here)
I would suggest trying mixing the charcoal with some cold pressed olive oil instead of water. I would also suggest trying a charcoal poultice over the ear to see which treatment seems to work better.
Follow the directions for Making a Poultice..."
Virginia replied late in March:
"Dear Mr. John,
Greetings to you. This is Virginia, I do not know if you would remember me. I wrote to you long back, asking if charcoal could be put into the ear for ear infection.
Well let me tell you that I did put a small pinch of activated charcoal powder in two tablespoon of boiled cool water and mixed it very well and then strained it in a strainer so that no sediments would be there and only just the liquid. I put two drops in my ear the first day and after two days just a drop of this charcoal liquid. My ear pain has gone and no more infection. I am so thankful to God. I took enough of medication earlier and nothing worked out. It is all part of the sinusitis problem that I had. I also take in diluted charcoal liquid into my nostrils when I have severe sinusitis and it does help a lot and clears the nostrils. I do that only once in a while, just like how we put saline water into our nostrils and it clears up. So next time my ear gives problem I now know what to do!
Thanks a lot for all your encouragement. May God bless you and your team is my prayer. Regards"
“Thank you kindly for your help. I've reordered the product and received a confirmation email for the new purchase.
I am appreciative of the products and information that you are offering. The case stories are definitely interesting and useful. A while ago, I deduced that my abundant mercury fillings were making me sick. A lucky recommendation from a friend led me to look into activated charcoal. Since then, I've been taking charcoal caps, with often times dramatic effects. I also notice that charcoal makes me feel better after I get out of a long, hot shower. I look forward to start using the bulk activated charcoal. Thank you again!”
Shingles in Eye
“The reason I need so much charcoal is that my mother has a terrible case of shingles in her eye and the medications the doctors have her on weren't doing much good. She got an infection from the shingles and a second infection from the steroids. I finally was able to convince her to let me help and have been making charcoal and flax seed poultices for her eye and she finally can open that eye. After a few hour she could feel charcoal pulling out the infection. I take her to an ophthalmologist to monitor her progress and she is doing much better. It will still be a long while until she gets better it seems.”
I asked the folks at Alive Inn if they used charcoal medicinally. They replied:
“Yes, as a matter of fact we do use charcoal. We had a man with diabetic ulcers on his feet. The visiting nurses worked at healing them for over 6 months with conventional ways. When that failed we started using charcoal alternating with green papaya. He almost healed in 3 months, but since we were also dealing with osteomilitis he never totally healed but he was well managed. Another one of our diabetics started to have very hard, red, swollen and weeping lower extremities. We used charcoal poultices for about one week, (on at night, off in the am) and that was very successful. Recently, one of my residents got a cat scratch, which caused her wrist to swell: two 8-hour days of charcoal application cleared the swelling.
We make our poultices with pure, psyllium husk as a thickener as it doesn't require cooking or waiting for thickening. Is that something that you would agree with?” [Yes we do]
Aldine (BSN, RN)
"Our primary goal is to increase the quality of life for subsistence farmers, and in doing so we have the capability of reversing CO2 release and converting that whole cycle downwards...
The Eprida technology uses agricultural waste biomass to produce hydrogen-rich bio-fuels and a new restorative high-carbon fertilizer (ECOSS) ...In tropical or depleted soils ECOSS fertilizer sustainably improves soil fertility, water holding and plant yield far beyond what is possible with nitrogen fertilizers alone. The hydrogen produced from biomass can be used to make ethanol, or a Fischer-Troupsch gas-to-liquids diesel (BTL diesel), as well as the ammonia used to enrich the carbon to make ECOSS fertilizer.But, the practical benefit for the moment is plant growth. Trials at Australia's New South Wales Department of Primary Industries’ (DPI) Wollongbar Agricultural Institute show that crops grown on agrichar-improved soils received a major boost. The Australian trials of 'agrichar' or 'biochar' have doubled and, in one case, tripled crop growth when applied at the rate of 10 tons per hectare.
We don't maximize for hydrogen; we don't maximize for biodiesel; we don't maximize for char...By being a little bit inefficient in each, we approximate nature and get a completely efficient cycle.”
“Terra preta's full beauty appears in this closed loop. Unlike traditional sequestration rates that follow diminishing marginal returns (aquifers fill up, forests mature), practices based on terra preta see increasing returns. Terra preta doubles or even triples crop yields. More growth means more terra preta, begetting a virtuous cycle. While a global rollout of terra preta is still a ways away, it heralds yet another transformation of waste into resources.
How ironic it is that ancient humans cultivated the very fertility of Earth's most pristine places so seamlessly as to be nearly invisible. Perhaps then our challenge as planetary gardeners is not to preserve nature in a bubble but to reweave ourselves into it-to invert our footprints into handprints.”