Indications and Uses of Charcoal
Oral Charcol UseCharcoal may be used internally for diarrhea, colds, nausea, jaundice, gastric upset, and in cases of poisoning. The following are general recommendations and are not meant as a substitute for appropriate care by a physician. If condition is not responding, seek medical advise.
Diarrhea: Take 1 tbsp. in water 3-4 times per day.
Colds: Take 1 tbsp. in water at the first sign of cold.
Nausea/gastric upset: Take ½ tbsp. in water.
Jaundice: Make a slurry using ¼- ½ tbsp. or administer to nursing child as described below.
Poisoning: Use 2-10 times the amount of charcoal as the suspected weight of the poison and take internally followed by water. One tbsp. absorbs 3-7 grams of poison. It poorly absorbs mineral acids, alkalis, and salts.
Taking charcoal orally: Charcoal may be taken in the form of capsules, tablets, or as a powder mixed in a glass of water. Be sure to increase fluids when using charcoal internally, as charcoal may cause constipation if there is inadequate fluid intake.
To make a slurry for babies or small children, mix the designated amount of charcoal (usually ½ - 1 tablespoon) in a glass of water. Mix this around. Let much of the charcoal settle to the bottom of the glass. Give that which remains in suspension to the baby or child in a glass or bottle. For newborns, the charcoal solution may be administered by squirting a small amount into the corner of the mouth from a dropper while the baby is nursing. The bowels will turn black as the charcoal is eliminated, so do not be alarmed by black stools after the use of charcoal.
Charcoal PoulticeCharcoal poultices are used in the treatment of abscesses, hemorrhoids, insect bites and stings, mastitis, and otitis media or otitis externa. The following are general recommendations and are not meant as a substitute for appropriate care by a physician. If condition is not responding, seek medical advise.
Abscesses: Apply as a poultice to affected area.
Hemorrhoids: Apply to hemorrhoidal tissue and use a sanitary napkin to hold in place.
Insect bites/stings: Apply poultice to area as soon as possible after bite/sting.
Mastitis: Apply as a poultice to affected breast.
Otitis media/externa: Apply to external ear as a poultice, cover with heating pad.
To make a poultice: Dosage equivalents: 1 tablespoon = 4 capsules = 8 tablets
For a large area: 3 Tbsp. charcoal, 3 Tbsp. flaxseed ground in blender (stretches it further), 1 cup of water
For a small area: 2-3 Tbsp. charcoal, ½ cup of water
You may heat this mixture or let it stand until it thickens. Spread the mixture on paper toweling or cotton cloth of the appropriate size, leaving ½ to 1 inch on all sides. The paste should be about 1/4 inch deep. Cover this with another thickness of cloth or paper toweling. Place on affected area. Cover this with plastic wrap and/or a towel to prevent leakage. Hold all of this in place with an elastic ace bandage. Leave in place for 6-10 hours unless otherwise directed.
Buchman, Dian Dincan, The Complete Book of Water Healing, (Chicago, IL:Contemporary Books), 2002.