5 Top Uses & Benefits Of Activated Charcoal For Health, Teeth Whitening, Skin & Bloating

Activated charcoal is type of charcoal that has amazing skin and health benefits. We all know about regular charcoal and especially if you are living in a village like me, you get to use it a lot more. Here in our village we still use charcoal ironing machines for ironing the clothes, which in my opinion presses the clothes so well than our electric irons though it is very heavy. Usually people who help us iron our clothes make their own charcoal and sometimes they do the charcoal making in our farm.

What Is Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal is a fine black powder made from charcoal when it is activated. The source of charcoal can be many things from barks and twigs, saw dust, coconut shells, etc. When the charcoal is activated, it gets more porous which is one of the most important quality of activated charcoal. It is because it’s highly porous, it helps absorb the toxins effectively making it very effective as a first aid for poisoning.

How to Make Activated Charcoal At Home?

To make activated charcoal, after making charcoal, break the pieces into a fine powder. Mix calcium chloride in water to make 25 % solution, please be precise with the measurements and I would suggest you weigh the ingredients (If the solution weighs 500gms, the calcium chloride should be 25 % of the weight which is 125 grams and water weight is about 375).

Take the required amount of charcoal powder and add enough of the solution to form a thick paste. Let it sit undisturbed in a closed container for about 24 hours. Then spread the paste on an old T shirt (use double layered one) and let the shirt absorb all the moisture, now pour about half a liter of pure filtered water on the charcoal in the t shirt to rinse the calcium chloride out. The double layers of the T shirt will prevent the carbon from draining along with the water.

With a spoon, remove the carbon from the T shirt onto a pan covered with a thin mesh and let it sun dry till the water is full evaporated. Break the powder and you have activated charcoal! I would suggest sieving the mixture to get a fine powder, I skipped the step and mine was a tiny bit grainy. This process of adding calcium chloride increases the surface area of the charcoal which makes it highly absorbent and effective in removing the toxins.

Where To Buy Activated Charcoal?

If you don’t want to go through all the hassle of making it, you can easily order it online here. Good quality activated charcoal that is good for safe internal consumption comes in capsule form and I would strongly suggest using only that for internal consumption. To use, open the capsule and use the charcoal powder.

Activated Charcoal Side Effects:

Ingesting of charcoal is best done in emergencies and definitely not often. If consumed in large quantities it might cause nausea, vomiting, constipation and stomach irritation. I hear a lot about charcoal detox and from what I researched, I feel it is best used as a remedy and never often.

5 Top Ways To Use Activated Charcoal:

 1. Activated Charcoal For Teeth Whitening:

Activated charcoal is very good for whitening the teeth and it also helps to get rid of the toxins from the mouth thus treating mouth odor too. If your teeth are stained, try using activated charcoal to brush your teeth. To brush, dip the wet tooth brush (keep a tooth brush separately for charcoal brushing as the brush will be stained black) in activated charcoal powder and brush, please don’t look at the mirror when you are doing this else you will really get scared :).

Rinse with water nicely and then brush again with normal toothpaste using your regular tooth brush. Your teeth will be all shiny, you can repeat this for a few days to see good results. Activated charcoal will not stain your teeth but will stain your sink if not cleaned immediately so please clean it up fast….

2. Activated Charcoal For Poisoning & Bloating: 

This is the most, most beneficial aspect of activated charcoal that I truly love as it absorbs toxins so very effectively. Activated charcoal use for treating poisons has been demonstrated many times. Many people who took lethal doses of poison along with activated charcoal survived, that is because activated charcoal absorbs most of the poison from the body.

It can be used as a first aid for accidental poisoning, alcohol poisoning, food poisoning which will greatly relieve bloating, in fact all kinds of poisoning. To treat for poisoning, mix activated charcoal powder (that comes in capsule form) in a cup of water and drink immediately. Usually many suggest using 10 :1 ratio for activated charcoal to poison, that is for every gram of poison ingested, take around 10 grams of activated charcoal.

Activated charcoal is not poisonous to the human body as it is not absorbed by the body at all, it just absorbs the toxins and is passed out when the person passes stools. I would suggest that all homes have at least a small amount of activated charcoal as a first aid for treating accidental poisoning. It also treats accidental drug ingestion, over consumption of alcohol and even hang overs. Activated charcoal is said to absorb almost 60 % of the poison ingested making it a life saver!

3. Activated Charcoal Mask For Skin:

 Since activated charcoal is very good at removing the toxins from the skin, it is a great ingredient to use in masks. This mask is very simple to put together, just mix in enough charcoal powder, multani mitti, few drops of honey along with required amount of water to make paste. Apply it all over the face using a brush (an old brush as it will stain), wait for it to dry for 10 to 15 minutes and then wash it off.

Honey moisturizes, activated charcoal draws out the impurities, multani mitti firms up on the skin and improves circulation. All in all it is a wonderful mask that does wonders to skin. This activated charcoal face mask is also good for treating blackheads and can be used weekly twice. You can also try activated charcoal soaps, they are said to be very effective in removing body odor….

4. Activated Charcoal Poultice:

Activated charcoal makes a wonderful poultice and because of it’s toxin absorbing quality, it can be used for any kind of infection. To make the poultice, mix equal quantity of flax seed meal with activated charcoal powder along with little bit of water to make a paste. Spread it on a thin cloth and fold on all the four sides, to enclose it.

Place it over the swelling and place a piece of cling film on top of it (this prevents the poultice from drying out and also prevent the towel from getting stained) and then wrap it using a thick warm towel. This poultice can be left on overnight.

5. Activated Charcoal For Making Eyeliner:

Another fun way of using activated charcoal is making eyeliner. Homemade eyeliners are fun to make and the best thing is it is made without any of the harsh chemicals. Try to do this during a weekend along with your girl child, she will greatly enjoy it.

To make the eyeliner, mix activated charcoal with store bought 100 % pure Aloe Vera gel and few drops of vitamin E oil to form a thick mixture and transfer it to an airtight box. Try using store bought Aloe Vera gel as fresh Aloe Vera gel has very less shelf life. This eyeliner can be stored for almost a month at room temperature.


  1. Aparna
    August 9, 2015 / 4:23 pm

    interesting to know about charcoal.thanks.

  2. Anonymous
    August 9, 2015 / 11:11 pm

    Hello Rampriya, I jus love reading your blog. It is so helpful and loads of information. I think prople ike you should get more recognition for work you do. Thanks.

  3. Anonymous
    August 15, 2015 / 11:06 am

    Reg Eye Liner: I have seen my aunts/elders used to make the carbon by depositing the smoke from a 'deep(deepam in tamil) with caster oil'on a plate in a corner of a room (so that the flame does not wander). The deep releases the smoke with carbon, that the plate (kept few inches away just above the flame) receives on its bottom. The carbon grows downward towards the flame. pullout the deep before the oil is completely used up otherwise the cotton will burn at the end and contaminate the good carbon. Mix few drops of caster oil with this pure carbon to make a tight paste.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      August 18, 2015 / 3:50 pm

      Thank you very much for sharing the eyeliner making method…

  4. Anonymous
    September 1, 2015 / 3:33 am

    What is charcoal and how do you make it in your village?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      September 4, 2015 / 5:39 am

      Charcoal is pure carbon made by burning wood in low oxygen environment. This is done by piling up woods then with saw dust and wood chips and finally with a layer of mud so there is limited oxygen supply. This prevents the wood fully burning out and turning into ash…

    • Anonymous
      May 19, 2016 / 5:30 am

      Hi Rampriya. Thanks for the informative post. I've heard charcoal stains one's skin also black if used topically. Is it true? And how often can one use the activated charcoal face mask for cleansing one's skin? 🙂

  5. Unknown
    October 15, 2016 / 3:40 pm

    When we were little, my Mom would make eyeliner. We would make juice of ponanganikeerai or nandivattam flower. In this juice, we would soak cotton cloth , usually white old veshti. Dry the cloth in shade. Again soak n dry. Process continued till juice is over and cloth is dry. Note :cloth should dry only in shade and not in sun. Then a wick would be made out of it. In an agal or shallow mud vessel caster oil would be kept and this wick would be soaked and lit. The placing of the vessel was important. It would be kept in a corner where two walls met. Then a copper plate, usually the puja thali,would be placed so that it would lean on to the walls and air would circulate on two sides for the lamp. The soot would collect on the plate. This soot would be scrapped and caster oil would be mixed with it . This would be stored in silver boxes for use. It would last a long time.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      November 3, 2016 / 3:59 pm

      Thanks a lot for taking your time to share this wonderful information….

  6. Rs
    September 24, 2021 / 9:50 pm

    Hi Ramya, how to make charcoal from coconut shells

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