Activated charcoal and swollen belly: Benefits, uses and contraindications

Posted On By Naina
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Does charcoal hurt? Is it good for swollen belly? In short, what is it for? And what is it? It is necessary, as always, to shed light, amidst fashions, beliefs, fixations and truths.

Also called activated carbon, it is an organic compound, which comes in the form of very thin powder. It is obtained from the combustion, in the absence of fire, of wood from various sources. The fine powder obtained from this process has no taste or smell, so you’re wondering if at least it has beneficial effects!

In fact, it is not necessary to confuse the charcoal in the form of pills, which has its proven benefits, with that used as a simple food additive in bakery products, which is only for aesthetic and commercial purposes.

Natural remedy for aerophagia and meteorism

Swollen belly? The answer is charcoal in pills. The suggested daily dose is 1-2 grams. But how do these tablets work? Coal has adsorbing and aggregating properties of excess intestinal gas. Let us clarify that while “to absorb” means, for an element, to impregnate with substances, as spongy materials typically do, “to adsorb” means to fix to the surface molecules in gas or liquid phase. Its action consists precisely in retaining the gases in its pores, thus acting against aerophagia, meteorism, flatulence and abdominal swelling in general.

swollen belly

Anti-swelling action, however, does not mean that charcoal makes you lose weight. Certainly, on an aesthetic level, it will be nice to see you more deflated, but there is no mention of any weight loss or metabolism accelerator. The combined action of charcoal and plants or extracts from carminative properties (i.e. eliminating intestinal gases, already adsorbed by activated carbon) is very effective. The carminative plants to be associated with the charcoal, are …

• Cumin.
• Fennel.
• Mint.
• Coriander.
• Ginger.
• Chili pepper.

Uses and benefits of charcoal

Activated charcoal is also useful in case of problems of digestion, abdominal tension, acidity or gastroesophageal reflux.

The adsorbent action causes the charcoal to capture, retaining them, even the excess gastric juices, preventing their recovery in the esophagus, the so-called reflux and swollen belly. Moreover, given the high presence of mineral salts of a basic nature, activated carbon is also excellent for its anti-inflammatory action at the gastric level.

In cases of diarrhea or dysentery, its action helps to compact the feces, which are struggling to take on a consistency. Furthermore, charcoal has mild disinfectant properties, because it absorbs, in addition to liquids and gases in excess, even toxins, viruses and bacteria.


Attention, however, to what are the occasions when the adsorbing properties of the charcoal are advantageous. Yes, in some cases, that of activated carbon is not among the most suitable actions. The activated carbon, in fact, is able to attract not only unwanted gases and liquids to itself, but it can also limit the absorption of certain drugs and the nutrients of food. So, take charcoal away from meals and never for a long time. As for the drugs, do not take in the 30 minutes before the intake of activated charcoal, or within 2 hours. Finally, remember that the beneficial effects of this natural derivative of wood can only be drawn from the dose and concentration suggested in the packages of activated carbon tablets.

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