When it comes to stomach and intestine problems, plant charcoal is one of the main natural remedies that spring to mind. Always used to control swelling and poor digestion, not everyone is aware of how it works and for what reason. What, then, are the properties of this irreplaceable find?
Activated carbon, also called activated charcoal, is usually sold as tablets and used for most stomach and intestinal disorders. Not only that: it is also the first line find in cases of accidental or voluntary poisoning, thanks to its very high adsorbing power. Below, the main features and the most common uses.
Properties of Activated Charcoal
Used mainly in the medical field, charcoal is nothing but a powder deriving from the burning of flames of poplar, willow or other varieties without flames. To obtain it, the timber and its derivatives are brought to a very high temperature – even over 600 degrees – in the absence of oxygen. For medical use, then, there is further refining: the more porous the material, the greater the ability to adsorb food, toxic substances and so on.
From the administration both in powder and in special tablets or capsules, it is used in the emergency medical field to treat the most common poisonings: due to its ability to retain atoms and molecules in its pores, it can prevent systemic absorption of potentially harmful compounds, not to say lethal, to the individual. Its characteristics are not limited, however, to this unique lifesaving function: it is also indicated for the treatment of problems such as aerophagia and meteorism, stomach swelling, poor digestion and dysentery.
It should be noted that the intake of charcoal can interfere with the normal digestion of nutrients and the action of drugs so, in addition to predicting it away from meals, it is always useful to seek advice from your doctor instead of letting go to the prescription.
Activated Charcoal: Common uses for digestion
The use of plant charcoal in the daily life of natural remedies, therefore excluding the forms of poisoning that still require timely professional intervention, is carried out in the regulation of the stomach and intestine processes.
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The uses are the most varied, following some of the most common cases …
- Areophagy, meteorism and swelling: Thanks to its strongly adsorbing characteristics, activated carbon limits the effects of aerophagia and meteorism by holding ingested gases or products in its pores. For the same reason, it effectively acts on the abdominal swelling, reducing tension and pain and facilitating the normal functions of the intestine;
- Gastroesophageal reflux and stomach acid: Often determined by a previous physical condition, such as a hiatal hernia that prevents a correct closing of the cardia, the pathology is characterized by the ascent of gastric juices into the esophagus, with consequent burning, irritation, respiratory disorders and so on. Activated charcoal can retain such excess gastric juices, bringing immediate relief. The same function is also expressed in cases of simple acidity, even if there were no consequences due to reflux;
- Irritable diarrhea and colon: The administration of plant charcoal can help to limit the effects of particularly annoying diarrhea, especially when it comes from chronic diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome. In fact, the faeces compact, bringing immediate benefit to the organism;
- Halitosis: In addition to reducing the excess of gastric juices, the adsorbing abilities of the remedy also show a slight antibacterial consequence, due to the inclusion of germs and bacteria inside the pores of which the carbon is composed. For this reason, it can be useful to contain bad breath, because it is often caused by the colonization of bacteria in the oral cavity.
Contraindications of Activated Coal
The use of plant charcoal is very well tolerated by the body, with bland or non-zero side effects. However, there are specific contraindications to recruitment, which must be taken into account and examined with the help of the treating physician. First of all, it can interfere not only with the intake of nutrients, but also with any drug, reducing its effects. As a result, the administration should take place away from meals or treatment schedules. Furthermore, it is not an option compatible with intestinal blockages, appendicitis or other occlusive diseases of the stomach and intestines, while the intake in pregnancy or under 12 years of age is to be excluded as a precautionary measure. Finally, a prolonged treatment can cause very dark, almost black stools: it is a natural consequence, completely devoid of health hazards.