Using charcoal for health, beauty and wellness

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- You might think of charcoal as simply something to be used in summer grilling. Turns out, one type of charcoal is actually one of the hottest new trends for health and beauty.

Charcoal is currently used in water purifiers and air filters due to its ability to bind to toxins.
But new benefits of charcoal are being discovered.

But make a note: this is not the same type of charcoal you would use in grilling.

"Activated charcoal is not the same type of charcoal you would put in your barbecue," says wellness expert Dr. Ed Lamadrid. "This type of charcoal actually binds to toxins, which is why it's used in hospitals and first aid for poison control."

Here are some various uses for charcoal:
-Treatment of food poisoning
-Emergency treatment for ingestion of toxins/poisons (currently used in hospitals)
-Treatment of digestion problems
-Possible treatment for diabetes
-Teeth whitening (It's faster than modern teeth whitening treatments.)
-Treatment for acne (Detoxify and moisturize your skin.)
-Treatment for blackheads and pimples (Love nose strips? Try this low cost, effective alternative.)

Here are some ways you can use charcoal at home to do everything from whiten teeth to helping bug bites. (Remember: With any poisonous animal bite or accidental ingestion of poison, call 911 or bring to hospital emergency room.)

Bug bite (bee, wasp, etc.) charcoal poultice:
1. Mix charcoal (1 to 2 Tbs.) with a little water to form a wet paste. It should be moist but not crumbly or drippy.
2. Spread the paste on one half of a folded paper towel, loosely woven cloth, or piece of gauze cut to fit the area to be treated. When ready, the cloth should be moist, and thoroughly saturated with the paste.
3. Then cover the paste by folding over the other half of the paper towel or cloth.
4. Next, place the charcoal poultice on the affected body part making sure it completely covers the area.
5. Cover the poultice with plastic (when available, plastic food wrap works fine) cut to overlap the poultice by an inch on every side. This will keep it from drying out. If the charcoal dries out, it will not be able to adsorb.
6. Finish off by bandaging or taping the poultice securely in place. Leave it on for several hours, or better yet, overnight. After 6 to 10 hours another poultice can be applied.

Teeth Whitening:
1. Use a separate toothbrush to apply activated charcoal.
2. In a small disposable cup, mix the contents to 2 charcoal caps with 1-2 tablespoons of water.
3.  Mix together until a paste is formed.
4.  Brush your teeth with the charcoal mixture. Hold it in mouth for 10-15 minutes.
5. Rinse and brush with your regular toothpaste.
6. Charcoal brushing can be done safely daily, however may cause teeth sensitivity if done in excess.

DIY Nose Strip Alternative:
Love doing nose strips to remove blackheads? Try this:
1. Mix the contents of 1 charcoal capsule with 2 teaspoons of powdered gelatin.
2. Add 4 teaspoons of water. Mix together to create a paste.
3. Microwave for 10-20 seconds.
4. DO NOT APPLY IF TOO HOT. Apply warm mixture to T-zone of face or nose (do not apply to entire face).
5. Leave on area for 5-10 minutes and then peel off area.
6. Wash area with warn water and apply skin moisturizer.

DIY Face Mask
1. Mix ½ tablespoon of activated charcoal with ½ tablespoon of aloe gel.
2. Apply to face and let dry (10-20 minutes).
3. Use warm water to remove the mask.

For more information: