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What are charcoal pills

Charcoalpills are just that – pills made of charcoal, but of a special form of charcoal, known as activated charcoal. These are used as a treatment for a number of health conditions. The trick behind these pills is in their chief (and almost sole) ingredient, active charcoal. This is a form of carbon (what remains after a thorough combustion is mostly a carbon skeleton of whatever it was that combusted) that is very porous and thus has a high surface to weight ratio – a single gram of activated charcoal has a surface of 500 square meters (one meter is some three feet). Many chemical reactions depend on availability of large surface as reaction grounds and this property of activated charcoal is used to absorb odors, gases and colors from liquids, and to absorb toxins and impurities found in the digestive tract. This ability, absorption of toxins and prevention of their entry into the organism beyond the digestive tract, is the reason why many people use it and recommend it.

Pros and cons of charcoal pills

Theirability to absorb various toxins and body impurities makes them beneficial in cases of accidental poisoning. Many people use charcoal pills as a remedy for gases or flatulence. Intestinal gases like methane and sulfides that cause indigestion are absorbed by activated charcoal. Itching caused by kidney dialysis can also be treated by charcoal pills. Some forms of chemical poisoning and some cases of drug overdoses can also be successfully treated with charcoal pills.

When speaking about diarrhea, we must point out that there is little research available about the benefit of diarrhea treatment with charcoal pills. Charcoal pills are also not officially recommended by the USFDA.

Manypeople wandered whether charcoal pills are effective against hangover. This claim is well known, but there are no scientific proofs to back it up. Truly enough, it has been proven that sweeteners and additives from alcoholic beverages are removed by activated charcoal, but these do not affect of alcohol but they are not useful in removal of the congeners.


Useof charcoal pills is questionable or even restricted in some cases. In example, if you are allergic to charcoal or any related drug, you should not use charcoal pills. Sufferers from kidney disease, liver disease or any other chronic disease should consult a doctor before taking charcoal pills. Charcoal pills should not be taken with any other medication that you may be using on a regular basis.


Regularconsumption (meaning that you take them for a prolonged period of time and in large quantities) of charcoal pills causes gastrointestinal, respiratory, ocular, hematologic and metabolic side effects, such as, upset stomach, dark stools, vomiting, bowel obstruction, possible perforation of the GI tract, dehydration, skin rash, and other symptoms.

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