Activated charcoal is used to treat stomach pains from gas, diarrhea, or other stomach issues.
Recently a client of Inner Garden expressed concern that activated charcoal might absorb nutrients from the GI tract. I did a little sleuthing on the internet and found that indeed vitamin C and some B vitamins are absorbed by activated charcoal, along with a handful of medications (see link below). So daily or regular ingestion of activated charcoal is not a good idea. However, from my experience working with activated charcoal in a laboratory setting, I do think it is an important part of any cleansing/detoxification program. In my first job out of university as a chemistry lab technician I did a lot of organic synthesis (simply put, I made organic compounds). Unless they envelope a metal ion all organic solids are white (and colorless in solution), but invariably by the end of the chemical reaction I was left with a black solution, due to a small amount of unintended side reactions. Much like a badly seared steak, black molecules are damaged molecules. In the lab it’s standard practice to use activated charcoal to clear away the black, damaged molecules, and I found after using charcoal I was consistently left with a 97-98% yield of my desired product. So, in my experience, activated charcoal is remarkably specific for, and effective at, binding damaged, toxic molecules.