As with trends, proceed with caution if you’re adding activated charcoal to your health regimen

By Armand Mendoza | Illustration by Roi De Castro

Activated charcoal is made especially for medical use and has been treated to increase its absorption powers. At present, activated charcoal is believed to be utilized to treat poisonings, reduce flatulence, and lower cholesterol levels. Some health experts also promote it to relieve hangover or even cholestasis during pregnancy. There is also an increasing trend among health enthusiasts over its promising effects for detoxification. Here’s a rundown of the popular trends on activated charcoal utilization:

Stomach Discomfort

Mix a teaspoon of activated charcoal powder with a glass of non-acidic juice. Follow it up with two to three full glasses of water. Drink only on an empty stomach.

Facial Cleansing

Put a teaspoon of activated charcoal to warm water along with a teaspoon of honey. Wash over face then rinse after five minutes.

Skin Irritations and Allergies

Mix one to two teaspoons of activated charcoal to lukewarm or warm water then wash over affected body part. Rinse after five to 10 minutes.

General Detox, Hangover, and Lower Cholesterol

Add a teaspoon of activated charcoal to non-acidic juice. Drink the juice in between meals and always follow through with a full glass of water.

Although activated charcoal is good at “trapping chemicals” and preventing their absorption, be warned that there is still a lack of strong scientific evidence and research on its effectiveness. More research is still needed to prove its dose efficacy since there are also emerging studies that show charcoal doesn’t absorb certain chemicals well, including alcohol. Moreover, there has been no strong correlation between activated charcoal and weight loss as believed by some health enthusiasts. As always, it’s best to seek professional medical advice first before trying out a new health trend even if Kim Kardashian swears by it.