The Great Festie Protector: Charcoal [Festival Health]

written by Austin Eames, photo by Sage Thomas

If you’re embarking on an evening out, or in some cases like the die hard Burners this week, a full week out, there are multiple things you can consume to protect your body from the toxicity of drinking alcohol and other recreational activities. The simplest and cheapest you may think off the cusp may be B and C vitamins, however one of the most effective, and inexpensive supplements out there is called “activated Charcoal”. This can be obtained at any health food or supplement store, and also online with the most recommended being Bulletproof Coconut Charcoal.

Five reasons to take a couple charcoal capsules before heading out or as a daily supplement include the following:

1. Activated Charcoal is considered to be an adsorbent, meaning a substance which absorbs another.

Paramedics keep this on hand in ambulances as it is trusted to absorb toxins and drugs in the GI tract (stomach and intestines). It is used in the case of alcohol and drug poisoning so why not use it to prevent the poison from causing problems in the body in the first place? While it won’t stop you from getting a buzz or drunk from alcohol, taking charcoal before or during drinking can prevent a hangover as the toxicity from the beverage is absorbed due to the nature of charcoal. In the case of drinking beer, artificially sweetened, or sugary drinks, this “toxin-reduction” effect is most noticeable.

2. Charcoal can be used during brushing your teeth to Whiten your teeth.

This seems disgusting but literally can work magic on your tooth stains and bad breath.

3. It alleviates gas and bloating.

Activated charcoal has an effect in the GI tract of lessening of gas creation whether caused by poor choices of food combining, or poor quality food in general. I like to take charcoal with me when I know that I will have a hard time finding organic food at a restaurant as it can lessen the negative impact of GMO’s and pesticides. Along these same lines, charcoal could be used if you have onset symptoms of food poisoning or other toxic things are ingested knowing or unknowingly.

4. Charcoal can be used in water filtration.

Despite authorities suggesting that our tap water is safe, the truth is most municipal water supplies are contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides, drug toxins, and worst of all knowingly treated or supplemented with toxic chemicals such as chlorine, chloramine and fluoride. Putting charcoal in your water prior to drinking it can absorb these toxins so they do not enter your blood.

5. Charcoal can improve skin, digestive, and overall body health as it eliminates toxins before they enter the bloodstream.

Charcoal is considered to be non-toxic for adult consumption when used in short-term, however it may be dehydrating. Some who advocate its use recommend against too frequent of use as it may affect nutrient absorption thus causing vitamin and mineral deficiency.


While you can’t protect yourself from everything out there, you can create good habits which can dramatically improve your life and happiness levels. Moderation is key, have your fun. Happy festing!

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