One of the most essential drugs in each medicine chest is activated charcoal. The use of activated carbon is not limited to food poisoning, this tool will come to the aid in other situations.
What you will find in this article:
What is activated carbon used for?
Being a natural sorbent, the drug is used to bind and excrete harmful and toxic substances from the body. In the complex therapy it is taken with:
- Food poisoning
- Heavy metal salts ingested
- Typhoid fever
- Increased acidity of the stomach
What is activated carbon?
The drug is made from natural materials (peat, coal), which are heated in a vacuum-free space, followed by chemical treatment. Thanks to this technology, the finished tablet has a porous structure.
Pores can significantly increase the absorption surface of the sorbent. The crushed tablets (powder) have an even greater capacity for absorption, therefore, in order to heighten and promptly effect the tablets, it is recommended to grind, chew before use.
Help with poisoning
It is important to know that the sooner assistance is provided for poisoning, the greater the effect can be achieved.
At the first signs of illness, you must take 6-8 tablets of activated carbon, drinking them with plenty of water. The crushed tablets can be stirred in a glass with water and drunk. Considering that coal does not dissolve in water, the resulting suspension must be thoroughly shaken before use.
The drug is continued until recovery, drink 3-4 tablets at a time.
In the case of acute intoxication, the stomach is preliminarily cleaned with coal diluted in water (10–20 g of coal per 0.1 l of water), and then the patient is given 6–8 tablets.
Coal has a local effect on the body, is not absorbed by the intestines and is excreted in the same volume in which it was taken, painting the fecal mass in black.
Alcohol poisoning is treated according to the same scheme, the instruction to the drug recommends taking 3-5 tablets an hour or two before alcohol to reduce the damage done to the body.
With a strong vomiting, it is first necessary to take antiemetic drugs, and only then - activated charcoal.
Activated carbon is effective for problems with stool: diarrhea, constipation, flatulence.
Causes of bowel dysfunction are:
How much and how often to take coal depends on the severity of the problem:
- At the initial stage, it is enough to take the drug in the morning and in the evening, 2 tablets per reception;
- Constipation or diarrhea, which lasts more than two days, is treated according to the scheme 3 tablets at a time, three times a day;
- The drug is taken before or after a meal, with an interval of 1-2 hours.
If home treatment does not work, you should seek qualified medical assistance. Prolonged diarrhea threatens to cause serious dehydration and further deterioration.
However, if the constipation is caused by the atonic state of the intestine, there is a suspicion of intestinal obstruction, rectal bleeding, and with the exacerbation of the ulcer activated carbon cannot be drunk.
Coal adsorbs gases, toxins, slags, thus cleaning the intestines. Additionally, you can spend several courses of cleansing, taking coal three times a day before meals, dosage - 1 tablet for every 10 kilo of body weight. Course duration - 1-2 weeks.
When food allergies speed up the removal of the allergen from the body will allow the reception of activated charcoal. The standard scheme - 3 tablets per reception, 3-4 times a day. An individual dosage will help you choose a specialist.
Can I lose weight with the help of magic pills?
There is no evidence that activated carbon is a drug for weight loss. In some cases, it helps to reduce weight by clearing the intestines, but you should not get involved in such methods of losing weight.
Taking activated carbon, it is necessary to provide the body with vitamins and minerals, since their coal also binds and removes. In addition, long-term use of the drug is fraught with a violation of the intestinal microflora, so probiotics during this period will not be superfluous either.
Fast and noticeable effect to reduce the weight of the coal does not have to wait. It is used in combination with a low-calorie diet and active physical exertion (gym, gym, pool, fitness).
Maternity and nursing
Activated carbon is one of the few drugs that can be taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding, without fear of harm to the child. Neither the powder nor the pills release medicinal substances into the blood that can cross the placental barrier to the fetus or with breast milk during feeding. The drug acts locally in the intestines and is excreted from the body through the digestive tract.
In connection with the hormonal changes occurring in the woman's body in the first trimester, many have broken stools, suffer from constipation, increased gas, intestinal colic. All these problems will win activated carbon. Additionally, it will reduce the acidity of the stomach and relieve heartburn, which also appears at this time quite often.
To solve the "digestive" problems should be taken 2-3 tablets 2 hours after meals. It is important to remember that coal also removes nutrients from the intestines, which the expectant mother doubly needs. Therefore, despite the harmlessness of coal, to get involved in such preventive measures should not be.
The use of activated carbon in pediatrics
The drug is prescribed to children, since the possible side effects are minimized, and it is necessary to help the child.
The drug is prescribed for:
- Poisonings (food, chemical, medicinal);
- Infectious diseases manifested by vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, dyspepsia);
Small children are hard to swallow a pill, so the drug is given to the crushed, in the form of an aqueous suspension. In addition, the sorbent is available in the form of a finished powder, paste-form, more convenient for the treatment of children.
Newborns activated carbon is prescribed as part of complex therapy in the treatment of jaundice of newborns. Moms should not be afraid, coal will not cause any harm. Parents should remember that due to the coal the feces will be black and it is absolutely natural.
If there are no other recommendations of the pediatrician, the child receives the medication at the rate of: one tablet per 5 kg of body weight at one time, three times a day. In severe intoxication, the dose may be increased.
Popular use of activated carbon for teeth whitening. Numerous tests prove that regular tooth brushing with carbon powder helps to make them noticeably whiter. This fact cannot but arouse enthusiasm, since the drug is cheap and accessible to everyone, and the effect is promised to be stunning.
However, before proceeding with the bleaching, you should understand how the powder works. The enamel turns yellow and dark due to the fact that food coloring, particles of food, tea, coffee, cigarette smoke remain on its surface. Partially these substances are sorbed by coal and removed from the surface, visually making the teeth whiter.
But no matter how fine the powder would be, it still acts on the principle of abrasives - removes food debris from the teeth mechanically, leaving scratches on the enamel that are not visible until then. Constant dental treatment can lead to serious dental problems, so you should not abuse it.
Activated carbon is a part of face masks. It absorbs the substances that clog pores, opening them, reduces the oily skin, fights against inflammation.
The duration of the procedure - 10 minutes, exceeding the time, you can achieve the exact opposite effect: small particles of coal so deeply and reliably eats into the skin that will give it a dark, earthy shade, which will be completely difficult to get rid of.
The crushed tablets or the finished powder is mixed with other ingredients and applied to the pre-steamed skin.
- The mask from the black dots includes a crushed tablet of activated carbon and 1 tsp. gelatin. To the mixture add 2 tsp. milk and put in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. Before applying the mask should be cooled and applied to problem areas (nose, chin, forehead). The mask is removed after drying.
- Ice tones and refreshes the skin. Greater effect can be achieved if crushed coal tablets are added to the water before freezing.
- To give the skin a healthy look, to clean it, a mask of coal (1 tablet), yogurt without additives and dyes (2 tsp) and lemon juice (1 tsp) will help.
- For acne, a mask of coal (2 tablets), aloe juice (1 tsp) and sea salt (½ tsp) is recommended. In the mixture, you can add 2 drops of tea tree oil, which has a pronounced antiseptic effect.
- In the absence of additional ingredients, crushed tablets are mixed with warm water or milk to a pasty state and applied to the face.
In addition to black, a drug called “White coal” is sold in pharmacies. Marketing move, designed to draw attention to the new drug and increase sales. Medicine based on cellulose and silicon oxide has a high adsorption capacity, respectively, the dosage is several times lower.
The drug improves intestinal peristalsis, does not cause constipation. However, children should not be given this medicine.
Activated carbon from a pharmacy is intended for purely medical purposes; it should not be used for filters in an aquarium, since all inhabitants may die. For these purposes, a substance with the same name for water purification is sold in specialized stores.
Activated carbon helps to stop the signs of poisoning, to cope with serious infectious diseases, but this medication should be taken according to the instructions, because reckless use of coal to obtain the mythical effect of rapid weight loss, for example, will bring not harm, but harm.