Articles, Blog

Benefits of Activated Charcoal | Dr. Josh Axe

August 15, 2019

Hey guys, Dr. Axe here, founder of
and doctor of natural medicine. In this video I’m going to share with you the four main
benefits of activated charcoal. Activated charcoal, I think you’re going to be surprised
when you hear about these four benefits and how it can be used on a regular basis or in
emergency situations to even save somebody’s life. Now for starters, activated charcoal, the
way it works is it doesn’t work by absorbing toxins like some things do. It works by adsorbing
toxins. What adsorption means is that activated charcoal has many pores within it, and activated
charcoal itself is full of negatively charged ions, and so what that does, it works like
a magnet. Imagine this, you’ve activated charcoal going
through your bloodstream or through your gut. What it does is it starts to attract positive
elements. So heavy metals and certain toxins, it actually works like a magnet and they’re
attracted to it. They bind to the outside of and bind to the activated charcoal itself.
So for that reason that’s where you’re going to get most of the benefits of activated charcoal
is through its ability to adsorb toxins within the body. For that reason, number one way it’s used
today is through water filtration. If you’ve got to filter water, activated carbon or activated
charcoal is actually used for water filtration systems. So that’s one of the things you’ll
see. One of the second ways it’s used today is
through cleansing your body of mold. Mold today has a positive charge versus a negative
charge of activated carbon. So oftentimes what people will do is take the equivalent
of three capsules three times a day of activated charcoal or a tablespoon three times a day,
and that will bind to mold within your system and help your body excrete it. Now if you do decide to do a mold cleanse
and take activated charcoal, you want to double to triple your water intake, so typically
drinking your weight in ounces of water a day. So if you weigh 180 pounds, you want
to drink about 180 ounces of water that day. So again drinking a lot of water down is important
because one of the side effects is it can cause constipation and cause you to back up
if you’re doing a large amount of activated charcoal or activated carbon as I’m talking
about. So again, you do have to be careful for that
reason. But again it is amazing for cleansing your body of mold. Again, if you’ve ever been
in a moldy home or had a mold issue, using activated charcoal can work. But again it’s
not something for that reason or in general you want to use long term. Just for that short
period of time. The number three thing that you can use activated
charcoal or activated carbon for is for general detoxification. As I mentioned earlier, it
adsorbs the toxins. If you’ve been exposed to heavy metals, such as mercury or lead,
it can be used that way. One of the things I’ve had many of my patients
do in the past is I’ve worked with patients who’ve worked with mercury safe dentists and
they’ve gone and had their amalgam and silver fillings removed. Well, on that day I actually
have them do large doses of probiotics along with activated charcoal to make sure if any
of those vapors would somehow get in their system, activated charcoal is there along
with the probiotics to help bind to it and help eliminate it from their system. So again,
for that reason through toxic adsorbtion is a great way that you can use it again just
for a short period of time, maybe a period of three days, one to three days using activated
charcoal for that reason. And last but not least, according to a medical
study, activated charcoal is even more effective at helping your body eliminate things like
alcohol poisoning and saving someone’s life than pumping somebody’s stomach. So again,
if you or someone you know ever swallows a poison or toxin, whether that be alcohol or
something else, activated charcoal is something that a lot of medical professionals will use. If you know somebody has just swallowed something
they shouldn’t have or something toxic, a tablespoon is what they’ll typically recommend
about in dose. But that will bind to the toxins in the body, including things like alcohol,
if somebody does have alcohol poisoning. So it’s used that way as well. So I don’t recommend using activated charcoal
on a daily basis. But activated charcoal can be used in emergency situations, for short-term
cleanses or as long as a month, if you’re looking to lower your cholesterol or do a
mold cleanse or something along those lines. Now for daily use, or for I guess still more
periodic typically, another great benefit is it can help whiten your teeth. So using
a just a bit of activated charcoal on your toothbrush. Usually you want to do that right
before bed and right when you wake up in the morning. It’s also a natural teeth whitener
as well. Yu can check out some recipes for that online, very easy to find. Well guys, I hope you’ve enjoyed this video.
By the way, if you want greater detail and more information about activated charcoal,
check out my article. Just do a Google search for “Dr. Axe activated charcoal” or just go
to my website and search “activated charcoal.” I’ve a long form article on this.
I think you’ll love it, with even greater detail. I’ve given you my top four points
here. I’ve another six ways you can use activated charcoal to help benefit your health. And hey, don’t forget to subscribe to the
YouTube channel here. I’ve got some great information coming out on natural healing
remedies that you don’t want to miss. Hey guys, thanks for watching.


  • Reply HealthyLiving February 28, 2018 at 4:42 am

    What's a reliable brand to buy activated charcoal in powder and/or pill form?

  • Reply The Grotesque March 9, 2018 at 1:16 am

    so, should i eat charcoal ? or mix it with water and drink it ?

  • Reply Glade Carter March 12, 2018 at 12:15 am

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  • Reply Koneko Yagami March 12, 2018 at 5:26 am

    Thank you so much for your videos! ❤❤❤❤

  • Reply papajohn fitbyfaith March 14, 2018 at 2:10 am

    Thank you for sharing this great information listening from Brownwood Texas

  • Reply Cracking Sounds March 23, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    I want to do a mold cleanse (candida) , so can I consume half tablespoon of activated charcoal daily for one month?

    Any suggestions?

  • Reply BestCrisisActor March 23, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    Now a days, just breathing is poisonous. Chemtrails in the sky.

  • Reply Gord Thor March 27, 2018 at 8:01 am

    Yeah, activated charcoal is very beneficial when it also sucks up the vitamins and mineral that your body needs. Do you think charcoal has a brain of something, where if picks and chooses what to latch on to? Carbon bonds readily to almost everything. That is why it can make your water 99.99% pure.

  • Reply Noryang Noryang April 2, 2018 at 3:05 am

    Handsome, genuine, loving human dr🙏

  • Reply Its Izzy April 6, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Really stop acting like because it's dark it can kill you if you overdose or drink poison charcoal save your life by cleaning your intestines

  • Reply Ly Kri April 8, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    I bought my charcoal in a big bag. Any ideas how I can store this in smaller containers to use more "neatly."

  • Reply Ly Kri April 8, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    I had food poisoning about 3 months ago and it was the worst/violent sickness I ever experienced. I can't even describe it. But what I did on the second day was start drinking peroxide water and within an hour, my body calmed down and healing came quickly. I then began to do coffee enemas twice a day spiked with peroxide or oil of oregano alternatively. I also added charcoal to my daily drinking water. I passed many kinds of nasties in the four weeks I did this. I was not sick during this time. I just knew the nasties were still inside and I needed to get cleaned out. I am using charcoal occasionally since then.

  • Reply Tunah Gaboemelwe April 13, 2018 at 6:16 am

    Can it be consumed during pregnancy,

  • Reply Roman Mariano April 13, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Can activated charcoal can cause kidney stones or kidney failure if taken internally or orally if taken in a regular basis (like taken daily)?

  • Reply Ellen April 18, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    we used to mine mercury off the rocks when I was little. we used large syringes to suck it out between the rocks (early 70s). I used to play with balls of it and roll it all over the kitchen floor, it was fun to play with, or roll it around in my hands. we had bottles of mercury in our house as dad used to sell it but for 20 years we had bottles of it in the home, and each bottle about 10 ounces weighed a ton.. at least if felt like it to a little kid, it's very heavy. So I had my mercury levels tested by the naturopath… and they're elevated for sure, but not crazy elevated. Weird hey? by the way, I've never had any health issues except hypothyroidism. I only take one med for my thyroid and I'm almost 60, so not sure if mercury is preserving me or ?? haha I am taking activated charcoal though now for just basic cleansing of junk. I'll see how it goes. My point though is people freak out about fillings or a thermometer breaking with a drop of mercury and I used to roll balls of mercury around in my hands and played with it a LOT for years when little. Go figure

  • Reply Annie Soucek April 19, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    Why activate the charcoal? We are trying to be natural by using charcoal but instead soaking the charcoal with chemical. Why not use just a charcoal?

  • Reply Annie Soucek April 19, 2018 at 8:23 pm

    Hello! I grow up in the Philippines. We only use charcoal for ironing clothes. Ashes can be a good fertilizer. First of all, it has to be coconut charcoal because coconut has a lot of beneficial properties. Coconut milk is actually best for treating poison. Tobacco and Coconut Oil is my mom's only cure for Tetanus when we stepped on nails while playing hide and seek.

  • Reply ABK times April 24, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    Thanks sir to explain deeply… good job

  • Reply Sanchez Gomez April 24, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Hi,I have 4 veneers and some crowns,will the activated charcoal harm those while whitening my other teeth?

  • Reply CorleoneSalsa05 April 24, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    Does activate charcoal help to quit smoking?

  • Reply A M April 28, 2018 at 12:14 am

    Are you a real doctor. You said near the start activated charcoal moving through your blood. It wouldn’t be moving through your blood if you ate it would it.

  • Reply Ugly Becca May 5, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    Umm I'm pretty sure the inside of our bodies are not ideal conditions for mold to live . I call BS…on some of this. Also, if someone's swallowed something toxic or is in serious danger, call poison control or get to the ER right away. Do not administer anything for poisoning unless advices by a REAL could easily make it worse if you do not know what u r doing. Heads outta asses people.

  • Reply Kyle Wick May 12, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    was feeling sick and nautious from dental work, took some activated charcoal and felt amazing, proof is in the eating of the pudding

  • Reply Miss She Choosen May 23, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    i love you

  • Reply Miss She Choosen May 23, 2018 at 5:14 pm


  • Reply Elie Harmouche May 25, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    I am a trained medical doctor and a medical toxicologist and this video contains a lot of inaccurate information that are not supported by any medical evidence or scientific literature. Activated charcoal does not adsorb most metals nor alcohol . And there is no evidence for its use in most cases that Josh describes in his video.

  • Reply Beatrice Dada Chichi May 31, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    Good one in the removal of toxin

  • Reply Robin Odowd June 2, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    Does it interfere with other medications such as synthroid?

  • Reply tripti jain June 4, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Hello Sir ! Can we reuse Activated carbon which has been used for water purification.Like for teeth whitening .

  • Reply Sarah Bella June 4, 2018 at 11:47 am

    My poop turned green and the only thing I changed was that activated charcoal (which had probiotics) or it could be the oysters but oysters have never done that to be.

  • Reply Sharmin Chowdhury June 5, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Can this help with ulcers or acidity

  • Reply Steffon Williams June 13, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    Wtf is body mold

  • Reply cargad843 June 15, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    I will get some today for my mom. She had a bad salad last night and it is causing her pain. Would it matter if it is the pill or the powder?

  • Reply MrDefend0r June 18, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Dont use activated charcoal if you use medicines as the medicines will bind to the coal rendering it useless

  • Reply maddgun June 20, 2018 at 5:35 am

    It's great for food poisoning too

  • Reply Ch12i57in3 M June 22, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    Now I want a lump of activated charcoal in my stocking this christmas.

  • Reply Justin Green July 3, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    Dr of what?? Certainly not in chemistry, biology or a medical doctor.

  • Reply V Vini July 11, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    Mr.axe nice video…. Can i have ur mail id.

  • Reply Bran Flakes July 18, 2018 at 8:39 am

    I’m starting to doubt that this guy’s a real doctor

  • Reply EricaKane ThaFrugista July 20, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    charcoal is amazing!!! you can use it as a face mask and teeth whitening!! i use the brand reactnow because its both! i have my review on my page!

  • Reply Godfada don July 26, 2018 at 8:48 am

    How can I contact you dr.axe??

  • Reply justin rinehart August 8, 2018 at 8:03 am

    Was that adsorbion opposed to absorbtion?

  • Reply justin rinehart August 8, 2018 at 8:03 am

    But won't this absorb my normal supplements ts like fish oil , vitamins , etc ?

  • Reply SIESIE CHAMPION August 10, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    I am 214.. No WAY I can drink 214 oz of water😂😂😂😭😭

  • Reply Bernie OSully August 16, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Do you know what you are talking about?

  • Reply juliana Diana August 23, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    hey does charcoal removes toxins from thé brain?

  • Reply Heba Joan August 29, 2018 at 10:47 am

    Why not take with castor oil at night to avoid constipation???

  • Reply jagsterr1 September 11, 2018 at 4:19 am

    I think I've consumed fake Chinese food (see videos), and have been tired and weak for 2 months. Would Charcole help? I had a CBC 3 months ago and always full of energy but now tired all the time and can't seem to shake it.

  • Reply Rashmi priya September 11, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    Thanks for sharing knowledge

  • Reply Joshua Hilton October 5, 2018 at 3:58 am

    So I read a study about activated charcoal helping those in kidney dialysis. Specifically for PKD. I have PKD, I use activated charcoal probably every other day, along with niacin on the off days. So far I’ve felt my BP be lower on a consistent basis and overall better. What about for colds?

  • Reply Kyle October 8, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    1.- Absorbs Conceptive Pills And Also Anti-Depressives

  • Reply Seb V October 9, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Can it be use with chlorophyll?

  • Reply Seb V October 9, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    And where to purchase it on the website link? Because I can't find it

  • Reply Ziahs Mom October 11, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Is it true that the charcoal only whitens teeth because it strips the enamel cuz it’s abrasive? Or is that just bull from the big pharma?

  • Reply maksim lukjan October 13, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    wouldn't want to drink 2ltr of London tap water..

  • Reply Priscilla Rocha October 24, 2018 at 6:51 am

    Can i give my 2 year toddler since he takes seizure medications

  • Reply CTV November 2, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    Can you use A.C. if you occasionally ate to much sodium?

  • Reply creativeProjects720 CLRG November 6, 2018 at 2:46 am

    Act charcoal gave me constipation
    So bad that i had no bowel movements. And almost didnt make it.. Was very dangerous.
    Be very careful with the charcoal and go slow. Take very small amounts.

  • Reply remark tech November 19, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    Hey bro where I get animal charcoal

  • Reply Lisa Hall November 19, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    You don't need that much! It absorbs 10,000x's it weight in poison. I have been using it for 30yrs. I saved my daughter who the dr. wanted to give her a blood transfusion at birth do to her unstable bilirubin and my sister brought it to the hospital and we snuck and gave it to her and in 12hrs they released her to go home. 1/2 tsp will do wonders! Unless your treating an overdose a TBSP is over kill. Great for gas!

  • Reply Shashank Thakre November 20, 2018 at 9:34 am

    Grass fed cow

  • Reply igspal November 24, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    From what I remember reading about activated charcoal…it removes anything that doesn't belong in your body [ie. ALL SYNTHETIC CHEMICALS, INCL. GMOs, & ANY EXCESS OF HEAVY METALS, AND removes ALL aluminum and mercury substances (since the human body is NOT MEANT TO ingest nor absorb A N Y AMOUNT OF THESE 2 SUBSTANCES, the synthetic NOR the natural types, AT ALL)…but LEAVES ALL HEALTHY substances for your body.
    (I KNOW this info had come from SEVERAL DIFFERENT, VERY RELIABLE sources, I just don't recall who/where! >:/ )
    (IF anyone has any RELIABLE info, CLEARLY STATING OTHERWISE, I'd TRULY like to see it.)

  • Reply Dantheman15 December 8, 2018 at 12:42 am

    Unless you actually poisened yourself this stuff is not useful and will only absorb good gut bacteria and cause constipation. If you want something for your gut take probiotics.

  • Reply gazorbo December 8, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    is it helpful in detoxing from opioids? how about cancer?

  • Reply AndreaDavidoni December 13, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    Charcoal also absorbs nutrients and minerals…

  • Reply A dumb Idiot December 16, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    Activated charcoal will hurt you because it will absorb nutrients and give you bad side affects the only time that is useful is when it is used to absorb a overdose of drugs or toxins

  • Reply Eric Piteau December 19, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    BULLSH*T… This guy can't have real medical credentials and pedal this woo woo nonsense. What's next, drinking gasoline? Come on.

  • Reply wildcheekymonkey December 27, 2018 at 10:30 pm


  • Reply Linda 82 December 30, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    Charcoal tootpaste is good and u have fresh breathe all day 🙂

  • Reply DJ FiveLegacy January 4, 2019 at 8:17 pm


  • Reply my love songs January 9, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    Your video is excellent! I use an activated charcoal mask. but before i go any further, for a good part of 15 years, i have had a monstrous face. I do not know what happened, but i have these creases under my eyes, and because of them, my life has been hell for 15 years or so. I have tried soo many things to get rid of these creases, but nothing worked. I tried the activated charcoal mask that i bought off ebay. It is by a company called Shills. I wanted to see what happened with my acne blemishes and other stuff. I was not even thinking about the horrendous under eye creases i have. I just wanted to try the mask. Anyway, i applied the mask, and waited 15 to 20 minutes for it to dry. I then pulled off the mask, and i was amazed! The under eye creases dissapated! They did not go away completely, but they lessened quite a bit. I need to set up an appt. to see a dermatologist, to ask him what the under eye creases are caused by, and WHY the activated charcoal mask dissapates them. I am thinking like maybe i have a skin condition that maybe is curable, but i am not sure of anything! I just know that i am tired of looking so ugly, so horrible with these under eye creases. I know the activated charcoal mask improves my face, so i am going to try my best to get to the root cause of these creases, and to maybe get rid of them for good!

  • Reply T M F January 13, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    I've been using activated charcoal for 3 days. I know that's not long but I can smell things again like I haven't been able to for years. Must be working 👍

  • Reply Mark Hales January 16, 2019 at 11:31 pm


  • Reply Ste Hard February 2, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    Wen I saw ur video a years an a half ago I tried it an it helped me a lot thanks for your videos doc

  • Reply Lap Top February 15, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    Hi Dr Axe, I really enjoy your informative articles and videos. Please look up this nugget to update your Argan Oil article if it is true: that a study posted in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health examined men between 23 and 40 years old who added argan oil to their diets for 3 consecutive weeks and showed a 20% increase in their testosterone levels. Sorry to post in wrong topic. I cane across it in another article, but there is no year referenced in that article.

  • Reply Healthy News Hub February 17, 2019 at 9:01 am


  • Reply Khadija Fitzpatrick February 21, 2019 at 6:58 am

    If you put this in your bath will it stain your tub?

  • Reply alice hull February 27, 2019 at 8:39 am

    I have hard water where I live and only a bath, no shower! How would you recommend I purify the bath water when I bathe? My skin is also super sensitive and I get red and itchy after nearly every bath 🙁 could I put charcoal in? Also, how similar is bentonite clay in its properties?

  • Reply XploitXbox March 2, 2019 at 9:21 am

    I have food allergies particularly oats, my stomach was painful, took charcoal pills it all stopped. Also CBD killed the inflammation.

  • Reply thrash house March 19, 2019 at 6:28 am

    How do we get heavy metals in our body?

  • Reply - March 26, 2019 at 6:45 am

    Nice pseudoscience buddy.

  • Reply Laura. Book March 26, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge!!!

  • Reply S April 6, 2019 at 11:41 pm

    Can you comment on how to take a capsule when trying to avoid a hangover and healing a hangover? I was told to take one capsule before drinking and then one before bed after drinking, for those special occasions involving alcohol. Do you agree? How much and what would be your instructions? Thank you!

  • Reply SogeKing 800followers April 10, 2019 at 1:58 am

    I hear it’s terrible for you.

  • Reply T M F April 13, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    Nice to hear a doctor say, in not so many words, that mercury amalgam are a no no in this day and age 👍

  • Reply Bob Murr May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    That was a a great demonstration to show how little he knows about what he’s thinks he knows.. 0:33 he almost fails miserably in his definition of the process of adsorption .. sounds like he read it off the Wikipedia and memorized it..
    Like that chump who Reads something on the internet or Hears it at school and goes on regurgitating yet Learned nothing of the subject.. his motives n focus is elsewhere if he was really interested in anything he talked to u all smart about he wouldn’t be talking to u at all..
    Ask yourself why do doctors leave the task to the scientist of making medical breakthrough discoveries and innovations in medicine? he’s no pioneer nor innovator in the field he’s so successful in no I say he’s an entertainer first and a Medical man second but u gotta admit at like :33 to :39 or whatever he realizes he doesn’t know what adsorption is only how it could be used in a sentence or how it works in a way that is comic to the point where I end up writing this up for all to look at a few times and ask urself is this guy someone you trust with your life ?

  • Reply OfftoShambala May 10, 2019 at 11:37 pm

    Do you take it with food, on empty stomach… does it matter if you take it before or after meals etc… ? I would go ahead and take it as it is convenient, but it would be nice to know if it makes a difference and what the differences are.

  • Reply Dorcas Kafula May 11, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    what about skin?

  • Reply .period May 28, 2019 at 2:24 am

    I take lithium. Will it effect me? Also I want to quit taking lithium so will it help get it out of my system? Or will it make lithium weaker?

  • Reply David Heller May 29, 2019 at 4:26 am

    How about charcoal for whitening 🦷?

  • Reply J MAN May 30, 2019 at 6:07 pm


  • Reply Valerie Leuba June 22, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Charcoal really helped heal from Food poisoning

  • Reply Luis Gonzalez June 23, 2019 at 3:27 am

    I hope it works on my. right side from alcohol

  • Reply Sharon Thompson June 25, 2019 at 2:23 am

    Can we use activated carbon? Same thing as activated charcoal???

  • Reply shut up July 6, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    casues black stools in me .. im not too worried about it but is it normal? Gb

  • Reply StopIsraeliTerror Farmer July 13, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    Oh my God. I repair crawlspaces for a living and get in Mold everyday. I developed a stomach ache twos weeks ago and it has to be Mold. I'm off to get the charcoal.

  • Reply Wenny Eva Wenny July 13, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    You should take it 2 hour before or after your meal. Or take it when your stomach is empty and wait for 2 hours or so before you eat or drink anything.

  • Reply marsya ahmad July 16, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    is it suitable if i use activated charcoal soap as my face wash and galactomyces essence after wash my face. it will bring to positive effect or negative effect?

  • Reply Nilesh Trivedi July 29, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    Hi it is useful after chemo for cancer patients

  • Reply Beefy Beef July 30, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Can I use it for food poisoning ?

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