DISCLAIMER This page is compiled from our own research about charcoal remedies.  I am not a doctor or licensed medical professional.  The information presented herein is not to be used as medical advice or to diagnose or to treat disease.  Therefore, the use or misuse of any information contained herein is at the sole risk and discretion of the user.  For diagnosis, treatment or any other procedure including allopathic medical advice, see your medical doctor.  For healing, see the Great Physician. (Exodus 15:26)

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 CHARCOAL - THE REMEDY THAT’S ALL BURNT UP!

“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;   And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:   That no flesh should glory in his presence.”     1 Cor. 1:27-29

 Charcoal is a remedy that has been all burnt up and is not-- and yet its adsorbing nature neutralizes things (such as poisons) that are.  Because of its broad spectrum of uses as a poison antidote it has sometimes been called “the universal antidote.” Of this amazing, yet humble substance, it is said, “It is able to take up toxic gases, disease germs, fluid toxic wastes or heavy metals.” (Rx Charcoal pg. 2) It has been used for everything from bee stings and snake bites to gastrointestinal disorders and high cholesterol.  


CHARCOAL- WHAT IS IT?

Charcoal is actually just charred wood (or sometimes coconut shells).  Activated charcoal is charcoal made under controlled conditions (usually, limited oxygen) that increase the adsorptive power of the charcoal.  Charcoal adsorbs or attaches poisons to itself (like a magnet) rather than absorbing them (like a sponge).

 You can buy activated charcoal in tablets, powder or capsules.  But one of the most important qualities of charcoal is its availability everywhere.  Plain charcoal from a campfire may be used in some cases, such as this one recorded in the 1800’s. “One came to me one day in this condition (inflammation on his hand”), with his hand tied in a sling. He was much troubled over the circumstance; for his help was needed in clearing the land I said to him, "Go to the place where you have been burning the timber, and get me some charcoal from the eucalyptus tree, pulverize it, and I will dress your hand." This was done, and the next morning he reported that the pain was gone. Soon he was ready to return to his work.  {2SM 295.3}


HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN ACTIVATED CHARCOAL

As before stated, activated charcoal is just charcoal made specially to increase the adsorptive power of the charcoal.  In other words,  the same amount of activated charcoal can adsorb more toxins/poisons than just plain campfire charcoal. Here are at least  two ways to make you own activated charcoal.  The simplest is this:

Method #1

Begin with a wood fire (seasoned hardwoods-- like eucalyptus, willow, birch or coconut shells) out of doors in a hole. After the wood is burning brightly, (it needs to be burning well enough to have some coals so that the fire won’t go out) it should be covered with a large piece of tin with dirt piled over the tin to exclude the air.  As the heat continues to burn the wood with decreased oxygen, the soft parts of the wood are burned out first and the hard parts remain, making a good grade of charcoal.  The charred parts of the wood should then be pounded to granules in a cloth bag and ground in the blender, coffee grinder or mortar and pestle to pulverize to a fine powder.  (Some people prefer to make “wood pencils” to burn so that the charcoal will be smaller and easier to pulverize )  

 Method #2—From “You can Survive” by Jerry Franklin

Make pencil sticks of willow wood or eucalyptus

Put into airtight (low oxygen) pot

Let it cook in fire for 1 ½ hours

Do not remove lid or oxygen will cause pencils to burn into flame and disintegrate.

After it is cool, remove lid and grind sticks into powder

CAUTION: Make sure you are using the charcoal, not ash.  Wood ash mixed with water creates lye, which is caustic. It is better used for making soap. 



BIBLICAL PARALLEL

Every true remedy is a representation of Christ. You can see in this remedy the parallel of Jesus the “Universal Antidote” for sin.  Jesus is “the Branch” (Is. 11:1, 2) that was put through the fire (the second death) for us, and yet he lives. When we internalize Him in our hearts and apply Him in our lives, He removes the impurities/sins/toxins. But just like charcoal adsorbs, Jesus adsorbed our sin, He didn’t absorb sin, because He did not sin.  2 Cor. 5:21 says, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”  And Isaiah 53:5 states, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”


HOW TO USE CHARCOAL

The book Rx: Charcoal gives some valuable information on how to use charcoal.  It is full of stories of how charcoal has been used for spider bites, bee stings, poison ivy, and many other ailments.

Oral Use for Poisonings

Charcoal may be mixed in water and taken by mouth for many accidental poisonings.  A few of the common substances that charcoal will adsorb include Tylenol (acetaminophen), aspirin, nicotine, cocaine, gasoline, mercuric chloride    , alcohol,  antimony, arsenic, opium, penicillin, cyanide, kerosene, strychnine, and hemlock.  (pg. 22,23)

 If an unknown amount of poison has been swallowed and the person has not eaten in the last two hours 1-5 Tbsp of charcoal powder may be administered.  If the person has eaten in the last 2 hours the amount is increased to 5-15 Tbsp of powder.  Repeat this dosage in 30 minutes, or if symptoms worsen.  (pg.34)

Charcoal may also be used internally when you first start taking herbs to adsorb heavy metals that they may flush out of your body and into your blood stream.   If you are allergic to bees, I would recommend taking charcoal even before bee stings to reduce your toxic load. 

Charcoal Dosage Schedule*

Estimated Total Amount Of Poison or Medicine Taken

Charcoal Powder to be used if person has NOT eaten in the last 2 hours

Charcoal Powder to be used if person has eaten in the last 2 hours

1 teaspoon

1-2 capsules

1-2 tablets

1-2 Tbsp of activated charcoal powder stirred in a glass of water.  Rinse glass and drink rinsing. Follow by 2 glasses of water.

4-10 Tbsp of activated charcoal powder stirred in a glass of water.  Rinse glass and drink rinsing. Follow by 2 glasses of water.

1 Tbsp

3-5 tablets

2-5 capsules

3-4 Tbsp of activated charcoal powder stirred in a glass of water.  Rinse glass and drink rinsing. Follow by 2 glasses of water.

6-15 Tbsp of activated charcoal powder stirred in a glass of water.  Rinse glass and drink rinsing. Follow by 2 glasses of water.

Unknown Amount

1-5 Tbsp of activated charcoal powder stirred in a glass of water.  Rinse glass and drink rinsing. Follow by 2 glasses of water.

5-15 Tbsp of activated charcoal powder stirred in a glass of water.  Rinse glass and drink rinsing. Follow by 2 glasses of water.

*Repeat all dosages in 30 minutes or if the symptoms begin to worsen.


Charcoal Poultices for Topical Use

Charcoal may also be used externally as well as internally. It may be used in the form of a poultice on the abdomen, kidneys or infected wounds, bites or stings.  It adsorbs many viruses, bacteria, and bacteria toxins.  The charcoal stays moist for longer and is less messy if a binder is added to the charcoal and water.   I have heard of cornstarch, flaxseed, psyllium seed husks and even oatmeal being used as a binder.  These generally may be used in a 1 to 1 ratio with the charcoal, then add just enough water to make a paste.  For a compress many people like to put this between two pieces of paper towel or other porous sheet-like material.  (Note: charcoal placed in an open wound can have a tattooing effect).  This compress may be covered with plastic to keep it moist.  For beestings it is best to change the poultice every 10 minutes for one hour and leave on 8 hours.  Spider and snake bites require even more intense and longer treatments.   Charcoal soaks may also be used for multiple bites or stings or for wounds on the hands or feet.   Generally use about two cups to a bathtub full.  

 Making a Charcoal Compress/Poultice

 1 part Activated Charcoal + 1 part binder + enough water to make a paste

(binders many include flaxseed, psyllium, cornstarch or oatmeal)

 Spread on ½ of creased paper towel or cloth

Fold other half over the charcoal paste 

Position over afflicted area

Cover with plastic to keep moist 

CAUTION: Care should be taken when applying charcoal to broken skin. A tattooing effect is possible if a lesion extends into the dermis. For such wounds it may be better to use an herbal poultice. 

  Charcoal Treatment Directions for Poisonous Bites or Stings*

Type of Problem

Single Bee Sting

Multiple Bee Stings

Spider Bite

Snake Bite

Initial Treatment of Choice

Charcoal paste applied to sting area

30 minute charcoal bath (2 cups charcoal to a bath)

Charcoal soak of the affected part (1/2 cup charcoal to 2-5 gallons)

1.Wash bite area

2. 1 hour charcoal soak

3. Compress to entire area

4. Drink 2 T charcoal +2 glasses of water every 2 hours for 6 hours, then 1 tsp every 4 hours for 24 hours

Additional Treatments

Charcoal Compress

Charcoal compresses

Charcoal Compress

Duration of Treatments

Change every 10 minutes for 1 hour, then leave on for at least 8 hours or until swelling and pain are gone

Change every 10 minutes for 1 hour, then leave on for at least 8 hours

Change every 30 minutes for 8 hours then every 2 hours for 8 hours then every 2-4 hours until healing is complete

Change compress every 10-15 minutes until swelling and pain are gone. Add ice packs if pain and swelling persist.

*Charcoal should be applied immediately or as soon as possible. If you are allergic to bees take charcoal orally also.

 For snake bites --Charcoal compresses should cover almost the entire bitten extremity, centering over the bite.


 Making a Charcoal Soak

2 cups charcoal to 1 bath full of water

OR

½ cup charcoal to 2-5 gallons (a smaller bucketful)

 Charcoal Fomentation Directions

When used for fomentations over the bowels, the coal [wood charcoal] should be put into a bag, sewed up, and dipped in hot water. It will serve several times. Have two bags; use one and then the other.”  {20MR 280.4}

 

 Charcoal Miracle Stories

Charcoal for Typhoid?  “I still remember another case. At our first camp-meeting here, held in Brighton, a young lady was taken sick on the ground, and remained sick during most of the meeting. She was thought to have typhoid fever, and although many prayers were offered in her behalf, she left the ground sick. Dr. M.G. Kellogg, half-brother to J.H. Kellogg, of Battle Creek, was attending her. He came to me one morning, and said, Sister Price is in great pain. I cannot relieve her. She cannot sleep, and every breath seems as though it would be her last. We prayed for her, and then like a flash of lightning there came to me the thought of the charcoal. "Send to the blacksmith for charcoal, and pulverize it, I said, "and put a poultice of it on her side." He tried this, and in one hour he came to me and said, "That prescription was an inspiration from God. Sister Price could not have lived until now if no change had come. The sick one fell into a restful sleep; the crisis passed, and she began to amend. In a few days she was taken from Melbourne to her home …), and is alive and well today.”  {Paulsen Collection pg. 27}

Charcoal for Snake Bite—“One day I was helping my father and mother pull weeds in the garden. Suddenly, as my father grabbed a handful of weeds, a green snake latched on to his left index finger.  Father showed us the snake hanging off his finger, then grabbed it below its head with his right hand and swing it around and killed it.  Lots of people crowded around to see the dead snake. 

    “This snake kills people,” they insisted.  “Quickly take him to the witch doctor.” 

      Instead I said, “Let’s pray.” Then I went and got  charcoal.  I gave my father charcoal water to drink and made a charcoal poultice for his finger. I changed  the poultice many times and gave him charcoal  water  to drink several more times.  By the next day he was well!

     …Another man had been bitten by the same kind of green snake and almost lost his leg.  Even the witch doctor had been unable to help, so he was taken to the hospital. After much expense and a long hospital stay, he  had survived….How surprised they [the people] were to see that my father was well and working the next day!”---Aaron Rai (Nepal)    Layman’s Ministries  Winter 2015

Charcoal for Poison Ivy—“A 38-year old sergeant was given a medical discharge from the Army because of an intense sensitivity to poison ivy.  His sensitivity was so severe that one particular bout with the problem has resulted in a painful stay at Ft. Benning’s Martin Army Hospital complete with IV fluids, cortisone and a struggle just getting back to normal. 

“His wife called us early one morning asking us if we would see her husband.  He had taken a walk in the country the day before and now his hands, feet, face and other areas were swollen tight.  His eyelids were swollen shut and fingers were so stiff he could not bend them.  We were reluctant to treat him as they insisted—without hospitalization and with simpler remedies than cortisone (which gave him wildly distressing thoughts).  When we saw him he was feeling faint and nauseated.  We showed his wife hot to make charcoal compresses and instructed her how to make charcoal compresses and instructed her on how to mix charcoal for oral administration.  With these treatments he gradually improved during the day and could open his eyes by the next morning and close his fingers enough to grasp a steering wheel.  After five days, he was entirely well.  We were all impressed.”  (Rx Charcoal, pg. 81)—This book also lists case studies for bee stings, snake bites, spider bites, chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, chronic relapsing pancreatitis, jaundice in the newborn, high cholesterol and more.

Charcoal for Dysentery --"A brother was taken sick, with inflammation of the bowels and bloody dysentery…We were just preparing to leave Texas, where we had been laboring for several months, and we had carriages prepared to take away his brother and his family, and several others who were suffering from malarial fever. My husband and I thought we would stand this expense rather than have the heads of several families die and leave their wives and children unprovided for. Two or three were taken in a large spring wagon on spring mattresses. 

     "But this man who was suffering from inflammation of the bowels, sent for me to come to him. My husband and I decided that it would not do to move him. Fears were entertained that mortification had set in. Then the thought came to me like a communication from the Lord, to take pulverized charcoal, put water upon it, and give this water to the sick man to drink, putting bandages of the charcoal over the bowels and stomach. We were about one mile from the city of Dennison, but the sick man's son went to a blacksmith's shop, secured the charcoal, and pulverized it, and then used it according to the directions given. The result was that in half an hour there was a change for the better. We had to go on our journey and leave the family behind, but what was our surprise the following day to see their wagon overtake us. The sick man was lying in a bed in the wagon. The blessing of God had worked with the simple means used."--Letter 182, 1899  {The Place of Herbs in Rational Therapy pg.  22, 23}

 

Charcoal Combination Remedies

Charcoal and Vitamin C -- For bites and stings charcoal may supplemented by high doses of vitamin C in the form of lemon juice or acerola powder.

Charcoal and Olive Oil for Indigestion“I will tell you a little about my experience with charcoal as a remedy. For some forms of indigestion, it is more efficacious than drugs. A little olive oil into which some of this powder has been stirred tends to cleanse and heal. I find it is excellent. Pulverized charcoal from eucalyptus wood we have used freely in cases of inflammation....       Always study and teach the use of the simplest remedies, and the special blessing of the Lord may be expected to follow the use of these means which are within the reach of the common people.”--Letter 100, 1903.  {2SM 298}

“Another thing: Get from the druggist some pulverized charcoal, and use it freely. Mix it with sweet oil. Thus it can be taken with less difficulty than if mixed with water.” {Lt75-1904}

Charcoal and Garlic for Bacterial Infections--I love the simplicity of natural remedies.  A few years ago my husband had strep throat.  He had been plagued with a sore throat for almost a week and it had become so painful that he could barely swallow his own saliva.  We read up in a natural remedies book on how to treat strep throat.  We then blended 4-6 garlic cloves in a blenderful of water and added about 3-4Tbsp activated charcoal powder. After blending, he was supposed to gargle the mixture and he did, but his throat was so sore he couldn’t get it down far enough so since it was harmless he drunk down the whole blenderful.  After about 20 minutes his sore throat was gone.  (He followed up later with another blenderful just to make sure it stayed gone.)

  Later, I was able to share this with a friend in the mission field whose daughter had what they thought to be a bacterial infection affecting both the throat and the stomach.  The child’s throat was very sore and she was vomiting. It was bad enough that an RN who checked her thought it might be typhoid and urged them to go to the hospital for an antibiotic.  They used the charcoal/garlic treatment and also added a cold mitten friction. By the next morning we received the news that their daughter was well on the way to recovery.  Since then, others have been able to use this remedy and it has worked for multiple stomach ailments, It has even worked at least one ailment that was resistant to the medicine prescribed by the doctors on two different occasions.  

 Conclusion

I can see why one Medical Missionary wrote, “One of the most beneficial remedies is pulverized charcoal, placed in a bag and used in fomentations. This is a most successful remedy...  I expect you will laugh at this; but if I could give this remedy some outlandish name that no one knew but myself, it would have greater influence. . . .But the simplest remedies may assist nature, and leave no baleful effects after their use.”--Letter 82, 1897 (To Dr. J. H. Kellogg) {2SM 294.3}  

“I feel impressed to recommend for your consideration the use of charcoal as a powerful agency for removing poison from the system. I have on several occasions been impressed to suggest the use of charcoal, and it has often brought relief when every other means had failed.” {Lt158-1907}

Over the years, we have personally witnessed and heard many amazing stories about charcoal used for everything from brown recluse spider bites and diabetic foot wounds to toxic overload and yet it never ceases to amaze me how God can use something so simple, so inexpensive and readily available to do such a mighty work.  “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!”  Psalm 107:15