You can stock up on activated charcoal as a prepper by learning how to make it at home. This ensures that you have access to a versatile home remedy for minor health complaints like digestive or skin issues when SHTF. (h/t to ThePreppingGuide.com)
Activated charcoal is a fine black powder made from ingredients like coal, coconut shells, olive pits, peat, petroleum coke, or sawdust.
The charcoal is activated by processing it at very high temperatures, which change its internal structure, reduces the size of its pores and increases its surface area. This produces charcoal that is more porous than regular charcoal.
Activated charcoal is highly absorbent, allowing it to bind to molecules, ions, or atoms. The "activation" process removes previously absorbed molecules and frees up binding sites. The process also helps reduce the size of the pores in charcoal.
You can make activated charcoal at home by burning wood or fibrous plant material.
Making the charcoal
Activating the charcoal
Store the activated charcoal in an airtight container to prevent air from getting to it. When left unopened, activated charcoal can absorb gases in the environment, which may reduce its strength or efficiency.
To make activated charcoal capsules at home you will need a capsule machine, filling spoon and capsules. You can make 100 capsules at a time using a basic capsule setup. When buying capsules, check your machine’s capacity.
Activated charcoal is generally considered safe to use. Adverse reactions are infrequent and rarely severe.
Activated charcoal helps eliminate allergens, bad smells, bacteria and pollutants from air and water. The substances and odors are then accumulated in the pores within the charcoal.
According to studies, activated charcoal can help attract microparticles like bacteria, chemicals, dirt, dust and toxins to the skin’s surface, making them easier to remove.
Follow the steps below to make an activated charcoal mask:
Use the activated charcoal mask to detoxify your skin and unclog your pores. To use the mask, apply a thick layer of the mixture to your face for 10 minutes, then rinse it off.
Treating insect bites and stings
When SHTF, you may be exposed to stinging and biting insects. Use activated charcoal to soothe irritated skin. (Related: Itch relief: 10 Natural remedies for itchy and swollen bug bites.)
Mix a capsule of activated charcoal with half a tablespoon of coconut oil and apply it to the affected area.
Activated carbon can also be used as a treatment for rashes caused by poison ivy and poison oak, which both secrete a substance that causes allergic reactions.
Use the same recipe for the insect bite remedy above. The toxin-binding properties of activated charcoal and coconut oil will help draw out the toxins from poison ivy and poison oak.
Activated charcoal can help improve kidney function by removing undigested toxins and drugs through filtering. It is believed that activated charcoal is effective at removing toxins from urea, the main byproduct of protein digestion.
Relieving intestinal gas
Using activated charcoal powder can help disrupt intestinal gas. Liquids or gases trapped in the intestine can easily pass through the pores in activated charcoal, neutralizing them.
A panel from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends taking at least one gram of activated charcoal powder at least 30 minutes before and after each meal to relieve intestinal gas.
Before SHTF, learn how to make activated charcoal at home and stock up on this versatile ingredient for various home remedies.