Charcoal comes in two forms, natural and activated.
‘Activated’ charcoal is made when the raw material (usually nut shells) goes through a forced process where it is carbonised at temperatures up to 12000C and acid washed to produce a friable, very fine powder. This is called a super-adsorbent. This type of charcoal does not occur naturally and has to go through the above industrial processes to be created. The end product contains no oxygen, nutrients or fibre, all having been burnt off.
The super-adsorbent properties of ‘activated’ charcoal, with prolonged use, are known to take nutrients out of living structures. Basically, it competes with nutrients at the cell wall and removes almost everything it comes into contact with. This is what they administer if you’re taken to hospital with a drug /poison overdose. It empties your system of the poison, but is contraindicated for long-term use for obvious reasons.
‘Natural’ charcoal is produced when the raw material is carbonised at a 500 – 5500C over a period of days. At this temperature vital nutrients in the wood are not driven off / carbonised. The charcoal produced is in chunks and can then be rendered into smaller pieces by crushing. Charcoal produced by this traditional method is naturally active (i.e. it has a normal level of absorbency), and this kind of charcoal is what humankind has used for thousands of years to good effect. The end product contains nutrients and crude fibre. Once natural charcoal is exposed to air after the carbonisation process it adsorbs quantities of oxygen, and this oxygen is available to living systems.
The highest quality recommended for consumption is made from pure dense hardwood (like for example Happy Tummy® natural charcoal capsules). Being a natural product, this does not compete with nutrients but rather sets up metabolic pathways by which they’re better absorbed. This form of charcoal has been made in the same way for thousands of years and was used by our early Cro-Magnon ancestors to keep themselves clear of health problems. They used to chew the charred remnants of timber from their fires, which they also used to decorate the cave walls and rooves.
Nowadays, because most of our food is processed, pure molecular carbon is an element that the body is completely starved of. The human body is made up of three components, oxygen, water and carbon. C60 Fullerene is the only pure form of molecular carbon that the body can utilise and if the three components of the body are not balanced, there will be health problems.
(Written & submitted by Keith Foster of Fine Fettle Products Ltd.)