Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Activated Charcoal

                           Activated Charcoal Under Electron Microscope
                                            (Wikipedia Pic)

The tomb for Lady Dai (Xin Zhui) of China was discovered in the early 1970’s and was about 2,100 years old.  Her body was covered with 22 silk dresses, bound with nine silk ribbons and her face covered with a mask.  There were inner and outer tombs like nesting boxes.  There was 22 gallons of an unknown liquid inside the coffin.  The tomb was layered with white clay followed by 5 tons of charcoal.  The grave was 50 feet below the surface of the earth.  When the airtight coffin was first opened and silk removed, there were audible gasps as there was no decay.  Her skin was a soft.  Her arms and legs moved.  Blood was still in her veins. 

How did the Chinese preserve the body?  What was the mysterious unknown liquid?  Why 5 tons of charcoal?  We may never know, but we do know activated charcoal is an amazing substance.  It is so inconceivably porous that the surface area of only one gram (5 grams = approximately one teaspoonful) is 2000 to 2400 square meters.  This is an amazing 6,560 to 7,872 square feet!  It reminds me of a computer chip.  How is all that information saved in such a small space? 

Activated Charcoal is well known for its adsorptive powers.  It is made by burning wood, bamboo, bone, coconut or some other substance at high temperatures (500-900 degrees) in the absence of air.  The odorless, tasteless, almost pure carbon is used for acute poisoning in emergency rooms at doses of 5 to 50 grams.  Also, activated charcoal is used for the relief of gas and bloating.  The gas becomes trapped in the vast space inside the charcoal.  It can also be used to detoxify the intestinal tract and is used in the treatment of bowel diseases.  A teaspoonful in water at bedtime is reported to be a remedy for snoring. 

Activated charcoal removes pollutants from water and is commonly used in water and  fish tank filters.  It is great for room odors and is used by ostomy patients for body odor control.  Also, used in gardens to revitalize soil.  Use the powder to make a poultice for spider, wasp, or snakebites.   Every pet owner should have some on hand.  Think about it with food poisoning, diarrhea, or toxic bacteria in the gut.  Charcoal biscuits for dogs eliminate bad breath. 

The homeopathic version Carbo vegetabilis (vegetable charcoal), has many uses including digestive problems, gas, heartburn, shock, and dehydration.  Gas and bloating is the most common use.  Carbo animalis (animal charcoal) is used for parasites and digestive issues. 

Consider keeping activated charcoal in your home first aid kit. 

Stay Well!

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