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Profiles in Power: Activated Charcoal

Posted in Spending Wisely, and Supplements

In all honesty, you guys, when I read about this stuff I thought it sounded like snake oil. It’s supposed to do what? Then, I got the worst rash of my entire life last winter: it was so painful I couldn’t sleep for more than 3 hours at a time before it woke me up.
I’ve always had sensitive skin, and I got careless and used my husband’s Old Spice deodorant once, and next thing you know, my pits were on fire. I could tell that yeast was a major player, which made sense because I’d been on amoxicillin a few weeks before (for a UTI it didn’t cure: cayenne pepper killed that). It wouldn’t have been so bad if only I hadn’t tried Monistat on it, but how was I to know I was allergic to that, too? It immediately got exponentially worse, and even coconut oil with minced raw garlic steeped in it could barely keep up.
I was in a lot of pain, and wearing old rag shirts because I absolutely reeked of garlic. It was a rough winter…I have pictures, but I’ll spare you.

Anyway, a friend of mine who’s a retired nurse suggested activated charcoal. I’d heard of it and thought it sounded totally kooky, but by then I was desperate to get a full night’s sleep…and stop smelling like the morning after the night before at an Italian restaurant. I also thought it would be rather nice to wear real clothes and leave the house again.

I ordered a bag of loose charcoal from Amazon, and then didn’t even use it for the first 2 days I had it, because it was going to be such a mess and I’d have to lie around with no shirt on and a towel under me and then take a shower so I didn’t get wet charcoal everywhere…all of which made me feel awfully foolish when I finally tried it.

It tingled fiercely for about 30 seconds, and then within a few minutes I felt the perpetual itch begin to subside. By the time it had been on there for an hour, it didn’t itch and didn’t hurt anymore. When I rinsed it off, it had gone from a medium red to light pink, and the inflammation was gone. After a few applications, the virulent rash that haunted me for a month had vanished.

It’s safe to say I’m now a fan of the stuff.

What does this have to do with UTI’s, you ask? Well, nothing. It has no direct effect on your bladder.
Activated charcoal is like a magnet that travels through your gut, sucking up anything in your gut that isn’t nailed down. This means that it will vacuum Candida right off your intestinal walls, and it adsorbs the toxins released when other things, (like the olive leaf extract you’re taking for your UTI) kill Candida. Sounds weird, right? If I hadn’t seen it suck Candida out of my skin like a boss, I wouldn’t believe it, either. I’ve already explained about Candida die-off and the link between recurring UTI’s and intestinal Candida, and I don’t want to sound like one of those hokey sites that wants you to buy their book to discover how your life can revolve around this stuff from now on, so I’ll just give you the most important things to know about using it:

  1. You have to take charcoal with water only, and it must be taken in the middle of a 4 hour fasting window. Wait 2 hours after you eat and take supplements, take the charcoal, and then wait two more hours before taking or eating anything else. Drink plenty of water with it; charcoal needs water to work.
  2. Don’t take it if you’re constipated. I repeat, do not take it if you’re constipated. Ideally, you kill enough Candida with OLE or ginger/cinnamon tea to be having loose bowels, and then you start taking charcoal.
  3. Charcoal is the single most effective way to rid your gut of Candida and the UTI-causing pathogens it harbors, because the other things you take to kill Candida get absorbed into your system at some point, and never kill the Candida in your lower intestines. Because charcoal is never absorbed, passing all the way through you like fiber, it removes the Candida that nothing else touches.
  4. You want to take biggish doses of this stuff, at least 1/2 tsp per dose. With the 280 mg capsule size charcoal is often sold in, you’d have to take about 10 at a time to get 1/2 tsp, and most bottles have only 100 capsules. That’s a mere 10 doses, so the loose powder form is much, much more cost effective. Be sure to seal the bag back up tightly after each use.
  5. For skin infections, mix charcoal powder with just enough water to make a thick wet paste, like black grits. Spread it over the affected area and cover with something in order to keep it wet, like a piece of waxed paper. Charcoal has to be kept wet to work. Do not apply to open, broken skin or the tiny pieces will get in there and stay, like a tattoo. Lay a moist coffee filter over the area, in that case, and put the wet charcoal on top of that: it will still work.

 

12 Comments

  1. Your blog is fantastic, and so helpful – thank you. I just wondered for how many days should I use the activated charcoal?

    June 19, 2016
    |Reply
    • Rebekah W.
      Rebekah W.

      It depends on how much intestinal Candida you have, and you won’t know that till you start taking things that kill it. Be sure to follow the instructions on timing carefully, and don’t take any till your bowels are running loose from taking Candida-killers like OLE and cinnamon/ginger.
      Please don’t hesitate to ask questions about *anything*: killing Candida can be a real bear for a couple of days, but you feel so much better overall that you’ll LOVE it when you’re done.

      June 19, 2016
      |Reply
  2. Hi, I have been really enjoying your information. I was in horrible pain over 4th of July and ended up in urgent care. Of course antibiotics were prescribed but I going to do your regimen, 1st day today. I stopped the antibiotics after 4 days. The doctor called today and said he found Staph and enterococcus. I didn’t see anything different for this difficult strain to get rid of. Will the same regimen work on Enterococcus?

    July 10, 2016
    |Reply
    • Rebekah W.
      Rebekah W.

      Yes, OLE and garlic are both excellent against those bacteria! Cayenne won’t do much for you, so you can skip that or take it at half strength.

      July 10, 2016
      |Reply
      • Thank you again for your response. I have follow up questions. I’m not taking vitamin C like you explained but I do take Cinnamon, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Chromium, Potassium, Magnesium, these are for blood sugar and blood pressure balance and they really help. I stopped my multivitamin temporarily because of the vitamin C. Are there any other vitamins or minerals I should avoid right now besides Vitamin C? And any dietary changes I should make?

        July 14, 2016
        |Reply
        • Rebekah W.
          Rebekah W.

          Sorry for the delayed response, I just saw your two comments in my spam filter and moved them out: I’ve no idea why the stupid system does that.

          On diet: I listed the basic things to avoid in the Phase I post, like sugar/starch, alcohol, tomatoes, caffeine, dairy..if you’re interested in ideas for what would be helpful to eat while you fight this, check out the “pH connection” post: there’s a link at the end to a chart of foods that are alkaline or acid-forming in your system. You want to choose things that aren’t sweet from the left side of that chart.

          July 14, 2016
          |Reply
      • Oh, and what about Grapefruit Seed Extract? Can I add that to the regiment? Should I add it…what does it do? It does have Ascorbic Acid in it.

        July 14, 2016
        |Reply
        • Rebekah W.
          Rebekah W.

          I’ve found that grapefruit seed extract can be a helpful adjunct in treating an infection, but taken by itself it doesn’t do the heavy-lifting like OLE, or raw garlic. It’s one of those things that, if you already have some, I’m not against using it if you feel like it helps.
          If the ascorbic acid content is relatively low, you can mitigate it with baking soda water..just don’t take mega doses of ascorbic acid, like some places on the internet tell you.

          July 14, 2016
          |Reply
  3. Toni
    Toni

    Thank you so much for this wealth of information! I have been battling recurrent uti’s for 15 yrs, and I’m desperate now, as the last one will not leave. I’m on day 4 of your plan and liking the results very much. How long after a clear urine test can one start consuming the items you mentioned to avoid? I eat a lot of fruit on a mostly raw diet and take vitamin C for allergies.

    July 16, 2016
    |Reply
    • Rebekah W.
      Rebekah W.

      Keep going until a first morning’s test has been crystal clear for three days running (watch it past the 2 minute mark) and then slowly begin to taper down a little every day, like you built up. Keep staying away from irritants until a week after that first clear test, then slowly add things back into your diet one at a time.

      Keep up the good work, and let me know how it goes!

      July 16, 2016
      |Reply
  4. Toni
    Toni

    Thank you!

    July 16, 2016
    |Reply
  5. Julie V
    Julie V

    Hi,

    Wondering if you have any other suggestions for products that ship outside of the US. Or, some tips on what makes it a good product especially for more complicated ones like the Charcoal. Im in Canada and all these would not ship to me:

    – Coconut Activated Charcoal Powder, Large 8 Oz. Ultra Fine
    – Jarrow Formulas Shelf-Stable Fem-Dophilus, 1 Billion Organisms Per Capsule, Supports Vaginal and Urinary Tract Health, 60 Capsules
    -Nature’s Way – Pau D’Arco Inner Bark, 545 mg, 180 capsules
    – Swanson Super Strength Olive Leaf Extract 750 mg – 60 Caps (2 Pack)
    – Ultimate Flora Women’s Care Probiotic Supplement Vegetable Capsules – 2 boxes of 30 caps

    I’ll continue to look for them from other places that will ship, but I know that the Charcoal Brand is hard to get – even from their website it’s a 20$ shipping fee to here.
    Thanks!

    September 20, 2017
    |Reply

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