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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.