At this time of year the word 'detox' hangs menacingly in the back of our minds, getting louder and throwing a brighter neon emergency-style lighting effect as the endless glasses of French fizz and plates of hors d'oeuvres are consumed. But there could be a detox light at the end of the overindulgence tunnel and its name is activated coconut charcoal.
Touted as the new super detox kid on the block, activated charcoal (as opposed to unactivated poisonous charcoal used to power barbecues which should never be consumed) possesses, according to acclaimed natural medicine doctor, Dr. Axe a slew of A-plus health benefits like, "teeth whitening, alleviate gas and bloating, treating alcohol poisoning and help prevent hangovers, treating body odor and acne (when used externally), digestive cleansing, anti-aging and reducing high cholesterol." So far, so healthful.
But what exactly is it and how does it work? Activated charcoal is created when a natural carbon like wood or in the case of activated coconut charcoal, coconut shells, are burnt at very high temps which 'activates' the charcoal producing an absorbent material with millions of tiny pores that can capture, bind and remove poisons and toxins. Long used in hospitals as an antidote to treat alcohol poisoning the ingredient is catching on mainstream for its alleged detox properties that work to flush out your system.
But like all health supplements, tread lightly with the charcoal intake, nutrition guru Zoe Dent from Find Your Glow advises you to, "choose a high quality charcoal and for a complete digestive cleanse take 10 grams of activated charcoal 90 minutes prior to each meal, for two days. Take note to only ingest activated charcoal for a short duration as when taken daily it may also strip beneficial nutrients from your meals." Plus you'll need to up your H2O intake so the activated coconut charcoal can do its flushing out job.
As for where to get it, consult your GP first if you're thinking of going for supplements, or if you're planning a post-party, once-a-week, pick me up Cali Press has an activated charcoal recovery lemonade (natural hangover remedy detoxifier) which is a low-fi beverage choice for morning after detoxing.