You have probably seen a few black things pop up here on the blog. There was the charcoal bread, the black cupcakes, heaps of black smoothie bowls and a few mentions of how to achieve this amazing black colour using activated charcoal.
I’m really into statement food: food and dishes that look interesting or surprising, and really make a statement on the plate or dish. It’s why I like to try to achieve that perfect shade of green with my smoothies and matcha; why I’m currently so obsessed with dragonfruit powder, and why I think of things like Blue Mylk and get absolutely ecstatic to create and share them with you guys.
And it’s why I’ve incorporated activated charcoal into so many areas of my life. Yes, it it great to put into dishes and use to achieve that amazing black colour, but this stuff is kind of like coconut oil in terms of its versatility and amass of health benefits.
So if you haven’t taken the plunge yet, and aren’t seeing all things black, the time has arrived. In fact, many would say the time has passed – charcoal was soooo the superfood of 2016. But better late than never if you stand in the virgin charcoal group, because after all, it is good for so many things and can help in so many ways that it is totally worth the investment.
The basic premise of charcoal is that it acts via chelation, binding itself to toxins within your body and then working to pull them out and send them on the proper path of elimination. The result is faster elimination of alcohol and its byproducts after a few too many the night before, but also, an overall detoxification and cleanse of the body and skin.
Use it in your cooking, or baking, play around with making everything beautifully black, but don’t forget these other options as well:
- Add it to your smoothies and smoothie bowls – Not only does it make your smoothie look black and bad ass, but consuming charcoal with food means it has a better vehicle to get to your digestive system where it can start all the work. Once in your digestive system, it will begin binding to toxins within the small and large intestines and then send toxins along the appropriate elimination pathway. Often the toxins simply accumulate in our body because there is not sufficient means of removal and charcoal is able to move them along!
- Stir it into your juice – Make a detoxifying, immunity boosting, hangover curing juice by juicing 1 lemon with a knob of ginger and then filling the glass the rest of the way with equal parts coconut water and plain water. Once your glass is nearly full, stir in one teaspoon of activated charcoal. The lemon acts as a great method of detoxification, along with charcoal, and is also alkalinizing to the body. The ginger improves digestion and eases nausea, while the coconut water replenishes electrolytes and rehydrates you.
- Use it on your teeth – Before you take on this one, know that your mouth, teeth, sink and toothbrush will become incredibly black. And I’ll be honest and tell you it is hard to clean a white sink of black charcoal. But that aside, charcoal is an excellent natural teeth whitening agent, as it sticks to the particles in your teeth causing staining and helps remove them. For results, aim to brush once daily with charcoal for 3-4 weeks.
- Use it in tea – When you are really hungover (yes, it is cures hangovers), and can’t stomach any food, drinking a charcoal elixir may be just what you need to help you start recovery. You can make a brew using Chaga mushrooms and star anise to give you an energy boost and an antioxidant fix, or simply make a cup of tea with your favourite tea bag, and stir in a teaspoon of charcoal. Separation is normal, so stir regularly while you are drink
- Rub it on your skin – This at-home skin cleansing concoction is easy to make and yields big results. Not only does it help cleanse your pores and remove toxins that are in your skin and causing acne, but it also hydrates and moisturizes at the same time. Simply mix 2 tsp of charcoal with a bit of water until a paste forms, and then rub all over your face. Let it dry and then rinse off in the shower.