The charcoal is considered “activated” due to its negative charge, which means it supposedly has the capacity to bind positively charged ions (such as chemicals) together, removing them from the body, according to Dr. Jeffrey Morrison, a family practice physician and certified nutritional specialist. This property has prompted charcoal to be touted as the latest detox ingredient—in fact, it’s long been used in emergency rooms to stop certain cases of acute poisonings or overdoses.
Charcoal can also help cure your hangover because of its detoxifying abilities, but it won’t remove alcohol from your system if you’re still tipsy in the morning. Additionally, charcoal can help your stomach de-bloat because it helps cleanse the intestines and colon. All of the above claims, while exciting, do not have very solid evidence to back them up. The only definite benefit to activated charcoal is that it is a detoxifier.
Activated charcoal is not bad for you, but it also isn’t proven to be good for you, either. It’s safe to consume as long as you’re not consuming it in whopping portions every day, but there is no hard evidence for all of the benefits that health foodies adore.