Feb 5, 2013

Activated Charcoal to Get Rid Of The Stomach Flu


I wrote a post a couple of years ago titled “Surviving The Stomach Bug.” And, with LOTS of stomach bug cases going around I thought I would repost it for you guys. Activated Charcoal has been such a great help for our family! We typically don’t give it to our two youngest kids (it stains anything that it gets on), but Ryan, our older two (who are currently 10 and 7), and I always take it whenever we get that stomach-bug feeling in the pit of our stomach.

We all know the feeling. You wake up at 2:30 in the morning with a pain in your stomach. You think to yourself, “If I can just go back to sleep it will go away.” But you can’t, and it doesn’t. You finally drag yourself to the bathroom (hopefully) where you successfully empty the previous night’s dinner.

Ahh… now you feel better. You crawl back into bed and drift back to sleep, only to awaken 30 minutes later with that same pain in your stomach. And you go through the cycle again.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to avoid this cycle?

We have found a way that works for our family!!

We always keep a few bottles of Activated Charcoal on hand for whenever one of us starts to get that “uh oh” feeling in our stomach. If we catch it soon enough, we can take 10-12 Activated Charcoal capsules and it almost always goes away. If we don’t catch it soon enough then we still take the charcoal, but we might still have to head to the bathroom (only once or twice though, instead of 4-8 times).

We also take activated charcoal internally for any food poisoning (thankfully we haven’t had to use it for this very often!), and we always take it with us camping or anytime we go hiking to have it on hand just in case we get a spider or snake bite.  It pulls out toxins when it’s wet and applied to the skin (pretty neat, huh?)  And obviously if we had a poisonous snake bite we would head to the hospital immediately, but we would apply the activated charcoal on the way there.  🙂

Activated Charcoal has saved us MANY trips to the doctor, and who knows how much money in prescriptions.

**As mentioned in the comments below, please be very careful about the timing of taking activated charcoal if you are currently taking other medications. It is always recommended to talk to your doctor first.**

You can get Activated Charcoal at your local health food store or you can find Activated Charcoal on Amazon (typically for much less than in the store).

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  1. We just started activated charcoal because friend that came over for my son’s sleepover are all throwing up. I got it into my 4 and 7 year olds by opening 2 capsules (be careful-messy-cut open over a papertowel) and mixing them into a small yogurt drink. I strirred it with a straw, them closed the foil top back over it with just the straw sticking out and gave it to them. They drank it without question and never knew any different because they couldn’t see that it was BLACK now! Yogurt drinks are the best for mixing in medicine or supplements that they would other wise not tolerate. Hope this helps others!

  2. Thanks for reposting this info…the stomach bug is the worse illness in my opinion..i cannot stand that nausea feeling? I will definately be keeping some activated charcola handy. Does it help with food poisoning as well?

    Thanks for your emails on savings as well…I love it!!

  3. createbeautydaily says:

    I just wanted to let you know I just ordered from Vitacost using your link!  Thanks for the $10 off, you should have a $10 credit now, too. 🙂  I hadn’t heard of this but ordered some activated charcoal to keep on hand! 🙂

  4. Concerned Cathy says:

    Hmmm…never heard of it—what’s the risk? What are the side effects? Most stomach “bugs” are actual enteric diseases that can be fatal to those with compromised immune systems, so giving uncharted medical advice may not be the best idea for this blog—you never know what consequences might arise. There is  reason for public health and physicians…

    • JennyKline says:

      @Concerned Cathy One time my nephew got ahold of pain medication for a dog and my mom took him
      To the ER where they had him swallow activated charcoal even though they felt he didn’t swallow enough of the dogs medication to be poisoned…

    • supersperm says:

      shut up cry baby. she’s trying to help. if it was dangerous it wouldn’t be sold. go police your own family and friends. no one needs your warnings.

      • Well said

      • She’s just warning to be careful and warn others of cautious.. This is good information but we do need to all do our information research to be sure. She wasn’t being rude at all- just cautious. I have heard through various natural health professionals that charcoal is very good indeed, BUT not for everyone for various reasons- so it’s best to seek the advice of a natural health practitioner and look at a variety of sources before deciding on its use in your home and for your family. I myself do use it but not in such high doses.

  5. My family always uses activated charcoal for all stomach troubles:  food poisoning, norovirus, diarrhea, you name it.  Works very well without any side effects if you take it at the first sign of an upset stomach but even if you take it once you’re sick, it shortens the duration.  At least that’s been our experience with this “miracle product”.   It’s not a drug, it’s made from coconut shells and I’ve done my research and everything I’ve read says it’s a safe product without side-effects.

    • Cyberfalcon says:

      you are right Alexan, been using charcoal for years….its carbon every living thing is made up of carbon…some amount I guess. Well carbon seem to have the ability to latch on to foeign bodies like germs for example, thus neutralizing them. Your body will do the rest by elimination. The protective respirator that are used in war for instance to protect soldiers from chemial and biological agents has charcoal among other substances as its main barrier .

  6. Just wanted to add that because activated charcoal works by absorbing toxins, bacteria, viruses and whatnot, if you’re on medication like heart meds or diabetes meds or something you need to take for another health condition, it may soak up the medication so the medication won’t work.  I asked our doctor about this and he said to take it at least two hours before or after and you should be fine but when in doubt always check with your own doctor. 

  7. I read your post about the charcoal and flu. I have another use. Many many years ago when going to the doctor was the only thing I knew to do. I had a nasty case of eczema on my hands from working in a beauty salon. I had to quit the salon, but I still had the eczema – every time I washed dishes or took a shower I had a break out. And a break out they were, I would wake up at night while I was wringing (scratching) my hands to the point that I was bleeding and clear ooze….YUCK!!! This went on for over 3 years. The “specialists” wanted me to start shots after all the creams and potions didn’t work for me.
    I mentioned this dilemma to someone that used holistic approaches and she told me about this remedy. Open a capsule and make a thick paste with vaseline and put it on my hands at night. Of course wear cotton gloves because of the mess.
    I could see an improvement the first night and by week 2 it was completely gone. I just had to let the scars heal. Early on, I would still have a little break out from time to time if I would get into some sort of cleaning agent without gloves. Now I only get one or two bubbles a few times a year. Thank goodness that woman told me about it.

    • jennifer barker says:

      Thank you so much Jo, my daughter Savannah, has the same exact situation you are describing, she’s suffered so long with this eczema, and she’s just 12. I’m excited to get this charcoal and begin her treatment, I’ve used the vaseline for her and even it has burnt her little arms and hands, and I have been just heart broken for her because I couldn’t fix it, but now we have something to try that I believe will work. Thanks again, Mrs. Barker

  8. How many and how often do you tke it for the stomach bug or flu? You mentiond 8-10. I have used it 2 at a time for gas and bloating and it works! Thanks for your help.

  9. … and how many mg / capsule?

  10. You give 10-12 charcoal capsules to the older kids (age 7 and above)? How many would you recommend for kids aged 2-4? And how do you get them to take it (if they can’t swallow pills?)

  11. I remember doing this when I was a kid and thought my Dad was nuts for giving me this stuff! How I have changed and thank you for the reminder of my fun and nutty childhood that I miss so much!

  12. supersperm says:

    my wife just took some on day 3 of “the bug” we’ll see. You know it’s the same stuff they put in filters for fish tanks and air purifiers. a little scary but true.

  13. Oh yes, something I always make sure we have on hand! We always take charcoal at the first sign of tummy upset. Works great!

  14. I’ve also read that if you open the capsules and mix with water, rub on your teeth and leave for at least 5-10 min…it’s a great teeth whitener!

  15. We get it way more than we should. Definitely got to try this

  16. Knock on wood..It´s been many years since anyone in my family has has the stomach flu!

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  1. […] read it yet, I wanted to direct you to the article I wrote last year on how we (Ryan and I) avoid the stomach virus with activated charcoal (the kids still get the stomach bug a couple of times a year since we don’t give the […]