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Vegetable and activated charcoal: dangers, contraindications and undesirable effects

Vegetable charcoal and activated charcoal powder are natural elements that have many benefits for the body. They can be used as a water filter to purify and mineralize, or in food or as a cosmetic active. Find the full benefits of charcoal here . But is there a danger in consuming and / or using vegetable and / or activated charcoal?

Using charcoal as a water filter

The use of charcoal for water consists of placing solid charcoal (stick, slice, pieces) in a filled carafe. In contact with water, the charcoal will adsorb pollutants present in the water such as chemicals, toxins and chlorine.  


It therefore acts on the quality of the water but is not ingested directly by the body. In this, the coal will not be of any danger to health. Charcoal should still be sterilized before use by boiling it for 5 to 10 minutes. This step cleans the pores of the charcoal of any impurities they may contain.

Use as a cosmetic active

Vegetable charcoal is increasingly integrated into cosmetic formulas. It serves as a cosmetic active ingredient and natural coloring, as in homemade mascaras or eyeliners.  

Used in cosmetics, it adsorbs toxins and therefore cleanses the skin in depth by eliminating impurities. It is thus found a lot in facial cleansers and purifying masks. Applied to the skin, the charcoal does not present any danger. It is still strongly recommended to use quality charcoal, activated without any chemicals.


Vegetable charcoal is also present for oral hygiene. It acts as a tooth whitener and helps reduce bad breath. The activated charcoal powder is very fine, but used excessively can become abrasive to the teeth and therefore damage the enamel. This is why we recommend adding a pinch of charcoal to your toothpaste maximum twice a week to avoid damaging your teeth. Be careful because charcoal can stain.

Detox and digestion use

Activated charcoal is an ideal ally to facilitate digestion and detoxify the body. It thus calms diarrhea and reduces bloating. For this, just take 1 teaspoon on an empty stomach or at the time of intestinal discomfort in a cure of 7 to 14 days maximum. Since charcoal has a high adsorbing power, take care to take the active charcoal 3-4 hours apart from any drug intake because it adsorbs chemicals and could cancel the effect of the drug. If in doubt, seek medical advice.

Also, the use of pure activated charcoal for pregnant and breastfeeding women as well as for children under 6 years old must be subject to medical advice. 

Side effects 

  • Taking activated charcoal over the long term can slow down transit. Charcoal is therefore not recommended for people prone to constipation attacks.

  • Stool colouration, without consequence


Vegetable and / or activated charcoal does not represent a danger for the organism if the recommendations are respected: dosage and contraindications. Some side effects may still appear in rare cases. 

Nos solutions au charbon végétal

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