Activated charcoal with the fewest additives

Activated charcoal (also known as activated carbon or activated coal) may help absorb various harmful substances in the digestive tract. However, many activated charcoal products contain more than just the charcoal, or are from questionable sources. Here are some suggestions for the better options I've seen.

Suggestions for pure activated charcoal powders:

Fine powders vs granular charcoal

I think fine powders are more active due to their increased surface area. However, Ray Peat has pointed out that fine powders may have persorption, (absorption into blood/lymph) issues. That makes me suggest using a granular form if you're going to use it long term, with the fine powders reserved for acute issues.

Fine-powdered charcoal

Photo of Charcoal House DETOX 1600 Coconut Activated Charcoal Powder
Charcoal House DETOX 1600 Coconut Activated Charcoal Powder
Available on buyactivatedcharcoal.com
All ingredients:

Activated charcoal powder (from coconuts).

I like that Charcoal House has done metal testing on their product: they mentioned that copper usually falls around 7ppm, lead always under 10ppm, and zinc at around 12ppm. They believe those metals are the most prevalent and don't test for others. They sent me a sample COA.

They consider it USP, meaning it's claimed to conform to USP standards, not that it's USP Verified.

The country of origin is France, but the coconuts come from Sri Lanka.

Granular charcoal

Photo of Charcoal House Granular Coconut Activated Charcoal
Charcoal House Granular Coconut Activated Charcoal
Available on buyactivatedcharcoal.com
All ingredients:

12x30 mesh acid-washed activated charcoal powder (from coconuts).

Photo of Health Natura Granular Coconut Activated Charcoal
Health Natura Granular Coconut Activated Charcoal
Available on healthnatura.com
All ingredients:

12x30 mesh acid-washed activated charcoal powder (from coconuts).

Suggestion for low-additive charcoal capsules:

These are fine-powdered charcoals, see the discussion above.

For a no-additive gelatin capsule:

Photo of Nature's Way Charcoal Activated (Capsules)
Nature's Way Charcoal Activated (Capsules)
All ingredients:

Charcoal, gelatin (capsule).

For a low-additive veggie capsule:

Photo of Nature's Answer Activated Charcoal (Veggie Capsules)
Nature's Answer Activated Charcoal (Veggie Capsules)
All ingredients:

Activated charcoal (purified carbon), rice flour, vegetable cellulose, USP purified water.

Willing to invest some time to create your own?

I haven't tried this, but here's an overview of the process of making your own activated charcoal.


Other activated charcoal products

The following are other activated charcoal products I'm aware of, sorted alphabetically.

Name Ingredients
Charcoal House Hardwood Activated Charcoal Powder

Activated charcoal powder.

CharcoCaps Activated Charcoal (Capsules)

Activated charcoal powder, gelatin.

I suspect there's a an undisclosed dye in the ingredients used to give the capsules their pink color.

Country Life Gluten Free Charcoal, Activated (Capsules)

Activated charcoal, gelatin (capsule shell), cellulose, magnesium stearate.

Requa Mfg. Co Activated Charcoal Tablets (Tablets)

Activated charcoal, cellulose, magnesium stearate.

Requa Mfg. Co CharcoCaps Activated Charcoal (Capsules)

Activated charcoal, gelatin (capsule shell).

Source Naturals Charcoal (Capsules)

Charcoal, gelatin (capsule), cellulose, and magnesium stearate.

Swanson Premium Activated Charcoal (Capsules)

Activated charcoal powder, gelatin, microcrystalline cellulose, magnesium stearate.

Wendy's Herbs and Botanicals Activated Charcoal Powder

Activated charcoal powder.


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