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Q and A: Information on Using Activated Charcoal for Snake Bites

Hi Mr. John Dinsley,

I enjoyed your book, videos, and spent hours going thru your website.  Your information has thus far been the most informative, best researched, and most logical of all sites I have scoured thru pertaining to activated charcoal. I have spent numerous hours googling medical journals, clinical trials, and websites on this subject.

My name is Dawn.  I am a California native, world traveler, now residing in South Africa.  I have used activated charcoal for many years for food poisoning and other travel related issues…  But I only recently learned it treats snake

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Activated Charcoal for snake bites

bites.  I was prompted to research antidotes due to my environment.

Within the last year, since moving to Africa, I have encountered numerous Puff Adders (one I almost stepped on), Stiletto Viper (inside my bedroom), baby Mozambique Spitting Cobra in tree 2 ft from me which spread its hood (thankfully it didn’t spit at me, instead ran away when I backed up to take a closer look (I was wearing sunglasses), my neighbours 2 doors down had Black Mamba in their home which prompted major security alert (flashing lights and numerous emergency vehicles), and last week I found a baby Black Mamba shed skin (3 ft from my front door), which prompted me to alert my next door neighbour, Terry.

When I went over to warn Terry to be careful, his gardener ran screaming thru the house waving his arms like a madman.  I thought he had found the baby Mamba, but no.  Instead a 6ft Egyptian Cobra slithered into Terry’s sliding glass door.  His golf buddies who appeared 20 minutes later spent an hour luring the cobra out and then beat it to death with a golf club. Terry was on his way to play a round when this incident occurred. We live in a very nice golf estate.

The following night my fiancé, Chris, spotted Binky, my kitten, less than a foot something on the road adjacent to our yard.  It was a 3ft snake.  Chris beat it to death with a brick and stick. I felt awful about this when I looked it up in my snake book and it it turned out to be a harmless Rhombic Egg Eater.  But you can’t be too careful as most snakes are highly venomous here.

I actually like snakes.  I grew up with non-venomous ones as pets. It breaks my heart seeing them killed, even the venomous kind.

So the reason I am writing you is  that I am planning to start importing coconut activated charcoal as a potential remedy for snake bites and other issues. There are many farms here in rural areas where medical access is no available in timely fashion.  Also antivenin is extremely costly, not readily available, possibly expired, and sometimes more dangerous than the original snakebite.

South Africa needs an antidote that is safe, effective, and affordable.  Very few can actually afford the antivenin if they are lucky enough to find a properly stocked clinic, many lives and limbs are lost.

DisChem (the local chain drug store) carries activated charcoal capsules and tablets, but the quality is poor and people don’t know/realize its uses.  Unlike America, Its safe to openly talk about potential cures and remedies here.  My intention is to create a informative brochure to give with the charcoal and get it out to as many people as possible.

I would like to know what your personal experience is with using/treating people with activated charcoal on snake bites.  I’ve found it easy to verify most other uses of charcoal.  Please share any stories and information you, or people you know, have on snakebites.  Also any medical references and/or clinical studies would be greatly appreciated.

I have scoured the web and found many people claiming it works for snakebites, but few who have personally used it for that.  And of the few success stories, I’m concerned some may have been simply dry bites (no venom injected from the snake).  Occasionally dry bites do occur from venomous snakes.

Before I promote something as a potential lifesaving antidote, I want to make sure it truly works.   Please help…

Thanks and have a wonderful day!


Hello Dawn

Thank you for your email.
I assume you have already read these links – scroll down pages to articles:

“I heartily recommend The Complete Handbook of Medicinal Charcoal and Its Applications. As a physician, as a mother and grandmother, as a public health educator for the past 41 years, I have come to fully trust the efficacy and safety of charcoal as a simple yet powerful home remedy. This book serves not only as a reference book of medicinal charcoal facts, but also brings together a hundred and fifty different charcoal experiences of individuals from around the world. People need this book. EVERY FAMILY, every healthcare worker, every traveler abroad, every health conscious individual needs a copy in their home library.”
Agatha M. Thrash, MD (Pathologist). Medical Examiner for the State of Georgia

The two critical factors are having activated charcoal (AC) available and the amount used. While time is of the essence, the amount of charcoal taken internally and applied externally is also critical. Replacing AC poultices often after the first application (every 1/2 hour, hour, 2 hours) needs to be stressed. There is no precaution in giving too much as long as the person drinks plenty of water.
How to make a charcoal poultice video.
If AC is not available, the charcoal from a fire pit will also work – just use more. Here is a tutorial how to make plain charcoal powder where Activated Charcoal is not available.As an antidote charcoal is universal, needs no prescription, degree, or refrigeration.Every place, including South Africa and California, needs to know about charcoal as the undisputed “Universal Antidote” for poisons. I hope you will continue to research the versatility and benefits of charcoal as a medicinal.So far, thankfully, all my experience with charcoal and poisonous snake has been second hand. For every story we have posted there are hundreds more that have not. That is more than enough science for me, especially if there is no hospital within reach.Please let me know how your publicity campaign goes. But first, you need to use it yourself – for upset digestion, insect bite, infected wound, dysentery, malaria…. Make some charcoal poultices. AND have some AC powder and home made powder already stored in jars in your home. From what you describe it won’t be long before you will have opportunity to give charcoal to some victim. Please take BEFORE and AFTER pictures, for your own encouragement and we would like to share your experiences online.Before long you will be a missionary for charcoal just like the founder of Water Wells for Africa, and HAN, and….. (Personal experiences Missionaries Malawi and Missionaries North Uganda)

Make sure to check out our other 2 blog posts on snake bites:

Sincerelyjohn dinsley
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