Could Activated Charcoal Aid in the Treatment of COVID-19?
Earlier this year [February 2020] before the Covid-19 really breached American soil, I wrote an article [Activated Charcoal and Microbes – Charcoal and Chemical Biological Warfare] on how Activated Charcoal interacts with various microbes, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
In a nutshell: Microbes produce exo/endo toxins, also known as poisons, which trigger a host of different body responses including fevers, diarrhea, vomiting, inflammation [body swelling], pain, congestion, and more, all in an attempt to diffuse the lethal microbes. Activated charcoal has been found to adsorb and neutralize many of these toxic antigens, thereby short circuiting the biological/chemical war firing up our body’s immune system.
Here we are nine months into the newest world pandemic and people are praying everywhere for a miracle vaccine to stop the invasion in their country, state, city, village, or hamlet. Drug companies, who are not charitable institutions but rather pushed by politics and financial rewards are working overtime to get to market first with their patent nostrums. Which company will gain the lucrative government contracts with their winning vaccine [simplified etymology: vacca cine = cow medi cine]? Keep in mind it must be potent enough to fire up the body’s immune system, without incinerating side effects or death.
Meanwhile the word is getting out that activated charcoal is a natural remedy that effectively works against a host of deadly pathogens. Is the dramatic worldwide rise in sales of activated charcoal capsules and activated charcoal powder just the result of slick marketing campaigns, sentimental TV ads, and online infomercials? Hardly.
Activated Charcoal Applications in History
Thanks to old fashioned word of mouth and modern social media, there are waves of informed individuals generating a worldwide interest in natural remedies, and not the least of these, is charcoal. Charcoal waves are not new. Pharaoh’s priests made charcoal a big splash in ancient Egypt. Hippocrates, “father of modern medicine”, made more ripples across ancient Greece. Pliny the Great, in Roman times, sent out waves of ardent students who took it to the ends of the old world. While the Chinese were making charcoal explosives, the Japanese were perfecting dosages of plain charcoal as a remedy for all manner of poisoning. Low and behold, in the New World, when European settlers reached the shores of the mighty Missouri River, they found Midwest Plains Indians using charcoal for indigestion. By the mid 1800s, with the resurgence in “rational medicine”, with the help of the British military and navy, the interest in charcoal as a medicinal had become a global fascination.
“Charcoal mixed with bread crumbs or yeast, has long been a favorite material for forming poultices, among army and navy surgeons. The charcoal poultice has also obtained a high character in hospital practice as an application to sloughing ulcers and gangrenous sores, and recently, this substance has afforded immense relief in numerous cases of open cancer, by soothing pain, correcting foetor [odor], and facilitating the separation of the morbid structure from the surrounding parts [formation of new tissue]. It is unnecessary to mention other instances of its utility; for in this form Charcoal is now admitted into the London Pharmacopoeia, and it is in general use in all naval, military, and civil hospitals.”
-Dr. James Bird M.R.C.S., Surgeon, Royal Glamorgan Militia 1857
Seriously, “it is in general use in ALL naval, military and civil hospitals”!
“To those disposed to give a fair trial to Charcoal as a topical or internal remedy, we strongly recommend Mr. Bird’s essay.”
– The Lancet. [today The Lancet is the world’s leading independent general medical journal]
Activated Charcoal in the 21st Century
Well that was the mid 1800s, what about today? First, be sure to read the book CharcoalRemedies.com The Complete Handbook of Medicinal Charcoal. Get even more up to date information on the website by the same name. But back to the present.
Can Activated Charcoal be Used in the Treatment of COVID-19?
Breaking News: Charcoal a weapon to fight superoxide-induced disease, injury – Nanomaterials soak up radicals, could aid treatment of COVID-19, July 1, 2020: Rice University Medical Center in conjunction with the University of Texas Health Science Center’s McGovern Medical School and the Texas A&M Health Science Center, announce ongoing development of a simple treatment for Covid-19 using “inexpensive” activated charcoal. Yes, you read that correctly.
“They have now found oxidized charcoal nanoparticles [nanozymes] are not only effective antioxidants but can also be made from an activated carbon source that is inexpensive, good manufacturing practice (GMP)-certified and already being used in humans to treat acute poisoning…”
Chemist James Tour explained that the nanozymes are able to pass through the membranes of cells’ mitochondria to quench a major source of free
radicals without killing the cells themselves. “We published a paper on this recently,” he said. “This seems to be really important to why these work so well in traumatic brain injury and stroke.” The nanozymes teem with oxygen-containing functional groups that bust up superoxides in solution.
While the end product is a supercharged charcoal, that does not mean regular charcoal is ineffective.** The effect may not be as fast or dramatic, but simple charcoal still works. Why charcoal? For the same reason why it is in 21st century military first-aid kits, in some military wound dressings, and in combat military NBC [Nuclear Biological Chemical] suits… How do we know? It is our business.
As most already know, activated charcoal is used to filter toxic air in nuclear submarines, on the ISS, and everywhere in between. Beside removing toxic VOCs, it also takes out many microbes and toxic antigens. So, it is not so strange then to see “Activated Charcoal” and “Covid-19” and “treatment” coming up together in medical literature. Seriously, is activated charcoal a potential treatment for Covid-19?
Plain Activated Charcoal Used for the Treatment of COVID-19 Symptoms
Let’s review some of the common symptoms of Covid-19:
- Sore throat
- Lung congestion
- Nausea or vomiting
Each of these symptoms, common to so many different diseases, are known to be triggered by antigens, some of which are known to be adsorbed/diffused by activated charcoal. Simple math should tell us 1 plus 1 equals 0? In this case it does! One microscopic microbe plus one charcoal particle equals no more toxin and no more symptoms.
Let’s go back in time to Dr. James Bird and his peers
“The medicinal effects of Charcoal deserve investigation.” – Medical Times.
“As a curative* agent Charcoal has long been disregarded, but Mr. Bird has made an endeavour to bring it again into repute. The work is filled with evidence, and we have much pleasure in giving Mr. Bird the opportunity of making his views widely known among his professional brethren.” – Medical Circular.
Clearly Dr Bird was, in many ways, not only ahead of his times, but ours as well.
“It should moreover always be borne in mind, that the Great science that watches over health, is as complicated as it is important – that it requires attainments of the highest order, – knowledge of every kind, – and after the experience of ages, still remains the most learned and most skillful a science of great uncertainty, as respects the issues of life and death. Medical treatment should therefore, on no account be heedlessly, thoughtlessly, or ignorantly undertaken by irresponsible persons. It is better, far better to prescribe no medicine at all, than to prescribe it indiscreetly; and this fact should never be lost sight of, that the simplest elements in matter relating to health become the most potent instruments for good or for ill, according to the knowledge or ignorance of those who employ them.”
Let the believers say, “Amen!”
“Charcoal powder has been for a long period a favourite remedy in America, the Indies, and in many parts of Europe, for dysentery [severe diarrhea], and the severe forms of fever, prevalent on shipboard and in tropical climates. Many cases were published in the early part of the present century, in which its efficacy in those disorders was clearly marked and well defined, dangerous symptoms rapidly subsiding under its use; and the authors of those cases affirmed, that a complete cure was often effected by this substance alone… and it was furthermore believed, that it never aggravated any unfavourable symptom, even in those cases where it failed to give relief; but, on the contrary, that its administration in dysentery and typhus fever was followed by relief, absence of pain, repose, and a speedy amelioration of all unfavourable symptoms.”
Dr Bird had many advocates:
“Charcoal has been mentioned by many of the British medical authors, as an useful remedy in certain forms of fever and dysentery, as they occur in tropical climates; and Sir J. Pringle, Drs. Calvert, Chapman, and Calleagno, having used it with success on various occasions, they have written favourably of its properties. Still more recently, Dr. Abercrombie, Mr. Guthrie, Mr. Martin, and others, have admitted its efficacy, and the Army medical reports contain isolated cases, in which its use has been attended with considerable benefit…”
Covid-19 Symptoms and Their Impact on the Human Body
Among those who become critically ill with Covid-19, many have underlying chronic health conditions, are older, or develop sepsis. Of the more dangerous symptoms of Covid-19, sepsis certainly is life-threatening. Sepsis is like fire in a field of stubble – there is little to control it once it gets started.
Sepsis, often referred to as “blood poisoning”, results from the excessive immune system response to infection, namely the explosive production of cytokines. A cytokine chain reaction, or “cytokine storm” throughout the body can rapidly lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death. The fast progression of sepsis makes it extremely important to recognize the symptoms early and treat the infection – but not with anti-microbial drugs antibiotics are all but powerless. If the body’s immune system cascades with an overproduction of cytokines, antibiotics are all but powerless. But activated charcoal is not.
Another route to sepsis is gangrene – read Dr M. Baldwin’s experience.
Blood Cytokine Removal
Several years ago we were invited by one of the founders of a research company to visit their headquarters. We first signed an NDA agreement then were given a tour of their research facility and introduced to their lead scientists from various countries. They started out working on a hemoperfusion [blood filtering] unit for human medicine but got compliance for an animal unit first. The unit, a fraction of the size of a regular dialysis machine, employed a specialized activated carbon that could remove a dictionary of different poisons, as well as all or specific cytokines, in less than an hour, with no more than a few ounces of their patented beaded activated carbon.
I can now tell you, four years later, ImmutriX [Rapid City, SD] has completed regulatory compliance for its Aimalojic hemoperfusion pump, has been tested in several veterinarian hospitals across America, with an enviable 100% success score in saving otherwise fatally poisoned animals. We should not forget, that of late, dogs have been identified as Covid-19 spreaders. Obviously they too can benefit from activated charcoal.
ImmutriX is now perfecting their hemoperfusion units for treating humans.
Referring back to the ongoing experimentation by Rice University, the researchers noted it may be worthwhile to study the application of their nanozymes to treat the cytokine storms suspected of contributing to tissue and organ damage in COVID-19 patients.
“While speculative that these particles will be helpful in COVID-19, if administration is timed correctly, they could reduce the damaging radicals that accompany the cytokine storm and could be further chemically modified to reduce other injury-causing features of this disease.”
Activated Charcoal Powder Taken as a Daily Preventative
As the saying goes, treatment is better than cure. As a daily preventive, activated charcoal powder can be stirred into a glass of warm water. Certainly with the first hint of flu-like symptoms, a person should drink a charcoal slurry a couple times a day to help diffuse any toxic antigens attempting to start a bonfire in the body. But the most common underlying health conditions that have been identified as serious risk factors for Covid-19 are lifestyle issues.
Young and old alike need to realize if they do not begin to reverse these chronic disease patterns, they are much more at risk of not only contracting Covid-19, or one of its cousins, but also prematurely dying. What are those risk conditions that are, to a great degree, lifestyle reversible? You already know them – high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and chronic lung disease. With a balanced lifestyle program, these common Western diseases can see significant reversal, at the same time pumping up the immune system. But, that is the “rub” – most people are not interested in changing unhealthy habits. They would prefer to pray for a magic pill and keep their darling habits. When they finally realize there are no magic pills, and their condition is only getting worse, some are finally ready to experiment with something that is, as Dr Bird recommended, as simple as charcoal. As mentioned before, charcoal will not make one’s case worse if it does no good. AND, it is based on enough scientific “evidence”*** to give one hope.
Like the story in the Bible [Matthew 9:20] of the woman who had suffered for twelve years, and exhausted all her savings on doctors and drugs, hope was still within arm’s reach. We need to be often reminded to cast all our cares upon God, “for He careth for you!” [1 Peter 5:7]
Disclaimer and Footnotes:
*To be clear, we do not believe charcoal cures anything. What charcoal is commercially and industrially celebrated for is removing toxins. In the case of a sick diseased toxic human body, charcoal works untiringly to adsorb toxins so the body can heal itself the way the Creator designed it to.
**Buckminsterfullerenes [C60 molecules aka buckyball and nanotubes] fall into the group of supercharged carbons that are included in the Rice University article as also being effective precursors for nanozymes, but they are very expensive to make. Wonder of wonders, fragments of these super carbons are found in the lowly charcoal left over in your campfire. Granted they are found in extremely small amounts, but they are there. Is it possible these nanoparticles do cross into the bloodstream, and from there to all parts of the body? Time may tell.
*** Evidence – the invisible stuff faith is made of.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:!