This wondrous little black lump of coal can work miracles in many ways. It is very often used for treating:
Poisoning or overdoses (including food poisoning)
Gas and bloating
But the reason why I bought it is to filter my water.
It recently occurred to me that I won't be able to buy any more filters for our Brita water filter, as they're completely plastic. Now that I think about it, I'm surprised I ever thought it was ok to buy a massive plastic brick (in a plastic wrapper) for it to be thrown away a month later. Eugh!
Luckily I stumbled upon activated charcoal last week and it seems to be the answer.
Last Sunday I was taking a walk through London's East Village Market and found a cute stall run by Trésor, an independent graphic design studio founded by Bettina Szabo-Shaw. She was selling the charcoal for two specific uses:
1. for filtering water
2. for the bath.
Here's how to use it
• Activated charcoal needs 6-8 hours to work its wonders when filtering water. So best to place it in a container with water overnight so that it's ready to drink the next day.
• The charcoal will last about 2-3 weeks before it loses its potency and needs to be refreshed.
• It can be easily refreshed by boiling it in water for 10 minutes. Then it's ready to use again!
• Best to replace the charcoal about every 3 months.
• But after that, it will still have some goodness left in it to use in the bath. Simply plop it in the bath and it will absorb toxins from the skin.
I know I can't wait to get all the London pollution out of mine!
I've also read some interesting blog posts about using activated charcoal for DIY make up recipes. My mascara is running out and I'm currently wondering what on earth to do about it... Think I'm going to have to do a little bit of experimenting here!
Oh and by the way,
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: activated charcoal is not to be confused with your bog-standard BBQ coal. It's completely different, and the latter is full of nasties so don't put it anywhere near your drinking water - OK?!