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1 of 15 tablets or capsules spilling out of a brown bottle onto a brown wooden table in a conceptual medical image

You may have noticed an unsightly liquid popping up on health food store shelves recently. Maybe you walked it up to the cashier, informing them this drink has clearly gone bad, or belongs in the cleaning products isle. But they gave you a (slightly condescending) laugh and said, “Oh no, dear, that’s activated charcoal. You’re supposed to drink it.” Charcoal? Like the stuff that falls off the grill when you make burgers? Like the stuff sprinkled around construction sites? Yup: that charcoal. Well, not quite that charcoal. Inhaling or consuming regular charcoal can cause cancer. But activated charcoal has had the bad stuff removed, and can actually offer some interesting health and beauty benefits. So if you’ve been confused or even a little terrified, let’s remove the mystery. Here is what you need to know about activated charcoal.


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It makes your gas milder

If your gas can clear a room, then you may want to see a doctor. But in the meantime, you could get some charcoal-infused underwear. It’s a thing. In fact, it’s been found to be so effective that some people think airplane seats should be made with charcoal to reduce odors on planes.


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