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Activated Charcoal for Stomach Bugs…

Activated Charcoal for Stomach Bugs

School has definitely started-You know how I know?  I’ve got a little sicko snuggled up in my bed eating saltines and watching movies as we speak.  All 3 diffusers are pumping out Shield and I’m literally spraying it all over everything about every 2 minutes!   I got a call from school yesterday informing me that Sofie had thrown up on her desk and I needed to come get her-Insert gritted teeth and sad face emoji….  She battled a fever and threw up several times yesterday and after a 12 hour sleep seems to be on the mend.  Last week, my youngest spontaneously barfed during her nap but was right as rain after.  There’s certainly a bug going around so what’s a momma to do?  Pound the activated charcoal, that’s what!

All of us moms have been there-One of your babies starts throwing up and your stomach literally does a somersault, your face flushes and you feel that dread of OMG-what’s going to happen if I get it too?  Stomach bugs leave me worthless-Like I can’t even watch TV much less take care of my kids!  I’m so thankful that this year I have discovered a tool to naturally and safely combat the stomach bug.

As we learned in THIS and THIS post, activated charcoal absorbs bacterias.  That means, by taking it internally, it will pass through our system absorbing everything in it’s path including stomach bugs and food poisoning!  At first I thought I’d post about this with a way to incorporate it into a smoothie, then soon realized that all the good nutrition in a smoothie would be absorbed by the activated charcoal-SO, It’s best to buy A.C. in pill form and take it that way.

How to Use It:

Adults: As soon as you exhibit signs of a stomach bug or someone near you does, take 2 capsules with a full glass of water as often as every 2 hours.  Take up to 17 capsules a day.  Discontinue vitamins because you’ll just waste them.  I believe once you are exposed to a bug/virus, you should go easy on your stomach.  Don’t bombard it with food, especially rich or spicy food.  Skip your supplements and start drinking a TON of water.  One side effect of taking A.C. can be constipation.  Adding extra water while you are taking the pill will help combat that.

Children: Kiddos under 3 SHOULD NOT take activated charcoal.  Most kiddos can’t swallow a pill so putting 1 capsule in ice water will work-I’d suggest putting it in a sippy cup that they can’t see through-It doesn’t taste like anything (might have a bit of a gritty texture) so if they can’t see the black water, they might just drink it!  Even if they drink it over a period of a couple days, I believe it’s worth it.  My girls actually liked it.

UPDATE: Upon more research, I ran into several articles on giving kids a cup of grape juice with 1 capsule of activated charcoal-Something about the acid that’s in the grape juice + the a.c. tends to work wonders!  I like this idea because it won’t be hard to get my kids to drink grape juice and the purple color masks the black of the a.c.!  Of course, this won’t work if they are already throwing up but once one starts, give it to everyone else in the house!  Also, no grape juice cocktails or “lite” juice-It’s got to be plain ole’ 100% grape juice.

I found my Activated Charcoal HERE.

Activated Charcoal

If you are on medication be aware that the activated charcoal most likely will intercept the medication.  Consult your doctor if you are concerned.  Oh and just FYI-some emergency vehicles carry A.C. for people that have been poisoned and must have their stomach pumped.  Also, it is used to extract venom from snakes and spiders!

I would not take activated charcoal for more then 3-4 days at a time. 

Go HERE for more in-depth info. as well as precautions of activated charcoal.

Our Personal Experience:

Today is Friday.  Sofie threw up on Monday.  I wrote this post on Tuesday.  It was Tuesday that the girls had the activated charcoal in their water and Monday was when I started popping the pills.  I’m happy to say that neither I nor Heidi have come down with this bug.  Sofie is STILL recovering, having a hard time getting 100% better.  I was feeling quite queasy on Monday and Tuesday but nothing came from it.  We’ll never know if Sofie would have continued throwing up without the a.c., but Monday was the only time she threw up!

In my opinion-this is a great tool to have on hand-I think it is much more preventative then it is helpful once you’ve come down with the bug-That being said, I’ve read of lots of people using a.c. and seeing quick relief with throwing up-I’ve also heard it’s great for hang-overs.  I think it can clear out a bug once it’s taken hold but it’s hard to get the pills/water down once you’ve started throwing up.


Activated charcoal is an absolute must for any medicine cabinet!  Trust me, next time someone starts throwing up-you’ll be happy you have activated charcoal on your side .

xx, Jenni

P.S.  One more suggestion for your stomach bug arsenol, THIS oil can be very helpful to relieve stomach issues.  I apply to the tummy and bottoms of the feet to ease symptoms.

DISCLAIMER:  Clearly, I’m not a doctor or medical professional.  I am simply sharing what I have found works for my family based on experience and research.


Acivated Charcoal for Stomach Bugs


  1. I have a 4 year old little boy who is autistic. Would the activated charcoal be safe for him to take even if hes not sick?

    • Tammie-I give it to my 4 year old in her water and have read many places that it is safe for children. It can’t be taken consistently or it will dehydrate among other things.

  2. Gary Ritenburgh says:

    This is good info that I didn’t know. Something that I do occasionally is to grind up a BBQ charcoal bracket as fine as I can. I mix water with it it, maybe 8 oz. After stirring vigorously, it is down the hatch time. Towards the end it gets very difficult to keep drinking it. I have down this once or twice a year to clean out my system. I have been told it is not medically recommended, but it has not hurt me after ten years, I guess it won’t kill me. I could have used charcoal from a fire collected after putting out the fire, then taking the charcoal grinding up to get the same results.

    • Hi Gary! I have heard of drinking charcoal from the bar-b-q but in all my research have been warned not to do this-that activated charcoal and charcoal used for grilling weren’t the same thing. Taking the capsules would be really easy anyway!


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