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Activated Charcoal and Stomach BugsSchool 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

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.


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Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips worked as a licensed aesthetician for over 8 years before creating the green beauty blog, Jenni Raincloud and her natural skin care line, J. Raincloud Organics. Jennifer has been blogging full time for 9 years and loves to gain and share knowledge on how to achieve beautiful skin the natural way.

18 thoughts on “Activated Charcoal for Stomach Bugs…”

  1. Pingback: Guide: Activated Charcoal For Stomach Bugs | Health & Natural Living

  2. 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?

    1. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. 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!

  4. Pingback: 45 Ways To Use Activated Charcoal - The Pistachio Project

  5. Our digestive system cannot digest the Activated Charcoal and since it cannot be digested and have a magnet like properties when passed through our digestive tracks, absorbs all the harmful substances in the stomach as well as alleviated gas and removes them. This process relieves our stomach and causes no more pain.

  6. I’m currently giving AC to my 4 yr old as he was exposed to some stomach bug at daycare. We will see if he is lucky enough not to get it

  7. can you take it to prevent the stomach bug when you’ve been exposed to it. started to feel symptoms from when my husband just had it!

    1. Roxie-It’s worth a try. I will do anything to avoid the stomach bug and it’s difficult to know if you catch it in time or not. The minute you feel even a twinge I would take it. I even take it the first time someone throws up in my household whether I feel it coming on or not.

  8. Hello everyone!

    Great news – this TOTALLY works!!! Last Friday (7 days ago) we discovered my SIL had come down with the stomach bug, so she (and her family of 4) skipped out on a movie night we had planned. We hadn’t been with her since a couple days before she got sick.
    Come Sunday morning, my SIL was fully recovered & no other family members had come down with the bug. Unfortunately, after our service at church, her husband started feeling that feeling and ended up getting sick with the same bug that night.
    I immediately started looking for a preventative solution as I have severe emetophobia… I lose sleep over the fear of vomiting. I found this concoction & started it right away on Sunday afternoon.
    A couple of days later (Tuesday) by BIL was fully recovered, and we watched their 2 year-old and 8 month-old for the evening at our house. We were cautious knowing they had been with their two sick parents & realizing the stomach bug can be contagious for weeks after, but we figured it wasn’t touching the kids for some reason. WELL – I was WRONG.
    The next morning my SIL called me and asked, “how are you feeling?” Of course I immediately panicked as she started to tell me that her 2 year-old had now come down with the same stomach bug. We can’t help but love on those kids when we’re around them, and we had done just that when we watched them the night before.
    It’s now Friday, and I’m happy to report that it has been around 60 hours since I was exposed to their family stomach bug, and I am NOT sick – nor is my husband who has followed the same preventative. We will continue for the next week or so.

    This is the exact regimen I’ve been following 3 times a day, morning, afternoon & evening:

    3 capsules of Activated Charcoal (520mg each = 1560mg total 3x daily = 4,680mg daily max)

    1 Tbs of Apple Cider Vinegar w/ the Mother (Kirkland – Organic)
    mixed w/
    6-8oz of Welch’s 100% Grape Juice (no sugar added) 3x daily

    I also take 1 probiotic capsule (NewRhythm brand – 50 billion CFU) 1x daily

    I can’t tell you how happy I am to have come across this blog and many others who tell of the same successes using these combinations. Thank you for sharing – stay healthy!

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience with using activated charcoal as a preventative measure against the stomach bug. It’s truly reassuring to hear success stories like yours. The detailed regimen you’ve followed, along with the inclusion of apple cider vinegar and probiotics, provides valuable insights for others who may be seeking a natural and proactive approach to avoid getting sick. In fact, many companies now use biomass charcoal for medicinal purposes. We look forward to discovering more.

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