Activated Charcoal: the stomach bug exterminator

It’s like clockwork, once winter arrives so does a Stomach bug or two. And, last month was a…

It’s like clockwork, once winter arrives so does a Stomach bug or two. And, last month was a perfect example of how this annual illness comes as the season changes and the temperature drops. About six or seven weeks ago, my 3-year old son came to me saying he doesn’t feel well. Before I could even comfort him, he was puking everywhere. The stomach flu had officially arrived!

This used to be my worst nightmare. I dreaded the stomach bug and how it could ravage my household. I used to get very anxious just thinking about it. But, that was before and this is now. If you are wondering what changed, I’ll tell you shortly. First, let’s get back to the 2017 edition of the stomach flu.

As I was caring for my youngest child, it wasn’t even 48 hours before my 7-year old son started feeling sick and puking everywhere. Yes, I now had two kids puking in unison. They say that misery loves company and, on this day, it was true.

With both kids being sick, I knew it was just a matter of time before my husband and I were next. But, instead of hoping for a miracle that this stomach bug would skip us, I went on the offense and took my number one favorite health product – activated charcoal.

What is activated charcoal?

For those of you unfamiliar with activated charcoal, it’s like a miracle worker for stomach bugs, the stomach flu and the norovirus. In fact, activated charcoal is used by emergency rooms all across the country as it’s considered the most effective adsorbent in treating a patient that swallowed poisonous chemicals or drugs. Activated charcoal works by binding with poisonous chemicals to reduce their toxicity within the GI tract and stomach. It’s also believed that activated charcoal has the same effect on stomach bugs and the norovirus. It binds with the illness within your stomach and prevents it from being absorbed into your body.

After my kids came down with the stomach flu, I immediately took 575 mg – 900 mg of my favourite brand of activated charcoal (find it here>>) every 1-2 hours up to 5g per day. This dosage might not be for everybody and it’s always best to consult your doctor when dealing with any illness. But, for my husband and I, this dosage worked perfectly as we both were able to escape this season’s stomach flu. For my kids, I give them one capsule 3 – 4 times a day either in 100% grape juice or mixed in apple sauce (NB: It should not be given to kids under 3).

Activated charcoal has become my go-to health product whenever there’s a hint of stomach bugs in my home. I no longer dread it or get anxious over the thought of a stomach bug.

You can get Activated Charcoal at your local health food store or you can find Activated Charcoal on Amazon (which seems to be a lot cheaper).

It is important to note that you should not take this long term, as it could absorb important vitamins and minerals from your diet which could leave you deficient. It could also make you constipated with higher does.

*If you are on any type of medication, you should absolutely consult your doctor before taking activated charcoal, as it will adsorb medications.
Don’t give it with ipecac, as activated charcoal will absorb it.*

More Natural Remedies

Activated charcoal may be my #1 health product for stopping the stomach bug or flu, but there are other options that you can use for treating the symptoms:

  • Diatomaceous Earth -DE is a fine powder containing tiny pre-historic aquatic organisms called diatoms, which are made of silica. Food grade Diatomaceous Earth may be taken internally (ensure it is food grade), and offers dozens of health-enhancing effects and the main one is to absorb the toxins from a stomach virus. The powder attracts bacteria, toxins, fungi, viruses and heavy metals and eliminates them. Mix a tablespoon in some water and sip slowly.
  • Essential oils – these oils can be rubbed on the skin or used in a diffuser that spreads oils throughout a room like a mist. There are many different essential oils available, with each one having fantastic benefits. Check out my article on essential oils to see why I believe in them so much.
  • Ginger tea – this tea is widely accepted as an anti-nausea remedy. As soon as your stomach can handle it, try some ginger tea. It’s a great option for treating any digestive issue or stomach ache.
  • 100% Grape Juice – Take the activated charcoal with this grape juice. Something about the acid that is in the grape juice mixed with the activated charcoal works wonders.
  • Chicken broth – homemade chicken broth is a great way to replace electrolytes and fluids after battling a stomach flu or bug. It tastes good, is easy to drink and it’s the perfect complement to a cold winter day.
  • Probiotics – I always ensure to replenish the gut with good bacteria but make sure you take this not within 2 hours of the activated charcoal. You can find my fave brand here>>

Proper hygiene

Wash, wash, wash, everybody wash. Proper hand washing is essential for stopping norovirus in its tracks. A trick I use and I teach my kids is to wash your hands while singing happy birthday to ensure you get a proper cleaning.

Further, sanitize, sanitize, sanitize!! There are only two hand sanitizer brands that are actually proven to kill norovirus which I have listed below. I have both of these in my house but really love Zylast because of its long lasting protection.

Zylast – It has been tested for persistent effect, demonstrating more than a 99.9% kill level up to 6 hours after application in independent testing. This is the only sanitizer that kills bugs if you come in contact after the application. “In the two schools tested, adding Zylast reduced illness absenteeism among students by 39% and among staff by 24%.  Even more incredibly, illness outbreaks – when more than 10% of the class was sick – were reduced by nearly 90%”. My fave Zylast products are following:

Clorox Bleach-Free Hand Sanitizer – Bleach-Free formula kills 99.999% of germs, Formulated with 71% ethyl alcohol and premium emollients, tested and kills Norovirus (Feline Calicivirus). You can check it out here>>

Fight the bug with hospital grade cleaning products

Even if you arm yourself with all of my suggestions above, you still need to ensure that you clean, wash, spray, clean and wash some more. Ensure that you wipe down all door handles, bathrooms and light switches. Wash all towels and bedding even if no actual vomit got on them. The only way to kill the norovirus is with these cleaning products.

Just know that most cleaning products won’t kill the norovirus bug so ensure you do your homework and purchase ones that do.

Lastly, I know this sounds funny but me and my husband always gear up with medical grade gloves and masks. That last thing we want is those small fine particals getting into our mouth, nose and fingernails.

Well, there you have it, all my top tips on beating the dreaded stomach virus, stomach flu, norovirus or even food poisoning.

Remember…. If symptoms worsen or persist, be sure to check in with your doctor.

And as always, I am not a medical doctor and the above post is based on my experience. No information on this site should be relied upon to make a medical diagnosis, treat, prevent or cure any disease or medical condition. 

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