Dulce Rodrigues, writer

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Introduction to Plants



Cashew nuts


Vegetable charcoal





VEGETABLE CHARCOAL, the vegetable that provides relief from flatulence
(Carbo vegetabilis)


Origin of vegetable charcoal : Carbon is the most abundant element on earth, and is also an important element of the human body. It occurs in impure form in petroleum, charcoal and various sediments. In its pure form, in graphite and diamonds. For health purposes, we use carbo vegetabilis; it is a pure, non-carcinogenic, naturally-produced vegetable charcoal.

Preparation of vegetable charcoal : The source of vegetable charcoal is carbonized coconut husks (nucifera cocos) that are ground into a fine, black, odourless and tasteless powder. It is completely safe for human consumption, and its method of preparation increases its porosity and adsorption properties. I would like to make here a distinction between adsorption and absorption. Under the scientific point of view, adsorption is the amazing ability to attract and hold substances on its surface, while through absorption these same substances are incorporated and assimilated.

palm tree
Coconut palm tree, along the lagoon backwaters, Kumarakom (Kerala), India

How does vegetable charcoal have effect ? When we take vegetable charcoal, it stays in the digestive system collecting the various toxins in our body, like food additives, bacteria found in fish, shellfish, and other food sources; also the remaining pesticides and other chemicals used in modern farming, that are trapped in the fruits and vegetables we eat. Though we know how they are cultivated, most of us would rather ignore it.

Vegetable charcoal absorbs gases caused by bad eating practices (too much sugar, fat food, alcoholic drinks…) thus relieving flatulence, cramping pains, and bloating. It is without rival to cleanse our body and to prevent intestinal infections. Because it relieves from gas, it helps reduce abdominal distension and, consequently in the slimming process. It also helps prevent halitosis (bad breath) due to intestinal fermentation, and it has proven to be effective in cases of diarrhea, because while adsorbing toxins it creates a kind of natural protective plaster.

It is fully excreted, so it will temporarily darken faeces.

Safety precautions : Vegetable charcoal is usually safe to adults if used short-term. It may occasionally have some side effects, like constipation, and in more serious, but rare cases, it may cause slowing or even blockage of the intestinal tract; and dehydration as well. It might be a wise decision to consult with your doctor or a healthcare professional before initiating a cure with vegetable charcoal.

© Dulce Rodrigues


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