The Black Sponge
Activated Charcoal has been used for at least 2,000 years and has an excellent track record for its absorptive ability. It is often used to support the body's cleansing and detoxification mechanisms.
This is good for everyone traveling overseas or anywhere you're not drinking good water. Wherever you are, you can use this for diarrhea, food poisoning, bug and scorpion bites; also good for bites and stings externally if you make a poultice or a paste. It's best when used with lots of water. This is different from charcoal briquettes, so please don't eat those!
Here is some further information on Activated Charcoal - "An astonished gathering of the French Academy of Medicine watched as a pharmacist named Touery downed one grain of strychnine (10 times the lethal dose) without any noticeable ill effect! A few years earlier in 1813, another Frenchman swallowed a whole teaspoonful of arsenic trioxide, about 150 times the amount that would have killed most people. He also lived without ill effect. HOW? Both of these men had mixed the poison with finely ground charcoal, which has a phenomenal ability to hold poisons from being absorbed by the body. Don't try this at home!
It is important to understand that charcoal (or carbon) does not function like a sponge in pulling into its inner structures various pollutants. Instead, poisonous gases and chemicals adhere or stick to its surface. If you were to eat the carbon, nearby poisons within your body would attach to it firmly until the body expels both of them from the body. The charcoal is not absorbed into the blood, but is merely a carrier of toxins. As far as we know, carbon does not lose any of them prematurely.
What does "activated" mean? When wood is heated 600 degrees centigrade in a container with the oxygen removed, certain gases and liquids are driven off. It does not burn because the oxygen is missing. Then the wood is steamed at 400 degrees centigrade under high pressure. By this means, the porosity or holding power of the charcoal is tremendously increased. For example, one quart of activated charcoal can absorb 80 quarts of ammonia gas! Remember, it is not absorbed, but adheres to the outer surface of the carbon.