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History of Charcoal
Charcoal

Charcoal has been used as a folk remedy as far back as recorded history. North American Indians used charcoal for the treatment of gas pains long before our forefathers came to this continent.

Homeopathic physicians have used charcoal throughout the world for more than 200 years.

Charcoal is rated in Category 1 (safe and effective) status by the FDA for acute toxic poisoning.

Charcoal has been an official remedy in the United States for at least 100 years, and was eliminated from the U.S. Pharmacopoeia about 1950, not because it was ineffective, but because of its general disuse in American medicine following the phenomenal growth of the drug industry.

The light and fluffy black powder of charcoal has been used as a officially recognized antidote since the 19th century.

It is easy to make by a destructive distillation of organic materials such as wood pulp, petroleum coke, coals, peat, sawdust, wood char, paper mill waste, bone, and coconut shells.

Any kind of wood such as willow, eucalyptus, pine, oak and others are adequate sources of wood charcoal. Charcoals made from vegetable materials such as wood and coal contains about 90% carbon.

History of Charcoal

The use of charcoal for medicinal purposes is ancient. In an Egyptian papyrus of 1550 B.C., various kinds of charcoal are specified for medicinal use.。

Over succeeding centuries, those who practiced as physicians believed greatly in the healing properties and therapeutic values of wood charcoal.

In the times of Hippocrates (400 B.C.), and Pliny (50 A.D.), wood charcoal was used to treat epilepsy, vertigo, chlorosis, and anthrax. These practices gradually fell into disuses, but were still mentioned, often even into the nineteenth century.

The discovery of how charcoal really works, that is, of the phenomenon of adsorption as we presently understand it, is generally attributed to Scheele, who in 1773 described some experiments on gases exposed to charcoal. The charcoal was found to adsorb many types of gases to a significant extent.

In the area of liquid phase systems, the earliest notice of adsorption seems to have been in 1785, when Lowitz observed that charcoal was used to clarify came sugar in a sugar refinery.

During nineteenth century many attempts were made to produce decolorizing charcoals from other sources.

In 1822, Bussy found that by heating blood with potash, an effective charcoal was produced.

Hunter, in 1865, reported on the great capacity of a charcoal derived from coconut shells for adsorbing gases.

Other charcoals were made by Lee, in 1863, from peat, by Winser and Swindells, in 1868, from paper mill wastes.

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