What is ‘activated charcoal’ or Binchotan and why is it an eco-friendly alternative to filter your tap water?
Activated Charcoal seems like it's the latest wellbeing discovery but it actually dates back to 1608!
Binchotan Charcoal is basically a natural way to purify water but can be used to detoxify skin, purify air and whiten teeth as well. You may have seen products such as charcoal toothpaste, soaps, etc. made with charcoal too.
To activate Binchotan charcoal, artisans burn branches of the Ubame Oak Tree (which is native to the Wakayama region of Japan) in kilns at low temperatures using a traditional method. Towards the end of the kilning process, they are blasted with heat and starved of oxygen until they glow white hot and reach roughly 2300°F before being rapidly cooled and smothered with ash. The technique turns the branches into pure carbon, making the charcoal extremely porous. “Activating” the charcoal greatly increases the surface area of the branches, allowing the charcoal to attract and absorb a range of unwanted toxins and contaminants such as chlorine and heavy metals commonly found in tap water. These amazing sticks alkalise water by raising pH levels and last for at least two months before they need replacing.
At Lunch Porter we also carry Bamboo Charcoal - which is made from the carbonised branches of rapidly growing Bamboo plants, making it another sustainable type of Activated Charcoal!
So how do we use these amazing sticks?
1. Purify water - Before you use most charcoal for the first time, you must rinse it, then place in boiling water for 10 minutes and allow to cool before adding to a carafe. Place the desired amount of Binchotan Charcoal Sticks into a your water bottle or pitcher and you have an instant filter. The charcoal will release alkali ions to increase the water's pH, release natural minerals, and absorb unwanted chemicals from the water. It also has the health benefit of releasing minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron into the water. One stick will last for around tow to three months.
2. Cooking - Inserting a piece of Binchotan charcoal into a pot of rice before cooking will help absorb impurities in the water and help retain the taste of the rice. (Note: wash as instructed).
3. Deodorizer - Binchotan is believed to contain negative ions, which it releases into the atmosphere. Similar to baking soda, place a couple of charcoal sticks in your refrigerator to absorb unwanted odors.
4. Soil booster- At the end of its life cycle, Binchotan charcoal can be composted. Just grind them up and add them to your soil as an enricher.
The earth and your body will thank you for using them!