When trying to get pregnant, the list of "is it OK?" questions a woman runs through is long. There is plenty of information that suggests stress, high-mercury fish, too much caffeine, and many other factors can inhibit fertility, but there are also the more elusive answers to questions about what is best for creating a happy baby-growing environment. One that is often asked by moms is, can you use activated charcoal while you’re trying to conceive?
"It's perfectly safe to use activated charcoal while trying to conceive, as well as during pregnancy," says Los Angeles based OB-GYN Dr. Allison Hill in an email interview with Romper. In fact, activated charcoal has been used for thousands of years dating back to ancient Egypt, Dr. Will Cole, a functional medicine practitioner and clinical nutritionist, tells Romper.
"A big draw to consuming this is its unique ability to aid in the body's detoxification process," he says. "Instead of chemicals and toxins being absorbed by your body, they actually bind to the charcoal instead and are released from your body along with the charcoal."
So, why might somebody use activated charcoal? Katie Wells, the creator of the popular natural health blog Wellness Mama, noted on her website that she always keeps activated charcoal on hand not only to whiten her teeth, but in the event one of her children would ingest a toxin (note: check with your child's doctor for the specifics on how to use activated charcoal in these events). Wells even used it once to treat her son’s spider bite.
Other enthusiasts say the benefits of charbon activé — a fancy schmancy alternative name for activated charcoal — can also be seen when used as a face mask, deodorant, and shampoo, according to Rodale's Organic Life, and as a water filter in the form of charcoal sticks.
Activated charcoal can also be taken in capsule form, a remedy experts say can help alleviate gas and bloating, and even prevent hangovers, noted the website Dr. Axe.
"When someone is trying to conceive, getting your health on track is key," Cole says. "Since we are constantly exposed to toxins everyday in our air, water, and food supply, it is important to promote healthy detoxification pathways in order to create an optimal physical environment for conception."
To that I say — bottoms up.