Gas and Bloating Relief with Activated Charcoal

Gas and Bloating Relief with Activated Charcoal

Gas and bloating are common symptoms of IBS. IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is a collection of digestive symptoms that do not point to a specific disease but are put under the umbrella of IBS. IBS is not to be confused with IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease) which is an inflammatory condition including Crohn’s disease and colitis and needs professional care. Gas and bloating that is not the result of IBD can be treated naturally once the root cause is determined.  For simple gas and bloating I like activated charcoal as a remedy. Gas and bloating relief with activated charcoal can ease your symptoms so you can start working on the root cause and long-term success.

IBS can be resolved completely, so that is encouraging for many! IBS is mainly due to SIBO a condition where there is bacterial overgrowth in the intestines. Many people naturally turn to probiotics when dealing with gas, bloating and other digestive system ailments. But if your IBS issues including gas and bloating are due to SIBO, which most are, then adding more bacteria regardless if it’s beneficial bacteria can add to the problem at least in the short term.

To get fast relief for gas and bloating the goal is to:

1) Release trapped gas

2) Relax the muscle wall of the intestines to ease cramps and bloating.

3) Balance microbes

4) Fix the diet

5) Practice good eating hygiene

Steps 1 -5 are the order in which to start healing, so the first step is to release trapped gas.


Gas forms in your digestive tract when air is swallowed and when bacteria in the large intestines break down undigested foods. The types of food that are eaten and how long they hang out in the large intestine can determine the amount of gas produced.  You can lessen the amount of gas you experience by eating properly eg. eating hygiene; not swallowing large chunks of food, eating on the run, and eating while stressed. Be aware of the types of food eaten that will not hang out in the intestines for long producing excess gas is important.

Trapped gas can be very painful and for some keep them up at night.  Trapped gas can be a quality of life issue as well due to the pain and the bloating.  Clothes not fitting properly is another problem for those suffering from trapped gas.


One of my favorite remedies for absorbing excess gas and providing relief is activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is a medicinal remedy not to be confused with regular charcoal which is a carcinogen. Activated charcoal is the byproduct of slowly burnt coconut shells or burnt wood and then treated with oxygen which makes it an adsorbable (binding to) product. So, activated charcoal binds to toxins and odors up to one thousand times its weight.

Activated charcoal has been used in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine for centuries and is now very popular in the U.S and around the world as a superfood. It has alkalizing properties which make it a darling for the health conscious. However many claims are not substantiated, so do your homework if you’re going to use it for other purposes.

From Dr.Jockers
From Dr.Jockers

With that said, activated charcoal and its ability to bind to digestive toxins are well documented. Using activated charcoal to ‘bind’ to trapped gas is a wonderful, fast acting remedy for breaking up painful, trapped gas.

Make sure activated charcoal is taken away from medication or other supplements as it’s binding properties act on them as well. You want the activated charcoal to bind to gas, not your vitamins or medications. Taking it between meals is a good idea.

Activated charcoal comes in pill or powder varieties. My favorite activated charcoal products also include other gas absorbing and anti-cramping agents. Gaia Herbs Gas and Bloating and Heather’s Tummy tamers are excellent choices.

In conclusion, gas and bloating due to IBS can be remedied by taking products with activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is a nutrient that has been used for centuries in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine. Activated charcoal acts due to its ability to adsorb or bind to other substances like gas. Take activated charcoal between meals to ensure it does not bind to other nutrients or medicines.

If you try activated charcoal for gas and bloating, I’d love to hear from you! Please comment below!



Linda is a Functional Medicine Health Coach

14 Comments Add yours
  1. Hi Linda
    Great post.
    I’m an ex sufferer of ulcerated colitis ( now have ileo anal j pouch ).
    I’m always looking for natural products to help my needs & quite often get asked by IBS sufferers what might help them with their symptoms ? I will advice them about this treatment & guide them towards your website.

    1. Thank you Paul. I’m so glad you are an ex-sufferer and doing better. My site is to help people before their conditions get out of control and hope some of these remedies along with a change in lifestyle and finding the root cause heads off more serious conditions.

  2. Wow, I have not heard of this before. I do sometimes get really bad gas but just wait for it to go away. I will try your method of activated charcoal, can you take too much of it and if so are there any side effects.

    1. Hi Rod, you should take the recommended dose per the instructions on the bottle of capsules you use. If you are using the powder take 500 mgs. Also as I stated in the article, take it in between meals as it binds to other substances. Drink plenty of water while using activated charcoal as it can be dehydrating.

  3. Hi Linda,

    Great post as usual. I use activated charcoal to whiten my teeth. I use it 3 times a week and it works well. Loved this post. Great graphics and you thoroughly cover the topic.

    I have never had gut issues (touch wood) but my partner has and I will be letting her know about this as we both have supplies in the powdered form.

    Would you mix say one teaspoon in a glass of water?



    1. Glad you enjoyed the article Kev! Yes, you can take 1 teaspoon to up to one tablespoon a couple of times a day. Make sure it is taken between meals due to its ability to bind to other substances.

  4. I have never heard that Charcoal for gas and bloating! I don’t really have much digestion/intestinal problems but sometimes I feel discomfort. But the idea of taking charcoal directly a bit backs me up… how do you recommend to take it.. ?? Sorry for such a novice question, but thank you for the great info!

    1. No problem Kyoko. There are supplements in capsules that you just take per directions. You should just stay hydrated while taking them. There is a distinction between ‘activated’ charcoal aand charcoal that is a byproduct of burnt things which is carcinogenic. I think there are so many uses for activated charcoal that it’s one of those always have in the medicine cabinet type products.

  5. Thank you for covering this…I’d heard of its use in teeth whitening but not internally for gas. Sounds like something I’d like to try…and I appreciate that you have included product recommendations as I wouldn’t know where to start! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *