I wish I had known about this when I was pregnant: activated charcoal is an effective, natural remedy to ease heartburn and indigestion. I’ve tried almost all of the OTC medications over the years and have found activated charcoal to work the quickest. I’ve given it to my 6-year-old when he overeats and complains of a stomachache, with similar success. I take two pills while my son gets only one.
Do Not Use To Treat Poisoning
In a 2003 news release, the American Academy of Pediatrics advised parents to get rid of a longtime staple of many medicine cabinets, syrup of ipecac, as a treatment to induce vomiting in the case of poisoning. The policy change came as a result of research that indicated vomiting doesn’t help victims of poisoning. Here’s what the group had to say about activated charcoal in an FAQ on poison treatment in the home:
Most emergency rooms have stopped using ipecac in favor of activated charcoal – which binds to poison in the stomach and prevents them from entering the bloodstream.
In the AAP’s full policy statement, however, the organization isn’t officially recommending that parents use activated charcoal at home if they suspect poisoning. This is for two reasons: studies show mixed results on whether it’s effective and they assume that like syrup of ipecac, it will be overused or inappropriately used.