When I was in California earlier this Summer I came across a vacuum packed charcoal stick called Binchotan Charcoal, claiming to purify water. The helpful lady in the shop told me the Japanese had used charcoal to detoxify water since the 17th century. Who knew? As I love anything Japanese, especially their tea rituals and seaweed rich diet, this was something I needed to explore.
I had grown somewhat bored with my Brita filter jug back in the UK which needed new cartridges on a regular basis, stained easily from the hard water as well as being rather unattractive. And who really wants plastic when you can have glass? This charcoal stick could be the answer to what I had been looking for. Instead of first decanting my filtered Brita water into an attractive glass jug I could just stick the charcoal directly into my chosen jug and be done with it. Voila!
Fans of Binchotan charcoal say it is a great way to filter out impurities such as chlorine and other nasties. Charcoal is very porous and has many uses involving detoxification. ‘The ions of contaminants are attracted to the surface of the carbon, where they will be held.’ says Dan Black who is the founder of black-blum, the company which stocks the charcoal in the UK*. So far so good. It is also known to prevent gas and bloating. Here are some of the other claims:
Binchotan charcoal is an active carbon derived from tree branches
It absorbs impurities such as chlorine by attracting the negative ions to its surface
In exchange, the charcoal sends its nutrients (calcium, iron and magnesium) back into the water
It also neutralises the water’s pH levels
Each stick lasts for 3 months; At this time if you boil it in water for 10 minutes it will recharge for a further 3 months
The cost? £14.95 for a pack of 3 (see here). That is essentially 1 1/2 years worth of filtered water for roughly fifteen pounds! A bargain if you ask me and definitely something to try. And think of all those plastic bottles which you no longer have to buy. Just stick your charcoal into your own water bottle, fill up and go. Great for children too as they use a water bottle daily in school.
I hope you are as excited about this as I am. I will check back with you to let you know how I’m getting along with my new charcoal. Have you tried using activated charcoal?. I would love to hear what you think.