Sustainable & Affordable Benefits of Activated Charcoal

Many of you may have already learned about the job of a charcoal-burner, from the popular anime &manga; Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Or you may have learned this from our own article. In Japan, people started using charcoal in their homes 2,000 years ago. Charcoal was an important part of the Japanese economy, and it was a necessity to Japanese life until the 1950s. 

Charcoal was an essential commodity that was used in many aspects of Japanese culture, including cooking; heating; distilling sake; blacksmithing; medicinal & cosmetics purposes; and painting. Charcoal was also used in one of Japan’s most famous tourist attractions, the Great Buddha of Tōdai-ji Temple in Nara, which is made of copper. The most amount of charcoal in history was used to make its casting.

In this the Edo period (1615–1868) picture called ukiyo-e, you can see in the middle of the picture there is a gold bucket used as a fire bowl called Hibachi, and the black materials in the bucket are charcoal.
A Votive Picture to Be Donated to the Kannon of Asakusa (Asakusa Kannon hō kakegaku no zu), by Takigawa of the Ōgiya, Kamuro Menami and Onami, with Tomikawa, Kumegawa, Tamagawa, Tsugawa, Utagawa, and Kiyokawaca. ca. 1800. Kitagawa Kikumaro Japanese at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

Why did charcoal spread in Japan instead of firewood? Charcoal is smokeless, it was useful for cooking and taking the heat in the house.

If you would like to experience charcoal burning, check out the DAIGO Ecology Village in Hachioji, Tokyo. You can learn about mountain life through a charcoal-making experience that recreates specialized Angezumi. This type of charcoal was highly valued in the O-oku, which was an area of Edo Castle reserved for the shogun’s concubines and female relatives of the Edo period.

The artisanal Japanese charcoal Binchotan, popularly used for grilled chicken skewers Yakitori.

How to Incorporate Activated Charcoal Into Our Lifestyle 

Here are some wellness tips for activated charcoal! There are many health benefits by using charcoal for cooking & skincare. If you want to live a more sustainable lifestyle, it is a perfect material for you!

Activated charcoal can be used in many ways in our daily lives. It may surprise you to hear that activated charcoal has an expiration date, but charcoal’s ability to absorb and eliminate odors has its limits. Are your activated charcoal materials expired? Here are tips on the expiration dates of activated charcoal for different purposes.

For cooking, if you put the activated charcoal in water, it will purify it. Some Japanese activated charcoal specialists claim that activated charcoal takes 10 days to 2 weeks for the minerals to be released into the water. The water eventually tastes better because of the adsorption of chalky substances by activated charcoal, but after two weeks the minerals in the water will actually be reduced. The effect of adsorbing odors and chalky substances will continue for about 3 to 6 months. 

Placing the right type of charcoal in a rice cooker willy make your rice sticky and delicious. The charcoal can be used about 10 times. Each time after using the charcoal; store it in Tupperware to maintain its long-lasting effect. Occasionally disinfect the charcoal by boiling and dry well. It is part of the maintenance routine, making it last longer. When using a fryer, put the charcoal in before heating the oil. This oil will then make fried food lighter & creates a crunchy textured batter.

If you use the charcoal for the fryer, it should not be reused for other cooking purposes, but it can be used for gardening. See below how to use it for your garden. Please note: Be sure to dry the charcoal well before use fryer. It is very dangerous if there is any moisture on the charcoal. After using it for cooking, except for frying purposes, it is economical to reuse it for deodorizing, detox baths, and gardening.

And more…

For deodorizing, you can put charcoal in your refrigerator or shoe boxes. It can be used as a deodorant, disinfectant, and dehumidifier. Activated charcoal can be reused by washing it with water or boiling it, but it is best to replace it with new charcoal after a few months when you feel it is no longer effective.

Charcoal can be effective for a detox bath. It will warm to your core, and the dissolved minerals will soften your skin. The minerals are released between about 10 days to 2 weeks, but the adsorption effect can last for about 3 months. It is good to note that while the minerals are being released, don’t throw away the water. It will be great to use it for plants. This water will be a delight for the health of your plants.

For gardening, crush charcoal into small pieces and mix them into the soil or just stick it to the base of the plant. It is also effective when put charcoal directly in the soil. Activated charcoal is an excellent soil conditioner, providing a balanced supply of nutrients, water, and oxygen to the soil and roots.

Activated charcoal is also attracting attention from the perspective of zero-waste & sustainability. With just a little effort, your daily life can be a little richer and sustainable. We hope you feel the power of activated charcoal! 

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