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You’ve probably seen it: happy people all over the internet brushing their teeth with what looks like dirt. Okay, it’s not technically dirt, but it’s the next closest thing—charcoal. Has the world gone mad? Brushing your teeth with charcoal literally makes them dirtier, not cleaner. Right?

As it turns out, scrubbing your pearly whites with some activated charcoal once in a while can be great for your teeth.

So what is activated charcoal anyways? To make activated charcoal, a material (often bamboo or coconut husk) must be charred at extremely high temperatures in the absence of oxygen, creating a highly porous carbon structure. Charcoal and activated charcoal have been used for centuries to make our lives cleaner and healthier—it can do anything from absorbing serious poisons in the body to reducing odors and bacteria to cleaning and filtering polluted water, and more. And yes, you can even brush your teeth with it.

When it coms to teeth, activated charcoal absorbs anything and everything, meaning it can reduce bad breath bacteria, food stains and anything else lurking around. Its texture is also highly effective at brushing away plaque buildup and keeping teeth squeaky clean.

My first experience with activated charcoal began when I saw a jar of tooth powder discounted at a store and decided to indulge my curiosity. I brought it home, dipped my toothbrush in, and brushed as I did normally. I’m not going to lie, it was weird. I smiled at myself in the mirror and was greeted by a toothless zombie of a reflection. My inner 5 year-old could not have been more pleased to be making such a mess.

After rinsing and spitting, I inspected my teeth. Yep, they were noticeably whiter and felt great. It is pretty incredible. I now use activated charcoal around twice a week to keep my teeth clean and happy. Yes, I still use a fluoride-free toothpaste, mainly because charcoal is a little bit more abrasive and I don’t love the idea of cleaning charcoal-spit out of the sink every night. Of course, there are plenty of natural toothpaste companies who are incorporating small amounts of activated charcoal into their formulations to make a more gentle, less dirty whitening formula.

charcoal on a wooden spoon

Now for the cons. There are some people who have concerns about the abrasiveness of charcoal powder on tooth enamel. If this is a concern for you, try using charcoal just as a gentle biweekly treatment (rather than bidaily) to keep surface stains at bay without battering your enamel. If your goal is to get bright white teeth, know that charcoal is not quite as effective as in-office whitening treatments. But you’re also not chemically bleaching your teeth.

If you swallow activated charcoal (which you generally shouldn’t swallow your toothpaste anyways), know that it can interfere with medications, as it is highly absorbent. Consult your doctor if you are concerned about any potential interactions.

Important to note, activated charcoal is not the same charcoal you use to light your grill. Do not use that charcoal on your body. It is loaded with chemical toxins and is not safe for hygienic use.

Natural supplements to oral hygiene like oil pulling and brushing with activated charcoal are cheap and highly effective. When used in conjunction with your regular oral hygiene routine, they can enhance your oral health in an easy, natural way.

Would you ever try brushing with activated charcoal powder? Have you used it before? Share your experiences with the community below. 

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3 Clever Uses for Leftover Almond Pulp

This post was originally published on this site

Almond milk…it’s delicious, nutrient-rich and a great solution for those of us who are vegan or lactose intolerant. That said, if you’re making your own almond milk, you’ve probably got a fridge full of leftover almond pulp just staring you in the face.

Today, I’ll be giving you the rundown on my three favorite uses for leftover almond pulp, including scrumptious almond pulp crackers, almond pulp hummus (yes, I said hummus!) and almond pulp body scrub. Let’s dive in!


How to Make Almond Pulp Crackers (Vegan + Paleo)

This recipe for Easy Almond Pulp Crackers was designed by Megan at Detoxinista to help you make use of ingredients you likely already have on hand, including olive oil, coconut oil and various herbs. They’re absolutely delicious!


1 scant cup wet almond pulp
3 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
1 tablespoon ground flax or chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons fresh or dried herbs
1 garlic clove, minced
Water as needed


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine all ingredients and stir well. If it looks dry, add water one tablespoon at a time, just until it can be pressed together into a firm dough.
  • Transfer the mixture to a sheet of parchment paper, place another sheet on top, then use a rolling pin to roll to 1/8-inch thick (Thin = Crispy).
  • Cut the dough into whatever shapes you like, then poke them with a fork so they’ll bake evenly. This recipe should make approximately 20 crackers.
  • Bake until crisp and golden — about 15–20 minutes.
  • Cool completely, then store in an airtight container for up to a few days.


How to Make Almond Pulp Body Scrub

Raw almond pulp (leftover after straining homemade almond milk) also makes a delightful body scrub. Simply mix 1 cup of raw almond pulp with 2 tablespoons of sweet almond oil and 5–10 drops of your favorite essential oil, and you’re set!

Use it to gently exfoliate in the shower or bath, then store the rest for up to a few days in an airtight container in the fridge.


How to Make Almond Pulp Hummus (Vegan)

Don’t knock it till you try it — this Almond Hummus recipe made by the lovely Liberty at Homespun Capers is actually really fantastic! And the only equipment you need is a food processor.


1 small clove of garlic
1 tightly-packed cup of leftover nut pulp
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup cold-pressed olive oil
1/4 cup hulled tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes (optional)
Ground black pepper, to taste
Top with fresh herbs, paprika, and olive oil drizzle


  • Mince the garlic and add to a small bowl.
  • Use a fork to stir in the nut pulp and water till combined, then mix in the remaining ingredients (excusing toppings).
  • You may need to add more water to reach your ideal consistency — just don’t let it get too runny!
  • Taste and add more lemon juice, olive oil, salt, or tahini to taste.
  • Serve drizzled with olive oil, herbs, and a dusting of paprika.
  • This hummus will keep in the fridge for up to one week, assuming you make it the same day as you make your almond milk.

Do you think you’ll try one of these? Let us know how you fare!

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Warning Signs for Cardiac Arrest That Most People Ignore

Do you know the warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest? Recognizing the symptoms, and knowing what to do about them, could save your life…or the life of someone close to you.

In the United States, about 350,000 people die every year from sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest is when your heart malfunctions and stops beating. Although it happens suddenly, you might have symptoms for up to a month before it happens. Unfortunately, most people don’t take those symptoms seriously enough, according to a new study published in the Annals of Inernal Medicine.

The researchers studied cardiac patients and interviewed first responders and family members. They found that 51 percent had actually experienced warning symptoms, mainly chest pain. Of the 839 patients studied, some of the most common symptoms included:

  • intermittent chest pain (angina) and pressure
  • shortness of breath
  • palpitations
  • ongoing influenza-like symptoms such as nausea and abdominal and back pain

Ninety-three percent of those who had symptoms at some point experienced them again in the 24 hours before the cardiac arrest. But here’s the thing: only 19 percent of them sought emergency care for those symptoms. In that group, the survival rate was 32 percent. The survival rate for those who didn’t seek treatment for symptoms was only six percent.

Heart attack or cardiac arrest: What’s the difference?

As the American Heart Association explains it, a heart attack is a circulation problem, while sudden cardiac arrest is an electrical problem.

A heart attack is when blood flow to the heart is blocked. Most of the time, your heart doesn’t stop beating during a heart attack. Heart attack can increase your chances of cardiac arrest.

Cardiac arrest is when there’s a malfunction of the heart, causing it to beat irregularly (arrhythmia), then stop beating altogether. With no blood flow, the brain, lungs, and other organs are quickly starved for oxygen. Consciousness is lost within seconds and without immediate treatment, death can occur within minutes.

Heart attack or cardiac arrest, it’s a life-threatening emergency. Taking action for those early warning signs could save your life.

Symptoms You Should NOT Ignore

Cardiologist Jason Guichard tells Care2 that classic symptoms of heart attack include:

  • chest pain or intense pressure with or without pain radiating to your left arm or left jaw
  • shortness of breath or feeling shortwinded either at rest or with minimal exertion
  • unusual and excessive sweating
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • a sense of impending doom or feeling as if you are going to die

Symptoms prior to sudden cardiac arrest may include:

  • chest pain
  • difficulty breathing
  • passing out
  • palpitations, fluttering, thumping feeling in your chest
  • flu-like symptoms

“The symptoms are different in men and women, which is a widely known phenomenon. Men usually have more chest pain and women usually have more shortness of breath,” said Guichard. “The exact reasons for this is currently unknown, and why heart attacks are more often missed in women.”

Michelle Katz, LPN, MSN, author of the book Healthcare for Less, adds that women also tend to feel back pain, “which is why it is more fatal for women to have a heart attack…because they pass it off as something else.”

Watch the video: Just a Little Heart Attack

Dr. Guichard said symptoms of heart trouble are particularly worrisome in people who smoke or have diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, or pre-existing heart disease.

What To Do

If you have symptoms of heart trouble, or suspect someone else does, call 9-1-1 immediately. Every second counts!

Katz says any symptom of a heart problem must be taken seriously. If the person is conscious, ask if they’re allergic to aspirin. If not, “have the person chew or have someone crush one adult (325 mg) or four low-dose (81 mg) baby aspirin. They may choke/aspirate if you try to make them swallow a pill. If the person has been prescribed nitroglycerin make them take it, but DO NOT give them someone else’s prescription!”

While waiting for the ambulance, check to see if there’s an automated external defibrillator (AED) available. If so, open it up and be prepared to use it if the person loses consciousness. The AED provides step-by-step instructions. If there’s no AED and the person is unresponsive, perform CPR.

What NOT To Do

You want to get emergency medical care, but you definitely don’t want to get behind the wheel yourself.

Christopher Hanifin is a physician assistant with a clinical background in emergency medical services, emergency medicine, and open heart surgery. He tells Care2, “The worst thing that someone experiencing these symptoms can do is attempt to drive to the hospital. Ambulance personnel can deliver essentially all of the treatments available in an emergency department and can get you to definitive care.”

Katz added that another thing you don’t want to do — is nothing.

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Photo: miriam-doerr/iStock/Thinkstock


Source: CBS


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