Guide to Using Activated Charcoal for a Stomach Bug

A stomach bug or stomach flu can throw off your day. Learn the benefits of using activated charcoal for a stomach bug. Activated charcoal has been used since the 1800s in the emergency treatment of certain kinds of poisoning.¹. It worked by “trapping” chemicals and preventing their absorption. It can also block the liver from processing or breaking down certain toxins.²

Many different viruses may cause a stomach bug. Viruses that most commonly cause it to include norovirus, rotavirus, and adenovirus.³ Using activated charcoal for a stomach bug may absorb the virus responsible for causing stomach bug (the same way it is used to absorb poisons). It works as a binding agent and it absorbs the toxin that is doing damage to the body. However, scientific research to back this is limited.

But don’t let that deter you there are many success stories around the benefits of activated charcoal for a stomach bug. This study discovered that administering activated charcoal to a poisoned patient, was more effective than medically-induced vomiting.

Activated charcoal works differently than other medicines you would take. Activated charcoal is not digested or broken down by the body. Instead, it attaches to a variety of impurities and passes them through the body via bowel movements. 

It’s important to be sure you know if you have a stomach bug or food poisoning before using activated charcoal. While it may be a useful remedy your expectations and timeline for healing will differ.

If you have the stomach bug you may have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • fever
  • muscle aches
  • thirst
  • headache
  • weight loss
  • stomach or intestinal cramps
  • nausea
  • joint aches

Symptoms for a stomach bug will show within 24 to 72 hours of being exposed to the virus. A stomach bug is usually resolved in 3 to 4 days,

If you have food poisoning you may have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • stomach or intestinal cramping
  • fatigue
  • bloody stool or vomit
  • diarrhea
  • fever
  • loss of consciousness
  • chills
  • muscle aches
  • headaches
  • sweating

Symptoms for food poisoning will show within hours or even days of being exposed to the virus. It depends on what caused the food poisoning. Symptoms typically get better within two days.

While food poisoning can occur in anyone, it is most common in babies, young children, and the elderly.

Natural Remedies for Bug Bites, Stomach Aches & Flu | Activated Charcoal How to Use, Health

How to Use Activated Charcoal For a Stomach Bug


 A general recommendation is 500 to 1,000 mg, two to three times per day. It is important to take a few hours between meals to avoid it absorbing important nutrients.

The powder can be used in:

  • water
  • apple sauce
  • juice (no citrus)


Typically your brand of activated charcoal for a stomach bug will have specific instructions on how much to take based on the amount found in each pill. A general rule of thumb is to take 5 grams per day.

Activated Charcoal for Stomach Bug – Children

According to Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER)

Children 1 through 12 years of age

  • 25 to 50 grams of powder mixed with water, or the dose may be based on body weight.
  • It may be 0.5 to 1 gram per kilogram (kg) (0.23 to 0.45 gram per pound) of body weight mixed with water.

Children up to 1 year of age

  • 10 to 25 grams of the powder mixed with water or the dose may be based on body weight.
  • It may be 0.5 to 1 gram per kg (0.23 to 0.45 gram per pound) of body weight mixed with water.

Activated charcoal for a stomach bug can be found in powder, liquid or pill form. if taken early enough could help prevent normal viral infections, poisonings, and overdoses. Other healthy huemans have said, “it is extremely effective at stopping a stomach bug quickly

Other Home Remedies to Treat Stomach Bug


Symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting can be dehydrating. Hydrate with water, sports drinks, or other clear liquids. Take small sips. 


Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast can be your go-to when it comes to a stomach bug. These four foods contain carbohydrates to give you energy, are easy to digest and replenish nutrients.


Lactobacillus casei GG and S boulardii may be helpful in treating a stomach bug and can help with watery diarrhea. Yogurt often contains these probiotics.

Rice Water

Water left over after boiling brown rice is high in electrolytes. Strain it, cool it and sip it. A study found it eased diarrhea in babies better than an electrolyte solution.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar contains the soluble fiber pectin, which helps minimize vomiting and nausea. It is excellent at soothing an upset stomach.

Chaga Tea

Chaga mushroom has antimicrobial properties similar to ashitaba tea, which have traditionally been used as an internal cleanser with alcohol extract for the treatment of stomach and intestinal disorders.

Ginger Tea

Ginger helps to reduce inflammation and promote digestion by relieving nausea and vomiting. It can also help to give some relief from stomach cramps and bloating.


Fresh is one of the best home remedies for a stomach bug. The potent antibiotic qualities of garlic are what make it useful in fighting different types of viral infections in the digestive system.


When you have a stomach bug, your body needs rest in order to fight off the infection. Get plenty of sleep and reduce the amount of activity you normally do during the day.

A stomach bug comes with symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps, which can make your days unbearable. Home remedies can help calm your intestines and reduce the inflammation in the stomach lining. Using activated charcoal for a stomach bug is a natural convenient way to treat the bug and its symptoms.