When you wander down the cleaning aisle of your local mart and see the myriad rows of man-made cleaning products with their brightly colored labels, it's easy to forget that there are many natural products available that are as effective or nearly as effective as several of these lab-mixed chemicals. One natural product with amazing purifying properties is Binchotan charcoal. Binchotan charcoal is made from the Japanese Ubame oak and burned in a wood fire oven with limited oxygen. This low-oxygen environment is ideal for creating slow-burning sticks that turn to charcoal rather than a pile of ash.
Binchotan charcoal purifying sticks have a variety of interesting uses—here are six.
Purify Drinking Water
Charcoal has long been used as a purifier because of its amazing absorptive properties. It's used in most commercial water filters and even in the E.R. to treat victims of ingested toxins. Binchotan charcoal, as mentioned, is made from the Japanese Ubame oak, a tree prized for its hardness and tight grain, characteristics that make it ideal for absorbing things like moisture, toxins, etc. Because of this, a Binchotan charcoal stick can be added to a glass, pitcher, or carafe of water to absorb any impurities in the water, particularly chemicals like chlorine, a chemical commonly used in the water purification process that can be harmful in high amounts.
Freshen Your Closet
Binchotan sticks are also useful in removing impurities in the air. Similar to baking soda, the sticks can absorb any unpleasant odors wafting about. That means the sticks are useful in places like closets, shoe organizers, lockers, or refrigerators for helping to absorb all those unavoidable stinky odors in the surrounding air.
In addition to removing odors, Binchotan sticks can also help remove moisture from the air. If you live in a damp climate, this is great news for your closet or kitchen cupboards, both places where damp air can wreak havoc on the contents. A Binchotan stick in the cupboard will absorb excess moisture for weeks. Then it simply needs to be dried in the sun before it can be returned to the cupboard or closet for more moisture absorption.
Condition the Soil
A great characteristic of Binchotan charcoal is that once you've used it for all your indoor applications, it can be recycled into your garden. No bit of it need be wasted. A Binchotan stick can be broken into pieces or ground up and mixed into the soil of your flower or vegetable garden. The charcoal helps increase soil alkalinity and also helps air and water move through the soil more effectively, all characteristics that will improve the growth potential of your garden.
Serve as a Rice Additive
After Binchotan has been properly washed and prepared, it can be added to a pot of rice to absorb impurities in the rice and the water. This might sound strange to the Western ear because many Westerners aren't aware that rice should be thoroughly rinsed before cooking. After all, it can contain traces of arsenic. In fact, rice is the single largest source of inorganic arsenic in a food source. Adding Binchotan sticks to the rice pot as part of your rice cooking process can assist in arsenic removal. Remove before eating, of course.
Purify Bath Water
If you're a fan of soaking in a hot bath, it's hard to imagine a way to improve on the experience but it might be possible by adding Binchotan sticks to your bathwater. The same principle that makes Binchotan useful for removing toxins in drinking water can aid in removing toxins from bathwater as well. Although the water that comes through your tap should contain safe drinking levels of chlorine, those chemicals may still affect your skin and hair by drying them out.