How We Avoided The Stomach Flu With Activated Charcoal

Before having kids, I could NOT deal with puke.

If I heard/saw/smelled someone puking, I would automatically feel the need to do the same, which made me nervous for motherhood and the inevitable stomach bugs that come with it. Come to find out, it isn't quite as nauseating when your child pukes, though you do feel an overwhelming sense of panic just to make them feel better and take their pain away. 

Last December, our little (then) 1-year-old Gabe came down with a stomach bug and it was awful: the poor little guy could not comfortably rest or keep anything down for 3 long days. I cannot count the number of times I was thrown up on, had to clean puke out of the carpet, or clean up our son, and words cannot describe just how relieved I was once he was feeling better and finally able to keep down Pedialyte. 

Well, until the next day, anyway, when I woke up in the middle of the night with the sudden urge to puke. 

Did I mention it was Christmas eve eve and that we were hosting my parents, brother, aunt, and uncle? 

Thanks to my trusty peppermint, Digize, and lemon oils, I only threw up a few times, but still felt crappy the entire day, unable to hardly get out of bed or do any of the shopping/cleaning/preparations needed for Christmas day. Luckily my husband and mom were on the case and did lots of cleaning, disinfecting, Costco runs while I was out of commission, which made me feel a little better and more prepared for the holiday...

...until, of course, a few hours later when my husband ran to the bathroom to purge the contents of his stomach. 

It was a long couple of days leading up to Christmas, but we all survived and pushed the messy event to the back of our minds.

Anyway, fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and my poor (now) 2-year-old begins throwing up every 10 minutes on the couches, blankets, towels, and, of course, me.

My poor pukey Gabe :(

My poor pukey Gabe :(

Did I mention it was my oldest's birthday party eve eve and that we were hosting close to THIRTY kids?

I panicked and began to bathe my oldest and I in Thieves oil, wash pillows and furniture covers, Lysol the living hell out of anything that could be contaminated, and consulted Dr. Google on the different ways to stay healthy while your poor child is vomiting non-stop.

In addition to someone mentioning oils (which I was already dousing both boys and myself in), I discovered something called Activated Charcoal, which you take internally and essentially works as a magnet that absorbs any stomach bug-causing bacteria you may have hiding in your gut. As per Dr. TazMost commonly used to treat poisoning and drug overdoses, activated charcoal is now gaining attention as a remedy for stomach bugs that cause nausea and vomiting. The theory is that activated charcoal can absorb the bacteria responsible for causing stomach flu (the same way it is used to absorb poisons). You can also have a virus that can cause the same sort of tummy troubles, and activated charcoal may help with the symptoms.

Say no more, Doc; I'm game. 

After doing my diligent research and learning that smaller doses are even safe for children to take, I did what any panicked mom with a husband who works until 10 p.m. would do and ordered Activated Charcoal and grape juice (to mix my 4-year-old's charcoal with) via Instacart, and waited patiently for its arrival. 

By this time, my 2-year-old's vomiting was beginning to slow (Hallelujah!), but I was not about to risk being sick for my oldest's party, so when the supplement arrived, I took it immediately and sprinkled some of it in my oldest's juice.

Lo and behold: None of the rest of us ever got sick.


I often joke that I was sick for 12 years straight while I was in school (well, half joking, half serious... I was sick A LOT, you guys!), so it never fails that if anyone within a mile radius of me is sick, I catch it, too, which reinforces my belief that this stuff WORKS. My poor 2-year-old threw up through about 11:30 p.m. and had one more random episode the next night, but the rest of us never had so much as stomachache. 

This post isn't sponsored by any pharmaceutical and I am obviously not a doctor (in fact, I highly recommend you sought the advice of a health professional before trying activated charcoal or any other new supplement), but as a mom, I feel the need to share this medical marvel with you all -- especially if it keeps you and your littles from catching the dreaded tummy bug!

Do you have any remedies for either avoiding or treating an upset stomach? Please share them with us below!