It seems that the term ‘detox’ is used too loosely these days and may be somewhat misleading.

The bottom line is that it’s virtually impossible to be completely void of toxins or “bad stuff” but we can do a little house cleaning to help create an internal environment that promotes healing and thriving.


The first step is to nourish your body with whole, organic foods, drink more water, get more sleep, eliminate caffeine and alcohol.

As a holistic nutritionist, cleansing is not new to me – in my life ventures and journey to where I am today – I have taken part in countless cleansing and detox regimens, and while I’ve felt many benefits (and side effects) – I’ve simplified my practices over the years.

What I practice in my own lifestyle, and what I recommend to my clients and readers, is one in the same. I promote taking part in daily detox practices that work behind the scenes long-term, without debilitating you, like some short duration, high-intensity cleanses can.

During a change in seasons, at the beginning of a new year, and after a period of stress, are all examples of opportune times to emphasize cleansing practices by adding in something to additionally support your detoxification organs.

This is when I take my cleansing practices up a notch – without making anything complicated (I like simple!).line

In this blog post, I am going to share with you the detox elixir that I have been enjoying this January. I’ve enjoyed 1 cup daily for two weeks and have noticed positive benefits for my energy levels, skin and digestion. This in conjunction with my clean eating routine and daily detox practices, is what I’ve been calling my ‘first detox for 2017’.

This detox elixir is simple to make, it’s inexpensive and lasts when refrigerated. The process is easy; all you truly have to do is pop off the lid, pour and enjoy! Making this the SIMPLEST reset cleanse for even the busiest bodies.

Dark Arts Elixir (“Black Lemonade”)

I call it the Dark Arts Elixir (anyone else in the HP fandom?), this elixir is so deep and vibracolor, it’s like a form of dark magic! Made with few ingredients: filtered water, lemon juice, activated charcoal, pure maple syrup and Himalayan salt.

While all of the ingredients serve a purpose in this elixir – for more than just taste – the activated charcoal provides several noted benefits for this ‘black lemonade’ to be a simple + effective cleansing option.


Activated Charcoal

First and foremost, activated charcoal is not barbecue charcoal. So don’t go eating coals from your bbq or fireplace. Activated charcoal is non-toxic and is designed for supplementation and personal care (it can also whiten your teeth and make a great face mask).

Activated charcoal is manufactured by burning a source of carbon, commonly wood or coconut shells. The high temperature removes all the oxygen, and the steam activates the carbon, creating an adsorbent material with very fine mesh like pores, which can capture, bind, and remove certain poisons/toxins which have thousands of times more weight than the charcoal itself .

Briquettes from your barbecue, on the other hand, are carcinogenic, these are designed to be used as fuel and are 100% NOT safe for ingestion. Charcoal briquettes are more similar to lighter fluid, and all charcoal briquettes are toxic.

Just as with Diatomaceous Earth (which you can learn more about here), and how it comes in 100% food grade and then a toxic form, not safe for human consumption – the same for activated charcoal. If anyone asks me if they can use the coals from their barbecue to make this elixir – I’m going to lose my mind! See my product recommendations for safely activated charcoal below.

In my own personal experiences I have been successful in my ventures with activated charcoal to whiten my teeth, make a bomb face mask, alleviate gas and bloating, eliminate digestive issues while traveling and of course, drinking my Dark Arts Elixir for a short term digestive cleanse.

Activated charcoal is used in the medical field to treat drug overdose or poisoning, due to its ability to bind to toxins in the body, which prevents the body from absorbing them (known as adsorption) . Unfortunately, studies on activated charcoal are very inconclusive on which toxins activated charcoal can and cannot eliminate.

Since doing my own research on the matter, I’ve found activated charcoal to be called both a miracle supplement and a load of crock. Now, I am not making any claims on this product, as so there are so many views on this supplement – but not enough conclusive studies, in my opinion. HOWEVER, I like to work from experience, so don’t stop reading now.

I’ve been making and drinking this Dark Arts Elixir every day for a two week period now, and I have personally noticed a huge improvement in my digestion, I have not been bloated, I feel lighter, my skin is clear and glowing, I have been having amazing #2’s, I’ve been sleeping like a baby and I wake up with more energy and vibrancy than what’s normal for me. That says something about the effectiveness, does it not? 

I’ve also got clients, family, and random strangers loving this elixir because of the positive effects! The best part is that I have experienced all of this positive radiance, without changing anything else in my diet or lifestyle, and that’s a good note in my book for my dear friend, activated charcoal.

By the way, activated charcoal literally saved me in Peru from a terrible digestive experience I had 1 month into my 3-month trip. I’ve also been using this product to brush my teeth, and I feel squeaky clean and bright like I just left the dentist.

Here is how you can make this simple detoxing elixir to kick things up a notch, while still keeping things simple!

Dark Arts Elixir

Makes 4 servings


  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup organic maple syrup (Grade B or No.2)
  • 1 teaspoon (about 3-4 capsules) activated charcoal
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt


  1. Juice your organic lemons using a citrus juicer . Add your fresh lemon juice to a pitcher.
  2. If you’re working with activated charcoal that comes in capsules  – gently squeeze and twist the capsule to open it, and carefully pour all of the contents into your pitcher with the L juice. Activated charcoal can be messy, so be mindful!
  3. Add the rest of your ingredients to the pitcher, then whisk well to combine and refrigerate evenly.
  4. Enjoy on an empty stomach, 1-hour before a meal or before bed. You will have to stir the mixture again as the charcoal likes to settle at the top/bottom.
  5. Portion out servings into sealable mason jars for convenience (optional).
  6. Lasts 5-days when refrigerated.


I like to prepare this in a 1L mason jar, I adjust the water accordingly so that everything fits, to prepare I simply add my ingredients, screw on the lid – shake, shake, shake and refrigerate.

Activated charcoal is designed to detox – symptoms include, but are not limited to headaches, nausea, foggy brain, skin breakouts, irritability and low energy. With any new regimen, start slow and listen to your body!

These symptoms will pass, and then you should experience increased energy, clear skin, decreased bloating, better sleep, positive vibes and more.

You can enjoy this for several days as a cleanse, or you can prepare as needed.

Who Shouldn’t Use Activated Charcoal

Do not use activated charcoal if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Consult with your practitioner if you are taking any other medications before consuming. Activated charcoal is a powerful detoxifier and is not selective on what it flushes out.

Using activated charcoal may decrease the effectiveness of your medications. Always take activated charcoal on an empty stomach, away from food or other supplements as it can interfere with nutrient absorption. Drink and cleanse responsibly & yes, activated charcoal may change the color of your #2’s.

Other Detox Tips

You can add these into the equation as well for maximum results:

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day and drink warm lemon first thing in the morning.
  • Eating organic when possible and fresh vegetable juices.
  • Eliminating trigger foods: wheat, cow dairy, refined sugar, inflammatory fats, processed and packaged foods.
  • Switching to natural personal care products.
  • Dry brushing.
  • Taking a detox bath with Epsom salts or Himalayan salts.
  • Limit your alcohol and caffeine consumption (the least popular suggestion, but it helps tremendously).

Daily detox practices like this may be beneficial in decreasing your overall toxic load so that you can thrive and be vibrant every day!

If you follow our suggestions, most people experience an increase in energy, clear skin, elimination of bloating, improved digestion, better sleep, a vibrant mind and much more.

About Author: Nicole Eckert is a holistic nutritionist, please go check out her fantastic blog with healthy recipes, or follow her on Facebook!

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