The Stomach Bug – My Secret Remedy To Stop It! (Activated Charcoal)

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This Momma is in a hurry, just tell me what the secret is already!

Activated Charcoal is my secret to stopping the stomach bug in its tracks!  When the stomach virus (stomach flu or stomach bug or gastroenteritis) is visiting your home, and you need to kick it out immediately there are lots of ways to stop the spread in your home, but the one I have found most effective by far is to prevent the spreading by stopping the vomiting with activated charcoal.

stomach bug
stomach bug



I used to loathe the stomach virus or stomach flu.  I still do really, but now I don’t sweat it as severely.  At the first sign of stomach bug symptoms, I would quarantine the house.  All children were confined to different rooms, followed into the bathroom for supervised handwashing, and strapped to a vomit bucket for the next 48 hours.

The stomach bug (viral gastroenteritis) is so contagious because there are large amounts of the virus in an infected person’s vomit and feces.  Only a tiny trace is needed to infect the next kid.  And it can even spread airborne after vomiting.

Your best defense is to stop the vomiting.   Activated charcoal is my weapon of choice. 

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  1. Add a pinch of the charcoal powder to 4 oz of a glass of water. You can get it in capsule form which you can break open or you can get it already in a powder form.
  2. The sick child takes a few sips and lies down.  
  3. If they vomit again within 15 mins, I make them sip more.  
  4. Repeat if you need to but generally, this stops vomiting for the next 4 hours while they sleep!
  5. At the 4 hour mark, give them a few more sips.  
  6. After 12 hours have passed, they are done taking doses and just need rest.   

The activated charcoal helps the virus or toxin pass through the digestive system and out of the body through feces.

One more tip, just in case your vomit clean-up job wasn’t very good, don’t forget to take some for yourself!

Super Mom Picks Tip

Finding activated charcoal powder supplement in stores can be difficult.  For this use, I strongly recommend the powder versus the capsules.  I have tried to cut open the capsules to add to water, but it can be messy.  You can find the powder here on Amazon.


This natural remedy for stomach flu may or may not work for you, but I have found it to work consistently with my children over the years. If it doesn’t work after just one dose chances are that your vomiting and abdominal pain is more than a stomach bug and may in fact be food poisoning in which case I prefer for my children to get the unwanted substances out of their digestive tract. Additionally if you believe that your child has ingested poisonous materials please contact the poison control center vs trying do a treatment for poisoning at home.  Again, I am not a healthcare professional so please consult your medical doctor for medical advice.  

I always make sure to have some charcoal powder at home and keep a bottle of the capsules in my car.  Please keep in mind that taking just one charcoal tablet will cause black stools and that is normal.

Here is a video that shows how it works

Activated Charcoal


  • Essential oils can be used to treat the stomach bug and ease some of the symptoms.  You can use them topically or diffuse them into the air.
  • Daily probiotics for your kids can decrease the chance they will come down with the stomach bug
  • Good cleaning habits around the house including good handwashing can limit the spread of the stomach bug around your house once the first person gets sick.

Other Uses of Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is a very versatile product with many uses for home remedies.  Check out my post that covers lots of its uses.

The Best Activated Charcoal Products for Home Remedies​​​

What is Activated Charcoal?

This black powder has been used for centuries as a natural remedy, from the Greeks to the Ancient Chinese, activated charcoal is known as a terrific absorbing agent that rids the body of harmful substances as it binds to substances and passes them through the digestive track safely.   Known for its dark color and toxin clearing properties, charcoal has been used to filter water, clean the digestive tract, preventing gas, skincare, teeth whitening, and more. This supplement can also be used to absorb gas, cure a stomach ache and reduce bloating.

In general, activated charcoal has only one ingredient, charcoal. It can be purchased as charcoal powder or charcoal capsules if you prefer to take pills.   It is basically carbon with a sponge-like structure which gives it the quality of absorption.

Activated charcoal is not the same material that you use in your charcoal grill!  Grill charcoal or charcoal briquettes has not been “activated” and has many other additives.  The activation process is done using very high heat that develops the pores or sponge-like quality.

Have you used Activated Charcoal as a remedy?  Have you tried it on bug bites as a topical absorbent? If so, let me know about it in the comments below!

48 thoughts on “The Stomach Bug – My Secret Remedy To Stop It! (Activated Charcoal)”

  1. Wow! I knew activated charcoal was good for getting folks who have swallowed something poisonous to puke, but I would have never thought about it to serve this purpose! This just goes to show that you learn something new every day, truly. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I am thankful to have not had to deal with a stomach bug with my kids as of yet. I am sure it will come and when it does I can try these tips and tricks. We may have not had a stomach bug but both my 1-year-old and 2 year old both have Hand, Foot and Mouth currently. It’s definitely not fun having any kind of sickness at home.

  3. I have never heard of this before! Really good info. Thanks for writing this. I will definitely keep this as a reference for when my kids get sick. Hopefully I won’t need it this winter.

  4. I’ve never heard of ingesting charcoal. I’ve been super fortunate so far, as my kids don’t seem to be pukers. (The eldest puked the first time when she was 8 years old… and was at Brownie camp so I didn’t have to deal with it. But I’ll be tucking away this tidbit for future use in case Monkey or Fang need it.

  5. I didn’t know about the activated charcoal. I have a very sensitive stomach which means that I will get easily stomach bugs. I will make sure to get some activated charcoal for my medicine med.

  6. This is a great post for me as I have a weak stomach. I have to be very careful when I eat outside especially during my travel. I don’t dare to try street food much as I have a weak stomach.

  7. This is very helpful blog. Stomach bug is very bad. I am sharing/bookmarked this post for future. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward for more such blogs.

  8. Oh man, I need this this time of year. I teach dance to all ages of kiddos and they are ALL getting sick with the stomach bug right now! I don’t think I have ever washed my hands more 🙂 🙂

  9. We give activated charcoal to overdosing patients in the hospital. It binds to toxins, so your body can’t absorb them and carries then out through the intestines. It causes massive diarrhea though. That is how it is removing the medications from the OD. I would definitely check with a doctor before using on a patient with the flu because it can dehydrate you more. Be careful.

  10. I’m a pharmacist and I’ve never try this but it totally makes sense! I will absolutely try this next time the stomach flu rolls into town

  11. Love activated charcoal. I’m from the former Soviet block and charcoal has been a medicine of choice for many generations. It’s a bit funny to me the popularity it has gained here recently because Eastern Europeans have been using it for ages. But it is very good and safe for everyone to use.

    • there are Many efficacious medicines that have been used for generations in other countries and at one time in the united states. Unfortunately, we have allowed the medical mafia/big pharma , with the help of the media, to steer us away from them and follow the “science” of propeganda.

  12. We use essential oils all the time they have been great to keep the bugs away. We also have taken charcoal when visiting foreign countries where the food and water is a bit suspect. works a treat. Thanks for sharing your thoughts

  13. I used to loathe the stomach virus. I still do really, but now I don’t sweat it as severely. At the first sign of stomach bug symptoms, I would quarantine These Cinnamon Honey Glazed AIr Fryer Sweet Potato Bites are a super quick, easy side that goes with any meal! Toddlers love them too!


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