How to make a simple Activated Charcoal Poultice

Step by step with pictures on how to make an activated charcoal poultice & the most common uses.

poultice 2

I do tend to spill a bit of charcoal so I will take a moment to remind you that charcoal is very black & messy, though amazing. Worth the mess.

1 charcoal poultice

Step 1 Mixing up charcoal powder, water & clay

If you do make a mess (& if you are like me you will), clean any charcoal off skin, counters etc with baking soda & water paste.


What you need:

  • Bounty Paper towels (or pieces of cloth like flannel).
  • Hardwood activated charcoal powder
  • Clay or ground flax
  • Water

Items for poultices on Amazon:


Step #1

2b charcoal poultice

Or you can mix charcoal powder, ground flax seed & water

For the size poultice I am making I use:

  • 1 tbsp bentonite clay powder or ground flax seed (or both)
  • 4 tbsp of hardwood activated charcoal powder.
  • I add enough water for a thick but runny paste.(clay makes a bit runnier paste, flax makes a thicker paste, pictured to right & at bottom) 
  • Note: Castor oil can be used instead of clay or flax or in conjunction with them, so can aloe gel, raw coconut oil, olive oil etc, anything that will keep it wet, wetness keeps the charcoal active. Castor oil is great to combine the charcoal with for castor oil packs for pain & swelling.

    2 charcoal poultice

    Step 2 add the mixture to paper towel

Step #2

  • I put the thick paste in the center of a normal size paper towel folded.
  • Always keep the charcoal mixture in a poultice 1/2 inch to an inch thick for it to work properly.

Step #3

  • Fold both of the long sides of paper towel in

Step # 4

3 charcoal poultice

Step 3 fold paper towel

  • Now fold the other sides in to create an envelope with the paste inside.

Step #5

  • Slightly dampen both sides of paper towel to get it wet but not dripping wet.
  • Lay paper towel poultice on plastic with the side up that has less paper towel (so the bottom side when you were folding).
  • Apply to area of skin with plastic side out to protect clothing. (you can also put a paper towel or cloth between plastic & poultice).

    4 charcoal poultice

    Step 4 fold over to form envelope

  • Wrap with ace bandage or a cloth to keep it in place.
  • Keep on at least 4 hours or overnight.

Options to add: Essential oils of choice like Eucalyptus for pain, Rosemary for skin, lavender for burns & bites, peppermint for chest cold.


Many use a poultice this size to put over heart/lungs, bruises, stings, bites, underarm detox etc.

5 charcoal poultice

Step 5 flip poultice over & put plastic wrap behind it

If you double the size many use it for liver/gallbladder detox, fluid on the knee, strained muscles etc.

And even bigger for middle body etc.

Or do smaller & gauze or cotton rounds for a mouth/tooth poultice.

Commonly used for drawing out toxins, to heal, for pain, for general detox & more.


Check out my blog post: Activated Charcoal – Do you know all of the amazing uses? – DIY and Beyond

Also check out: 

poultice 1


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