This section is from the "A Handbook of Useful Drugs" book, by State Medical Examining and Licensing Boards.
Prepared from soft wood and very finely powdered.
Properties : Charcoal is a black, odorless and tasteless powder, free from gritty matter.
Actions and Uses: Locally charcoal is employed as a deodorant for fetid ulcers, etc, usually as a poultice.
Because of its well-known property of absorbing and condensing gases, charcoal has long been administered in various forms of gastric disturbance, the prescribers evidently losing sight of the fact that when thoroughly wet it almost entirely loses its property of absorbing gases. It is used to indicate the length of time food remains in the alimentary tract. Charcoal administered with the test diet causes the feces formed from that diet to have a black color. It is also commonly used to distinguish the periods of diet in metabolism experiments
Dosage: 1 gm. or 15 grains. Preferably administered in cachets or capsules.