Stella Aduloju, a food technologist, says charcoal is suitable to treat ulcer, get rid of cholesterol, extraction of poison and other diseases affecting humans.
Aduloju, who is also a farmer, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Thursday that charcoal “is one of the most disregarded products at home”.
She said: “If you really need first aid, charcoal is something you need to have on you all the time.
“You might not know this, but it is one of the most medicinal products you can have at home due to its poison extraction ability.
“It is something that everyone should give serious attention to at home for its numerous health and economics benefits.”
She said that charcoal could be used to remove toxins from food, used for fertilisers on plants and vegetables.
She explained: “To make unwholesome and poisonous people well, with charcoal you do not need to worry.
“All you need to do is leave vegetables in charcoal solution overnight and it will take care of the toxins.
“If you suspect any food contains too much chemicals, just drop charcoal solution into it for some hours and you are good to go.
“Charcoal is very good at getting rid of bad smell. Ever wondered why your parents always scooped out the ash from the coal pot to pour in the hen coop? It is to get rid of the odour.”
Aduloju said that ulcer patient could be treated by making it a habit to always chew some charcoal and drinking charcoal solution to eliminate cholesterol stored in the body.
She said: “The solution of the charcoal does magic in preventing body odour, keep food fresh, whitening of teeth, restoring bad soup, neutralising alcohol and healing wound.
“Others are skin cleanser, stain remover, water filtration, detoxifying, getting rid of a bloated stomach, among others.”
Aduloju said that the economic aspect of the charcoal had been overemphasised over its health benefits.
She said: “This is because charcoal constitutes the primary urban fuel in most of African and some developed countries and a major source of income.
“The production, transport and combustion of charcoal constitute a critical energy and economic cycle in the economies of many developing nations. The marketing methods used are generally the same among the different states.
“Although charcoal market is served from a number of competitive countries, exports from Nigeria, and other African countries are highly ranked because of the hard nature of the charcoal.”
According to her, European importers prefer charcoal produced from hardwood in Africa, which is heavy and strong “and our competitors are Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil and Thailand”.
She said: “The quality of charcoal depends on the wood species. Despite excellent overall demand, the prospects for reasonable returns from a given operation depend largely on operational conditions and markets available to the producer.
“Charcoal production is one of the primary causes of deforestation leading to land degradation in areas involved in the business.
“The business is associated with the felling of both mature and nearly-mature trees.
“Deforestation is a serious problem leading to global warming, therefore, the business world must wake up, especially to mitigate the effect of global climatic change.”