A doctor told me today that eating burnt toast along with tea is a remedy for poison. Apparently the burnt part of the toast acts like activated charcoal and adsorbs the poison you've ingested, and the tea has some kind of chemicals that mix with the poison and somehow neutralizes it.
There's also a website that has this info.
Toasted bread acts similarly to activated charcoal that is given at hospital settings for poisoning. Make the toast a little burned and pound the toast. Mix the powder to a glass of water and drink the solution immediately after possible ingestion of a contaminated food. This also contains activated carbon that is effective in absorbing the poison in the stomach before it is absorbed in the intestines.
This didn't make sense to me. I'd be inclined to believe that the tea has chemicals to neutralize poison, but when burnt toast is ingested, there's already a lot of saliva and the tea that engulfs it. How on earth is it going to adsorb anything at all in such a situation?
Sounds more like some witch doctor or a quack suggested this as a remedy, but the doc says that it's part of medical text books, and would obviously be reviewed and vetted. On asking him to verify it, he says he doesn't have the time to do that.
Is this true? Does eating burnt bread actually help adsorb and neutralize poison?
UPDATE: I showed the doctor your responses and this is his reply:
"...burnt toast, tea and wall scrapings make a universal antidote according to the text book but this is more of a historical importance and a misnomer cos it's not really universal.. It's just that if you've eaten something and have no option of medical treatment then in a worst case scenario this is Ur best shot to neutralize the poison as opposed to doing nothing.. it doesn't mean u eat this everytime u eat a poison with a hospital close by.. The toast acts as charcoal, tea for tannins and wall scrapings for lime or magnesia (I'm not sure) help in neutralizing certain poisons with varying efficacy.. In a hospital , u obviously wouldn't use this.. However, I have personally used 50g activated charcoal powder for a patient with digoxin poisoning.. it's not an antidote, but helps reduce biological burden of the poison. Saliva and water just course thru the activated charcoal.. poisons bind to it in a chemical reaction.. that's how it works.. Summary: ingested poison? Go to a hosp. Injested poison in an uninhabited room in the middle of the nowhere with no transport? Burn some bread, have tea, scrape the paint off the wall and eat them.. then pray :P"