Baking soda

An overview

We all have a box of baking soda, which is barely used and is tucked in a corner of the kitchen shelf. This highly neglected humble kitchen ingredient is more than just adding fluff to your cakes and muffins. An inexpensive purchase, baking soda is power-packed with antacid properties and is known to be a great alkalising agent.

Baking soda also known as sodium bicarbonate, is widely used in baking. This is because it has leavening properties, meaning it causes dough to rise by producing carbon dioxide. Aside from cooking, baking soda has a variety of additional household uses and health benefits.  Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate that is generally used in baked goods. In its natural form, baking soda is known as nahcolite that is a part of the natural mineral natron. This can hamper your complete body system functioning. Baking soda soaked in water is one of the most ancient and highly effective remedies worldwide.

Natron contains large amounts of sodium bicarbonate, which has been used for quite some years now. It is believed that Egyptians used natron as soap for its cleansing properties. Soon after, people started manufacturing and selling the compound we know as baking soda. Baking soda is alkaline, making it ideal for neutralizing the pH of our body when it becomes too acidic. It’s also been found to soothe skin and soreness.

Health benefits of baking soda

Treats Heartburn:

Heartburn is also known as acid reflux. It is a painful, burning sensation that rises in the upper region of your stomach and can spread up into your throat.  Sodium bicarbonate in baking soda neutralizes the stomach acid and relieves the many symptoms of acid reflux and other stomach related issues. Baking soda can help treat heartburn by neutralizing stomach acid. Dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of cold water and drink the mixture slowly. This process of acid may irritate your esophagus and cause heart burn, a burning feeling that can occur anywhere between the abdomen and throat

Helps alleviate urinary tract infections

Baking soda and water solution is known to act as a protective barrier against urinary tract infections; it is due to its ability to reduce acid levels in urine.

Boosts kidney function

As an alkaline substance, baking soda reduces acid levels in the body and helps to keep the pH levels in check. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN), the rate of decline in kidney function was greatly reduced – about two-thirds slower than in patients as compared to those who didn’t take baking soda. Kidneys are tasked with filtering out waste products inside our bodies, the importance of which should never be underestimated. Kidney disease is extremely common, so a bit of TLC every now and then certainly won’t hurt

Soothe Insect bites

Bug bites can be surprisingly painful – get instant relief using baking soda. Mix a small amount with a few drops of water until a thick, smooth paste is formed. Apply to the affected area, leave to soothe bites for 10 minutes, then wash away with warm water.

Relieves Diaper Rash

A solution to diaper rash might be closer than you think. Pop your little one in a shallow bath and add 2 tbsp baking soda. It will soothe their skin and they can have a good splash around while they’re at it

Soothe Canker Sore

Cancer sores are small, painful ulcers that can form inside your mouth. Unlike cold sores, canker sores do not form on the lips and aren’t contagious). You can make baking soda mouthwash using the recipe in the previous chapter. Rinse your mouth with this mixture once a day until the canker sore heals.

Whitening teeth

Baking soda is a popular home remedy for whitening teeth. Many studies have found that toothpaste containing baking soda is better for whitening teeth and removing plaque than toothpaste without baking soda. It helps remove the plaque on teeth, thanks to its abrasive nature. It may also help in removing discolouration due to the alkaline power it possesses.

Treat Ulcer

Another common health problem are ulcers. Whilst most of the time small ones go ignored, a bigger ulcer could have you in serious pain and even struggling to drink and eat

Ease Constipation

Constipation is really uncomfortable, and symptoms can be embarrassing too. Whilst you can get medication over the counter, it might be worth trying baking soda first.

Treats Gout and other joint problems

High levels of uric acid in the urine and blood in tissues throughout the body cause pain and chronic diseases like arthritis and gout. Baking soda helps neutralise the excess acid and is used as an effective remedy. Gout is caused by an abnormal amount of uric acid in the bloodstream that can cause inflammation and even arthrit.

Deodorant

Sweat only gains an odor after it is broken down by bacteria in your armpits. Baking soda can eliminate the smell of sweat by making the odors less acidic. Try patting baking soda onto your armpits and you may notice the difference.

Relieves Itchy Skin and Sunburn

Baking soda may help soothe itching from sunburns. It seems more effective when combined with other ingredients like cornstarch and oatmeal.

Air Freshener

Baking soda is an excellent and safe alternative to commercial air fresheners. It interacts with odor particles and neutralizes them, rather than masking them.

May whiten your Laundry

Add half a cup of baking soda to your regular amount of laundry detergent. It also helps soften the water, which means you may need less detergent than usual.

Kitchen Cleaner

To use baking soda in your kitchen, make a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water. Apply the paste to the desired surface with a sponge or cloth and scrub thoroughly.

Perfect for dark lips

Known as a popular cleansing agent, baking soda benefits dark lips too. All you need to do is to add honey and baking soda together and mix well. Apply it on your lips for two to three minutes before washing it off with water.

Baking soda is a versatile ingredient that has many uses besides cooking. It shines when it comes to neutralizing odors and cleaning. This household staple can help remove tough stains, eliminate foul odors and help clean difficult areas like the oven, microwave and even tile grout.

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