Baking soda (Sodium bicarbonate) is a common item in almost everyone’s home. Almost every home keeps a box of baking soda mostly for baking, sometimes for cleaning purposes and for absorbing odors in one’s refrigerator. Well, baking soda has many more uses; I bet you will be surprised to learn that baking soda is used to treat various health conditions. Following are some of the health benefits and uses of baking soda.
Top 10 health benefits of baking soda
Has antacid Effect
Baking soda can be used as an antacid to neutralize acid buildup in the stomach. Drinking baking soda dissolved in water can help to neutralize hydrochloric acid thus balancing the pH levels. It also eliminates the burning sensation that is experienced in case stomach acid flows into the esophagus. In addition, the bubbling (effervescence) that takes place when baking soda is mixed with water promotes burping which helps relieve gas as well as bloating.
Instead of buying expensive chemical solutions for acne or pimples, you can just reach to your kitchen cabinet and use your regular baking soda. Baking soda has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that not only eliminate symptoms of acne but also treats the cause. The kitchen staple works easily; one needs to mix a single tablespoon with water to form a paste which is then applied on the affected skin and left for about two minutes before it is rinsed off with cold water. It is recommended to repeat this once for about three days and then reduce the frequency to once a week.
Brightens brown teeth
Baking soda acts as a gentle abrasive which helps remove stains from one’s teeth. It also helps remove plaque via neutralizing acids that the bacteria produce. An individual should simply add a little baking soda on the toothbrush together with regular toothpaste and brush for about two minutes daily, its results are evident in a few days. However, it should not be used excessively as it can strip the natural, protective enamel of the teeth.
Energy and performance booster
If you usually work out hard, you might experience fatigue and pain; this is usually caused by a buildup of lactic acid in your muscles. To remedy this and boost your energy levels, all you need is a supercharged energy drink. Guess what, you don’t have to rush to the convenient store to purchase an energy drink; rather, your box of baking soda tucked somewhere in the kitchen cabinet is all you need. To get this supercharged energy drink, you need to mix a ½ teaspoon of baking soda, 2 tablespoons of honey, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of salt and mix them up with 4 cups of water. Using baking soda as an energy drink is a common practice among long-distance runners where it is commonly referred to as “soda doping”.
Acts as a natural deodorant
Did you know that you can use baking soda as a deodorant? Well, mixing a pinch of it with a little water to form a paste makes a simple but effective natural deodorant. Now you know how to avoid the aluminum and parabens found in most deodorants. In addition, even brushing dry baking soda under the arms works out well and keeps you fresh all-day-long.
Relieves itching from insects bites and poison ivy
Applying baking soda paste to insect bites helps to ease the itching sensation. Rubbing dry baking soda onto the affected skin also helps. Baking soda paste also works on itchy rashes as well as for poison ivy. It works by neutralizing irritants and toxins that cause skin irritation.
Preventing Urinary Infections
Low immunity, poor hygiene, pregnancy or certain medications may lead one to develop unitary tract infection (UTI) as the bacteria grows easily in one’s bladder. Baking soda’s antiseptic properties help to lessen the level of acid in the urine as well as get rid of the bacteria.
Gout, a type of arthritis mostly affects feet and hands because uric acid crystals accumulate within the joints. Drinking a mixture of ½ teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate in a glassful of water helps to eliminate gout and relive its pain. It acts by raising the pH levels thus alkalizing the blood and also prevents crystallization as well as depositions in joints.
Prevents Kidney Stones
Baking soda helps one to prevent kidney stones. It alkalizes one’s urine thus helping dissolve uric acid stones which help remove kidney stones. Drinking baking soda also helps achieve an ideal pH level which hinders formation of stone kidneys and promotes proper functioning of the kidneys.
Relieves Sunburn Blisters
In the summer, there is no need to purchase sunburn cream if you are planning to spend most of your time outdoors enjoying the sun. All you need is a box of baking soda. The alkaline properties of baking soda make up a soothing effect on the parts of the skin that have been sunburned. It relieves the itching as well as burning sensations on the skin. Baking soda’s antiseptic properties also help to heal sunburn blisters. You can apply a cool compress of baking soda solution on affected areas or you can mix it with bathtub water and soak yourself in.
As evidenced above, baking soda has immense benefits to the body. Now you know that that box of baking soda in your kitchen cabinet has many more uses than just for baking. Next time before you rush to your local chemist just consider this kitchen staple; it might be all you need to remedy your health condition.
One of the most interesting effects of baking soda, which is being discussed quite a lot, is its role in the prevention of cancer. Baking soda reduces acidity in the human body, many claim acidity is one of the main causes of cancer. We will investigate this feature of baking soda in a separate article.