You probably have a box of baking soda in your home – we commonly use the white powdery substance for baking or cleaning or as an odor absorber. However, baking soda can also be used against various health problems. It has been a part of folk medicine for a long time and knowing what it can do for our health is of great importance.
What is baking soda?
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate is a leavening agent for baked goods. It produces a reaction when mixed with an acid resulting in the release of carbon dioxide which makes dough rise. In its natural state, baking soda is known as nahcolite, a part of the natron mineral. Natron has been used for millennia, with its use as a cleaning agent documented as far back as ancient Egypt. However, baking soda arrived in the West in the middle of the 19th century. It was primarily used as a cooking additive and was later advertised as a “proven medical agent.”
Here are 11 ways to use baking soda and improve your overall health:
A powerful natural deodorant
In order to reduce exposure to parabens and other harmful chemicals found in most deodorants, you can use baking soda instead. Just rub a bit on your underarms to kill all the bacteria and stay fresh.
Treats insect bites and poison ivy stings
A mixture of water and baking soda can relieve the itching and irritation at the site of insect bites and poison ivy stings. The powder has the ability to reduce inflammation and itching on the skin by neutralizing the irritants on its surface.
Helps treat indigestion and acid reflux
Yes, you can relieve heartburn and treat indigestion with over-the-counter pills, but most antacids work because they contain a bit of sodium bicarbonate, so why not use the real thing instead? Just add ½ a teaspoon in a glass of water and drink it every couple of hours in order to neutralize the reflux of acid and soothe your stomach.
A great exfoliator and foot soak
Add 3 tablespoons of baking soda in a tub of water, then soak your feet in it. Next, scrub your feet with a paste of baking soda and water to soften your skin and exfoliate it. This is a simple and cheap natural way of exfoliating your feet and keeping them smooth and clean.
A relaxing baking soda soak
Fill your tub with warm water and add a bit of baking soda and ACV for a relaxing soak that will also clean your tub and drain.
Mix baking soda and water in a 3:1 ratio to create a powerful cleanser that can remove dirt from your hands and keep them clean.
Add a tablespoon of the substance in a glass of water, then soak the affected area in the mixture twice a day. This will bring the splinter to the surface and help you remove it easier.
A great natural remedy for sunburns
Add ½ a cup of baking soda in a tub of lukewarm water then soak in it to soothe your sunburns. You can also make a cold compress with the mixture and apply it on the affected area.
Boosts your sport performance
The so-called “soda doping” practice has been present in the sports world for quite a long time. Some athletes take baking soda capsules before races in order to improve their performance. Sodium bicarbonate is an alkaline substance which can raise the alkalinity of the blood, resulting in less acid in the muscles after exercise and better performance.
Improves your oral health
Baking soda is a milldy abrasive substance that can polish and whiten your teeth and prevent bad breath. According to studies, toothpastes with baking soda can remove plaque from the teeth and destroy bacteria in our oral cavity, resulting in much better oral health. The antibacterial properties of the powder have been known to kill the Streptococcus mutans bacteria which is identified as the main culprit for tooth decay.
To prepare a baking soda toothpaste at home, you should mix baking soda and sea salt in a 6:1 ratio. To use it, dip your finger in water and the mixture, then brush your teeth gently with it. Make sure to brush your gums as well, as the mixture can relieve inflammation and numerous problems related to it. However, due to the abrasive nature of baking soda we don’t recommend using the method every day.
A natural teeth whitener
Take a few strawberries and crush them, then mix them with ½ a teaspoon of baking soda and spread the mixture on your teeth. Leave it to work for 5 minutes then brush your teeth as usual. Use the method once a week and your teeth should be whiter than ever soon.
Baking soda as a natural cleanser
Besides the health benefits, baking soda can be used as a natural cleanser. When mixed with water, it can remove carpet stains, clean your kitchen sink and your toilet bowl as well. Sprinkling a bit of baking soda in your shoes will absorb the odor, while putting an open box of baking soda in your fridge or under your sink can eliminate the odors coming from those areas.
As you can see, the powder can be used in a variety of ways, so pick up that bag of baking soda and start using it today.