There is one box of baking soda in almost every household. After all, it’s not just for baking; it has other uses like cleaning and absorbing odors. But while we already know those benefits, this amazing substance offers lots of pros for your health!
The Health Properties of Baking Soda
Let’s start at the root. We all know baking soda for its potent leavening properties. But to put it in more scientific terms, it’s pure sodium bicarbonate. When you combine it with acid, baking soda’s answer is to create bubbles.
It also emits CO2 (Carbon dioxide gas), thus successfully stimulating the dough’s rising ability. So it is no surprise that, according to all the information we have gathered on our ancestors, many civilizations have used this very same ingredient.
Baking soda is also known as nahcolite- a part of the mineral natron- when referred to in its natural state. It has been for years, and the word nation even derives its roots from the ancient Greek ‘nitre’.
The ancient Egyptians, on the other hand, used it as a type of soap. Even though it was only after 1846 that John Dwight and Dr. Austin Church started manufacturing and selling the substance we call baking soda.
Around the time of the 1860s, it also won its place in published cookbooks, but people still knew it mostly as a cooking additive. In the 1920s, its useful purpose started to take on new meaning and already in the 1930s they widely advertised it as a “proven medical substance.”
By the way, don’t confuse aluminum-free baking powder with the baking soda…You don’t need to search the latter since baking soda is already aluminum-free.
11 Functions of Baking Soda
Since it is so cheap (less than $1 per box), anyone can afford this helpful additive. Other than having your personal first aid kit for minor injuries, it should be used for regular hygiene practices as well.
1. It’s understandable to be wary of the aluminum and parabens found in regular deodorants, but one can’t exactly go around being smelly either, can they?
Here’s where baking soda comes to save the day. A bit mixed with water is the ideal natural deodorant and can be rubbed dry underarms as well.
2. Other than injuries, it helps against poison ivy and even insect bites! You can make a paste out of it and directly apply to the affected area. By neutralizing irritants and toxins, it relieves itchy rashes and other skin irritations.
3. Baking soda neutralizes stomach acid, which in turn helps with indigestion, ulcer pain and heartburn. You should take about ½ tsp fully dissolved in a ½ a glass of water; every 2 hours (take heed not to overdose. No more than 7 ½ teaspoons in 24 hours, or, if you’re over 60, three ½ teaspoons).
4. Are you surprised to hear that’s not all? How about some relaxation time? Yep, baking soda is your friend in this as well. It is an excellent and inexpensive exfoliator for not just your face and feet, but your whole body as well.
For the feet, it should be about three tablespoons in a tub filled with warm water. For the rest, it should be a paste made up of ¾ parts baking soda and the remaining part water.
5. While we’re on the soothing subject of soaking, both cider and baking soda join forces to give you an excellent spa-worthy treatment. And as if that wasn’t enough, it cleans your bathtub and drains for you thanks to its many qualities.
6. We already mentioned its soap-like function and absorbing ability. So if you ever want to make an easy hand cleanser, simply mix 3 parts of it with one part water.
7. Who needs that helpful mouse from Aesop’s famous fable when you have baking soda instead! In case you didn’t catch the reference, this time it’s about its usefulness when it comes to removing splinters.
Just one tablespoon in a small glass of water does the trick, but you have to be patient. A few days of the application gets the job done with even multiple splinters.
8. This miracle worker also works against sunburns. You can put a cold compress of baking soda directly on the sunburn, or take a nice lukewarm bath with about half a cup but best let your skin dry in the air afterward instead of rubbing it with a towel. The longer the mixture stays on your skin, the more relief it brings.
9. Apparently, steroids aren’t the only thing professional athletes can cheat with. While a million times healthier, taking capsules before a race has been proved to enhance performance.
Same goes for swimmers.
The science behind it? Researchers claim that since sodium carbonate is an alkali substance, it helps increase the pH of the blood. Consequently, this reduces the acidity created by the muscles during harsh exercise routines. Not something you can do every day, but still well worth the mention.
10. Due to its abrasive characteristics, baking soda can be a great gum and toothpaste. It cleanses and polishes your teeth, and even offers you fresh-smelling breath.
So, next time you buy toothpaste, make sure to do yourself a favor by getting one which already contains baking soda. It is far more efficient than any other kind. Six parts of baking soda, and you’ll be ridding yourself of tooth decay since it kills the Streptococcus mutants.
After mixing the two ingredients for 30 seconds, simply dab the tip of your finger and place a bit on your teeth. Make sure to rub all over and then spit what’s left over in your mouth.
Let it sit for 15 minutes and then you can rinse to complete the process. Just be careful as there is such a thing as ‘too abrasive.’ While we all want to rid ourselves of oral bacteria, it may prove counterproductive to kill the microbiome.
11. And lastly, other than cleaning and polishing, baking soda can assist your gums health by whitening your teeth as well. It’s even more effective when paired with strawberries (half a tablespoon). But take caution! Once a week is more than enough as you don’t want to damage your enamel.
Here’s a fun fact for all of those non-believers who doubt in the baking soda’s cleaning abilities. It was this exact ingredient that was used to clean the one and only statue of liberty back during its restoration in 1986.
It managed to completely take care of the grime without damaging the copper one bit. So you think it is good enough for your home as well? Surely, and here are the best ways to do it:
Natural Cleansing Properties of Baking Soda
|You can scrub your kitchen and bath with baking soda. It’s even more useful in a glass grated cheese container which has a stainless steel top with holes.You can then spray the baking soda on the surface and scrub. As a plus, add several drops of your preferred essential oil to this.|
As a tip, tea tree and Lavender oil have powerful anti-bacterial properties.
|Apple cider vinegar and baking soda are winning combo which offers a number of uses.To successfully clean the drain, scatter baking soda down it, and add apple cider vinegar. Let it sit and bubble for a quarter of an hour. Use hot water for rinsing.|
This is a much safer option, rather than depending on the chemical-containing drain cleaners.
|You can try soaking pans and pots in baking soda and hot water for a quarter of an hour for effortlessly wiping away the baked leftovers.||Same rules apply should you want to safely scrub the barbecue grill.|
|A simple mix of 4 tbsp. of baking soda and ¼ of water cleans your baby’s toys.||Baking soda is also useful for achieving whiter and brighter clothes. It can even hold the role of fabric softener (one cup is enough for your laundry).|
|Need a carpet cleaner? Throw some baking soda on it, let it sit for a quarter of an hour, then use your vacuum to clean it up.||Tired of using harmful silver polish? Just fill up your kitchen sink with hot water, plus one sheet of aluminum foil partnered with baking soda, and let your silverware soak for a while. Not only is it easier, but also more fun!|
|Pepper the insides of your shoes with baking soda in order to naturally deodorize them.||Never fear, baking soda is here! Yes, it even takes on a part-time job as a firefighter by helping to smother out any accidental fires in your cooking quarters.|
|Add a tad of baking soda to remove the dirt from fruits and vegetables.||Your shower and bath can also benefit from baking soda. Just make a paste and scrub them for great grime-fighting effects.|