What are the health benefits of baking soda? Baking soda is also known as sodium hydrogen carbonate or sodium bicarbonate. It has been used since ancient times as cleanser, soother, and deodorizer. Nearly every kitchen cupboard contains this ingredient, which offers many uses and does wonder for your hair, skin, and health.
Baking soda has alkalizing effects thanks to its pH level of 9. This inexpensive item has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial properties, making it an effective medical tool for fighting against skin problems, colds, infections and more. This article will discuss 15 amazing health benefits and uses of baking soda.
Health Benefits and Uses of Baking Soda
From daily hygiene to health benefits including kidney issues and digestive problems, here are the incredible benefits and uses of baking soda.
1. Prevents Diarrhea and Upset Stomach
Upset stomach and diarrhea can be caused not only by poor diet but also high-stress levels, gastric reflux, and certain medicines. Baking soda can help treat digestive problems and assist in eliminating unwanted toxins from your body with its cleansing properties.
- The easiest way to use baking soda for treating diarrhea and upset stomach is by mixing a half teaspoon of it with a cup of warm water. Mix it well and drink this solution. Follow this treatment three times a day until you start feeling better.
- Add one teaspoon of baking soda to a cup of peppermint tea. Stir it well and consume this concoction.
- Another option is to mix 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Then, add water and stir it well. This treatment will help treat nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea, indigestion, heartburn and GERD.
2. Reduces Fatigue and Muscle Pain
According to a scientific article titled ‘Practical considerations for bicarbonate loading and sports performance,’ baking soda may have moderate positive effects on athletic performance. It may also be good for sustained periods of strenuous training or prolonged physical activities involving intermittent.
The body produces lactic acid during physical activity, and that increases the acidity level within blood vessels and muscles. Mixing baking soda with water creates an alkaline solution that lowers the acidity levels within your muscles and blood, causing the pH level of both to return to equilibrium. Athletes may consider using baking soda but keep in mind that there are also potential side effects.
3. Treats Nail Fungus
In addition to discomfort, nail fungus can make someone feel self-conscious about the appearance of their nails. This fungal infection usually begins as a yellow or white spot under the tip of the toenail or fingernail. Without prompt treatment, the infection can cause your nail to thicken, discolor and crumble at the edge. With its alkaline nature, baking soda is one of the best ways to treat nail fungus.
- Mix one or two teaspoons of baking soda with enough water to make a paste. Apply it directly to the affected nails and leave it on for a few minutes. Wash it off with warm water. Follow this treatment once a day to get rid of the infection.
- Another option is to mix two tablespoons of baking soda with one cup of apple cider vinegar. Dip your nails in this solution for five minutes and then dry with paper towels. Repeat this two times a day.
4. Relieves Cold and Flu
If you are searching for a natural way to treat your flu or cold symptoms, baking soda combined with water and salt is one of the best methods.
To treat stuffy nose, mix 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water. Use a nasal irrigation kit or a bulb syringe to squirt the solution into your nose. Hold one nostril by applying light pressure using your finger while squiring the water into your other nostril.
Allow it to drain and repeat three times. Once you’re done, follow the same process with your other nostril.
5. Decreases Kidney Stone Formation
Kidney stones are hard deposits made of salts and minerals that form in the kidneys. When the urine becomes concentrated, minerals crystallize and stick together. Passing kidney stones can be painful, and you may experience pain radiating to your lower abdomen and groin.
Because kidney stones are related to high levels of acid in the urine, baking soda can help make the urine less acidic. It helps prevent the formation of kidney stones and dissolve existing ones. According to New Medical Life Sciences, a daily dose of baking soda can slow down the decline of kidney functions in some people with advanced chronic kidney disease.
- To dissolve kidney stones, mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda with a glass of water. Drink this solution two times a day.
6. Relieves Sunburn
Having a box of baking soda during summer can be helpful to relieve itching and burning sensations caused by sunburn and sunburn blisters. This ingredient has drying and antiseptic properties that accelerate the healing process of your skin.
- Fill a bathtub with water and add one-half cup of baking soda. Stir well and soak your body in the solution for 15 minutes. Repeat this relaxing treatment once a day until you are satisfied with the results.
- Alternatively, you can add two tablespoons of baking soda in a bowl of cold water. Take a washcloth and soak it in the solution. Squeeze out excess water and apply it on the affected areas for at least 5 minutes. Follow this simple treatment twice a day to get relief.
7. Treats Urinary Tract Infections
Did you know that urinary tract infection (UTI) is the number 1 infection that people get? This occurs when bacteria enter through the urethra and start to multiply in the bladder. When the urinary system’s defenses fail, an infection develops in the urinary tract. This common condition is usually treated with antibiotics.
In a study published in 2017, the effects of baking soda were observed on women with lower urinary tract symptoms who also had acidic urine pH lower than 6. After taking baking soda for four weeks, researchers found the urine of the patients was alkalinized, and there were huge positive effects on UTI symptoms.
8. Speeds Up Healing of Mouth Ulcer
Also known as canker sores, mouth ulcers are small, shallow lesions that develop at the base of your gums or soft tissues in your mouth. Although they go away on their own after a week or two, mouth ulcers make talking and eating painful.
One way to speed up its healing process is by applying baking soda paste. This ingredient’s basic nature protects the delicate membrane from trauma and kills bacteria.
- To treat canker sores, apply baking soda paste multiple times a day.
- Another option is to dissolve one teaspoon of baking soda in 1/2 cup of warm water and rinse your mouth with the solution.
9. Treats Hyperkalemia
Hyperkalemia is the term used to describe high potassium levels in the blood. The normal blood potassium level is around 3.6 to 5.2 millimoles per liter. Having a level higher than 6.0 can be perilous, and it requires prompt treatment. The common causes of hyperkalemia are dehydration, kidney diseases, diabetes, injury, excessive use of potassium supplements and beta blockers.
Treatment for this condition depends on the underlying cause. When hyperkalemia is caused by acidosis, baking soda can be used as a temporary remedy. As a base, baking soda neutralizes acid in the blood. High potassium related to metabolic acidosis and renal failure sometimes responds to 1/2 to one teaspoon of baking soda daily.
10. Natural Deodorant
Baking soda is also useful when it comes to treating body odor, whether mild or severe. It helps absorb sweat and moisture from the skin, and its antibacterial properties kill bacteria that increase body odor.
- Mix equal amounts of cornstarch and baking soda thoroughly. Dust this powder onto your body to reduce sweating and odor.
- Another option is to combine 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda with a few drops of any essential oil and one tablespoon of water. Rub it on your underarms using a cotton ball. Use this natural deodorizer regularly to combat body odor.
11. May Help Alleviate Chemotherapy Side Effects
Cancer treatments cause side effects, which occur when treatment affects organs or healthy tissues. Some of these side effects include mouth and throat problems. According to Web MD, baking soda can help some cancer treatments work more efficient. There are chemotherapy drugs that need alkaline conditions, while others become toxic in an acid environment.
For these reasons, some doctors recommend using some form of sodium bicarbonate to improve the results of treatments. If throat and mouth changes occur after chemo side effects, rinse your mouth with a mixture of 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1 cup warm water, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Then, rinse your mouth with water.
12. Whitens Teeth
Baking soda is often used for whitening teeth as it effective when it comes to removing yellow stains. Also, it neutralizes acids produced by bacteria and gets rid of plaque.
- The best way to whiten your teeth is by adding a small amount of baking soda on your toothbrush along with your toothpaste. Brush your teeth for about two minutes and rinse. Follow this treatment daily or every other day.
- Another option is to make a homemade teeth whitener. Mix two teaspoons of baking soda, 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin oil and 4 tablespoons of turmeric root powder. Use a little of this paste to brush your teeth once a day.
13. Fights Pimples and Acne
There is no need to use expensive products and harsh chemicals to treat pimples and acne. For many people, baking soda works effectively, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that alleviate the symptoms of acne. It also balances the skin’s pH, reducing the occurrence of pimples and other breakouts.
To treat acne and pimples, mix one teaspoon of baking soda with enough water to form a paste. Apply it on the affected areas and let it sit for two minutes before washing off with cold water. Follow this treatment once a day for three days, and then reduce the frequency to twice or once only per week.
14. Removes Dandruff
Dandruff can be very itchy and it is difficult to get rid of these white flakes, especially during the cold season. With regular and proper hair care, you can remove dandruff easily. One of the natural ways to banish dandruff is by using baking soda. It helps clear off flakes, clarifies the scalp and brings the pH balance of the scalp to normal.
- Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with lemon juice. Apply the mixture to your scalp and let it sit for three minutes before rinsing with water. Repeat this treatment once a week.
- Another option is to rub one tablespoon of baking soda onto your wet scalp and hair. Leave it one of a minute and rinse thoroughly. Follow this treatment once a week to keep your scalp free from itchy flakes.
15. Helps Heal Itchiness and Rashes
Itchiness and skin rashes are among the common problems many people face. Fortunately, baking soda is an expensive treatment that provides soothing effects on the skin. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate swelling, itching, and inflammation.
- Mix 3 parts baking soda with 1 part water to make a paste. Apply this on the affected areas and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing off with water. Follow this treatment once a day.
- If you have rashes or itching all over your body, you can fill a bathtub with cool water and add one cup of baking soda. Soak your body in this relaxing solution for 10 minutes.
Do not use this treatment if your skin is too irritated or broken by scratching.
Baking soda is widely used in baking, but it also offers many other uses and health benefits. Available as a white powder, this ingredient contains antipruritic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can protect the body from infections and disorders.
From treating rashes and accelerating mouth ulcer hear to reducing kidney stone formation and neutralizing stomach acidity, baking soda’s numerous health benefits and uses make it deserving to be in every kitchen cabinet.