15 Amazing Health Benefits of Baking Soda

Baking soda is more than just an ingredient for baking or keeping your fridge odor-free. This household staple is a versatile and affordable natural remedy that has been used since ancient times for its deodorizing, soothing, and cleansing properties.

In this article, we’ll explore 15 health benefits and home uses for baking soda that you can try out today. But first, let’s dive into what baking soda is and how it works.

What is Baking Soda?

Baking soda is a household product that goes by various names, including sodium bicarbonate, bicarbonate of soda, and sodium hydrogen carbonate. Its chemical formula is NaHCO3, which represents its composition of sodium ions and bicarbonate ions. Baking soda is known for its alkalizing effects due to its pH of 9.

In its natural form, baking soda is called nahcolite, a mineral found in different parts of the world, including California, Colorado, Botswana, and Kenya. It’s commercially mined in these areas, as well as in Mexico, Uganda, and Turkey.

Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder

Some people confuse baking soda with baking powder, but they are not the same thing. Both are chemical leavening agents that help batters rise when used in baking, but baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate, while baking powder is a mixture of sodium bicarbonate, cream of tartar, and cornstarch.

Health Benefits and Uses of Baking Soda
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 by poor diet and 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 to treat diarrhea and upset stomachs are by mixing half a teaspoon 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 positively affect athletic performance.

It may also be suitable for sustained periods of strenuous training or prolonged physical activities involving intermittent.

The body produces lactic acid during physical activity, increasing 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 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, then dry with paper towels. Repeat this two times a day.

4. Relieves Cold and Flu

Get Rid of the Flu
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 a 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 acid levels 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 News Medical Life Sciences, a daily dose of baking soda can slow down kidney functions in some people with advanced chronic kidney disease.

  • Mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda with a glass of water to dissolve kidney stones. Drink this solution two times a day.

6. Relieves Sunburn

Witch Hazel Sunburn

A box of baking soda during summer can help relieve itching and burning sensations caused by sunburn and 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 daily until you are satisfied with the results.
  • Alternatively, add two tablespoons of baking soda to a bowl of cold water. Take a washcloth and soak it in the solution. Squeeze excess water and apply it to 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 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 above 6.0 can be perilous and requires prompt treatment. The common causes of hyperkalemia are dehydration, kidney diseases, diabetes, injury, and 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 helpful in 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 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. It May Help Alleviate Chemotherapy Side Effects

Cancer treatments cause side effects when medicine 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 efficiently. 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 to whiten teeth as it removes 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 to your toothbrush and 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 to the affected areas and let it sit for two minutes before washing it 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 Vs Dry Scalp
Removes Dandruff

Dandruff can be very itchy, and removing these white flakes is difficult, 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 for one minute and rinse thoroughly. Follow this treatment weekly 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 alleviate swelling, itching, and inflammation.

  • Mix 3 parts baking soda with 1 part water to make a paste. Apply this to 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, 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.

15 Home Uses for Baking Soda

Apart from its health benefits, baking soda has numerous other applications, especially in cleaning and deodorizing various areas of your home.

1. Natural Kitchen Scrub

For a natural and effective cleaning product for your kitchen surfaces, sprinkle baking soda and use a sponge or rag to scrub. To add a pleasant scent, you can also mix in a few drops of essential oils like lemon, lavender, or peppermint.

2. Pots and Pans Cleaner

Baking soda is perfect for cleaning your pots and pans without causing any damage. Let them soak in a baking soda solution for 15 to 20 minutes, and then easily wipe away grease, grime, or food.

3. Gentle Baby Clothes Cleanser

Baking soda can be used as a natural and gentle cleanser, detergent booster, and fabric softener for your baby clothes. Just add one cup of baking soda to your laundry load.

4. Fruit and Veggie Scrub

Remove bacteria from your fruits and vegetables by making a natural scrub with baking soda and water. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with water to form a pasty mixture and use it to scrub your produce.

5. Silverware Cleaner

Create a baking soda paste by mixing three parts baking soda with one part water, then use it to clean your silverware. Let the paste sit for 15 to 20 minutes in a tray or bowl before rinsing.

6. Carpet Cleaner

Commercial carpet cleaners may contain harmful chemicals that can be dangerous for your kids or pets. Instead, sprinkle baking soda on your carpet, let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes, and then vacuum it up. Baking soda will not only clean your carpet but also neutralize any odors.

7. Oven Cleaner

Clean your oven without using harmful chemicals by adding a teaspoon of baking soda to a damp sponge or rag. This combination will wipe away food and grease easily.

8. Drain Cleaner

Mix baking soda and vinegar to create a natural drain cleaner that is safe for your home and family. Let the mixture bubble for 15 minutes, then rinse with hot water.

9. Dishwasher Helper

Add baking soda to your regular dishwashing cycle to help eliminate unwanted grease and grime buildup on your dishes.

10. Fire Extinguisher

If you experience a minor grease fire in your kitchen, pour baking soda on it to extinguish the flames quickly.

11. Shoe Deodorizer

Get rid of unpleasant odors in your shoes by sprinkling baking soda inside them. You can also use coffee grounds as a deodorizer.

12. Coffee and Tea Pot Cleaner

Remove coffee stains and funky tastes from your coffee or tea pot by mixing one-fourth cup of baking soda with one quart of warm water. Rub the mixture on and in your pots, and let it sit for a few hours if battling tough stains.

13. Shower-Curtain Cleaner

Eliminate shower curtain stains by rubbing baking soda onto them, adding a little water to remove grime shortly after.

14. Closet Freshener

Place a box or cup of baking soda inside your closet to keep it smelling fresh and clean. Change it periodically to keep the effect.

15. Wash Your Car

Make a natural car wash by creating a paste with one-fourth cup of baking soda and one cup of warm water. Use a sponge or rag to rub the paste onto your car, and then rinse. Dilute the mixture in a gallon of water to remove dirt and grime from your paint.

Precautions When Using Baking Soda

When using baking soda, it’s important to take some precautions to ensure its safe use. Here are some tips:

  • Use in moderation: Baking soda should be used in the amount specified in recipes. Excessive intake can cause health problems, including an imbalance in the body’s pH levels.
  • Do not consume in large amounts: Baking soda is not meant to be ingested in large amounts. Consuming too much baking soda can lead to adverse effects, including stomach pain and vomiting.
  • Avoid using acidic ingredients: Baking soda should not be used with acidic ingredients, such as vinegar or lemon juice, as this can cause the mixture to fizz and bubble excessively.
  • Store properly: Store baking soda in a cool, dry place, away from moisture and humidity.
  • Test for freshness: If you’re unsure about the freshness of your baking soda, test it by mixing a small amount with vinegar. If it bubbles vigorously, it’s still fresh.
  • Keep out of reach of children: Baking soda can be harmful if ingested by children, so keep it out of reach and store it in a childproof container.

Final Word

Baking soda is widely used in baking but 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 ulcers 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.

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