Bicarbonate of soda, also know as baking soda, sodium bicarb, or simply bicarb, is a naturally occurring substance traditionally used by bakers to make bread rise. It has been used in this capacity, and others, for generations.
Its popularity is now on the rise. thanks to its extensive versatility of uses and its effectiveness in treating many common health problems without the need to add chemicals and without harming the environment.
Bicarbonate of Soda is Natural Antacid
Many ingredients of our modern western diet, namely sugars, alcohol, caffeine, meat, dairy and others, have contributed to our bodies becoming too acidic. When we experience an acid-alkali imbalance in our blood, the body’s response is to “borrow” from other alkaline reserves. This often results in heartburn, stomach upset, fatigue or a variety of other symptoms.
Bicarb is a general neutralizer of acids and bases and most of the health benefits come from these natural antacid properties. According to the Baking Soda Book by Gregory Hughes, bicarb is an excellent, natural and inexpensive way to relieve heartburn and indigestion.
Dissolve half to one teaspoon of bicarb into a glass of water and drink in between meals. It is important for the body to keep its acidity levels for digestion, which is why bicarb should not be taken with meals.
Treating Acne With Baking Soda
Bicarb is used to control the acid balance of many commercial cosmetic products. It can be used both topically and orally to treat a variety of common skin ailments.
The article “Baking Soda and Acne” on the Quick Acne Remedy website explains that acne can be treated with bicarb in two ways; as an exfoliant and as a neutralizer of excessive acid. Acne breakouts are mostly due to clogged hair follicles. Bicarb can exfoliate the skin and unclog the hair follicle by mixing it with water to a paste and then applying to the affected area. Bicarb will also neutralist the acid to help prevent bacterial infections of the hair follicle to stop further breakouts.
Natural Skin Care Using Bicarb
Adding bicarb in bath water will soften the skin and relieve general skin irritation. It is also used in baby baths to relieve nappy rash, or in foot soaks to revive tired and aching feet.
For people sensitive to laundry detergent, the problem can be alleviated by adding one cup of bicarb to the detergent when doing the laundry.
Mixed three parts to one part water, a bicarb paste will ease sunburn as well as windburn. It can also be applied to insect bites and bee stings to reduce irritation. Just leave the mix on the affected area until water evaporates.
Treating Colds and Sinus Problems With Sodium Bicarb
It is said that at the first sign of a cold one should soak in a bath with two cups of baking soda, alternatively drink a glass of water with a pinch of dissolved bicarb. This will also soothe a sore throat.
It can also be used as a nose-rinse to alleviate sinus problems. Add a pinch of baking soda and one pinch of salt to a glass of lukewarm water. Use an ear syringe or similar and squirt the solution into your nose.
Additionally, it can be used as an ear-rinse to soften ear wax.
Baking Soda Can Help Remove Odor and Reduce Bad Breath
Bicarb is great at absorbing odours and is often used a natural, non-toxic deodorant. Just apply to clean skin. It can also be sprinkled inside shoes (and in other smelly places) to neutralise odour, leaving feet feeling fresh and comfortable.
A bicarb paste can also be used as an alternative to toothpaste. It works both as breath freshener as well as teeth whitener and a bicarb rinse is also said to protect the teeth from decay.
Household Uses for Bicarbonate of Soda
Additionally, bicarb can be used in many different applications around the house. It can be used to clean your leather couch, fridge, oven, coffeepot, drain, saucepan and many other things.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.