Did you know that bicarbonate of soda has medicinal values?


Bicarbonate of soda is more than just a raising agent used in baking. Would you believe that Bicarbonate of soda has some remarkable healing properties? What is it good for? Well, it can remedy a lot of health conditions from a sore throat to urinary tract infection and foot odour to mouth ulcers and even chicken pox.

Bicarbonate of soda or soda bicarbonate is a common ingredient in the kitchen cupboard. Used extensively as a raising agent for baking those delicious muffins and cakes this ingredient is also one of the most quick-acting antacids in the house. Surprised! That is not all, soda bicarbonate is also good dental agent – it loosens and eliminates dental plaque and nullifies damaging acids in the mouth cavity. This everyday kitchen ingredient can remove the sting/itch from a bug bite as well as lessen acids during dialysis in patients suffering from kidney disease.

Soda bicarbonate is a natural neutraliser


The pH level of bicarbonate of soda is 8.4, which makes it alkaline. This means that it can counter the effect and intensity of potentially harmful acids. Take the example of acidity or acid reflux, where the exceedingly corrosive and acidic stomach acid, called hydrochloric acid enters the oesophagus creating a momentary burning sensation.



Acidity can be controlled by taking a tsp. of soda bicarbonate mixed with a tsp. of fresh lime and a cup of water. It is important to add lemon juice as it helps to eliminate gases that are formed when the soda bicarbonate comes in contact with the hydrochloric acid in the stomach.

This concoction combines with the stomach acids and turns it into innocuous carbon dioxide and sodium chloride. The fizzy brew works almost instantly and its effectiveness lasts for up to half an hour.
  • Word of caution:

    This treatment is not recommended for patients of hypertension, as it is high in sodium and can shoot up blood pressure
.

Decrease tooth-damaging acids


There are tens of thousands of bacteria inhabiting our mouth. Some of these produce acids that eat away at the tooth enamel. Their effect can be neutralised by flushing the bacteria out with a soda bicarbonate and water rinse. Half a teaspoon of soda bicarbonate dissolved in a cup water should be used to rinse out the mouth. This needs to be repeated after every meal and before going to bed at night.

Alternatively, a toothbrush can be dipped in soda bicarbonate and used to brush the teeth with. It can be a tad coarse but is absolutely fine to use. In fact, a lot of toothpaste brands list it as one of the additives.

Banish foot odour


Feet can smell like rotten eggs, especially feet that remain laced up inside shoes. They perspire, remain moist for long durations and harbour bacteria that release acids that lead to the foul smell. To keep feet smelling clean the bacterial growth has to be neutralised. For this, the feet need to be soaked in a tub of hot water and soda bicarbonate. A nice long foot bath can destroy smell causing bacteria.

It is also a cure for athlete's foot. A paste made of water or vinegar and bicarbonate of soda applied on the affected part can improve the condition. Soda bicarbonate also eliminates odour causing bacteria from the underarms. A paste made with water and bicarbonate of soda can be liberally applied to clean underarms and left on for 15-20 minutes. Regular use of this therapy can kill the offensive bacteria.

Find relief from insect bites and stings


Bug bites and stings can cause a nasty itch. Itching gives relief, but the sensation doesn't go away, you want to keep itching more. Three things can happen when you scratch the skin – you can draw blood, you can infect the open wound and that can lead to scar tissue, which forms ugly dark spots.

Instead, apply a paste of soda bicarbonate and water on the bites and the itch will go away.

The same treatment works for chicken pox as well. Apply water and bicarbonate of soda paste on chicken pox and it will stop the itch and will prevent scarring as well.

Soothe nappy rash


Nappy rash can be really bad; it can leave babies cranky and bawling. Add a little soda bicarbonate in the tepid bath water and let the baby soak in it for a while. The bicarb kills the bacteria that cause the tender skin to itch and burn. The skin heals faster after this treatment. Repeat twice a day, for effective results.

Cure bladder infections


There are millions of bacteria thriving inside us. The bladder too is home to bacteria. They love the acidic environment that the bladder provides. Some of the bacteria can cause infections in the bladder. A remedy to thwart such infections is to drink a glass of water to which a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda is added. It is a perfect drink to gulp post dinner.

Fight sunburn


The effects of sunburn won't leave you in a couple of hours. You'll feel the skin burn and itch and be an angry red. The best way to calm an irritated, sunburnt skin is to soak in a tub filled with warm water and two tablespoons of soda bicarbonate.

The bicarb neutralises the water, makes it soft and has a soothing effect on the affected skin. A good soak will hasten the recovery process.

Calm a sore throat


A sore, hoarse, itchy throat can be cured by gargling with half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda mixed in a glass of warmish water. Repeat this every 3-4 hours and it will decrease the pain-causing acids.



Swirl some of the same solution in the mouth, for a cure for mouth ulcers.


Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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