Baking soda, otherwise known as sodium bicarbonate, is a white, powdery substance used primarily as an ingredient in baking. Alternatively, if you happen to be a middle school student, you might recognize baking soda as the stuff you mix with vinegar in order to create an erupting science fair volcano. But what if we were to tell you that, outside of these two more widely known used, baking soda can be used to fulfill a variety of other needs as well? As it turns out, baking soda has a number of potential benefits beyond creating baked goods and semi-realistic volcanic eruptions. Here are just a few of the ways in which you can use baking soda in your everyday life to greatly improve your health.
1. Use Baking Soda To Treat Heartburn
Also known by the name of acid reflux, heartburn is a painful condition in which a burning sensation rises up from your stomach and potentially as far as your throat. As the name “acid reflux” would imply, this condition is caused by acid refluxing out of your stomach and into your esophagus and can be triggered as a result of a variety of factors including stress, overeating, and eating certain foods that your body might not agree with. While this often leads to a painful and uncomfortable sensation for people who commonly have to suffer through acid reflux, the good news is that you may be able to stop the symptoms of heartburn with something as simple as household baking soda. The next time you feel that burning sensation in your chest and throat, try dissolving a spoonful of baking powder into a glass of cold water and drinking it slowly. The baking soda will serve as a neutralizing agent against your stomach acid, taking away the burning sensation and relieving you from the symptoms of heartburn.
2. Use Baking Soda For Oral Hygiene
Hate that stinging sensation that mouthwash can sometimes cause? Why not try rinsing your mouth with baking soda instead? Simply mix a spoonful of baking soda with warm water and swish around as usual. Because of its granular nature, baking soda does an excellent job reaching the nooks and crannies in and between your teeth that you might have missed while brushing or flossing. Baking soda also contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that can help eliminate bacteria in your mouth associated with bad breath, and it’s mildly abrasive properties may also help remove plaque buildup and whiten your teeth. Additionally, rinsing your mouth with baking soda may also help to relieve pain from canker sores, as evidenced by a handful of studies.
3. Use Baking Soda To Soothe Your Skin
Nothing is more relaxing than taking a serene hike through nature in the summertime; that is until you get home and realize you’re covered in itchy mosquito bites. To relieve itching from bug bites, bee stings, and other sources, try soaking the affected area in water mixed with a few cups of baking soda in order to lessen the irritation. Baking soda may also help in order to relieve itching and discomfort associated with sunburns as well, especially when combined with other ingredients such as corn starch and oatmeal. Additionally, a mixture of water and baking soda may also help to relieve pain and discomfort caused by callouses as well. According to some studies, soaking a callous in water mixed with baking soda will cause the hard, scaly area of the callous to soften, thus making it less uncomfortable and allowing it to heal faster.
4. Use Baking Soda To Exercise Better
When it comes to staying healthy, physical activity is one of the most important ways to keep your body’s various systems running as efficiently as possible. People who are dedicated to workout results often end up taking an extra step by purchasing supplements, protein powders, and other tools to help them reach their goals faster; but what if we were to tell you that a useful workout supplement might already be in your kitchen? As you might not have guessed, baking soda may also help you perform better when exercising, to the point where many athletes and gym fanatics tend to use baking soda as a natural supplement. Studies have indicated that sodium bicarbonate is highly effective at extending your peak performance during exercise, especially when it comes to high-intensity anaerobic activities. This is because baking soda contains a high pH level which cancels out your body’s lactic acid, which is produced by your muscles during exercise and causes you to feel tired and sore. By keeping your body’s pH in check, you can exercise longer without getting fatigued, thus enabling you to make the most of your valuable gym time. The benefits don’t stop there, either; once your workout is done, you can always pat down your armpits with some extra baking soda to serve as a natural deodorant.
5. Use Baking Soda To Help Your Kidneys
According to some research, baking soda may be able to improve your health by slowing the progression of chronic kidney disease, a debilitating illness that, as the name implies, targets your kidneys and causes them to slowly lose function over time. Because your kidneys play an important role in filtering your blood and keeping it free of excess waste, it is essential to maintain healthy kidneys in order to keep the rest of your body up and running. According to one particular study, adults suffering from chronic kidney disease were found to have their risk of kidney failure lowered by 36 percent while taking a baking soda-based supplement on a regular basis.
6. Use Baking Soda To Relieve Arthritis Pain
Based on recent studies, it would appear that baking soda may be effective when it comes to treating rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid Arthritis, or RA, is an autoimmune disease that targets your body’s joints, resulting in joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and potentially the loss of a joint’s ability to function altogether. According to a study published by the Journal of Immunology in April 2018, drinking water mixed with baking soda may help treat rheumatoid arthritis by reducing joint inflammation by promoting your body’s anti-inflammatory response while reducing the effects of its autoimmune response.
7. Use Baking Soda To Fight Back Against Cancer
In addition to all of the other health benefits listed above, baking soda may also be able to help people currently undergoing treatment for certain types of cancer. According to data collected from researchers, baking soda might be able to benefit a cancer patient’s chemotherapy treatment by making the environment for tumors less acidic, which in turn, allows the chemotherapy medicines to slow the growth of cancer cells more effectively. However, this research is still in its preliminary stages and testing was mainly performed from animal and cell studies; as a result, more human-based research will be required before the true effectiveness of this hypothesis can be confirmed.
So there you have it. While you might only recognize baking soda as the stuff that’s in the box at the back of your cupboard, it turns out that this innocuous white powder has a variety of different uses, and may even be able to make a positive impact on your health in various ways. From painful arthritis to body odor, it truly seems as though the humble sodium bicarbonate can do no wrong.