Sodium bicarbonate can do much more than fluff up your favorite baked treats. Baking soda, as it is better known, can be a secret weapon in your arsenal especially if you prefer alternative therapy to stronger medicines. From soothing insect bites to cleaning your teeth, baking soda can really be a versatile home remedy.
1. Treats Acid Reflux
Baking soda is a popular home remedy used in lieu of an antacid. The sodium bicarbonate helps with acid reflux by neutralizing stomach acids.
However, you need to tread with caution. The overuse of baking soda can cause an imbalance in your acid–base levels as well as electrolytes. Children, pregnant women, and those who use antacids regularly are especially prone to such problems. So a baking soda home remedy for stomach problems is best avoided until you consult a professional.1
2. Soothes Insect Bites
Insect bites can really hurt, but baking soda can help take the sting out of this unwelcome experience. An easy first-aid item to keep handy, baking soda reduces the itchiness and pain associated with an insect bite. Simply make a paste of any cold cream you have handy with baking soda and apply to the location of the bite for instant relief. But remember, if you have severe allergic reactions to insect bites, rush to the hospital without further delay. For everyone else, baking soda will help cut out the lingering discomfort from a bite.2
3. Disinfects Splinter Cuts
If you’ve ever nicked yourself on the edge of a wooden table or even a notebook, you’ll know the worry you feel about any dirt or bacteria that may have entered your body from the cut. Baking soda can be used to clean out such cuts quite easily. Just make a paste with some clean water and baking soda and apply to the cut area for a natural disinfectant after you remove any splinters. It soothes while it cleans, making it the ideal remedy.3
4. Reduces Harmful Mouth Bacteria
Studies have found that the antibacterial activity of baking soda makes it a potent ingredient in oral healthcare products. High concentrations of it could even result in lower levels of Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria in plaque and saliva responsible for dental decay.4 For a quick home teeth clean-up, mix up one part of sea salt with six parts of baking soda in a blender. Use a wet finger to cleanse your gums and teeth. Rinse off and repeat a couple of times.
5. Cleanses Face And Prevents Acne
If you’re prone to outbreaks of pimples or acne, baking soda can act as a great natural cleanser. Because it is alkaline, it corrects any pH imbalance that could be causing acne outbreaks. Baking soda also has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, so it can help clean your skin thoroughly and protect it from infection or acne due to contamination.
[pullquote]Mix 1/8 cup water with 1/2 cup baking soda to make a paste.
- Gently apply to your face in circular movements.
- Wash away with warm water after about 6 minutes of this massage.[/pullquote]
The powdery nature of baking soda also makes it a great natural scrub for the face. It can help clear any clogging or excess oils that might lead to blackheads, dirt buildup, or, eventually, even acne.
Be warned that baking soda is very drying to the skin and you will need to properly moisturize when you are done. Also, if you have very sensitive dry skin, this may not be the best solution for you.5
6. Soothes Sunburns
Sunburn can cause painful blisters and itchy skin. Having a bath in lukewarm water with baking soda in it can help ease these problems.6 Because it is mildly antispectic and also drying, it can help treat blisters from sunburn. You could also use cotton balls and dab on a solution of baking soda in water to soothe the skin.
7. Prevents Foot Odor
Baking soda is your feet’s best friend. Sprinkling some into your footwear can keep your feet dry and ward off any unpleasant odors. A foot soak with baking soda and your favorite essential aroma oil can be most relaxing while also cleaning your feet.7
While baking soda may seem like a simple and inexpensive fix for some common ailments, take care not to ignore what could be a more serious problem. Substituting timely medical care with a quick-fix home solution may not always be a good idea.
|↑1||Al‐Abri, S. A., and T. Kearney. “Baking soda misuse as a home remedy: case experience of the California Poison Control System.” Journal of clinical pharmacy and therapeutics 39, no. 1 (2014): 73-77.|
|↑2||Bpaf, X. “FIRST Al GUIDE FOR USDA EMPLOYEES.” Agriculture Handbook. US Department of Agriculture.|
|↑3||Lansky, Vicki. Baking Soda: Over 500 Fabulous, Fun, and Frugal Uses You’ve Probably Never Thought of. Book Peddlers, 2004.|
|↑4||Drake, D. “Antibacterial activity of baking soda.” Compendium of continuing education in dentistry.(Jamesburg, NJ: 1995). Supplement 17, no. 19 (1995): S17-21.|
|↑5||Ravisankar, P., O. Sai Koushik, V. Himaja, J. Ramesh, and P. Pragna. “ACNE-CAUSES AND AMAZING REMEDIAL MEASURES FOR ACNE.” Journal of Pharm Research 5, no. 07 (2015).|
|↑6||Ramsey, Michael L., and James R. Wappes. “Soothing Your Summer Skin Problems: From Sun Abuse to Bug Bites to Plant Plagues.” The Physician and sportsmedicine 26, no. 7 (1998): 75-76.|
|↑7||Tourles, Stephanie L. Herbal Treatments for Healthy Feet: Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin A-227. Storey Publishing, 1999.|