Every day brings forth a new host of challenges and obstacles, some expected and some completely out of the blue. It comes as no surprise then, that we humans have become highly adept at coming up with coping mechanisms and quick solutions. Speaking of which, home remedies in my view provide the best ‘quick and easy’ solutions to daily unprecedented problems. Severe hairfall? Hot oil massage to the rescue. Want glowing skin? A dozen home made face packs at your service.
One such magical home product that has multiple benefits is Baking Soda. Also known as Sodium Bicarbonate, it is every baker’s best friend and might become yours too after you discover the Top 12 Health Benefits of Baking Soda! It has a pH that is basic which makes it apt when there are any unwanted acidic changes happening in your body. So read on, and put this information to good use next time you’re in need.
1. Extinguish that Fire
While it does actually extinguish fires, the heartburn you experience after having gorged at a party can come pretty close to feeling like one too. Fortunately, there is a quick fix to this problem, when you have Baking Soda in your fridge. Just add a teaspoon of it to 8 ounces of water, stir well and drink it up. Its magic will work soon enough, ridding you of the burning feeling and acid reflux.
2. Get those Pearly Whites
The beauty and importance of a smile cannot be overstated enough. However, what elevates your smile from a scale of 5 to 10 are those teeth peeking out the front. Yellow and stained teeth can be a real hurdle on your way to achieving one, but this is where Baking soda comes into play.
Mix it with water in a paste like consistency and apply to the most prominently affected areas. After a gap of 2 minutes, brush your teeth and rinse to get rid of the soda. Repeat this process every alternate day for the next few weeks and the change you see will surely add a few inches to that beautiful curve on your face!
3. Calm that Itch
While summertime may be touted as ‘fun in the sun’, it doesn’t seem so when you see your itchy and sunburnt skin. So next time instead of turning to expensive OTC medicaments and lotions, try a basic Baking Soda wash. All you need to do is dissolve 1-2 cups in lukewarm water and soak the affected area for sufficient time. It will prove to be immensely soothing and can even be used in cases of bee stings.
4. Homemade Facial Scrub
Baking Soda is practically miraculous for your skin and can work wonders when used routinely. Mix 2 tbsp of Soda in water to get a paste like consistency and apply all over your face. Let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse. Not only will this give you a clean, clear skin but also help curb pimples and acne. Remember to apply a moisturizer after this scrub as it is drying in nature.
5. Erase those Calluses
A warm baking soda soak is all you need after a hard day’s work, and your hands and feet are going to thank you for it! Add some Bicarbonate to lukewarm water and soak your hands and feet for as long as you feel comfortable. This will not only soothe your skin but also leave it feeling softer and healthier.
6. Soda? Smells Good
Surprisingly, sweat is actually odourless and it is the bacteria and their acidic products that cause the smell. If you do not want to rely on chemical heavy deodorants, try using baking soda mixed with water in a thin paste like consistency, underarms or on the soles of your feet. This is an age old trick but is
just as useful even now!
7. Bicarbonate Mouth Wash
That’s right. Despite the fact that baking soda is used to create those sweet savouries we all love, it can also help you maintain your oral hygiene. Half a teaspoon of it mixed in lukewarm water can be swished around the mouth, twice a day for best results. While it effectively curbs halitosis or bad breath, it also prevents plaque formation and keeps your gums healthy.
8. Flaunt those tresses
We have all gone through that phase where all hair products containing chemicals seem like our enemies and we want to chuck them all out. But what next? Well, baking soda is the answer to those hairy problems.
Bicarbonate and water mixed together in a 3:1 proportion generally works best but you can mix it up according to what suits you best. This helps remove the extra grease and oil from your hair while also maintaing the right pH, leaving it clean and dandruff free. You can follow this up with a vinegar rinse to give your hair that extra shine and lustre, while saving it from the endless barrage of chemicals.
Note : This hair recipe is not suited to all hair types so try and figure out what works best for you.
9. Get Rid of That Tan
This is one home remedy that has always stuck with me throughout the years, thanks to my mother. Baking Soda and water mixed with a few drops of lemon or vinegar, applied onto the affected part every alternate day works wonders for that stubborn tan. This is especially effective in areas like elbows where the skin becomes hardened due to the tanning.
10. Fungal Infections
Fungal infections are extremely common and annoying, affecting areas like nail beds, armpits, oral cavity and genitals. The antifungal, anti-inflammatory and alkalinizing properties of Baking Soda are what make it such a great fix in candida infections.
For oral thrush, drink a glass of warm water with half a teaspoon bicarbonate dissolved in it, twice everyday until your symptoms are relieved. For topical infections, apply it in a paste like consistency over the affected area for 5 minutes and rinse.
11. Flush Out those Toxins
While this matter is still undergoing further research, it has been accepted that bicarbonate can help slow down the progression of Chronic Kidney Disease. Bicarbonate actually helps reverse the metabolic acidosis caused by the inability of kidneys to perform their filtering functions adequately. Consuming half a teaspoon of baking soda and salt dissolved in a glass of water for a few days can help prevent renal failure to a great extent.
12. DIY Energy Drink
While it should be used in moderation, bicarbonate with water when drunk before any athletic routine can help build up your exercise tolerance and delay fatigue. It is often used by athletes to give them a surge of energy, however it should be used in minimal quantities, only under supervision.
Baking soda is an easily available natural product with minimal side effects that has a wide variety of benefits. However, caution must be exercised in every case as excess of anything can prove harmful. So use it wisely and discover for yourself the wonders of this ingredient!