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Health Benefits of Bicarbonate of Soda

by
author image Frank Whittemore
In Jacksonville, Fla., Frank Whittemore is a content strategist with over a decade of experience as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy and a licensed paramedic. He has over 15 years experience writing for several Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics in medicine, nature, science, technology, the arts, cuisine, travel and sports.
Health Benefits of Bicarbonate of Soda
Health Benefits of Bicarbonate of Soda Photo Credit Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Overview

Bicarbonate of soda, also called sodium bicarbonate, is more commonly known as baking soda. It is a common item regularly found in kitchens and bathrooms. Used primarily as a leavening agent in baking, bicarbonate of soda also has several health applications, which range from a simple toothpaste and skin cleanser to a medical treatment for certain serious illness.

Antacid

Health Benefits of Bicarbonate of Soda
Photo Credit Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Acid indigestion, heartburn or a sour stomach can be temporarily resolved with a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in half a glass of water. The soda acts as a base to neutralize the irritating stomach acids. This treatment works very quickly, usually reducing discomfort in a matter of minutes.

Mouth Care

Health Benefits of Bicarbonate of Soda
Photo Credit Pamela Follett/Demand Media

The mildly abrasive qualities of bicarbonate of soda can be applied to oral hygiene. A past of bicarbonate of soda and water can be used as a simple toothpaste to keep teeth clean and white. For those who wish to avoid fluoride in toothpastes, bicarbonate of soda is fluoride-free. To freshen the breath, swish and spit a quick rinse of one teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda in a half a glass of water.

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Bath Soak

Health Benefits of Bicarbonate of Soda
Photo Credit Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Bicarbonate of soda can also be used in a foot soak to soften rough calluses and skin. Adding bicarbonate of soda to a full bath will help to neutralize acids on the skin and wash away excess skin oil perspiration.

Hand Cleanser

Health Benefits of Bicarbonate of Soda
Photo Credit Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Combine three parts water to one part liquid hand soap to create a scrubbing hand wash. This will power away tough grime and dirt without irritating the skin, leaving it soft and smooth.

Deodorant

Health Benefits of Bicarbonate of Soda
Photo Credit Pamela Follett/Demand Media

Dust a powder of bicarbonate of soda lightly under arms to help reduce body odor. As a deodorant, bicarbonate of soda is known to absorb odors rather than covering them up, as some other deodorants do.

Skin Scrub and Exfoliant

Health Benefits of Bicarbonate of Soda
Photo Credit Pamela Follett/Demand Media

A simple paste of bicarbonate of soda and water can be gently rubbed on the skin in a circular motion as an exfoliant. The fine crystals in bicarbonate of soda will remove dead cells and leave the skin feeling smooth and clean. This treatment can be used as both a body and facial scrub and is mild enough to use daily, if desired.

Acidosis

Health Benefits of Bicarbonate of Soda
Photo Credit Pamela Follett/Demand Media

In certain illnesses, such as gout or kidney disease, the levels of acid in the bloodstream or urine can become excessively high. Bicarbonate of soda can be administered either orally as a tablet or powder or intravenously in controlled medical situations where acidosis of the body occurs.

Warnings

Health Benefits of Bicarbonate of Soda
Photo Credit Pamela Follett/Demand Media

When using bicarbonate of soda, ensure it is completely dissolved before taking the solution. Do not take sodium bicarbonate solution as an antacid on a full stomach. If you are on a low sodium diet, taking prescription medications, administering to a child younger than 5 years old or if symptoms last for more than two weeks, consult your physician.

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References

Demand Media