The Little Miracle in your Kitchen Cupboard
by the School of Natural Health Sciences
Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) is a white crystalline powder, chemically known as sodium bicarbonate. It is extremely versatile, effective and both gentle and environmentally safe, making it an inexpensive and economical non-toxic compound. You may use it as a more eco-friendly replacement for many harsher chemicals around the home. As well as a wide variety of uses in relation to medicinal, cooking, safety, plumbing and personal care products.
The ancient Egyptians first mined the natural product called natron, which contains mostly sodium bicarbonate. The Egyptians used the mixture as a cleansing agent such as soap. However, it was not until 1791 in France that Nicolas Leblanc, a French chemist, artificially manufactured sodium bicarbonate as we know it today.
Mix 1/2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda in 16 oz. water and drink to relieve acid reflux and heartburn symptoms.
Mix 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda with 2 tbs. fresh lemon juice or organic apple cider vinegar to relieve acid reflux and create an alkaline-forming environment in your body. Use a tall glass and wait for all bubbling to stop. Then add 8 oz. water and drink all at once. This mixture neutralizes the pH, buffers stomach acid and reduces acidosis.
2) Sore throats
– You will need…
-1 cup of very warm water
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon or a little less bicarbonate of soda
Heat the water until it is very warm, but not so warm that you can’t drink it. Mix in ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon or a little less bicarbonate of soda, stir, and test the temperature. Pour some of the liquid into your throat; let it sit for a moment, then gargle. Do this twice in a row 3 times daily.
3) Apply to skin to relieve bee stings, insect bites and itching from poison ivy and oak. Mix bicarbonate of soda with water into a thick paste for stings, or make a thin wash to use with a compress.
4) Drink a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and water to relieve muscle pain after strenuous exercise.
5) Make a foot soak to relieve itching, soreness and odour. Mix 3 tbs. bicarbonate of soda, 1 tbs. peppermint essential oil, 1 tbs. salt and warm water and soak for 20 minutes.
6) Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda on a damp nail brush and scrub nails to remove grime and kill nail fungus.
7) Sunburn remedy: Add ½ cup of bicarbonate of soda to lukewarm bathwater, then soak in the tub for natural relief. When you get out, let your skin air dry, rather than toweling off the excess bicarbonate of soda, for extra relief. You can also add a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and water to a cool compress and apply it to the sunburn directly.
8) Teeth whitener: For a natural way to whiten your teeth, crush one ripe strawberry and mix it with 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Spread the mixture onto your teeth and leave on for five minutes. Then brush your teeth and rinse. This method should be used no more than once a week, as excessive use could potentially damage your tooth enamel.
9) Gargle with bicarbonate of soda and water to freshen your breath.
10) Exfoliator: A paste made from three parts of bicarbonate of soda combined with 1 part water can be used as an exfoliator for your face and body. It’s natural, inexpensive and gentle enough to use every day.
11) Detox bath: Bicarbonate of soda combined and apple cider make a wonderful spa-like bath for soaking away aches and pains and detoxing. It also cleans the bath and the drain, as a bonus!
12) Bicarbonate of soda is great to cleaner for your bathroom and kitchen. Place some in a glass container with a stainless steel top that has holes in it, and just sprinkle the bicarbonate of soda on the surfaces to clean. You may add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to this. Lavender and tea tree oil have potent anti-bacterial qualities.
13) Bicarbonate of soda mixed with apple cider vinegar is a bubbly combination that has many uses. As a drain cleaner, sprinkle bicarbonate of soda down the drain, then add apple cider vinegar and let it bubble for 15 minutes, then rinse with hot water. This is a safer alternative to dangerous drain cleaners.
14) Soak pots and pans in hot water and bicarbonate of soda for 15 minutes to easily wipe away baked-on food or use bicarbonate of soda to scrub your barbecue grill.
15) Bicarbonate of soda is a natural carpet cleaner. Sprinkle it onto carpets, let it sit for 15 minutes, and then vacuum it up.
16) Wash fruits and vegetables in a bicarbonate of soda bath. Just fill the sink with water and a tablespoon or two of bicarbonate of soda and scrub the dirt off. It’s safe and effective.
17) Desiccant- bicarbonate of soda is a drying agent and can remove excess moisture from your refrigerator, cupboards and wardrobe. It also controls undesirable odours in the bottom of your dishwasher.
18) Use bicarbonate of soda to wash out and deodorize kitchen outside waste bins.
19) Degreaser – apply bicarbonate of soda on grease or oil patches on cement floors or driveways.
20) Stain remover – apply a thin paste of bicarbonate of soda to stains prior to washing – even blood stains.
21) Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda in your shoes for a natural deodorizer.
So versatile but often forgotten, bicarbonate of soda has been a household staple for nearly 200 years.
Please note: Bicarbonate of soda home remedies may deplete your body of essential minerals and vitamins. It should not be used on a low sodium diet unless under supervision. In some instances, it may interact with prescription drugs, so check first with your pharmacist. Only use bicarbonate of soda after it’s been dissolved in liquid. Never consume it in dry powder form. Do not use bicarbonate of soda home remedies for more than a two week period without checking with your healthcare practitioner. Bicarbonate of soda should not be used by pregnant or nursing women or by children under the age of 5.