Benefits and Uses of Sodium Bicarbonate or Baking Soda

baking soda (wikimedia image)Baking soda or chemically known as sodium bicarbonate is long been used in baking as leavening agent (a substance that make dough rise) and as a cleaning agent. Besides these uses, the alkaline substance has other beneficial uses which are discussed below.

Treatment for Acid Reflux

Commonly known as heartburn, acid reflux is an uncomfortable burning sensation in the lower chest, usually caused by stomach (gastric) acid flowing or leaking back into the lower end of the esophagus. The burning sensation is due to the irritation or sensitivity of esophageal cells from stomach acid.

Heartburn can be relieved by reducing stomach acidity. This is done by taking sodium bicarbonate orally. As a base, sodium bicarbonate decreases stomach pH, a measure of alkalinity or acidity.

Taking a glass of water mixed with a teaspoon of baking soda can help relieve the symptoms of acid reflux.
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Dissolves Kidney Stone

Kidney stones are small hard masses in the kidney, consisting mainly of phosphates, oxalates, and urates. It has been said that strong urine acidity in the kidney environment promotes the formation of kidney stones. Drinking water with bicarbonate of soda may reduce urine acidity resulting to kidney stones being dissolved and stop the formation of new ones.

Treatment of Urinary Tract Infection

Bacteria are the culprits for urinary tract infection. Drinking of baking soda solution may contribute in the cure of urinary tract infection. Sodium bicarbonate decreases the acidity of the urinary tract environment, controlling the multiplication of bacteria that can only survive in acidic environment.

Improves Kidney Function

A study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN) showed that intake of sodium bicarbonate tablet improves the kidney function of some patients with advanced chronic kidney disease. Sodium bicarbonate intake is linked by the researchers to the reduction of rate of decline in kidney function among the patients. Moreover, the researchers said that patients who took baking soda showed improvement in their nutritional statuses. Since the study has limitations (e.g. no placebo group), more similar studies should be done to compare the results of the study.

Mouth Care

Mix a teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water and use it as a mouthwash. Baking soda is able to inhibit the growth of some mouth bacteria that cause bad breath and tooth decay.

Treatment for Acidosis

Acidosis is the abnormal increase in the acidity of the blood or decrease in blood pH. It is a very serious condition that can lead to multiple organ failure or even death when no immediate medical attention is given to the patient. Oral or intravenous sodium bicarbonate administration is the treatment for acidosis.

Sodium bicarbonate increases blood pH by neutralizing acid in the blood. Take note that the body maintains a constant blood pH or else everything in the body would go wrong.

Deodorant

Baking soda is an alternative deodorant. It absorbs odor instead of masking it like what other deodorants do.

Exfoliant

If you want to get rid of excess dead cells in your skin to make it smoother and more clean, use baking soda. Just mix small amount of water and baking soda to make a paste, which you will gently apply to your skin. The fine crystals in the baking soda will remove dead cells which could not be removed by ordinary soaps. Besides dead cells, baking soda may also remove excess oil in your skin.[ad#afterpost]