13 Surprising Benefits of Baking Soda for Your Beauty and Health

Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is a chemical compound with the formula NaHCO₃. It is a salt composed of sodium ions and bicarbonate ions. Sodium bicarbonate is a white solid that is crystalline but often appears as a fine powder.

Throughout history, baking soda has been used as a rising agent when baking. When mixed with acid, baking soda makes bubbles and gives off a carbon dioxide gas, causing the dough to rise.

Baking soda is a great tool for cleaning and removing stains, but there are many beauty and health benefits associated with the use of baking soda, too. This inexpensive purchase (usually costing about $1) uses vary from basic daily hygiene, injuries, digestive issues, stomach pain, coughs and sore throats. Below are some of its abundant benefits:

Natural Deodorant
Baking soda is one of the best natural deodorizers that help treat mild to severe body odor. It helps absorb moisture and sweat from the skin, thereby reducing body odor. Create your own deodorant by mixing about a teaspoon of baking soda with enough water to create a milky liquid, and rub it on your feet and underarms.

Hand Softener
To scrub away dirt and odors, mix baking soda with warm water and rub it on your hands. This natural scrub will leave your hands clean and soft.

Fight Acne and Pimples
The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of baking soda helps treat the cause as well as reduce the symptoms of acne and other breakouts. This kitchen staple will get rid of your acne or pimples easily. Make paste from 1 teaspoon of baking soda and water, apply it on the affected skin for one to two minutes, and then rinse it off with cold water. Repeat once daily.

Relieve Sunburn
Due to its alkaline nature, baking soda has a soothing affect on sunburned skin, which helps relieve the itching and burning sensations. It also has mild antiseptic and drying properties that help dry out sunburn blisters quickly. Draw a warm bath and add half a cup of baking soda. You can also mix baking soda into your favorite body lotion.

Brighten Yellow Teeth
To keep your teeth looking pearly white, create your own paste with a teaspoon of baking soda and water. Once a week, rub the paste onto your teeth, let it sit for five minutes, and then rinse your mouth. It works as a mild abrasive to remove yellow stains from your teeth. In addition, it helps remove plaque by neutralizing acids produced by the bacteria.

Face Exfoliate
If you want a brighter and even skin tone, baking soda is an easy and inexpensive solution for you. Remove dry skin from your face by creating your own baking soda exfoliate. Combine one teaspoon of baking soda with half a cup of water and rub it on your face in a circular motion, then rinse. In addition, it balances pH level of the skin, which is very important to maintain even and clear skin.

Hair Cleanser
Sprinkle a quarter-size amount of baking soda into a dollop of your regular shampoo. Wash and rinse as usual. Your hair will be shinier and more manageable when you're done.

Relieve Insect Bites and Itchy Skin
For insect bites, make a paste out of baking soda and water, and apply as a salve onto affected skin. To ease the itch, shake some baking soda into your hand and rub it into damp skin after bath or shower.

Freshen Your Mouth
Put one teaspoon baking soda in half a glass of water, swish, spit and rinse. Odors are neutralized, not just covered up.

Soothe Feet
Dissolve 3 tablespoons of baking soda in a tub of warm water. Soak and gently scrub your feet. The baking soda will remove bacteria and odors, and it will help to prevent toenail fungus.

Prevent Cancer
Baking soda is known to increase the pH of acidic tumors without affecting the pH balance of healthy tissues and the blood. When you have unbalanced pH, unhealthy organisms are able to flourish, which damages tissues and organs, and compromises the immune system. Baking soda consumption can be used as a means of nutritional and immune support for people with cancer. Mix 12 gram (2 teaspoons) baking soda with 2 cups water, along with a low-cal sweetener of your choice. Sip this mixture over the course of an hour or two and repeat for a total of three times a day.

Relieve Heartburn and Indigestion
Most over-the-counter antacids, such as Alka-Seltzer, Tums, and Rolaids, contain some form of bicarbonate. If you want a cost-effective way to reduce heartburn and indigestion, baking soda is the answer. Simply add half a teaspoon of baking powder to two cups of water. An hour after eating, drink this mixture to gain some relief.

Improve Kidney Function
As an alkaline substance, baking soda buffers acids in the body and helps to keep pH levels balanced. Low-functioning kidneys have a hard time removing acid from the body, and consuming baking soda will help you with that.

Note: If you are on prescription drugs, consult your doctor before consuming baking soda, and make sure you speak to your doctor about drinking baking soda if you are on a sodium-restricted diet.

photo: whstatic.com

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