Baking Soda (Sodium bicarbonate)
The baking soda chemical formula aka the sodium bicarbonate formula is NaHCO3. This baking soda formula represents its composition of of sodium ions and bicarbonate ions. It’s a substance known for its alkalizing effects thanks to a baking soda ph of 9.
In its most natural form sodium bicarbonate is also known as nahcolite, a mineral that is found in various locations around the world. It is commercially mined in areas of California, Colorado, Botswana and Kenya. There are also large deposits in Mexico, Uganda, Turkey and Mexico.
Baking soda, also known as bicarbonate of soda (or sodium bicarbonate), can do some major things. Its superpowers come from a two-letter term: pH. That stands for “potential (or power) of hydrogen” to make something either an acid or a base (alkaline). Baking soda is an alkaline substance. When it mixes with an acid, it alters the pH level. That’s why it can quickly soothe an upset stomach or cover a bad smell.
Throughout history, it has been used as a rising agent when baking. It’s 100 percent sodium bicarbonate; so, when mixed with acid, it makes bubbles and gives off a carbon dioxide gas, causing the dough to rise. Baking powder and soda are similar yet different since baking powder is made up of sodium bicarbonate and one or multiple acid salts.
Using Baking Soda
Air Freshening: commercial air fresheners don’t eliminate odors they mask them with chemical compounds that mask or cover up odors. Baking soda is a safe alternative that interacts with odor molecules and breaks them up, neutralizing them. Make your own air freshener – you need: A small jar, 1/3 cup baking soda, 10–15 drops of your favorite essential oils, piece of cloth or paper, string or ribbon. Add the baking soda and essential oils to the jar. Cover it with the cloth or paper, and then secure it in place with the string. When the scent starts to fade, give the jar a shake.
Antifungal & Antibacterial: Baking soda has been shown to kill off bacteria including Streptococcus mutans, which is a type of bacteria associated with tooth decay. It is also effective against various fungal groups including yeasts, dermatophytes and molds that cause skin and nail infections in humans.
Bathroom Cleaner: Baking soda comes in handy because it whitens and disinfects many bathroom surfaces. Make a paste using baking soda and a bit of water. Using a sponge or a cloth, rub the mixture thoroughly onto the surface you want to clean. Wipe down the surface 15–20 minutes later with a damp cloth.
Bug Bites & Stings: it isn’t good for everyday use on your skin, it can soothe the redness, itching, and stinging that are signs of a mild reaction to an insect bite. You can also make your own paste of one-part baking soda to three parts water. This also works for poison ivy and rashes. ½ cup in the bathtub and soak for 20 minutes, rinse off before getting out.
Chemotherapy Support: research does show that it can help some cancer treatments work better. Some chemotherapy drugs need alkaline conditions. Others become more toxic in an acid environment. Mouth and throat changes are common chemo side effects. If this happens to you, rinse your mouth three times daily with a mixture of 1 cup warm water, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/8 teaspoon salt, followed by a rinse with plain water.
Deodorizing: When you add baking soda and change the pH balance, the odors in your fridge or your carpet come into a neutral state. Bad smells come from either strong acids (think sour milk) or bases (like spoiled fish). Sprinkle it everywhere to reduce odors. Mix with coconut oil and arrowroot powder for an all-natural deodorant.
Food Cleansing: Many people worry about pesticides on foods. Pesticides are used to prevent crops from damage by insects, germs, rodents and weeds. Interestingly, recent research has found that soaking fruits and veggies in a baking soda wash is the most effective way to remove pesticides without peeling them. One study found that soaking fruit in a solution of baking soda and water for 12–15 minutes removed nearly all of the pesticides.
Heartburn & Indigestion: Add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water to zap acid in your stomach. Don’t take baking soda within 2 hours of other medications. When the baking soda lowers stomach acid, it can slow the rate at which your body absorbs some medicines and change the way others work. Don’t give it to a child under 6 unless your pediatrician tells you to.
Inflammation: most inflammation in the body is caused by an acidic environment. Using baking soda can help balance pH of the blood thus reducing the pH of the body, which in turn reduces water retention (edema) related to the body’s response to an acidic environment. The less water retained by the body to protect itself from acids, the less swelling and inflammation and associated pain there is.
Kidney Disease: A daily dose of sodium bicarbonate can help people whose kidneys can no longer remove enough acid from their blood. It helps balance the pH in the blood, reducing the acid content of the body and creating an alkaline environment. Sodium bicarbonate helps in decreasing stone formation and removing of material that causes the kidney stones.
Kitchen Scrub: plain baking soda and essential oils if desired on a cloth or sponge, gently scrubs surfaces without scratching and while disinfecting.
Mouth Care: tooth decay is caused by acid loving bacteria that live and excrete plaque on teeth and gums. The pH balancing effects of baking soda help prevent bacterial growth by reducing the acids in the mouth. All it takes is ½ teaspoon in 8oz water to make a great, breath freshening, mouth rinse.
Silver Polish: Baking soda is a handy alternative to commercial silver polishes. For this you will need: An aluminum baking pan or a baking dish lined with aluminum foil, 1 cup of boiling water, 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1/2 cup of white vinegar, add the baking soda to the aluminum baking pan and slowly, pour in the vinegar. Next, pour in the boiling water and then place the silver in the baking pan. Almost immediately, the tarnish should begin to disappear, and you can remove most silverware from the pan within thirty seconds. However, heavily tarnished silverware may need to sit in the mixture for up to a minute.
Skin Care: baking soda is a great exfoliator for face, feet and joints; it helps by reducing acids in skin and balancing pH of the surface, and gently removing dead skin that can clog pores and cause wrinkles. Overuse can cause alkalization of the skin. The skin needs to remain slightly acidic to be strong and healthy. Skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, toenail fungus, ring worm, body odor and allergic reactions are all caused by bacteria and/or an acidic environment. Both of which are eradicated by using baking soda internally and/or externally.
Milk-alkali syndrome: Excess consumption of sodium bicarbonate may cause health ailments such as milk-alkali syndrome. An overdose of baking soda may also cause vomiting, diarrhea, muscle weakness and spasms. Care must be taken while consuming products that contain baking soda. It is advisable to consult your health specialist if you have blood pressure related ailments, kidney disease, are pregnant or breastfeeding as they may have side effects on consumption.