We’ve all got baking soda at home, usually more than one box somewhere, right? It’s so handy in baking, cleaning and all around the home – but did you know this simple mineral is a health superstar?
When you have finished this guide you’ll want to go and buy an extra box – I assure you – as I walk you through 12 of the most amazing benefits of using this simple, everyday product.
What Is Baking Soda?
Baking soda is basically 100% sodium bicarbonate – one of the most alkaline minerals on Earth (and we’ll get onto that in a moment!). Most commonly used in baking as a leavening agent, it is often also used in cleaning products as it reacts and gives off carbon dioxide gas when mixed with an acid (and this is what makes baked goods rise).
Given how cheap baking soda is (you can usually purchase a box of baking soda for under $1), it is such a strong addition to your life.
(Note: you’ll often hear talk of making sure you get ‘aluminum-free’ baking soda but baking soda is already aluminum free, it’s baking powder where you need to be careful!)
12 Ways to Use Baking Soda to Improve Your Health
1. Natural Deodorant
Regular, store-bought deodorant is full of potentially harmful chemicals, and known carcinogens such a parabens, which you’re putting into an area of your body where there is a huge cluster of lymph nodes – not good! Instead, sodium bicarbonate can be used as a natural deodorant instead. It’s naturally absorbent and neutralizes odors with ease. You can either make a thick paste with baking soda and the tiniest amount of coconut oil (which then also makes it anti-bacterial) or you can simply rub it on dry. It works like a charm!
2. Natural Alkaline Supplement
Supporting your body’s natural pH buffering system is essential. It’s why we should be aiming to eat a lot more alkaline foods than acid-forming foods. Supplementing with alkaline minerals is a smart move, and pure sodium bicarbonate is a cheap and easy way to do this. A simple 1/2 teaspoon in a glass of water each day is a great addition to your diet*.
3. Heartburn, Indigestion, GERD
Similarly, a serve of baking soda can almost instantly help ease these types of symptoms. Remember – almost every OTC antacid contains bicarbonate in some form, but they also contain a whole lot of chemicals, preservatives, sweeteners and more that rob from Peter to give to Paul. They offer relief in the short term while making the problem worse in the long-term. Baking soda is different. It works by immediately neutralizing excess stomach acid, while contributing to your body’s ability to better regulate it’s natural production of stomach acid and it’s own source of sodium bicarbonate in the digestive system.
Of course, you should not rely on this – dietary changes are needed, and this should only be your short-term occasional treatment. As per the asterisk above, you should be in consultation with your physician regarding this.
4. Improved Sports Performance & Recovery
Sodium bicarbonate has long been proven in the research literature to improve sports performance. In this study on HIIT researchers found:
“High-intensity intermittent exercise performance is improved by prior intake of sodium bicarbonate in trained young men, with concomitant elevations in blood alkalosis and peak blood lactate levels, as well as lowered rating of perceived exertion”
And in this study on fatigue & recovery, the researchers found:
“Sodium bicarbonate improved nonoxidative glycolysis in isometric contraction, resulting in reduced fatigue and enhanced recovery”
5. Natural Toothpaste
Similar to deodorant, regular toothpaste is packed with chemicals and most notably fluoride which is a known neurotoxin and carcinogen! Baking soda however, is completely natural, and has a mild abrasive action that helps to remove plaque and polish, clean, and deodorize your teeth.
According to this study, data from five studies found that toothpaste containing baking soda “enhanced plaque removal effectiveness of tooth brushing to a significantly greater extent” than when using a non-baking soda toothpaste.
Baking soda also has antibacterial activity, and has been proven to kill Streptococcus mutans bacteria – one of the most common causes of tooth decay.
OR try this simple 3-ingredient recipe:
6. Insect Bites
Sodium bicarbonate can also provide relief from a mosquito bite. It’s easy to make a baking soda paste, simply mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with just enough water to create a paste. Apply it to the bite, and let it sit for 10 minutes before washing it away.
7. Helps Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
According to the CDC, urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common infections. Baking soda mixed in water is known to act as a protective barrier against urinary tract infections. Because it helps neutralize excess acids in the urine, it protects against over-acidity and it is due to its ability to reduce acid levels in urine. It’s widely regarded that the acidity of urine may affect susceptibility to UTIs.
8. Boosts Kidney Function
The link between an acid-forming diet (called net-dietary acid load in the research) and poor kidney function / chronic kidney disease (CKD) is abundant. And the research also shows us that an alkaline-forming diet is powerful in recovering function of the kidneys.
Therefore it is no surprise to learn that research shows baking soda can help the kidneys to repair and heal.
In this study the researchers discovered that taking sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) supplements decreased the risk of kidney failure by 36% .
9. Natural Mouthwash
Mouthwash is a great addition to a good oral hygiene routine. It reaches corners of your mouth and crevices of your teeth, gums and tongue that may be missed during brushing.
Many use baking soda as a replacement for mouthwash. It can help freshen your breath and provides antibacterial and antimicrobial properties (3, 4, 5).
The recipe for baking soda mouthwash is simple. Add half a teaspoon of baking soda to half a glass of warm water, and then swish as usual.
10. Natural Vegetable & Fruit Cleaner & Pesticide Remover
It’s not always possible to afford or find organic fruit and veg, so when you can’t you want to clean them as much as possible! Getting all of the pesticides off is very, very hard, but this method removes a lot of them. Make your own natural scrub by simply putting a tablespoon of baking soda into a bowl of water and then washing your fruits and vegetables in this solution.
11. Foot Soak and Exfoliator
3 tablespoons of baking soda mixed into a foot-sized bowl of warm water makes for a wonderful foot soak. You can scrub your feet with a baking soda paste for additional exfoliation (mix 3 parts baking soda with 1 part water). And if you add some essential oil to this mix, and a tsp of coconut oil, it becomes like a soothing heaven!
12. Hand Cleanser
To scrub away dirt and odors, mix baking soda with warm water and rub it on your hands. This natural hand cleanser will leave your hands clean and soft and remove any smells.
13. Sunburn Relief
Your poor body will love this! Add ½ cup of baking soda to a lukewarm bath, and a tablespoon of coconut oil, then soak in the tub for natural relief. When you get out, let your skin air dry, and apply 100% aloe vera gel.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide and got some good, new ideas! If you have any ideas or baking soda uses not listed here, share them in the comments below!
* you should always consult your physician before starting any new supplement regime, particularly if you have a pre-existing condition.