If you’re like most of us, you probably have a box of baking soda, either in your pantry for baking, or in your fridge to absorb odors. What you may not realize is that baking soda has a number of health uses, as well. Here are 11 new ways to use baking soda:
1. Natural Deodorant
Just say no to the parabens and aluminum found in most deodorants and antiperspirants. Instead, mix a pinch of baking soda with water, and use a bit of the paste under your arms.
2. Insect Bites and Poison Ivy
Use the same paste of baking soda and water to relieve the itching from insect bites, or just rub the dry powder on your skin. It works for itchy rashes and poison ivy, as well.
3. Heartburn, Indigestion, and Ulcer Pain
Baking soda immediately neutralizes stomach acid, which helps relieve heartburn, indigestion and even the pain of ulcers. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon in half a glass of water and take every two hours (not more than seven doses in 24 hours, or three doses if you are over 60 years of age). This is an occasional treatment. If the problem persists, see your doctor.
4. Foot Soak and Exfoliator
Use three tablespoons of baking soda in a tub of warm water and soak your aching feet. To exfoliate, scrub your feet with a paste made of three parts baking soda and one part water. It is gentle enough to use on your face and body, as well.
5. Relaxing Soak
For a wonderful spa-like soak, add baking soda and apple cider vinegar to a hot bath.
6. Hand Cleanser
Mix three parts baking soda with one part of water for a natural hand cleanser. It scrubs away dirt and neutralizes odors.
7. Splinter removal
Splinters hurt, as does removing them. First try soaking the affected area twice a day in a mix of baking soda and water. Many splinters will come out on their own after a couple of days.
8. Sunburn Remedy
To treat a sunburn, add ½ cup of baking soda to lukewarm bathwater, then soak in the tub for natural relief. When you emerge, let your skin air dry, rather than toweling off the excess baking soda. You can also make a cool compress and apply it directly to the burn.
9. Enhanced Sports Performance
Long distance runners and swimmers have been known to take baking soda capsules to improve speed and endurance. Researchers note:
Essentially, sodium bicarbonate is an alkali substance that increases the pH of the blood. This seems to reduce and offset the acidity produced in the muscles during intense, anaerobic exercise that produces lactic acid most quickly, such as fast running or swimming.
10. Tooth and Gum Paste
Baking soda is a mild abrasive, and an antibacterial agent. You can mix six parts baking soda with one part sea salt and rub the mixture on your teeth and gums. Spit out the excess, then after 15 minutes rinse out your mouth. This is very effective at killing bacteria. Be gentle, so as not to cause too much abrasion.
11. Teeth whitener
To whiten your teeth naturally, crush a ripe strawberry and mix with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Spread the mixture onto your teeth and leave it on for five minutes. Finally, brush your teeth and rinse. Do this no more than once a week.