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There's more to baking soda than cake

health-and-fitness Updated: May 13, 2011 17:30 IST
Dr Anjali Mukerjee
Dr Anjali Mukerjee
Hindustan Times
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Baking soda is one of the most commonly used household items. It is a multi-purpose, environment friendly, cheap and useful ingredient. The chemical name of baking soda is bicarbonate soda and it helps in maintaining pH balance. It is a great natural remedy for cleaning (everything from vegetables to teeth), deodorising (baking soda has ability to neutralise odours), and healthcare purposes. Here are some of the health benefits of baking soda:

Neutralises acidic state of body:

Foods like meat, fish, dairy products, most grains, sugars, alcohol and caffeinated drinks cause increase in acidity within our body. An acidic body is an open ground for viruses and bacteria to thrive, which thereby cause lack of vigour, recurrent illness and pains. Proper intake of baking soda can neutralise the affect of acid in the stomach, but it should not be consumed often as it may raise blood pressure levels.

Cleaning teeth:

You can brush your teeth with baking soda by sprinkling it on your tooth paste to remove harmful bacteria. Rinsing the mouth with baking soda gets rid off the acid. The rough texture of baking soda aids in polishing the teeth without causing harm to the enamel.

Skin Eliminate stings:

A paste made of water and baking soda soothes itching sensation caused by insect bite and even chicken pox.

Skin problems:

It provides relief from prickly heat, skin rashes, nappy rashes and acne. Make a paste of baking soda with water and apply it to the affected area.

Mouth ulcers:

Rinse your mouth with a solution of baking soda to heal mouth ulcers. Gargling every three hours with half teaspoon of baking soda added to water, helps to reduce the pain.

Relief from sun stroke:

Taking bath with a cup of baking soda in water helps cool the body and negates the effects of a sun stroke.


Baking soda neutralises odour bearing chemicals. Apply it to deodorise shoes, smelly socks and feet as well as utensils, cupboards and drawers.

Stain remover:

You can remove tea and coffee stains from mugs and bottles by dipping a plastic scrubber in a paste of baking soda and scrubbing the mugs.

Besides a staple kitchen ingredient, baking soda also plays an important role in your health and hygiene.

Condition hair:

Wash your hair with two tbspn of baking soda mixed with one teaspoon of shampoo. It will make your hair light, less greasy and dandruff free.

Remove impurities:

Washing food stuff with solution of baking soda dissolved in cold water helps to neutralise impurities.

Quick refreshing facial:

Rejuvenate your skin by applying a thin paste made from baking soda and water and then washing it off.

Suppress Fire:

A handful of baking soda can suppress fire since it releases carbon dioxide, which is a known fire suppressant, when it’s heated.

Dr Anjali Mukerjee is a nutritionist and founder of Health Total, a nutrition counselling centre.