The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines baking soda as “a kind of salt that is used to make baked foods (such as cookies and breads) light and fluffy.” But what else can this white, powdery substance do? Baking soda—also known as bicarbonate of soda (NaHCO3)—is used in everything from fire extinguishers to artificial mineral water, deodorants and pharmaceuticals.
When mixed with acid, baking soda creates bubbles and releases carbon dioxide gas. That’s how it makes dough rise and helps cakes and cookies become nice and fluffy. You probably also use it to freshen your fridge, but did you know that it has many health benefits and that it can even simplify your beauty regimen? Here are some great uses for that little orange box in your kitchen.
1. Acid reflux and upset stomach treatment
Baking soda is a key ingredient in many over-the-counter antacids. It works by neutralizing stomach acid, immediately alleviating acid reflux, heartburn symptoms, ulcer pain and indigestion. It lowers the acidity in your digestive tract so that the contents of your stomach won’t regurgitate up into the esophagus. This means less of that nasty burning and pain in your throat and chest.
Safely use it by mixing 1/2tsp of baking soda into a small glass of water. This may be repeated up to seven times a day if spaced two hours apart. However, always consult your physician before self-treating frequent heartburn or acid reflux.