Everybody is familiar with baking soda. To many of us, it is that lowly box inside our refrigerators that’s supposed to absorb bad smelling stuff. Or it is that solitary box in the kitchen shelf that we use for baking our favorite muffins and cakes. At times, we use it as a cleaning agent to scrub off tenacious stains on the kitchen counter or on our precious pots and pans. Surprisingly, there is more to this humble ingredient than we are accustomed to. Although more popularly known as a leavening agent in baked foods, baking soda also has great health and beauty benefits. Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate is an inexpensive purchase that can offer more benefits than we can ever imagine. Here are some of those benefits:
- It’s power-packed with antacid properties.
- It’s a great alkalizing agent.
- It has many antiseptic properties.
- It’s an amazing exfoliator.
- It’s used as a leavening agent in baked goods.
Baking soda in its natural form is called nahcolite. It’s part of the natural mineral natron and in this form, has been used for centuries. Egyptians used natron as a soap because of its cleansing properties. Through the ages, natron has been refined to produce sodium bicarbonate or we know it today as baking soda. It would be safe to assume that most of us have used baking soda in more ways than just as a leavening agent for baking. It’s also being commonly used as:
- a natural deodorant
- a hand cleanser
- teeth whitener
- cleaning agent
While baking soda has these benefits, it has some limitations and precautions, especially when there is a chance of ingesting it. For one, it should be consumed only in small quantities. If taken regularly, baking soda can reduce general body functions by regulating the body’s natural pH levels which can further reduce acid levels. This pH reduction can negatively affect the complete body system’s functioning. Baking soda does have proven benefits and yet it comes at the cheapest price. Read on to learn about this humble ingredient for use at home, in more than one way.
All About Baking Soda
For those who don’t have an inkling as to what baking soda is, except for the obvious that it’s used for baking, there are many questions that they may want to ask. What is baking soda, is it organic, a mineral or a chemical creation? These days, the answers are just fingers away from a keyboard. Google baking soda and one can have all the answers and information about baking soda.
To start with, the chemical name of baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. It’s white and solid, although it can appear as a white powder or as small crystals. The taste is mildly salty. In the US, most of the baking soda comes from Wyoming. Actually, a quarter of the world’s supply comes from this place. The trona ores mined in Wyoming go through a type of chemical process in order to create the baking soda. Trona ores are first heated until they’re turned into soda ash. This ash is further treated using carbon dioxide to get sodium bicarbonate or baking soda. One can just imagine how much baking soda is produced in Wyoming, considering that it supplies the stuff to the whole civilized world!