Baking Soda: A Versatile White Powder

I am sure that you are all familiar with baking soda as it raises bread. But let me tell you, that baking soda, being a naturally occurring chemical that is formally known as sodium bicarbonate or soda ash has a variety of crucial functions. It can do more than raise bread.

The baking soda is long been applied by some enterprising homemakers for anything that this versatile white powder can do. The usual functions of the baking soda range from cleaning and deodorizing to comforting minor aches and pains. In fact, there is a certain report that shows the medicinal and self-care applications for baking soda more than 150 years ago.

However, despite the popularity of baking soda, many people still don’t realize the real idea behind this versatile white powder. They still seemed ignorant that baking soda is basically a component of the beneficial leavening agent which is commonly called as baking powder.

The baking soda works when it is blended into a dough or batter along with starch and cream of tartar to form a chemical reaction that causes the mixture to rise when it is heated. It is interesting to know that such chemical reaction is produced when those ingredients work together as one.

Baking soda is particularly used as a neutralizer. Many of its uses stemmed from the reason that baking soda us a chemical buffer and it is a pH balancer. As such, this versatile white powder can neutralize most of the acid solutions. Aside from that, baking soda can also transform the extremely basic solutions to ones that are less so.

For most cases, the baking soda is highly recommended by some experts for its antacid effects, that is the ability to neutralize the stomach acids that are the primary causes of heartburn, acid ingestion, and other related discomforts. And is also nice to know that baking soda also functions as a cleanser for it can help remove dirt and grease, which is why baking soda is considered as an effective scouring agent.

Image courtesy of kafka4prez

Image courtesy of kafka4prez

Besides being a neutralizer and cleanser, such versatile white powder is greatly applied as a deodorizer for it can deodorize just about anything, from the underarm to foot odors and to kitchen sinks. It is also acts as an anti-itch agent for the reason that when baking soda is mixed to bath water, it is believed that sunburn sufferers always have a remarkable reduction in pain. And those who have skin allergies might find baking soda less irritating.

From such mentioned uses, many experts have suggested that some particular medications need the acids in the stomach for effectiveness. However, they suggest that it is not right to take baking soda internally with any prescription medication at the same time.

Baking soda is then considered to be a much safer compound that it is absolutely nontoxic and is fine to use in cooking and around children and animals. But still one should place some extra caution for this compound since baking soda may not be applicable to some.

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