Sodium bicarbonate is one of the minerals used by traditional medicine for the treatment of various diseases. It is a very versatile compound since it is widely used in the kitchen and cosmetically.

In the following article, we show you the benefits of this mineral so that you know how to take advantage of its benefits.

What is bicarbonate?

Bicarbonate is a white crystalline solid compound , which has the chemical formula NaHCO3, which is obtained by combining molecular ingredients such as carbon, sodium, hydrogen and oxygen . This mixture is actually a type of salt.

Note: Although it is a natural mineral, sodium bicarbonate is also produced in the body, at the level of the mucous membranes of the stomach walls, in the pancreas and the kidneys.

What are the benefits of baking soda?

The benefits of sodium bicarbonate come from its different therapeutic properties that classify it as beneficial for the body. We mention the most prominent:

1. Improves stomach upsets

Sodium bicarbonate is alkaline, so it can neutralize the effect of excess hydrochloric acid in the stomach, improving stomach discomfort, that is, it has an antacid effect, in addition to containing reflux.

A preparation of water in a cup is enough , with half a teaspoon of baking soda before meals, to avoid acidity.

Important: This solution is temporary, since when the body detects that it does not have enough acidity in the stomach, it will secrete more hydrochloric acid in the stomach, causing a rebound effect. It is important then, to have communication with the doctor.

2. Helps detoxify the body

Baking soda combined with lemon juice helps to alkalize the body , neutralizing excess acid in the body, protecting the liver and kidneys.

To highlight: A study on “Metabolic acidosis and progression of chronic kidney disease: incidence, pathogenesis and therapeutic options” , describes the use of sodium bicarbonate as an economical and simple therapeutic option against metabolic acidosis. (1)

3. Relieves nasal congestion and sore throat

Traditional medicine has used in cases of nasal congestion and nasal washes , a combination of previously boiled water, non-iodized salt and sodium bicarbonate. This therapy has given beneficial results.

In the case of a sore throat, whether it is caused by a virus or bacteria, baking soda is considered to have antiseptic properties that help mitigate the effects of microorganisms on the throat that can lead to pain.

Tip: Prepare a nasal wash with previously boiled water and a pinch of baking soda to decongest the nose.

4. Promotes hygiene and oral health

Thanks to its astringent and antiseptic action , baking soda can help in oral diseases such as gingivitis or prevent the formation of dental plaque , reducing the number of bacteria that attack the teeth and gums.

In this sense, a study entitled “Antibacterial activity of sodium bicarbonate” describes this mineral as a possible alternative to reduce the presence of certain bacteria in the oral cavity. (two)

Notable: In another article on “Evidence for biofilm acid neutralization by sodium bicarbonate” , the possibility of sodium bicarbonate to alter the cariogenic properties of certain microorganisms in the denture is described. (3)

5. Relieves insect bites

Likewise, added to its astringent and antiseptic property, sodium bicarbonate is credited with its anti-inflammatory activity on the skin , contributing to skin lesions caused by insect bites.

Tip: It is recommended to mix a teaspoon of baking soda with a little sterile water to form a paste and apply to the bite. Wait 15 minutes and rinse with plenty of water.

6. Fight fungal infections

Traditional medicine has used a combination of lemon juice with baking soda for decades . On the one hand, the antioxidant action of vitamin C, which counteracts the action of free radicals on cells, and on the other, the antiseptic action of sodium bicarbonate: both help fight fungal infections on the skin.

Note: Baking soda balances the skin’s pH , making it an uninhabitable area for certain microorganisms.

7. Promotes skin health

Baking soda, thanks to its antiseptic and astringent effect, prevents small wounds from becoming contaminated , and also helps to mitigate inflammatory processes in the skin.

It is also used as an exfoliant to remove dead skin cells, as well as maintain the skin’s pH balance, preventing the development of pathogenic microorganisms.

8. Eliminate body odor

Excessive sweating can cause both moisture and hair to encourage bacteria to develop. These bacteria can cause bad odors in the body, especially in the armpits.

Thanks to its antibacterial properties , baking soda helps fight bacteria that may be causing these bad odors.

9. Promotes healthy hair

Due to its alkalizing formula, baking soda can remove excess oil or grease from hair. It is also very beneficial for mitigating dandruff due to its antifungal property, which favors the elimination of the fungus ( Malassezia genus ) that causes it.

Important: It is not recommended to use this mineral in excess , since it can cause irritation and dryness in the scalp, due to a possible alteration of the pH. It is advisable to consult a dermatologist.

10. Relieves tired feet

Traditional medicine has used the baking soda foot bath as a relaxant, while at the same time it eliminates fungus due to its antifungal action . In addition, its exfoliating effect helps to remove dead skin. Just soak your feet in warm water, with a small amount of baking soda.

Bicarbonate contraindications

There are exceptional situations in which the administration of this mineral must be carried out under strict medical care and supervision. We mention the most important ones:

1. Heart failure

In this cardiac pathology , prothrombotic, pro-inflammatory and procoagulant states are present , therefore it is common for the use of products such as acetylsalicylic acid to be prescribed to prevent the onset of heart attacks. In this sense, the use of sodium bicarbonate can reduce the pharmacological effects of aspirin.

Note: It is recommended to consult the doctor about the use of this mineral in heart failure.

A review article on “Acetylsalicylic acid poisoning, pathophysiology and management” describes the use of sodium bicarbonate in the urine alkalinization process in states of acetylsalicylic acid poisoning. (4)

2. Kidney failure

In patients who have low levels of calcium and potassium in the blood , the use of sodium bicarbonate can worsen these levels, being harmful in patients with kidney failure. Only under medical supervision can this mineral be administered.

3. High blood pressure

The chemical formula of sodium bicarbonate contains sodium, which is a salt, and it is already recognized that the increase in sodium in the blood causes an increase in blood pressure in hypertensive people. In case of requiring the consumption of this mineral, it is advisable to consult the doctor.

Key Findings

  • Baking soda has a high alkalizing content.
  • It is obtained from nature but it is also produced by the body through the pancreas and kidneys.
  • It is widely used against heartburn.
  • It has astringent , antifungal and antiseptic properties.
  • Its consumption should be supervised by a specialist.
  • Fights bad body odors , especially underarms and feet.

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