Did you know your humble can of bicarbonate of soda may just be the miracle worker you've been looking for? Also known as bicarb, baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, this little gem is a lot more than just a rising agent for your baked treats. 

In fact, it has long been known for its many health benefits and household uses – who knew? From calming indigestion to treating sunburn and neutralising odours, we think this small wonder should be an essential in every household.

Bicarbonate of soda is technically a chemical compound that looks like a fine powder and tastes quite salty.

That's right, when we mix this base (bicarb) with an acid, like vinegar or lemon juice, it creates carbon dioxide… and voila, that's how our cookies, bread, and cakes rise!


It soothes indigestion

If you've ever had heartburn, you'd know the pain that spreads from your stomach up into your throat, and how unbearable it may be. Overeating, stress, or eating greasy or spicy foods often causes this acid reflux.

Try this: Dissolve a quarter teaspoon of bicarb in a glass of water to ease the acid in your stomach.

But avoid this: It's best to avoid consuming a bicarb mixture within two hours of taking other medication as it may slow the absorption of the medicine or alter how it is meant to work.

Don't do this: Children below six should not take bicarb unless instructed by a paediatrician.

It's a great mouthwash and teeth whitener 

Studies show that toothpaste containing bicarb is better for whitening teeth and removing plaque than toothpaste without it. By using bicarb as a mouthwash it also reaches the corners of your teeth, gums, and tongue, which may be missed during brushing.

Try this: make a mouthwash by adding half a teaspoon of bicarb to half a glass of warm water then swish it around your mouth for squeaky fresh breath.

It eases itchiness and sunburn
If it's itchy skin you're trying to soothe, whether from bug bites or bee stings, a good, relaxing soak in a bath of bicarb will do wonders!

Try this: Add one to two cups of bicarb to a lukewarm bath and make sure the affected area is well submerged.

If the problem is sunburn, a rash, or a more specific area, you could use bicarb to make a paste to apply directly to it.

Try this: Mix one part bicarb to three parts of water and watch it work its magic!

But avoid this: Try not to use the paste for everyday use. If the problem persists, it's best to chat with your local doctor.

And it removes odours
It's a well-known fact that bicarb removes fridge odours, but did you know it can also freshen up smelly shoes?

Try this: Pour two tablespoons of baking powder into two thin pieces of fabric, secure tightly with a string or rubber elastic, and place one in each shoe. Remove the bags when you'd like to wear your shoes. Easy as that!


BICARB BENEFITS YOU NEED TO KNOW BICARB BENEFITS YOU NEED TO KNOW Reviewed by Michelle Pienaar on January 15, 2021 Rating: 5
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