Health and Beauty uses of Baking Soda

What would the human race do without that little orange box of baking soda? Most people are familiar with baking soda’s uses for putting out fires, relieving indigestion, and keeping refrigerators, freezers, and litter boxes smelling clean and fresh. This little miracle product, however, has hundreds of other uses and is especially handy as an inexpensive, natural health and beauty aid. Here are some uses you might not be familiar with:

For a topical lotion that relieves burns caused by wind and sun exposure, mix together one cup of liquid antacid, two aspirin tablets, and two tablespoons baking soda. Pulverize in a blender and refrigerate until cool. For children, substitute acetaminophen for aspirin. This feels wonderful applied to hot, blistered skin!

To relieve the itch or sting from insect bites, poison ivy, and rashes, mix together two tablespoons baby oil, two tablespoons of baking soda, and one tablespoon white vinegar. Apply to affected area.

For sore throats, add a teaspoon of baking soda to one cup of very warm water. Gargle every thirty minutes to an hour. The warm water feels great to an aching throat, and the sodium content will relieve pain by reducing the swelling of inflamed tissue.

Baking soda is great for shoes, too. Spinkle the inside of shoes with baking soda, seal in a plastic bag, and place in the freezer overnight. All odor will be gone, and germs that can cause common maladies like athlete’s foot will be eliminated.

To make your own toothpaste, mix three teaspoons baking soda, one teaspoon salt, and enough hydrogen peroxide to form into a paste. This whitens teeth and removes stains from food, wine, coffee, tea, cola, and tobacco. Try not to swallow any of the paste.

To make a great body and facial scrub, pulverize equal parts of old-fashioned oatmeal and baking soda in a blender. Mix with enough warm water to make a paste. Apply it to a washcloth to scrub away dead skin and impurities, leaving your skin positively glowing!

Baking soda can also help with your diet. Instead of buying cuts of beef with lots of marbling and cholesterol, opt for lean cuts. True, these cuts won’t be as tender as the fatter cuts, but you can remedy this with a marinade. Blend together one cup red wine, one cup Italian dressing or olive oil, one teaspoon minced garlic, and one teaspoon baking soda. Marinate meat for four hours, turning occasionally. This tenderizes and adds flavor to inexpensive, tough cuts of beef and is especially effective for stir-fries and fajitas. It also neutralizes the “wild” taste associated with game meats like venison, elk, and moose.

Make your own deep-cleansing shampoo by mixing one teaspoon baking soda and two teaspoons of water with your regular shampoo. Voila! You now have a shampoo that will remove old buildup from hairspray, gels, and mousses, leaving your hair clean and shiny. The shampoo is also effective for neutralizing the effects of pool chlorine and for getting rid of excess oil on the scalp and hair follicles.