2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Knowledge Base

Welcome to our extensive library of articles on health concerns and ailments, alternative therapies, nutritional supplements, and much more. Please mouse over the letters to get started. We hope you enjoy browsing.

Baking Soda

What Is It?

Baking soda, a naturally occurring chemical formally known as sodium bicarbonate or soda ash, can do much more than raise bread. Enterprising homemakers have long relied on the versatile white powder for everything from cleaning and deodorizing to soothing minor aches and pains. In fact, the medicinal and self-care uses for baking soda were recognized by the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) more than 150 years ago.

Today many home chefs don’t realize that baking soda is actually a component of the valuable leavening agent known as baking powder. This is how it works: When mixed into a dough or batter, the components of baking powder–baking soda, starch, cream of tartar–work together to create a chemical reaction that causes the mixture to rise when it’s heated.

As a neutralizer. Many uses of baking soda stem from the fact that it’s a chemical buffer–a pH-balancer. As a mild base (or alkali) itself, baking soda can neutralize most acid solutions; it can also convert extremely basic solutions to ones that are less so.

For years, baking soda was recommended because of its antacid effects, mainly to neutralize stomach acids that can cause heartburn, acid indigestion, and related discomforts. As it mixes with the hydrochloric acid in the stomach, baking soda triggers a chemical reaction, and its end products are salt (NaCl, or sodium chloride), carbon dioxide (CO2), and water.

The water is harmless, and the carbon dioxide gets released as a gas, producing a familiar burp once the acid is neutralized. The considerable amount of salt produced, however, is problematic, particularly for people with high blood pressure or heart failure. For them, baking soda is probably best limited to short-term use for stomach acid symptoms. As a cleanser. When dissolved in water, baking soda, a mild alkali, acts like soap and can help remove grease and dirt. Its mildly abrasive qualities make baking soda an effective scouring agent as well.

And when it comes to self-care uses, these cleansing properties make baking soda effective for polishing teeth (without scratching the tooth surface) and fighting bad breath (sprinkle a little on the toothbrush bristles). It can even be tried for exfoliating skin when acne is a problem (add a little to a facial cleanser in place of using a commercial facial scrub).

Numerous commercial toothpastes and bad breath gums and lozenges feature baking soda, although you should feel free to try your own homemade formulas as well.

As a deodorizer. Baking soda can deodorize just about anything, from underarm and foot odors to kitchen sinks. In these situations, it works as a pH-balancer, bringing acidic (think sour milk) and basic (think old fish) odors to a neutral, more odorless, state. (For foot and underarm odors, mix 8 ounces of baking soda with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to prevent clumping, and apply when needed.)

The same deodorizing actions are at work when you place an open box of baking soda in your refrigerator to absorb odors and keep it smelling fresh.

As an anti-itch agent. When baking soda is added to bath water, sunburn sufferers often have a notable reduction in pain. Place 1 cup (8 ounces) of baking soda under the running bath faucet so it dissolves completely. Soak in a lukewarm tub for about 30 minutes. Such a bath will soothe the pain–and you won’t have to undergo the stinging sensation of a shower.

In addition, baking soda can be used in cool (but not cold) bath water to soothe skin irritations and lessen itching associated with prickly heat, bee stings, and other minor skin irritations. A paste (made with just enough water to get the desired sticky consistency) placed on an insect bite or sting and allowed to dry is a time-tested approach for drawing out and neutralizing poisons.

People with skin allergies who tend to react to commercial laundry detergents might find washing clothing and bedding in baking soda is less irritating.

General Interaction

Certain medications need the acids in the stomach in order to be effective. It’s probably best not to take baking soda internally along with any prescription medication, including over-the-counter antacids.

Cautions

One of the great appeals of baking soda is its safety; it’s completely nontoxic and is fine to use in cooking and around children and animals.

While gentle, baking soda is a salty compound, so avoid applying it directly to raw or tender skin (as a deodorant after shaving armpits, for example) because this will cause a temporary stinging or burning sensation. For the same reason, avoid baking soda baths if you have a sunburn that has caused any open blisters or cracking of skin.

People on a salt- (sodium) restricted diet should not use baking soda as an antacid.


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Upcoming Workshops

Shamanic Healing Clinic with Katie Oberlin, HTCP/I
Monday, February 27, 2017, 10:30 am – 6:00 pm

30-Minute Sessions ~ $35.00 (regularly $50.00)

Harness the power of nature. Connect with your inner wisdom. Take a journey to welcome back parts of you that have been left behind. Learn about the oldest form of spirituality and healing on the planet.
More>>

 

Facial Guasha Class
The Ultimate DIY Anti-Aging Facial!

Join us and learn a traditional Chinese facial rejuvenation technique that you can do yourself!

Facial guasha is an easy to learn technique that:
* encourages blood flow and promotes radiance
* prevents wrinkles
* activates cells to regain facial elasticity
* drains fluids to detoxify skin and reduce puffiness
* sloughs off dead skin cells
* uplifts and tones skin
* firms up facial muscles
* minimizes dark circles
* promotes a healthy, younger and more radiant look

Your skin will thank you and will look more radiant, smooth and younger!

When: Monday, March 20th, 7-8:30
Where: WholeHealth Chicago, 2265 N. Clybourn Avenue
Cost: $50 includes guasha tool and anti-aging facial oil

Space is limited, pre-registration required by calling 773-296-6700.
More>>

Recent Health Tips

  • Nutritional Supplement Shotgun Therapy

    Nutritional Supplement Shotgun Therapy

    I once had a new patient arrive with her forms completed, a stack of medical records under her arm, and a large bulging gym bag in tow, saying “I brought all the supplements I’m taking. I’m hoping you can suggest a few I might not …Read More »
  • A Lifetime Of Experience With Abortion

    A Lifetime Of Experience With Abortion

    Let me start by saying the opinions on the topic of abortion are mine alone and not necessarily those of any staff at WholeHealth Chicago. For Health Tip readers who have commented that I should not voice political opinions and stick to my work as …Read More »

February Sale: 20% Off True Botanica’s AKBA Plus and Berberine Plus

AKBA Plus is the richest, full spectrum, frankincense (boswellia, AKBA) formula available.

Berberine Plus is the most full spectrum barberry root formula available.

Read more>>