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What should I know about using baking soda?

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Is there really a miracle product sitting in the back of your fridge -- something cheap that can zap bad smells, keep your teeth sparkly white, and even treat life-threatening diseases?

Yes. That box of baking soda, also known as bicarbonate of soda (or sodium bicarbonate), can do some major things.

Its superpowers come from a two-letter term: pH. That stands for “potential (or power) of hydrogen” to make something either an acid or a base (alkaline). Baking soda is an alkaline substance. When it mixes with an acid, it alters the pH level. That’s why it can quickly soothe an upset stomach or cover a bad smell.

From: Baking Soda Dos and Don’ts WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Science Buddies: “Acids, Bases, & the pH Scale.”

PubMed Health: “Sodium Bicarbonate (Oral route, Intravenous route, Subcutaneous route).”

Sara Haas, dietitian, chef, spokesperson, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Mayo Clinic: “Insect Bites and Stings: First aid.”

TeensHealth: “Bug Bites and Stings.”

FDA: “Outsmarting Poison Ivy and Other Plants.”

Putt, M.S. , 2008. The Journal of Clinical Dentistry

Mitchmarderdds.com: “5 Natural Ways to Neutralize Bad Breath.”

Oconto County, University of Wisconsin-Extension: “Baking Soda - The Everyday Miracle.”

Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification: “Using a Natural Odor Eliminator for a Green Alternative.”

Schwalfenberg, G. , published online Oct. 12, 2011. Journal of Environmental and Public Health

National Cancer Institute: “Managing Chemotherapy Side Effects; Mouth and Throat Changes.”

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on October 29, 2017

SOURCES:

Science Buddies: “Acids, Bases, & the pH Scale.”

PubMed Health: “Sodium Bicarbonate (Oral route, Intravenous route, Subcutaneous route).”

Sara Haas, dietitian, chef, spokesperson, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Mayo Clinic: “Insect Bites and Stings: First aid.”

TeensHealth: “Bug Bites and Stings.”

FDA: “Outsmarting Poison Ivy and Other Plants.”

Putt, M.S. , 2008. The Journal of Clinical Dentistry

Mitchmarderdds.com: “5 Natural Ways to Neutralize Bad Breath.”

Oconto County, University of Wisconsin-Extension: “Baking Soda - The Everyday Miracle.”

Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification: “Using a Natural Odor Eliminator for a Green Alternative.”

Schwalfenberg, G. , published online Oct. 12, 2011. Journal of Environmental and Public Health

National Cancer Institute: “Managing Chemotherapy Side Effects; Mouth and Throat Changes.”

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on October 29, 2017

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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