the miracle of bicarbonate of soda (US - baking soda)
THE MIRACLE OF BICARBONATE OF SODA (US - THE MIRACLE OF BAKING SODA), by Dr Penny Stanway, explains how this mineral can aid health, home and beauty. It also has a chapter of original recipes containing bicarbonate of soda. It's available as a book and an ebook.
Bicarbonate of soda is a white crystalline mineral powder with many uses, both domestic and commercial.
It’s also known as sodium bicarbonate, sodium hydrogen carbonate, baking soda, bread soda and, simply, ‘bicarb’. In THE MIRACLE OF BICARBONATE OF SODA (US - THE MIRACLE OF BAKING SODA), I call it bicarbonate of soda in Chapters 1 (Household help), 2 (Cooking with bicarbonate of soda) and 3 (Beauty aid), as this is the name most often used domestically. But I call it sodium bicarbonate in the Introduction and Chapters 4 (Your body’s bicarbonate), 5 (Balancing your diet) and 6 (Natural remedies) as this is the name used by nutritionists, doctors and physiologists.
Certain other chemicals can sound confusingly similar. These include baking powder (which contains other ingredients besides sodium bicarbonate), caustic soda (sodium hydroxide), sodium chloride (salt) and sodium carbonate (washing soda or soda ash). It’s vital not to confuse any of these with sodium bicarbonate. So label them clearly.
Bicarbonate of soda is present (with sodium carbonate) in natron, a mineral deposited from salt lakes in certain countries. The ancient Egyptians used natron to clean their homes, teeth and, when mixed with oil, skin. They also used it to mummify dead bodies. It can also be mined as nahcolite from deposits in rock. And it’s present in the water from many hot springs. Today, it’s mostly produced in factories by mixing salt, ammonia, chalk and carbon dioxide with water. Each year over a million tonnes is produced around the world, for example, in the US, Italy, Egypt and China.
Bicarbonate of soda is mildly alkaline in water but is also amphoteric - meaning it can react with acids and alkalis. It's used as a cake-raising agent, as well as to make baking power, self-raising flour, soaps, domestic cleaning and deodorizing products, medications, water-softeners, ‘dry’ fire extinguishers, pesticides, toothpastes, ‘bath bombs’ and to coat dental floss.
Our body’s internally-produced bicarbonate of soda plays a part in the acid-alkali balancing systems that keep us healthy. We can help treat certain ailments by taking sodium bicarbonate or applying it to our skin.
STOP PRESS: It's long been known that most of our body fluids are alkaline. Recent research backs the long-held belief that we can foster good health by eating an alkali-producing diet. You'll find details in THE MIRACLE OF BICARBONATE OF SODA (US - THE MIRACLE OF BAKING SODA).