We all want to look well and be healthy regardless of our age, seasons, weather or our finances. More and more people are getting interested in natural and affordable beauty products. The most accessible, natural and affordable products get often overlooked though. Did you know for instance that bicarbonate of soda is an amazing product that can be used for health and beauty purposes?
I discovered bicarbonate of soda or baking soda a couple of years ago and it is officially the second of my two favourite beauty and health products – after coconut oil. Bicarbonate of soda is another universal body care product that I use a lot. Instead of a number of bottles, tubes and colourful boxes that I used to have a few years ago I now have two pots – with coconut oil and bicarbonate of soda!
NB! If you decide to give it a go after reading this article, make sure the label reads bicarbonate of soda or baking soda and not baking powder! Baking powder is a mixture of baking soda and a dry acid, such as cream of tartar, and perhaps some cornstarch to help keep the two separate and dry. Do not use baking powder for health and beauty purposes!
So what do I use soda for?
1. Unpleasant smell. Soda has an amazing quality to eliminate any unpleasant smells – body, clothes, food, anything! Soda is a perfect natural alternative to antiperspirant deodorants. To make your own deodorant simply mix four tablespoons of the bicarbonate of soda with one tablespoon of water and keep stirring till you get a creamy paste. You can also add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil for a pleasant aroma. Soda cannot cause any allergic reactions, doesn’t contain any preservatives or carcinogens and doesn’t stain clothes.
I often rinse my underarms with soda and water mixture while in shower. I mix two teaspoons of soda in a glass of lukewarm water, rinse my underarms with it, let it dry a bit and then wash off with water. Clean and no smell!
2. Skin irritation. Soda not only cleans but also soothes any skin irritations including cuts, sunburns and insect bites. It is perfect to soothe your skin after shaving and avoid soreness. Again, mix two teaspoons of soda in a glass of lukewarm water and apply to the irritated areas, wait a couple of minutes and rinse with water. You can also treat yourself to a warm relaxing bath – add 1/2 glass of soda into the warm bath, mix it well until soda is dissolved and enjoy.
3. Skin detox. Bicarbonate of soda is one of the main ingredients of a natural and truly amazing skin detox – guasha. Guasha is the best detox for skin; it opens up the pores of the skin allowing it to breathe as well as truly cleaning it. I’ve been using this technique for a few months now and love how my skin feels! Give it a go, your skin will feel and look beautiful! Love your body, love your skin! Learn more about guasha here https://enlightenedselflove.com/2017/05/22/whole-body-skin-detox-guasha/.
4. Intimate wash and yeast infections. Soda is alkaline in nature and thus changes the vagina’s acidic nature temporarily to higher alkaline in which the fungus or yeast can’t survive in. It balances the pH levels of the body and works as a great anti – fungal agent that dehydrates and kills the fungus or yeast. Baking soda sucks enzymes and water content from the fungus and leaves the microorganism dehydrated. It also discourages the further growth of microorganisms and helps to keep the skin clean as well as dry.
For yeast infections mix two teaspoons of soda in a glass of lukewarm water until it dissolves fully. Use a small syringe to rinse the inside of the vagina and the remainder of the solution to wash the outer part. Clean daily for two weeks. For intimate wash use the same solution but without syringe.
5. Alkalinity. Stress, chemicals, preservatives, alcohol, pollution and other factors increase our body’s acidity and thus make us more prone to illnesses. It is a well known fact that cancerous cells grow in an acidic environment and that by neutralising this acidity we can help our bodies heal.
The best thing to do is of course to eat whole foods, plenty of greens and fruits, exercise daily, eliminate meat and dairy from your diet, stop smoking and drinking, etc. We may need some time though to make such changes while bicarbonate of soda is a quick fix that can help us increase alkalinity in a very short period of time.
Mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of slightly warm water until it is fully dissolved. Drink this mixture twice a day on an empty stomach. Continue drinking for two weeks and then take a break. You can repeat the process in a couple of months or so again.
6. Mouth care and sore throat. Baking soda is a main ingredient in many homemade toothpaste recipes and can also be used as a mouthwash. I have tried it in a toothpaste and it worked perfectly well. At the moment I use soda mostly as a mouthwash. Mix 1/3 teaspoon of soda with just enough water to rinse your mouth, stir well and rinse after brushing your teeth. Due to its alkaline nature soda prevents the excessive growth of bacteria and in addition helps remove stains. I use the same proportions for a sore throat and rinse a few times a day.
7. Indigestion. If you ever feel nauseous or extremely bloated try drinking a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and warm water! It really works! Mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of slightly warm water until it is fully dissolved and drink as and when you need it.
8. Hair wash. I’ve personally used soda for washing my hair only a couple of times so I can’t comment on any long-term benefits; I can only say that it cleans well and can be an option if you are looking for a completely natural alternative to shampoos. Soda can leave your hair dry though so make sure you use apple cider vinegar to moisturise it.
9. All around cleaner! Soda can be used for cleaning kitchen, plastics, sponges, dishes, bathrooms, carpets, etc. I only very recently discovered that it can also be used for washing fruit and veggies – mixed with water, baking soda can remove dirt and the waxy coating on produce!