WHAT IS BAKING SODA?
Baking soda is composed of an alkaline white powder made out of sodium bicarbonate most commonly used in baking.
The white powder acts as a chemical leavener, which produces carbon dioxide in reaction to an acid (like vinegar), which produces bubbles that help the cake or cookie rise to tender, moist, and fluffy perfection
ORIGIN OF BAKING SODA
This white powder (Baking Soda) that we love to use in our kitchens was made in Dwight’s kitchen. It was initially called Arm & Hammer Church & Co’s bicarbonate of soda. In 1860, Arm & Hammer began to distribute mini-cookbooks to the people. These carried several family recipes for bread, cakes, cookies, puddings.
Arm & Hammer was advertised in women’s magazines in the 1920s to spread its popularity. However, it did not gain popularity until much later in the year 1972, when people started including it in their kitchen’s shopping lists.
OTHER USES OF BAKING SODA OTHER THAN BAKING
Drinking baking soda solution before a high-intensity workout secession is said to boost one’s energy for the workout.
It is effectively used for washing fruits and vegetables before consuming them. Soaking your apples in a mixture of water and baking soda for 15 minutes will help you to get rid of disease-causing bacteria and germs.
A mixture of water and baking soda is an effective natural and non-abrasive cleaner for food stains and residues refrigerator, kitchen sinks, shower curtains, carpets, cooking pots and pans
It can be used to wash your clothing. This can be done by adding ½ cup of baking soda to your rinsing water. It will help to freshen up clothes with no trace of chemicals, unlike other products.
A baking soda and water soak will help you mild nail infections. This is because it has antifungal properties that will help to heal your infections.
Itching, red and stinging insect bites can be treated by a baking soda paste made by mixing the powder with a little bit of water.
Toothpaste with baking soda will help to hold off tooth decay and keep your gums and mouth in good shape.
THE DANGERS OF DRINKING BAKING SODA
Baking soda is often used to neutralize excess stomach acids in small amounts to provide temporary relief, however, large amounts of baking soda have the following dangers;
- Poisoning is one of the consequences of baking soda over dose and over use. High sodium bicarbonate content in your body will mean high levels of salt intake. The body will therefore try to balance drawing water into the digestive system leading to diarrhea and vomiting.
- Absorption of sodium by the body causes the following; dehydration, seizures, kidney failure, and slow or shallow breathing.
- Taking large amounts of baking soda can also rupture the stomach. When baking soda mixes with an acid, a chemical reaction takes place leading. to production of gas. Large amounts of baking soda consumed will lead to large amounts of gas produced in the stomach causing it to rapture.
- Baking soda contains sodium, which when taken in high quantities can affect the heart. People suffering from cardiovascular diseases and those who need to avoid salt for medical reasons should avoid using baking soda or sodium bicarbonate.
TIPS TO DEAL WITH YOUR CHILD WHO HAS CONSUMED A LOT OF BAKING SODA
- Do no panic and remain calm
- Wipe away any excess baking soda from the mouth and hands with a wet cloth
- removing as much as possible from the inside of the mouth
- give the child water to drink
- rush to the nearest health center for further treatment
WHERE TO BUY BAKING SODA IN UGANDA AND AT WHAT PRICES
In Uganda the commonly used baking powder type is Chapa Mandashi. This brand has been around for as long as I remember. It is small and portable and it can be found in any local shop in Uganda both in villages and urban centres. The price of this baking powder was initially Uganda shillings: 500 but today it is sold at Uganda shillings: 1000 by shops and supermarkets in Uganda.