Several unreliable sources list December 30 as Bicarbonate of Soda Day. The only historical link I can find is that it is the birthday of Asa Griggs Candler who purchased the formula for Coca-Cola from John Pemberton in 1887 for $ 2,300. He sold the company in 1919 for $25 million.
But bicarbonate of soda has many uses other than carbonated beverages. Its chemical symbol is NaHCO₃ and it was used by the ancient Egyptians as a cleansing agent. Most commonly called baking soda, we use it as a leaven in baking.
Bicarbonate of soda is a salt, that is, it is the product of combining an acid and a base. This neutralizing property gives it many medial uses. Many of us use it as an antacid to cure heartburn. It’s also used in the treatment of chronic renal failure, aspirin overdose, kidney stones, and colic in babies.
It has long been used in first aid to treat scalding, cleaning wounds, insect bites, and removing splinters from the skin. Small amounts of sodium bicarbonate have been shown to be useful as a supplement for athletes in speed-based events.
During the development of the atom bomb, scientists’ clothes became contaminated with depleted uranium dust, which could not be cleansed with normal laundering, but a 2% solution of baking soda would remove it.
Bicarbonate of soda is a biopesticide, as it controls the growth of fungus and it is a cattle feed supplement to help with digestion. It can also extinguish small grease or electrical fires.
Baking soda is the poster child for holistic healing whose only fault is that it doesn’t benefit the modern medical and pharmaceutical industries.