Baking soda: Swiss Army knife for some health issues

Baking soda can be a great, inexpensive toothpaste.Baking soda can be a great, inexpensive toothpaste.

Truckers often find themselves having to make quick fixes on the road, even if they don’t always have the one perfect tool for the job. That’s why having something like a Swiss Army knife or a multi-tool in your cab makes sense: One piece of equipment that serves many needs and does not take up too much space can be a lifesaver.

You should think of baking soda — sodium bicarbonate — the same way. This inexpensive multi-use product in the orange box is worth stashing in your cab for a variety of reasons, including many for your good health.

You can use baking soda to:

Brush your teeth: Simply dip a damp toothbrush in a bit of baking soda and brush just as you would if you had squeezed toothpaste from a tube. Keep in mind that baking soda does not have fluoride like most toothpastes to help fight cavities.

Treat stings and insect bites: A paste of baking soda and water is good for soothing the pain, itching, and redness of insect bites and bee stings. Make a paste of one part baking soda to three parts water and spread over the bite area.

Baking soda has long been used to settle and upstate stomach.Baking soda has long been used to settle and upstate stomach.

Settle an upset stomach: A bit of indigestion is all but a fact of life on the road. It may come from too much coffee, one too many servings of fast food or a bit of both. Use a quarter teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water to settle that unhappy stomach. But, think of this as the occasional, short-term fix. If stomach upset persists, be sure to see your medical professional.

Freshen your breath: A half a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water is a suitable substitute for mouthwash and can freshen your breath for much less.

Soothe a sunburn: The same way a paste of baking soda and water can soothe an insect bite, it can work wonders for a sunburn. Simply smear it on your skin, let it set for 20 minutes and wash it off.

Besides all of that, baking soda can be used to help control odors in your truck’s mini-fridge, get rid of pet odors and even pinch-hit as an effective deodorant for yourself.

As with other wellness issues, if problems persist, be sure to see your health care provider.