Ted's Remedy Reader Feedback

Posted by Peter (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK) on 04/28/2008

Hi Ted,

You sound like a knowledgeable fellow so perhaps I am wrong and you are right, however I took some time to find out that baking soda is what we in the UK call Bicarbonate of soda AND Borax is also what we call Bicarbonate of Soda. Baking powder is what we call Cream of Tarter. So as you can imagine your article on treating Rosacea with Borax and Baking Powder is somewhat confusing. Below is one of the articles I tracked down to clarify the terms:

What is Baking Powder and Baking Soda?

Baking Soda is pure Sodium Bicarbonate, also called Bicarbonate of Soda (NaHCO3). It is a white crystalline alkali which reacts by effervescing (fizzing) when it comes into contact with acids, thus producing gasses, namely carbon dioxide. Because of this chemical reaction, it is often used in fizzy drinks and antacid remedies and it's precisely this reaction which facilitates the rising action in baked goods.

Baking Powder is more complex. It is composite of Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda), one or more acid salts such as Cream of Tartar (Tartaric Acid), Sodium Aluminium Sulphate, Calcium Acid Phosphate plus a drying agent such as cornflour and the exact mix determines whether it is "Single" or "Double" acting. The difference between baking soda, single and double acting baking powders, is when the chemical reactions actually take place, and is explained below. However, the rising principal is the same in that a chemical reaction produces carbon dioxide bubbles which expand through the cooking mixture.

TAKEN FROM: www.recipes4us.co.uk/Specials and Holidays/Baking Powder and Soda Origin Uses Recipes.htm

Replied by Karen
Glasgow, UK

Hi Peter yeah your right about the comfusion with the bicarbonate of soda however this is not the same as Borax here or anywhere else. As you pointed out bicarb has the chemical formula of NaHCO3 however Borax or sodium tetraborate is Na2B4O7.H2O this compound contains boron and is a common ingredient in detergents and is food addative E285 (banned in some contries).

Replied by Ted
Bangkok, Thailand
383 posts

Response to Peter from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK's post regarding my Rosacea remedies: The recipes called for Sodium bicarbonate. You can't use baking powder, which has cream of tartar and can be a real problem if baking powder were used in autistics, ADD, ADHD, and other similar conditions since these people have high levels of potassium tartrate in their system. A borax is sodium tetraborate and it's never a sodium bicarbonate. Even sodium carbonate, or a mixture of it is called differently in the one the Netherlands product, calling it "soda crystals". Some people asked me can baking powder be used since it fizzes also and the answer is no, because it is the bicarbonates that is needed by the body to control the pH, not the tartrates, and aluminum is something I would never use, and even calcium acid phosphates should not be used either because phosphorous is already high in the diets. Adding baking powder into foods or even as a remedy is unhealthy in general.