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What Are Alkalizing Agents?

Updated April 17, 2017

Alkaline agents are used to balance the acids of our body and to strengthen the effect of cleaning solutions. Maintaining a proper potential hydrogen (pH) level is vital to our health, keeping cholesterol, blood sugar and the heart's circular system running smoothly. If pH level is kept at 7, the alkaline and acids are equally balanced, influencing bone health, proper digestion, electrolyte activity and keeping immunity strong to prevent sickness.

Sodium Carbonate

Sodium carbonate is an alkalising agent used primarily as a water softener. Also known as soda ash or washing soda, it is a sodium salt of carbonic acid extracted from the ashes of plants and can be synthetically produced from limestone and table salt. It can be used in the production of soda lime glass, to neutralise the acidity of chlorine, replace sodium hydroxide in cooking and also in taxidermy, working with boiling water to remove flesh from bones.

Vegetables

Alkalising agents can also be found in vegetables of various types. Salad vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, spinach, onions and carrots are rich in alkaline raw or cooked. These foods are infused with alkaline elements and have very small amounts of acid in their make-up. Even better, they do not produce acids when digested by the body and are essential in maintaining your pH balance. If having trouble eating vegetables, buy a juice like V8 that is infused with the nutrients to keep your body going.

Sodium Hydroxide

Also known as caustic soda and lye, sodium hydroxide is an alkalising agent that readily absorbs water from air, making it very soluble. Available in pellets, flakes, granules and as a 50% saturated solution, sodium hydroxide is a white solid that is odourless at room temperature. Its strong chemical base is used in the manufacturing of paper, soap, drinking water, detergent, textiles and as a drain cleaner. It is very corrosive and can cause swelling of the larynx if inhaled directly, vomiting if ingested and permanent eye damage if it comes in contact with the eyes. Its acids will leave a yellow stain on fabric or paper if spilt.

Dried Fruit and Nuts

Dried fruits such as dates, raisins and cranberries are alkalising agents. When dried, a portion of their acids are oxidised, making them more alkaline. Read labels before purchasing, if sulphur is used as a preservative, their alkaline content has been reduced. Almond, Brazil nuts and chestnuts are also alkalising agents. Whether eaten raw, cooked or in combination of other foods, these nuts fight excess acidity, but be careful. Manufactured products such as cereal, almond paste and chestnut purées often contain sweeteners, numbing their alkalisation.

Sodium Bicarbonate

Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, is an alkaline derived from the mineral natron. It is administered directly to cancer's neoplastic masses to flood cancerous cells with oxygen, overwhelming and killing them. It can also be used to treat wool and silk fabrics, manufacture plastic and rubber, as a leavening agent in the baking of breads and cakes, cleaning and as an anti-pollutant.

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About the Author

Currently working at the University of Houston, Jillian Holden has been writing since 1999. She is multi-published, with works featured at Associated Content, Examiner, and "North Texas Daily." Holden holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in journalism from the University of North Texas.