The first thing pops into your head when you hear the word ‘citric acid’ are citrus fruits such as lemon and oranges.
But, citric acid has a lot more to it. This article tells you all you need to know about citric acid. Its uses, benefits and how you can bring it to use in your daily life.
Citric acid powder is known to be effective in getting rid of acne, improve kidney health, fights with free radicals, cures throat infection. It is also used as a water softener, cleaning agent, homemade bath bombs.Discover more here.
What Is Citric Acid Powder?
Citric acid is a naturally found acid in all citrus fruits like lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, kiwis, apples, strawberries, pears, cherries, raspberries and tangerines and in vegetables like potatoes, peas, mushroom, asparagus, and tomatoes.
Citric acid powder is used as a food preservative, added to beverages and pharmaceutical products.
It is also used for flavoring foods and as a cleaning agent at home.
It is a weak organic acid and is mostly purchased in powder form. The powder is white and crystalline.
Citric acid is known by many names such as sour salt and lemon salt. Till the 1900s, Italy was the largest manufacturers of citric acid, contributing to 90 percent of the entire production of the world.
Nutritional Properties Of Citric Acid
Citric acid is alkaline in nature. This means it can balance the acid levels in the body.It is also an antioxidant, which makes it a favorable product to be used in skin care products.
Citric acid is a type of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), making it a good agent to remove dead skin cells and exfoliate the skin.It has a tangy taste which makes it as a flavoring ingredient for candy and beverages.
Why Is Citric Acid Essential For The Body?
Apart from being present in fruits, citric acid is found in the human body.It is important for producing energy that keeps you active and healthy and is safe for human consumption.
The nutritional property of the citric acid is its antioxidant nature. This helps the body to fight diseases and illness.It is not produced by the body in large quantities and is an important dietary nutrient, it should be consumed through acidic foods.Also, its alkaline nature helps to balance the acid levels in the body.
Benefits Of Citric Acid Powder
Citric acid is employed in too many tasks. You may be using a lot of citric acid at your home you might not be even aware of.
The following are the various uses of citric acid.
1. Added To Preserve Food
Citric acid is present in a lot of processed food and the labels show it as “E330”. It is used in the canning process as it helps to maintain a healthy Ph balance inside the foods and helps to prevent botulism (a harmful form of food poisoning).
2. A Tangy Sour Flavouring
Citric acid is used in many beverages too. Here, it is used as a seasoning ingredient. It has a natural sour taste and is used to flavor candies like the lemon or the orange that you love!
3. As A House Cleaner
Instead of using other artificial cleaners which can be harmful to sensitive people, pregnant women, and children; citric acid serves as a natural house cleaner. It can be used as a dishwashing agent and as a toilet cleaner naturally.
4. As A Foot Soak
If you add citric acid to your foot routine, you will say goodbye to toenail infections and foot odor.
- In a bucket of lukewarm water add equal amounts of citric acid and baking soda along with a few drops of tea tree oil.
- Soak your feet in it. You will notice positive changes in your foot health. Repeat this twice for few days.
This is one of the best home remedies to get rid of foot odor.
5. As A Mouth Rinse
Citric acid can also be used as a mouth rinse. But, it should not be taken in large quantities or it will lead to tooth decay. This is used to get rid of the bitter taste in the mouth.
6. Citric Acid For Skin Care
Citric acid can be used for a lot of home masks and it is beneficial for the skin as it helps to remove dead cells and speed up the production of new ones.
This results in skin growth and even skin tone. Also, the appearance of acne scars, wrinkles, age spots is reduced. You can try the following citric acid face masks.
A. Masks To Treat Acne
- For acne-prone skin, you can make a simple citric acid and milk mask.
- In a bowl, add ¼ cup water, ¼ cup low-fat milk, 2 tablespoons citric acid powder and stir.
- When all the ingredients have blended well, apply the mixture to your skin and leave it on for 15 minutes.
- When the mask tightens and begins to crack, wash off with lukewarm water.
- This homemade face mask will even out your skin tone and remove dead skin cells.
B. Peel For Clogged Pores
There is also a citric acid peel you can prepare for clogged pores.
- For this, take a saucepan, add ½ cup water, 2 tablespoons citric acid powder, ½ cup orange juice and a packet of unflavored gelatin.
- On medium heat stir this mixture until all the ingredients dissolve well.
- Let the mixture cool down and refrigerate it for 25 minutes.
- Now, use it as a face mask and let it dry for 30 minutes.
- When the face mask is tight, peel it off gently.
- This face mask will make your skin appear brighter, softer and cleaner.
C. Scrub For Even Tone Skin
You can even make a citric acid scrub for uneven skin tone.
- Simply to a bowl, add ¼ cup plain yogurt, 2 tablespoon oats and 1 tablespoon of citric acid powder.
- Mix well all the ingredients.
- Moist your skin a bit and apply this scrub.
- Gently massage in circular motions for 2 minutes and rinse with cool water.
- This face scrub will solve your problem of uneven skin tone and leave the skin fresh and soft.
- This is also used to get rid of sunspots on face and skin.
D. Masks For Anti-Ageing
Citric acid combined with other ingredients can make up a very good anti-aging face mask. Crush citric acid crystals to make a fine powder.
Crush citric acid crystals to make a fine powder.To a bowl add some yogurt and honey and 1 vitamin E capsule. Mix the ingredients well and apply on the skin.
7. Helps To Improve Kidney Health
Citric acid has alkalizing properties which help to bind calcium and therefore preventing the formation of kidney stones. It also helps to keep the kidneys in a proper functioning state.
8. Fights Free Radicals
Free radicals are the reason behind the growth of cancerous tumors in the body. Citric acid is an antioxidant fight off the ill effects of free radicals by neutralizing them.
9. Improves Mineral Absorption
Citric acid helps the body to absorb minerals as it mixes with minerals and metals easily. This makes it useful as the body is able to absorb all the minerals and nutrients from the food you eat.
10. Cures A Sore Throat
Citric acid can cure a sore throat by killing the infection-causing germs. Gargle with a solution of citric acid and water for quick results.
11. For Homemade Bath Bombs
Citric acid can also make fun easy to make bath bombs. Pop it in your bathtub and the fizz will be delightful!To a bowl, add citric acid powder, baking soda, any food color, grated lemon zest, and essential oils.
Mix them well and bind them by using rubbing alcohol or surgical spirit. Make them into any shape and let them dry before using.
12. To Prevent Sugar Crystallizing
If you are preparing homemade jams, sugar syrups or sherbets, chances are that your sugar may crystallize. Bring citric acid to the rescue.
Add citric acid powder at the end, this not only will prevent sugar from crystallizing but will also improve color and taste of your dish.
13. A Water Softener
Water softening is the process of removal of calcium, magnesium and other metal from hard water. Soft water interacts much better with soaps and detergents. Citric acid is a widely used water softener.
Where To Buy Citric Acid?
Citric acid is commonly available in the market in a powdered form. The powder is white and crystalline in nature and resembles salt.
You can easily buy it from the market or from any grocery shop. Alternatively, it can be sold under the name of “sour, salt” or “lemon salt”.
Side Effects Of Citric Acid
Apart from all the benefits listed above, citric acid can be harmful if taken in too much quantity.
You are advised to consult a doctor before starting any citric acid supplements. Following are the ill effects citric acid can yield.
1. Upset Stomach
Consuming too much of citric acid can cause nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
2. Dizziness And Drop In Blood Pressure
Citric acid can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure followed by dizziness, decreased attention or fainting.
3. Weak Hair
Citric acid opens the hair cuticles and robs the hair off its minerals. This makes the hair prone to breakage, discoloration and hair degradation.
4. Negatively Affects Infant Health
As we know citric acid helps the body to absorb minerals better but this can be dangerous for babies or children as it can lead to absorption of heavy metals like lead and cadmium into their blood.
5. Discolored Stools
Excessive intake of citric acid can cause discolored stools or bloody and cloudy urine. Also, in extreme cases, it can initiate a fever, headache, frequent need to urinate or decrease in the amount of urine.
6. Causes Skin Irritation
Prolonged use of citric acid on the skin can cause a burning sensation and irritation. If you have a sensitive skin, stick to using very small quantities.
Citric Acid Powder Dosage
You can take citric acid supplements in a dosage of 500mg, two times a day with meals or as a flavoring agent.
Citric Acid Powder Storage
Citric acid should be stored away from moisture in an airtight container. Room temperature is best for citric acid powder. If it is stored properly, citric acid has a shelf life for many years.
Who Should Avoid Citric Acid Powder?
A healthy consumption of citric acid does not have side effects but excessive consumption can lead to the above-listed side effects.
Also, citric acid should be avoided by people with kidney and congestive heart diseases because of its mineral absorption tendency.
High doses of citric acid can also cause problems for pregnant ladies as the citric acid can interact with aluminum salts.The citric acid powder can be brought to use in your daily life in a lot of ways.
It can help to beautify your skin and save you a fortune over expensive salon treatment, as a total house cleaning agent and can make your dishes super tasty with a tangy edge to them. Be safe in its uses and enjoy its vast benefits!