The use of alum powder dates back hundreds of years in history. You can easily see it in old remedies.
In Hindi, alum refers to “fitkari,” a kind of salt that occurs naturally and provides several advantages to those who consume it. In Ayurveda, they refer to it as “shubhra.”
Today, alum is primarily used only as an additive to food, cosmetics, medicine, and more.
It is a readily available ingredient and a fantastic product. And the best part? It has various health benefits and uses and it does not cost much!
Read on to find out the top alum powder uses.
The Origins of Alum
Alum is a granular powder or crystalline mass that is odorless, colorless, and transparent. It has a flavor that is both sweet and astringent.
Its molecular weight is 458.28 grams per molecule. Egypt, Italy, England, Germany, and India are the other countries that have alum mines. Bihar, Nepal, Punjab, and the area around Kathiawar all have ores as well.
As mentioned, although you can mostly find alum in powdered form, you may also occasionally find it in its crystalline form.
You may obtain potassium alum in a fine white powder offered with other pickling ingredients or culinary spices.
It is also available in crystal form, marketed as a “deodorant rock” which you can use under the arms.
Many different minerals, such as alum schist, alunite, bauxite, and cryolite, are used in the extraction process to get alum. One must first extract the initial mineral using a specialized procedure.
Calcination is the process that alunite goes through for alum conversion. The resultant substance liquefies using sulfuric acid and hot water after being kept damp and exposed to air until it becomes powder. When the liquid drains, the alum precipitates out of the solution.
Types of Alum
Potash Alum (KAl(SO4)212H2O)
Potash alum is the most common alum that people refer to when talking about alum. Potassium alum is the hydrated form of aluminum potassium sulfate. The chemical compound potassium alum refers to potash alum or tawas.
This alum can be purchased at the supermarket and used for pickling and baking powder. In addition, you can use potash alum in leather tanning, as a flocculant in water purification, and as an aftershave component.
Ammonium Alum (N4Al(SO4)212H2O)
You may also fulfill potassium alum and soda alum applications using ammonium alum.
In addition to its use in tanning, dyeing textiles, and flame-retardant textiles, ammonium alum helps produce porcelain cement and vegetable glues, water purification, and produce specific deodorant lotion.
Soda Alum (Naal(S O4)212H2O)
Baking powder and culinary products that need an acidulant include it. When used in the baking process, soda alum is a leavening acid in various sweet and savory baked items.
It is also a PH regulator and firming agent in food. At room temperature, it doesn’t react at all with baking soda; hence it’s not extensively utilized.
Selenate alum (SeO42-)
This alum forms when sulfur substitutes the selenium. Selenate alums are yellowish-brown in color.
Since the alums that include selenium are powerful oxidizing agents and their many other applications, you can also employ them as antiseptics.
Chromium Alum (KCR(S O4)212H2O)
Also known as chromium alum, this dark violet compound has been used in tanning, and it may be combined with other types of alum to produce crystals that are lavender or purple.
Aluminium potassium sulphate
This substance is also known as papermaker’s alum by its other name, aluminum sulfate.
Therapeutic Benefits of Alum
Various therapeutic properties of alum are:
- Antibacterial and Antifungal
- Anti Dandruff
- Anti- hemorrhagic
Top Alum Powder Uses
You may find various applications in the home and industry for alum. The most common application is potassium alum; however, ammonium alum, ferric alum, and soda alum are also helpful for many of the same applications.
As A Deodorant
Alum has antibacterial properties, which allows it to battle and control bacterial growth that causes body odor. Because of its ability to destroy germs and prevent the growth of bacteria, alum is an excellent choice for use in deodorant.
If you want to make deodorant at home, you can grind up some alum and mix it with a tiny bit of myrrh and use it as a dusting powder or wet an alum block.
On the other hand, we suggest that you use it once every other day rather than daily.
As An Aftershave Lotion And Skin Whitener
Alum helps to control bleeding from shaving wounds, aids in the skin’s healing process, and gives the skin a natural shine.
It also has natural toning and skin tightening function, which is beneficial for persons older than 50 years of age since that is when the skin starts to droop with age. It is also helpful for people who have a sensitive skin type.
Alum also has remarkable skin-lightening properties, which make it helpful in reducing the appearance of acne scars and dark spots.
It may lessen the appearance of imperfections, make the texture smoother, and level out tiny wrinkles.
For Post-Operative Wound Care
The use of alum in post-operative wound care has improved wound patient outcomes. Alum may be dissolved in water and used topically on minor cuts to treat them. It might be useful in controlling minor bleeding in any body area.
The alum may reduce the risk of further bleeding and accelerate the healing process.
It returns the skin’s texture to normal and reduces the amount of edema that occurs because of the astringent properties, therapeutic, and hemostatic qualities that it has.
In Mouthwash or Toothpaste
Bacterial growth, which often results in the production of toxins and acids, is unquestionably one of the primary reasons for bad breath.
Mouthwash containing alum inhibits the development of germs and washes it away when used in conjunction with regular brushing and flossing.
The use of alum mouthwash or alum tooth powder once or twice a day was very effective in reducing the amount of salivary Streptococci.
To Get Rid of Bad Breath
Alum powder has antibacterial properties that help get rid of bad breath.
To make a solution:
- Take a glass of warm water, add one gram of alum and a pinch of rock salt.
- Mix until you dissolve the ingredients, and then rinse your mouth with the solution. Do not swallow it since it will make you sick to your stomach.
For Weak Teeth, Dental Caries, and Bleeding Gums
To make a solution:
- Mix a paste by combining a gram of alum, some rock salt, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Apply this to bleeding gums, weak teeth, and dental cavities.
- After giving your gums a little massage with this, you should thoroughly rinse your mouth.
In addition to this therapy, experts recommend that you consume daily servings of juice from barley grass due to the gum-healing properties and calcium it contains.
It determines whether or not alum had an antifungal effect on yeast isolated from oral lesions.
The Global Journal Research Analysis study concluded that alum could suppress fungal isolates and protect against illnesses like oral thrush and mouth ulcers.
In Treating Canker Sores
Canker sores are often treated by a smallest alum block or by grinding up a small piece of alum into a powder and then applying a pinch of the powder to the sore to help the sore heal faster.
It stings for quite some time, but by the following day, in most cases, the canker sores are gone from your mouth.
On the other hand, many people do not want to use the alum powder in its natural state, and it may be challenging for small children to tolerate the burn caused by the alum powder.
A fantastic way to utilize alum to get rid of mouth sores is to make a DIY alum mouth rinse like the one described above.
You may effectively treat canker sores with salt, which makes this mouth rinse appropriate for people of any age who are concerned about their oral health.
When using the raw alum powder, ensure that you do not ingest any of it when putting it to the canker sore, and make sure that you use a minimal amount.
Used As Anti-platelet Medication
An animal study evaluated the antiplatelet activity of alum in terms of platelet aggregation and the amount of time it took for bleeding to occur.
Following alum administration, there was a discernible reduction in the amount of platelet aggregation.
The amount of time it took for an animal model to begin bleeding after being injected with alum was likewise significantly lengthened.
According to the research results, alum has potential for usage as an antiplatelet medication.
As Vaccine Adjuvants
Powdered alum is a substance that helps immunizations in vaccine work.
According to research, the effectiveness of vaccinations against influenza, hepatitis E, respiratory syncytial virus, and other diseases was multiplied by several orders of magnitude when alum served as an adjuvant in the vaccines.
In Hair Removal
Depilatory waxes include alum, which you can use as a demulcent to freshly waxed skin to reduce inflammation or skin irritation.
After removing undesirable body hair, the skin pores may be made more comfortable with the help of an alum.
To make this remedy:
- Combine one tablespoon of alum powder with one tablespoon of rose water.
- Create a paste, and then apply it to the region where you removed the hair, whether by waxing or shaving. Remember to do this after the hair removal.
- After waiting for ten minutes, you should wash it off thoroughly. Alum is well-known for its ability to calm the burning skin and deliver much-needed comfort to it.
As A Chemical Flocculant
Chemical flocculant is the cleaning of drinking water for consumption. Since ancient times, alum powder has been vital in clarifying cloudy liquids. You can apply it to water to induce the particles and aggregate and create flocs.
Making water as clear as possible and removing as many particles as possible is one of the first procedures that municipal water providers go through to make the water ready for distribution.
As a flocculant, alum is added to the water throughout the treatment process to achieve this goal. Raw water often contains microscopic particles suspended in it and is very difficult for a filter to capture.
Alum causes them to cluster together, making it easier for a filter to remove them from the water or settle out on their own.
Used In Cooking
Alum powder gives the baking powder its acidic component & pickling agent to maintain the pickles’ crisp texture.
Alum serves as a preservative in the baking industry in food preparation. It is also helpful in preserving the freshness of fruits and vegetables.
Several pickling recipes call for alum powder to ensure that the pickled vegetables maintain their crisp texture. You’ll find it in the section of the supermarket devoted to spices.
In addition, baking powder contains it as a component (responsible for the faint metallic taste). Although it is safe for animals, ingesting a high alum powder may be fatal for humans.
As A Treatment for Cracked Heels
When treating cracked heels, alum powder is a beneficial remedy. A small, empty Kadai is used to heat alum specifically to prepare this cure. When heated, alum will froth up in addition to turning into a liquid state.
After all of the water evaporates and cools down, ground it into a powder, and together with coconut oil, you can apply it to your legs.
Otherwise, applying it around the heels will be challenging if the mixture is not in a smooth consistency.
If you use this specific cure consistently over some time, you will get beneficial pain alleviation.
How Long Can You Store Alum
When properly stored, alum powder will often maintain its highest possible quality for between two and three years.
Alum powder should be kept in containers with lids that you can secure firmly for the most extended possible shelf life.