Sodium is one of the most talked and used elements.
It is not easily available in molecular form or pure form.
But is available in plenty as various compounds.
It is widely used in household, industries and also research labs
As an ionic form it is present in all animals and plants.
Various compounds of sodium and their uses in daily life
1. Sodium Chloride (NaCl): This is commonly called as table salt. It is used widely in daily life for cooking food. It impart salty taste which is not replaceable by any other substance.
It is widely sold in power form and also as coarse granules. No meal can be tasty without it inclusion in it.
2. Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCo3): It is called as baking soda in daily life. It is basic in nature and is added for food preparation especially bakery items like cake. It imparts fluffiness in the food prepared. It is also part of few anti-acid preparation used in acidity.
It is a good home remedy for stomach ache and acidity. A table spoon full of it is mixed in warm water along with sugar. This solution when consumed gives immediate relief from acidity. Hence this has been a time tested house hold remedy for acidity. It liberated carbon-dioxide gas in the stomach and help in expulsion of gases from stomach. So bloated stomach is relieved. Besides, it alkaline nature reacts with excess hydrochloric acid in stomach and neutralizes it to give relief from acidic pain.
3. Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH): Sodium hydroxide is a chemical compound widely used as reagent in labs. It is a standard alkali used to determine many types of acids and their strengths by using acid-base or neutralization titrations. It is also called as caustic soda due to its ability to induce skin bruns when solid form is held in hand. It is also highly hygroscopic which means it absorbs water from atmosphere and retains it.
4. Sodium Carbonate (Na2CO3): In common terms, it is called washing soda. This sodium carbonate is mildly basic in nature. As the name indicates, this was is used for washing clothes by washer men in the past. Even in some remote places, it is still used as washing soda.
5. Sodium Bisulfite (NaHso3): It is used as food additive especially in making of wines. This Sodium bisulfite releases sulfur dioxide gas which kills yeast and other bacteria in wines. It is also used in pipelines and other metallic surface made of iron to prevent corrosion.
6. Sodium metabisulphite (NaS2O5): This is used as food additive to prevent oxidation and also as preservative.
Besides this, sodium is made part of many chemical reagents in labs. It is used in detection of chlorine in organic compounds (lassaigns test).
It is also used by plants after taking it up from soil and water. This sodium in plants helps in water movement and maintain osmotic pressure. In short it helps in maintenance of water balance within the plant body.
Due to its direct relationship with water, it is advised to consume less sodium related substance in those who suffer from hyper tensions. This sodium helps retain water in the body and rises blood volume. So this raised volume aids high blood pressure. To minimize the blood pressure, this sodium is expelled by drugs to lower water content and there by blood volume.