Mention tartar and some people might think you are talking about the ugly plaque dentists are always warning you about. But cream of tartar is actually a cooking ingredient found in most American kitchens.
Cream of tartar is an acidic natural by-product of winemaking. Also called potassium hydrogen tartrate, this white powder is most commonly used to stabilize egg whites when making meringue, to stiffen the peaks of whipped cream, to prevent the formation of sugar crystals, and to even reduce the discoloration of cooked vegetables (1). You can also find cream of tartar as a component of baking powder and in many sodium-free salt substitutes.
The biggest surprise regarding this common kitchen ingredient, however, is that it also has a slew of health benefits. Here are a few of the amazing health benefits of cream of tartar.
7 Extraordinary Cream of Tartar Benefits
1. Helps You Quit Smoking!
Anyone who has ever smoked knows how hard it is to quit the habit, which researchers say is actually as hard to kick as heroin (2)! The progression of a nicotine addiction is also similar to that for cocaine or amphetamines, and for many people, it can even be more addictive than alcohol, according to a New York Times article (3).
They include (5):
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mouth ulcers
While these symptoms, which are shockingly similar to withdrawal from cocaine and heroin (6), should completely stop within 1 to 3 months (7). Even after you quit, studies show it generally takes another three months for your brain chemistry to return to pre-smoking status.
This is where cream of tartar comes in. This amazing substance can actually help pull nicotine from your body. Some sources claim it can even change your taste for cigarettes, another plus to help you quit.
When you add a ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar to a half glass of orange juice, the result is amazing, according to sources. Drink this every night for 30 days and you will quit smoking for good.
So, how does cream of tartar work?
Well, according to researchers, smoking can lead to vitamin C deficiency (8). Just a half cup of orange juice provides you with over 100 percent of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C (9). And 100 grams of cream of tartar has an astonishing 471 percent of your RDI of potassium (10).
Together, the vitamin C in orange juice and the potassium in the cream of tartar, work to expel toxins and strengthen your immune system. And because it also helps to pull the nicotine from your body, the cravings will dissipate faster so you can finally kick the habit!
2. Improves Gallbladder Pain
Gallbladder pain can be excruciating. Unfortunately, the most common conventional treatment for an inflamed gallbladder, caused by stones, is surgery.
This condition, called acute cholecystitis, affects more than 30,000,000 Americans a year. And more than 750,000 people will undergo a cholecystectomy, gallbladder removal (11). According to researchers, approximately 75 percent of gallstones are composed primarily of cholesterol.
Once again, cream of tartar comes to the rescue. Just mix together 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar with a ¼ cup of warm water. Drink this mixture every morning upon waking for 5 days and it will improve bile flow and reduce gallbladder pain.
3. Lowers Blood Pressure
Your doctor can do a simple blood test to determine your potassium levels. If you do suffer from low potassium, however, cream of tartar is a simple fix, packed with 16,500 mg of potassium in a mere 100 grams of cream of tartar.
Just mix 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar in a glass of water and drink every night before bed until your potassium levels come back up.
4. Clears Acne
This home remedy is the perfect solution for acne sufferers. Cream of tartar’s alkaline promoting properties kill bacteria and can gradually help to improve your complexion.
The bacteria-busting remedy works from the inside out to ensure you keep acne away for good by helping to flush out the bacteria that cause acne and even reduce excess oil buildup that leads to blackheads and whiteheads.
To use, mix 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar with a glass of water or orange juice. Drink it every day to keep your skin clear and acne-free.
5. Treats Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
These painful infections can happen in any part of your urinary system, which includes your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra (13). Some people are more susceptible to these types of infections, which are caused by bacteria that overrun your urinary tract. Your doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic, which you may need to get a nasty infection under control. But if you suffer from continuous UTIs, cream of tartar is a great defense according to traditional practitioners.
Because cream of tartar is alkaline, it can help change your pH levels. Increasing alkalinity kills off bad bacteria, which is why, if you add some lemons (another highly alkaline promoting food), this tried and true home remedy will become your new best friend when it comes to UTIs (14).
Just mix 1 ½ teaspoons of cream of tartar with 1 cup warm water. Add some freshly squeezed lemon juice, and drink the mixture a few times a day to keep UTIs at bay.
6. Soothes Arthritis Pain
Cream of tartar is also rich in magnesium—there are 2 mg of magnesium in every 100 grams of cream of tartar. Studies show magnesium can soothe inflammation and relieve pain (13).
For relief from those achy, inflamed joints, mix 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar with 3 tablespoons of Epsom salt and pour into a warm bath. Soak for 30-40 minutes once or twice a day until your pain subsides.
Finally, like other conditions that are caused by an acidic imbalance, cream of tartar can help to alkalinize your system to reduce heartburn.
Mix a ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar with equal parts baking soda. Add to a little warm water and drink. This will immediately help to relieve any pain associated with heartburn.