What Is Alum?
Alum Common Names:
Characteristics Of Potash Alum:
Alum Chemical Properties:
Alum Traditional Uses:
Alum is given in small quantities internally for treating cough and diarrhea. Alum boiled along with babul is used as a gargle for sore throat. Alum is also used for treating cracked heels, to stop bleeding and is also used as an external application for piles to reduce the inflammation.
Alum is also very commonly used in skin care especially for skin tightening and skin lightening. It is used for treating acne and acne scars, prevent blackheads, lighten dark spots and dark circles, for vaginal tightening and for hair removal.
Can We Consume Alum?
Alum Use In Cooking:
Alum Stone Spiritual Uses:
Alum Industrial Use:
Types Of Alum:
1. Potassium Alum:
2. Ammonium Alum:
3. Sodium Alum:
4. Chrome Alum:
5. Aluminum Sulfate:
6. Selenate Alum:
Alum Side Effects:
- Alum is taken internally as a medicine in both Chinese and ayurvedic medicine but only in very small amounts as it is toxic in large doses. I would suggest consuming alum as medicine only under expert guidance and never as a home remedy.
- When using alum as a deodorant try using it on alternate days instead of regularly as even regular external application might get absorbed into the blood stream. If you are experiencing any irritation after using alum, stop using it.
- Alum is also used for vaginal tightening but please remember using alum for vaginal tightening can lead to irritation and increased chance of getting an infection so try to avoid using alum for vaginal tightening.
- When using it on skin, use it sparingly and always use a moisturizer later as alum tends to cause skin dryness.
- Alum is also used popularly for weight loss, external application of alum on the stomach is said to reduce belly fat but there is no scientific research proving this and please research well before using alum for weight loss.
- Small pinch of alum is used in certain hair treatments to treat lice and dandruff, when using alum for hair please be careful of the dosage else it can lead to hair fall.
Where To Buy Alum?
How to Make Alum Powder?
10 Top Medicinal Uses & Health Benefits Of Alum (Fitkari) For Skin, Hair & Health:
1. Alum For Canker Sores, Teeth Whitening & Bleeding Gums:
Usually for canker sores, a small piece of alum is powdered and then a pinch of that alum powder is pressed over the canker sore. It stings for a while, but by the next day, usually the person is relieved of canker sores. But many don’t like to use the alum powder as such and young children will find it hard to bear the burn caused due to alum powder.
A homemade alum mouth rinse is good way to use alum to get rid of mouth sores. To make the rinse, powder alum in a mortar and pestle. Boil water in a pan along with little salt, once the salt has dissolved remove from the heat and stir in the alum powder. Once the alum has dissolved, strain and use it as a mouth rinse at least 2 to 3 times a day.
Salt is also very effective in treating canker sores and this mouth rinse can be safely used by both young and old. If you are using the raw alum powder, make sure not to swallow it while applying over the canker sore and use only a tiny bit. This alum mouth rinse also will treat bad breath, brighten your teeth and will stop bleeding in the gums too.
2. Alum For Eye Abscess:
Alum is wonderful for treating eye abscess. One of my relatives who taught me this remedy has been using alum for treating eye abscess for quite some time. For treating abscess, rub alum on a sandalwood stone along with little water.
Sandalwood stone is a smooth stone that we use to rub sandalwood bark to get sandalwood paste at home. If you don’t have it you can use any smooth stone that you have at home. Rub alum till you get a thick smooth paste.
This paste is very effective but it stings initially when applied, the boil breaks on the same day it is applied giving one a good relief from eye abscess. But while doing this remedy make sure the alum paste does not enter the eyes. Also since the paste stings badly when applied, it is best not to use this remedy for young kids.
3. Alum For Athelete’s Foot & Cracked Heels:
Alum powder is very useful in treating both athlete’s foot and cracked heels. Athlete’s foot is a common skin infection caused by a fungus. Itching, scaling and redness are the common symptoms of athlete’s foot. One of the best ways to use alum for treating athlete’s foot is by immersing the feet in alum foot soak.
To make alum foot soak, take a wide bowl and add enough warm water so that you can immerse your feet in it completely. Now take 2 tsp of alum and mix it in 1/4 cup of water till the alum crystals are fully dissolved and add to the foot soak. Now immerse your feet in this alum foot soak till the water turns cold.
If you have access to fresh neem leaves, you can add a handful to the soak too. It will greatly help treat athlete’s foot as it has anti fungal properties. This foot soak will help with cracked heels too as alum softens the hard skin very effectively. After soaking your feet in this mixture, wash, pat dry and massage your feet with few drops of cold pressed coconut oil.
4. Alum Uses For Shaving:
Alum has been used as an after shave treatment for centuries and here in India, you will find a piece of alum in most barber shops. Once you start using alum, you will get rid of all the expensive after shaves.
Since alum has anti bacterial properties and stops bleeding fast, rubbing it on the face after shaving will heal minor cuts caused during shaving and will also stop bleeding fast. You might not like it when you use alum as an after shave the first time but if you continue to use it, you will find positive improvement in you skin tone.
To use after shaving, rub a piece of alum block over the wet face for few seconds and then wash it off. But please remember using alum in barber shops is one of the main reasons for getting a skin infection as one alum stone is used repeatedly for everyone. I would strongly suggest not using alum stone in barber shops at all.
5. Alum Uses For Water Purification:
Alum is an amazing and cheap way to purify water and soften hard water. Impurities found in the water are charged colloids and since they all have the same charge (positive), they repel each other and stay separate.
Also since the particles are tiny the gravitational force acting on them is not strong either so they never settle down. Alum has a negative charge and when added to the water dissolves in water well and since it has a negative charge, it joins up with the suspended particles and neutralizes them.
Once there is no charge they clump together and this process is called coagulation. Due to the increase in weight they settle down at the bottom leaving clear water on top. To purify the muddy water, powder alum and add about . 01 gm of alum powder for every liter of muddy water. You will find the muddy particles settling down leaving you with clear water.
The water is almost clean with only very little fine particles dissolved in it. Boil the clear water before drinking. If you use the correct dosage, there will not be any side effects at all. Next time you go on a camping trip, take a small block of alum with you, it will always come in handy.
6.Alum As A Deodorant For Body Odour:
Alum is wonderful as a deodorant due to it’s antiseptic and anti bacterial properties. Alum has been used as a deodorant from ancient times. When we sweat we release water and salt through the sweat glands. Sweat by itself does not have any smell but when the bacteria in our body acts on it, it causes body odor.
Why is alum a good deodorant? Alum has anti microbial properties and prevents the growth of odor causing bacteria. When we use anti antiperspirants they block the pores and prevents sweating and they also contain synthetic fragrances whereas alum does not prevent us from sweating but only reduce the bacterial growth which causes the body odor.
You can use alum in two ways as a deodorant, one is on the form of dusting powder. To make the deodorant, powder alum along with little myrrh and use it as dusting powder. The second way is to simply wet an alum block and rub it under arms. Rubbing alum also lightens dark underarms as alum has skin lightening properties. However it is advised to use alum every other day instead of every day.
7. Alum & Rose Water For Hair Removal:
Alum has been used as a home remedy for unwanted facial hair removal from ancient times. It works really well and can be effectively used for both face and body hair removal. A mixture of alum powder and water or better still rosewater can be applied all over the face and body.
This paste tends to retard the face and body hair growth over time. Alum when rubbed on the skin acts a mild abrasive and helps get rid of facial hair permanently. Traditionally after bath, alum powder is mixed with rose water into a very fine paste and then the paste is applied on the face.
Let the paste dry completely and once the paste is about to dry completely, start rubbing in circular motions and gently remove the alum face pack completely from the face. Since alum is a mild abrasive, when we rub it gently on the face, it weakens the hair roots. With regular use, your hair growth will slowly diminish over time. But alum can dry out the skin so always apply moisturizer after doing this treatment.
8.Alum Uses For Skin Tightening & Lightening Scars:
Alum has both skin tightening and skin lightening properties. Rubbing alum gently on the skin is one of the most popular home remedies for skin tightening. Though temporary, you will feel your skin tighten when you rub alum, this is due to it’s astringent properties.
One of my cousins mentioned that his skin felt smooth after he regularly started using alum as an after shave. Regular use of alum gives one wrinkle free, smooth and tight skin. To use for skin tightening, take a piece of alum and wet it in water and rub it on your damp face for few seconds weekly twice or thrice. Wash your face in water and then apply moisturizer.
Many use alum for vaginal tightening but I would highly suggest not to as it will cause intense irritation. Alum also has skin lightening properties and lightens dark spots and dark circles very well. To use alum for skin lightening, take a piece of alum and rub it along with little raw unprocessed honey into a thick paste and apply as a face pack. Since we are adding honey, alum does not dry out the skin.
You can also use alum powder instead of alum block too. This face pack will prevent wrinkles, tighten skin, prevent blackheads and lighten dark spots and dark circles well. Another recipe using alum that works so well is to add a small pinch of alum to 1/4 cup of pure homemade rose water and a tsp of vegetable glycerin and use it as a facial toner.
9. Alum Uses For Pimples, Acne & Acne Scars:
Alum can be effectively used for treating pimples and fading acne scars as it has both wonderful anti bacterial and skin lightening properties. One of the best ways to use alum for acne is by applying it in the form of a face pack. You can make the face pack in two ways.
One is by mixing alum with turmeric powder and the other is by mixing alum with multani mitti also called as fullers earth. To make alum and turmeric face pack, take a small pinch of alum and mix it in water till it dissolves completely and then add the alum water to enough organic turmeric powder to form a paste and apply as a face pack.
Make sure to use only a tiny piece of alum else it will cause skin dryness. To make the second face pack, take a small pinch of alum and dissolve it in rose water. Now take a tbsp of multani mitti in a bowl. Add the alum rose water mixture and mix to form a smooth paste. To use, apply this mixture all over the face and neck and then wash it off.
10. Alum Sitz Bath For Piles (Haemorrhoids):
One big problem experienced by people suffering from hemorrhoids is the inflammation and the bleeding. Alum is very effective for treating the symptoms of hemorrhoids as it arrests the bleeding, reduces the inflammation and causes the hemorrhoids to shrink due to it’s astringent properties.
One of the best ways to use alum for shrinking piles is to make sitz bath with it. To make alum sitz bath, fill a tub large enough so you can immerse your hips in it fully. Now fill the tub with warm water till the hips can be fully immersed in it, make sure the water is not hot.
Now mix 1/2 tbsp of alum powder in 1/4 cup water till the alum powder is fully dissolved and add it to the water in the tub. Don’t add any shampoo or shower gel to the water. Immerse your hips in the water fully, sit for 20 to 30 minutes. This alum sitz bath will help reduce the bleeding, shrink the size of the hemorrhoids and reduce the irritation but it will not treat it.