Move a few spices in your cupboard around and you just might be surprised to find it there. Did you know that over an ounce of this, if ingested, is toxic?
It is used in the garden, as a cosmetic, a toiletry, a pool cleaner, and even has been used to kill ground moles. To learn more about this versatile product read on.
Would you use a pool cleaner in your pickles?
Maybe if the container looked like this..
Alum defined as a salt that is a chemical “combination of an alkali metal such as sodium, potassium, or ammonium and a trivalent metal such as aluminum, iron or chromium.” Ochef.com
In Europe, Mexico and Thailand Potassium alum is known as Sam-Som. In Asia and the Philippines it is known as Tawas
Uses for alum:
· Used to turn white hydrangeas pink or blue. It may take a few years of treatment but you will be rewarded with pretty blue or pink flowers. It is simple to alter the pH of the soil if growing your hydrangea in a container. If they are planted in your garden it may be a little trickier. Click on the link below the photo and get specific instructions.
- · Used as a skin whitener. While many skin whiteners are good only for oily skin, this is a recipe which does not dry the skin:
v Take a bunch of grapes, sprinkle them with alum powder and salt
v Wrap them in aluminum foil or brown paper.
v Bake for 20 minutes either in hot ashes or an oven.
v Squeeze out excess liquid and wash face with the remains
- · Used in the preparations of some toothpastes
- · Used in deodorants or deodorant crystals.
- · Used to stop bleeding, and as an antiseptic, both in styptic pencils and to assist in stopping the bleeding under a dog’s nails when clipped too short.
- · Used in aftershave
- · Used as a soothing agent in depilatory waxes.
- · Used long ago by men as a grooming aid in the once popular hairstyle the flattop to hold hair in place.
- · Used as an adjutant in vaccines such as hepatitis A, B and DTaP.
- · Used to clear cloudy water in the pool.
- · As a home remedy for canker sores
- · Dissolved in five parts water to shrink hemorrhoids and stop bleeding.
- · As a flame retardant and in fire extinguishers.
- Used as one of the ingredients in children’s play dough.
- · Was used long ago by farmers to eradicate ground moles from their lawns and fields.
- Used for food processing, and is one of the components in baking powder.
In making pickles alum is used to soak the fruit or vegetable prior to pickling to give it its crispness and while it is approved by the Food and Drug Administration it is unsafe consumed in quantities of one ounce or more. It should not be used in the final pickling stages.
As a final word, please take care if using this “spice” in food preparation.
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Published in: Cooking