Alum: Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects | Get the Facts
- Learn about alum and how it is used in everyday life.
- Aluminum Sulfate Potassium
When you hear the word alum, you’re probably thinking about potassium alum, which is the hydrated form of potassium aluminum sulfate with the formula KAl(SO4)212H2O.
Any compound having the empirical formula AB(SO4)212H2O, on the other hand, is termed an alum. Although alum is most commonly offered as a powder, it is occasionally encountered in its crystalline form.
Potassium alum is a fine white powder available with spices and pickling ingredients in grocery stores.
Alum (aluminum sulfate) is a useful product in both leather tanning and water treatment purposes where it serves as a coagulant and disinfectant.
It is a harmless liquid that is mostly used in water purification to clarify crystalline drinking water.
Alum Production and Sources
Alum is made from a variety of minerals, including alum schist, alunite, bauxite, and cryolite, among others.
The method for obtaining alum is determined by the original mineral. Calcine is the process of extracting alum from alunite.
The resulting material is moistened and exposed to air until it transforms into a powder, which is then lixiviated with sulfuric acid and hot water.
The alum crystallizes out of the solution after the liquid is decanted.
Acidity is a problem with alum solutions. A 1% solution, for example, has a pH of roughly 3.
The degree of reactivity with hydroxyl ions determines the ionic species present in alum solutions.
Types of Alum
- Potassium Alum (KAl (SO4)2)
- Soda Alum: (NaAl (SO4)2·12H2O)
- Ammonium Alum: N4Al (SO4)2·12H2O
- Chrome Alum: (KCr (SO4)2·12H2O)
- Aluminum Sulfate: This compound is also known as papermaker`s Alum.
Other Names for Alum
- Sanskrit – Sphatika.
- Telugu – Patika.
- Hindi – Fitkari.
- Tamil – Padikaram.
- Kannada – Alum.
- Marathi – Turti.
What is Alum Used For – Uses
Alum is mostly used as a water purifier in the flocculation method of water treatment;
it is a process in which colloidal particles separate and sediment in the form of flakes;
once the sediment is discarded, the water is heated to kill germs owing to the addition of a clarifying agent.
Take one glass of water, add one gram of alum, and a pinch of rock salt to it, and gargle your mouth with it.
- Used in the manufacture of topical formulations such as gels and creams.
- Alum and warm water are commonly used by women to eliminate unwanted/facial hairs.
- An excellent antiseptic that destroys bacteria in the mouth and strengthens the gums.
Is alum healthy for the skin? Is alum good for face? Alum for skin
Alum, also known as fitkari or phitkari, is an excellent skin lightener that can help fade acne scars and dark spots.
It is a helpful ingredient for skin tightening and whitening.
It improves texture and evens out fine wrinkles while reducing imperfections.
Is it okay to drink water that contains alum? Is alum safe in drinking water?
Yes, alum can be used both internally and externally. Alum is utilized in Ayurveda as a Bhasma called Sphatika bhasma, which can be taken orally to treat a variety of ailments.
Is alum a permanent hair remover?
Alum has been used as a home remedy for undesirable facial hair removal since antiquity, and it works really well and may be used on both the face and the body.
When alum is applied to the skin, it acts as a mild abrasive and aids in the permanent removal of facial hair.
Helps in the treatment of dental problems such as tooth decay, toothache, swollen gums, and cavities
- Alum Bhasma is used to treat dysentery and diarrhea due to its drying properties.
- The use of alum as a topical treatment for mouth ulcers has been proven to be useful due to its powerful healing properties.
- Alum decreases mucus in the lungs and so limits vomiting due to its Kashaya (astringent) function.
- The coagulant property of alum (Sphatika bhama) aids in the control of anal bleeding in piles-like situations.
- Sphatika Bhasma (Alum) balances an aggravated Pitta and controls heavy menstrual bleeding.
Alum (Sphatika bhasma) aids in bleeding management and speeds up the healing process. It aids in the healing of mouth ulcers quickly.
- Promotes rapid wound healing, reduces swelling, and restores the skin’s natural texture.
- Projects with Alum is used in a number of intriguing sciences endeavors.
Dental health and alum
Mix alum powder, cinnamon, and rock salt together to make alum paste. The paste is then gently applied to the gums, and the mouth is cleaned.
Alum is used to treat nasal hemorrhage – Alum For nasal bleeding
Nasal bleeds can be treated well with alum. Cotton balls should be soaked in Alum water and then applied to the nose during the bleeding period.
Alum’s side effects
Excessive alum consumption can result in breathing problems, facial puffiness, pricking sensations and small ulcers on the skin, chest/throat tightness, and in rare cases, burns.
Alum Safety Precautions
Clinical studies have shown that Alum is completely safe for humans during pregnancy and lactation, however, it is always best to consult your doctor before using it.
What can I do with Alum? Is it possible to use alum in spice? Alum in cooking?
Alum isn’t a spice at all. Excessive use of alum in food preparations is not recommended.
Is it safe to treat mouth ulcers with alum?
It is approved for the treatment of oral ulcers. The astringent and hemostatic properties of alum are well-known. By limiting tissue contraction, the alum reduces the size of the wound.
In Nigeria, where can you find an alum?
Bauxite and sulphuric acid are the two main raw materials used to make alum, both of which may be found locally. Bauxite deposits are found in commercial amounts in the states of Cross River, Ondo, and Yobe.
The Bottom Line
In nature, alum acts as a coagulant, astringent, and antiseptic. Because of its coagulation properties, it is used to filter raw water.
When alum reacts with contaminants in water, it forms an aggregate that either settles to the bottom or is easily captured by a filter during the water treatment process.
The information on this site is offered primarily for educational purposes and is not intended to replace professional medical treatment.
Because each person’s demands are unique, the reader should consult with their physician.