Cream of Tartar, Use and Possible Side Effects

Cream of tartar, the magical powder we all have in our pantry, has many uses in the kitchen and around the house. Just a tiny amount of cream of tartar can make your recipes outstanding.

It is used in whipped cream and meringue recipes to make them voluminous and shape their peaks perfectly. This ingredient is also widely used as an anticaking and anti-thickening agent and is irreplaceable when it comes to making amazingly soft snickerdoodle cookies.

In addition, potassium bitartrate, as it is also known, has numerous uses around the house. It is deployed as a cleaner, polisher, and stain remover. All this makes cream of tartar a multifunctional ingredient you simply must have!

If you want to know more, read this amazing blog post The Incredible Cream of Tartar – How to Use and What to Substitute With.

Cream of Tartar as a Supplement or Medication

Cream of tartar has become widely popular as a natural remedy that can help you quit smoking. Recipes often require combining this powdery ingredient with some orange juice in the following ratio: one glass of orange juice with a ½ of this powdered substance, consumed every night for over a month. It is believed that this combination will make you the very taste of cigarettes disgusting.

Other medical uses of cream of tartar include:

  • cleansing the body from toxins
  • reducing blood pressure
  • relieving arthritis pains
  • fighting urinary tract infections
  • clearing acne

But what happens if you go overboard with the usage of this multifunctional ingredient? When consumed in food recipes, the amounts are too small to cause unwanted side effects (between a ¼ and ½ teaspoon per recipe).

You should be more careful when using this powder as a natural remedy and, in that case, consult your doctor before you start. Here is what you should have in mind.

Cream of Tartar is High in Potassium

Being a byproduct of wine production, cream of tartar is high in potassium; to be more precise, it contains 20% of potassium. Consuming it in larger amounts than usual may increase the levels of potassium in your body and disrupt the balance.

Any such disruption may have negative consequences. In this case, since potassium is responsible for regulating blood pressure levels and maintaining normal heart beat, you might face increased heart beat and too low blood pressure. Besides being harmful for the heart, increased potassium levels are dangerous for the kidneys as well. That is why people experiencing kidney problems follow low-potassium diet plans.

Cream of Tartar Increases Fluid Loss

Potassium bitartrate is usually recommended as a natural remedy for edema, i.e. swelling caused by excess fluid trapped in the tissues. This is because potassium bitartrate facilitates expelling the excess water from the organism. However, if you are not suffering from edema, the use of potassium bitartrate can cause adverse side effects, i.e. it can lead to excessive fluid loss and, eventually, electrolyte imbalance and dehydration.

Cream of Tartar Acts as a Diuretic

Potassium bitartrate is often taken as a natural remedy for constipation, which suggests that it acts as a laxative and diuretic. However, taking it in larger amounts and in a prolonged period of time may cause unwanted side effects. To be more precise, potassium bitartrate can harm the bowels and cause inflammation of the digestive system. Eventually, this might lead to diarrhea, nausea, and dehydration.

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