Chemicals & Minerals

Sodium Carbonate

[amazon_link asins=’B015P053WO,B00KSHIRW8,B01GDJ1XHK,B015P3XKWG,B01ETY478S,B01G6DXD2G,B004O7EGPU’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8c783a2d-be06-11e7-854e-d1a721973405′]

Sanskrit Name:Svarjikshara

DEFINITION:-Sodium carbonate (also known as washing soda or soda ash), Na2CO3, is a sodium salt of carbonic acid. It most commonly occurs as a crystalline heptahydrate, which readily effloresces to form a white powder, the monohydrate. It has a cooling alkaline taste, and can be extracted from the ashes of many plants. It is synthetically produced in large quantities from table salt in a process known as the Solvay process.


Sodium carbonate, also known as washing soda or soda ash, is a sodium salt of carbonic acid. Molecular formula for sodium carbonate is na2co3. It most commonly occurs as a crystalline heptahydrate which readily effloresces to form a white powder, the monohydrate. It has a cooling alkaline taste, and can be extracted from the ashes of many plants.

click to see ....(01)....(1)……...(2)..
sodium carbonate chemical compound, Na 2 CO 3 , soluble in water and very slightly soluble in alcohol. Pure sodium carbonate is a white, odorless powder that absorbs moisture from the air, has an alkaline taste, and forms a strongly alkaline water solution. It is one of the most basic industrial chemicals. Sodium carbonate decahydrate, Na 2 CO 3 ·10H 2 O, is a colorless, transparent crystalline compound commonly called sal soda or washing soda.

The most important use for sodium carbonate is in the manufacture of glass. When heated to very high temperatures, combined with sand (SiO2) and calcium carbonate (CaCO3), and cooled very rapidly, glass is produced.

Sodium carbonate is also used as a relatively strong base in various settings. For example, sodium carbonate is used as a pH regulator to maintain stable alkaline conditions necessary for the action of the majority of developing agents. It is a common additive in municipal pools used to neutralize the acidic effects of chlorine and raise pH. In cooking, it is sometimes used in place of sodium hydroxide for lying, especially with German pretzels and lye rolls. These dishes are treated with a solution of an alkaline substance in order to change the pH of the surface of the food and thus improve browning.

In taxidermy, sodium carbonate added to boiling water will remove flesh from the skull or bones of trophies to create the “European skull mount” or for educational display in biological and historical studies.

In chemistry, it is often used as an electrolyte. This is because electrolytes are usually salt-based, and sodium carbonate acts as a very good conductor in the process of electrolysis. Additionally, unlike chloride ions which form chlorine gas, carbonate ions are not corrosive to the anodes. It is also used as a primary standard for acid-base titrations because it is solid and air-stable, making it easy to weigh accurately.

In domestic use, it is used as a water softener during laundry. It competes with the ions magnesium and calcium in hard water and prevents them from bonding with the detergent being used. Without using washing soda, additional detergent is needed to soak up the magnesium and calcium ions. Called Washing Soda or Sal Soda  in the detergent section of stores, it effectively removes oil, grease, and alcohol stains. Sodium carbonate is also used as a descaling agent in boilers such as found in coffee pots, espresso machines, etc.

In dyeing with fiber-reactive dyes, sodium carbonate (often under a name such as soda ash fixative or soda ash activator) is used to ensure proper chemical bonding of the dye with the fibers, typically before dyeing (for tie dyes), mixed with the dye (for dye painting), or after dyeing (for immersion dyeing).

Sodium carbonate is a food additive (E500) used as an acidity regulator, anticaking agent, raising agent and stabilizer. It is one of the components of kansui, a solution of alkaline salts used to give ramen noodles their characteristic flavor and texture. Sodium carbonate is also used in the production of sherbet lollies. The cooling and fizzing sensation results from the endothermic reaction between sodium carbonate and a weak acid, commonly citric acid, releasing carbon dioxide gas, which occurs when the sherbet is moistened by saliva.

Sodium carbonate is used by the brick industry as a wetting agent to reduce the amount of water needed to extrude the clay.

In casting, it is referred to as “bonding agent” and is used to allow wet alginate to adhere to gelled alginate.

Sodium carbonate is used to encapsulate and kill mold. When mixed with water and put in a spray bottle, it is sold for its anti-mold cleaning ability. It is also used to blast off mold from wood or other materials.

Sodium carbonate is used in toothpastes, where it acts as a foaming agent, an abrasive, and to temporarily increase mouth pH.

The crystalline form of washing soda can be used to induce vomiting in dogs. A tablespoon for large breeds is sufficient to force the animal to empty the contents of its stomach.

Sodium carbonate may be used for safely cleaning silver. First, aluminium foil is added to a glass or ceramic container, and covered with very hot water and some sodium carbonate. Silver items are dipped into this “bath” to clean them, making sure the silver makes contact with the aluminium foil. Finally, the silver is rinsed in water and let to dry.

Sodium carbonate is soluble in water, but can occur naturally in arid regions, especially in the mineral deposits (evaporites) formed when seasonal lakes evaporate. Deposits of the mineral natron, natural sodium carbonate decahydrate, have been mined from dry lake bottoms in Egypt since ancient times, when natron was used in the preparation of mummies and in the early manufacture of glass. Sodium carbonate has three known forms of hydrates: sodium carbonate decahydrate (natron), sodium carbonate heptahydrate (not known in mineral form) and sodium carbonate monohydrate (mineral thermonatrite). The anhydrous mineral form of sodium carbonate is quite rare and called natrite. Sodium carbonate also erupts from Tanzania’s unique volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai , and probably erupted from other volcanoes in the past . All three mineralogical forms of sodium carbonate, as well as sodium carbonate bicarbonate, trona, are also known from ultra-alkaline pegmatitic rocks, i.e. from the Kola Peninsula.


Trona, hydrated sodium bicarbonate carbonate (Na3HCO3CO3·2H2O), is mined in several areas of the United States and provides nearly all the domestic sodium carbonate. Large natural deposits found in 1938, such as the one near Green River, Wyoming, have made mining more economical than industrial production in North America.

It is also mined out of certain alkaline lakes such as Lake Magadi in Kenya by using a basic dredging process and it is also self-regenerating so will never run out in its natural source.

Barilla and kelp
Several “halophyte” (salt tolerant) plant species and seaweed species can be processed to yield an impure form of sodium carbonate, and these sources predominated in Europe and elsewhere until the early 19th Century. The land plants (typically glassworts or saltworts) or the seaweed (typically Fucus species) were harvested, dried, and burned. The ashes were then “lixiviated” (washed with water) to form an alkali solution. This solution was boiled dry to create the final product, which was termed “soda ash;” this very old name refers to the archetypal plant source for soda ash, which was the small annual shrub Salsola soda (“barilla plant”).

The sodium carbonate concentration in soda ash varied very widely, from 2-3% for the seaweed-derived form (“kelp”), to 30% for the best barilla produced from saltwort plants in Spain. Plant and seaweed sources for soda ash, and also for the related alkali “potash,” became increasingly inadequate by the end of the 18th Century, and the search for commercially-viable routes to synthesizing soda ash from salt and other chemicals intensified.

Leblanc process:
In 1791, the French chemist Nicolas Leblanc patented a process for producing sodium carbonate from salt, sulfuric acid, limestone, and coal. First, sea salt (sodium chloride) was boiled in sulfuric acid to yield sodium sulfate and hydrogen chloride gas, according to the chemical equation

2 NaCl + H2SO4 ? Na2SO4 + 2 HCl
Next, the sodium sulfate was blended with crushed limestone (calcium carbonate) and coal, and the mixture was burnt, producing calcium sulfide.

Na2SO4 + CaCO3 + 2 C ? Na2CO3 + 2 CO2 + CaS
The sodium carbonate was extracted from the ashes with water, and then collected by allowing the water to evaporate.

The hydrochloric acid produced by the Leblanc process was a major source of air pollution, and the calcium sulfide byproduct also presented waste disposal issues. However, it remained the major production method for sodium carbonate until the late 1880s.

Solvay process
In 1861, the Belgian industrial chemist Ernest Solvay developed a method to convert sodium chloride to sodium carbonate using ammonia. The Solvay process centered around a large hollow tower. At the bottom, calcium carbonate (limestone) was heated to release carbon dioxide:

CaCO3 ? CaO + CO2
At the top, a concentrated solution of sodium chloride and ammonia entered the tower. As the carbon dioxide bubbled up through it, sodium bicarbonate precipitated:

NaCl + NH3 + CO2 + H2O ? NaHCO3 + NH4Cl
The sodium bicarbonate was then converted to sodium carbonate by heating it, releasing water and carbon dioxide:

2 NaHCO3 ? Na2CO3 + H2O + CO2
Meanwhile, the ammonia was regenerated from the ammonium chloride byproduct by treating it with the lime (calcium hydroxide) left over from carbon dioxide generation:

CaO + H2O ? Ca(OH)2
Ca(OH)2 + 2 NH4Cl ? CaCl2 + 2 NH3 + 2 H2O
Because the Solvay process recycled its ammonia, it consumed only brine and limestone, and had calcium chloride as its only waste product. This made it substantially more economical than the Leblanc process, and it soon came to dominate world sodium carbonate production. By 1900, 90% of sodium carbonate was produced by the Solvay process, and the last Leblanc process plant closed in the early 1920s.

Hou’s process
Developed by a Chinese chemist Hou Debang in 1930s. It is the same as the Solvay process in the first few steps. But, instead of treating the remaining solution with lime, carbon dioxide and ammonia is pumped into the solution, and sodium chloride is added until it is saturated at 40 °C. Then the solution is cooled down to 10 °C. Ammonium chloride precipitates and is removed by filtration, the solution is recycled to produce more sodium bicarbonate. Hou’s Process eliminates the production of calcium chloride and the byproduct ammonium chloride can be used as a fertilizer.
Internal: constipation, diuretic, Gulmanashak, colic, pain abdominal, worms intestinal, flatulence, eructations, abdominal winds, tympenitis, irritable bowel syndrome. External: promotes suppuration of boils, burns, pimples, leucoderma, white patches of skin.



Herbs & Plants

Babul (Vachellia nilotica/Acacia arabica)

[amazon_link asins=’B01I1SBJ7K,B01I1SG61E’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’c068fd3d-4cbf-11e7-a23a-619138e2520b’]

[amazon_link asins=’B071R7NSTZ,B00190Q1E4,3847347691,B01FO4YAGQ,B000ILNSR8,3845431067,B000HGHGKE,3659622656′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’f6b39cc3-4cbf-11e7-bc8a-03ee63ee9f02′]
Botanical Name: Vachellia nilotica
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Vachellia
Species: V. nilotica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms: . Acacia  nilotica, Mimosa nilotica

Common Names:  Gum arabic tree, Babul/Kikar, Egyptian thorn, Sant tree, Al-sant or Prickly acacia; Thorn mimosa or Prickly acacia ( in Australia) Lekkerruikpeul or Scented thorn ( in South Africa) Karuvela maram (in South India)

In Bengal it is called Babla or Babul

Habitat:It is indigenous in Sind in Pakistan. Scented Thorn Acacia is native from Egypt south to Mozambique and Natal. Apparently, it has been introduced to Zanzibar, Pemba, India and Arabia. Acacia nilotica ‘Tomentosa’ is restricted to riverine habitats and seasonally flooded areas.

Description: It is a large tree with throns on it’s branches.It has darkish grey bark and yellowish flowers in spherical heads.

Click to see the picturer

The tree



Babul Tree

Acacia nilotica ‘Tomentosa’ is a tree 5-20 m high with a dense spheric crown, stems and branchlets usually dark to black coloured, fissured bark, grey-pinkish slash, exuding a reddish low quality gum. The tree has thin, straight, light, grey spines in axillary pairs, usually in 3 to 12 pairs, 5 to 7.5 cm long in young trees, mature trees commonly without thorns. The leaves are bipinnate, with 3-6 pairs of pinnulae and 10-30 pairs of leaflets each, tomentose, rachis with a gland at the bottom of the last pair of pinnulae. Flowers in globulous heads 1.2-1.5 cm in diameter of a bright golden-yellow color, set up either axillary or whorly on peduncles 2-3 cm long located at the end of the branches. Pods are strongly constricted hairy white-grey, thick and softly tomentose.

Food Uses
In part of its range smallstock consume the pods and leaves, but elsewhere it is also very popular with cattle. Pods are used as a supplement to poultry rations in India and Pakistan. Dried pods are particularly sought out by animals on rangelands. In India branches are commonly lopped for fodder. Pods are best fed dry as a supplement, not as a green fodder.

Medicinal Uses
According to Hartwell, African Zulu take bark for cough, Chipi use the root for tuberculosis. Masai are intoxicated by the bark and root decoction, said to impart courage, even aphrodisia, and the root is said to cure impotence.

The astringent bark is used for diarrhea, dysentery, and leprosy and the bruised leaves poulticed onto ulcers.

In West Africa, the gum or bark is used for cancers and/or tumors (of ear, eye, or testicles) and indurations of liver and spleen, condylomas, and excess flesh.

Sap or bark, leaves, and young pods are strongly astringent due to tannin, and are chewed in Senegal as an antiscorbutic.

In Ethiopia, it is used as a lactogogue.

In Tonga, the root is used to treat tuberculosis. In Lebanon, the resin is mixed with orange-flower infusion for typhoid convalescence. In Italian Africa, the wood is used to treat smallpox. Egyptian Nubians believe that diabetics may eat unlimited carbohydrates as long as they also consume powdered pods.

The bark of Babul tree is very useful in the treatment of Eczema and Leucorrhoea.The decoction of it’s bark mixed with rock salt should be use to gargle in treating Tonsillitis. The Babul leaves are beneficial in treating Epiphora(an eye disease). The various parts of Babul tree are useful in treating Diarrhoea of ordinary intensity.The leaves of Babul tree are effective in the treatment of Conjunctivitis.Fresh pods of Babul tree is effective in several Sextual Disorder. Chewing a fresh bark of Babul tree helps strengthen loose teeth and prevent gum bleeding.

As per ayurveda it subdues deranged kapha; astringent, beneficial in skin diseases; anthelmintic; antidotal. Its extract is astringent, subdues pitta and anila (vata); effective in the treatment of blood dysentery, haemorrhagic diseases, polyuria, leucorrhaea, fractures; sheeta (sheetaveerya) and styptic.

Parts Used: Pods, leaves, bark and gum.

Therapeutic Uses:

Pods: decoction beneficial in urinogenital diseases;

: infusion of tender leaves used as an astringent and remedy for diarrhoea and dysentery;

Bark: decoction used as a gargle in sore throat and toothache; dry powder applied externally in ulcers; useful in vitiated kapha, pitta, ascites,chronic dysentery, diarrhea, leprosy, leucoderma, leucorrhoea, seminal weakness, uterovesiccal disorders, oral ulcers, odontopathy.

astringent and styptic, useful in vitiated vata, pitta, cough, asthma, diarrhoea, dysentery, seminal weakness, leprosy, uriogenital discharges, burns haemorrhoids, colic.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


Herbs & Plants


[amazon_link asins=’B003AYEHNE,B01F5IB4TC,B071WQTK9J,B000J5XPX0,B000EWMI5O,B072P6PCD3,B06XBCMN54,B01E7MTNFE’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’finmeacur-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b6a778ce-7e67-11e8-9c7b-c7379d8ea66a’]

Botanical Name:Pimpinella anisum.
P. anisum

Anise is native to  Eastern Mediterranean or Western Asia.

Synonyms: Anisum vulgare (Gaertn.), A. officinarum (Moench.), Anise, Anisum, Anisi fructus, common aniseed

Parts used: Fruits (sometimes incorrectly called “seeds”).
Cultivated : Southern Europe, North Africa, Near East, China, Pakistan, Mexico, Chile, USA
Taste/smell:Sweet and very aromatic. A similar fragrance to that of cicely.( licorice-like, sweet)

Etymology: The spice gained its Latin name anisum as a result of confusion with dill, known in Greek as an?son. Names of anise in virtually all European languages are derived from anisum.
The Sanskrit name shatapushpa means “one hundred flowers” and refers to the flower cluster. The Hindi name saunf properly denotes fennel, of which anise is incorrectly thought to be a foreign variety. To distinguish anise clearly from fennel, the specialised terms patli saunf “thin fennel” or vilayati saunf “foreign fennel” are often used. Some languages refer to the sweetness of anise, e.g. Greek glykaniso “sweet anise”, or name anise as a sweet variant of other spices, e.g. Indonesian jinten manis and Arabic kamun halu “sweet cumin” (a name sometimes also used in English). Arabic has another, similar name habbu al-hulwa “sweet grains”. The Portuguese term erva doce “sweet herb” may denote anise, fennel or sweetleaf (stevia rebaudiana).
The genus name pimpinella is Late Latin for “narrow-ribbed fruit”.
Major Uses: pastries, candies, liquors


Anise, Pimpinella anisum, is an herbaceous annual plant in the family Umbelliferae grown primarily for its fruits which are used as a spice. The plant has a grooved stem and alternately arranged leaves. The lower leaves are round with a toothed edge and petioles which can be between 4 and 10 cm (1.6–3.9 in) in length. The upper leaves are feathered and become progressively shorter towards the top of the plant. The aniseed plant produces umbels of white flowers and an oval, flattened, hairy fruit with a single seed. Anise can reach a height of 45–60 cm (17.7–23.6 in) and is an annual plant, surviving only one growing season. Anise may also be referred to as aniseed and originates from the Mediterranean.

click to see the picture..>….(01)....(1)....…(2)....(3)…..…(4)….

Several spices have been called anise. The native of Egypt, Pimpinella anisum, is anise seed or aniseed, while China is the source of Illicum verum, star anise. In the past, dill, caraway and fennel seeds were confused with anise seed.
Useful Parts: The seeds have been used widely in cooking, and are popular in spicy cakes. The oil of anise  is often used in artificial licorice, and gives its distinctive taste to liqueurs such as anisette and raki. Anise is used in many processed foods and in cough medicines, and is often included in pet foods for the flavor it imparts.
Edible  Uses:In Western cuisine, anise is mostly restricted to bread and cakes although fruit products are occasionally aromatised with anise. In small dosage, anise seeds are sometimes contained in spice mixtures for sausages and stews. Their main applications are, however, anise-flavoured liqueurs, of which there are many in different Mediterranean countries including rak? in Turkey, ouzo in Greece and pernod in France. In many cases, oil of anise is partially or wholly substituted by oil of star anise in these products.

In the East, anise is less known and both fennel and star anise are more easily available and more popular. Anise may substitute for fennel in North Indian recipes, but it is a less suitable substitute for star anise in Chinese foods.
Anise appears occasionally in Mexican recipes, but native anise-flavoured herbs (Mexican tarragon and Mexican pepper-leaf) are more commonly used. Anise is an acceptable substitute for both, although tarragon is even better.
Several plants generate an aroma comparable to that of anise. Within the apiaceae (parsley) family, fennel and cicely copy the aroma of anise perfectly and chervil and dill also resemble anise, although their fragrance is less pure. In Far Eastern cuisines (India, Iran and Indonesia), no distinction is made between anise and fennel and the same name is usually given to both of them. In the Philippines star anise is very popular and is referred to as “anise” for short.

As with all spices, the composition of anise varies considerably with origin and cultivation method. These are typical values for the main constituents.

*Moisture: 9-13%
*Protein: 18%
*Fatty oil: 8-23%
*Essential oil: 2-7%
*Starch: 5%
*N-free extract: 22-28%
*Crude fibre: 12-25%
*Essential oil yielded by distillation is generally around 2-3% and anethole makes up 80-90% of this.

Medicinal Properties: Over the centuries, anise has been reported to have numerous medical benefits, but there is no evidence that it offers any pharmacologic benefit. It is thus a flavorful digestive spice that may be soothing, stimulating or carminative (relieving gas) in different individuals, and it is a popular taste in drinks, confections and simple proprietary medicines.

Anise is a carminative and an expectorant. It is also a good source of iron. One tablespoon of anise seeds sprinkled on cookies, bread or cake provides 16% of the RDA for a woman and 24% of the RDA for a man. A 1990 study tested the effect of certain beverage extracts on the absorption of iron. The results showed that anise was the most effective of the extracts tested in promoting iron absorption. The authors recommended offering this as a preventive agent to iron deficiency anemia. To make a carminative tea that may relieve intestinal gas, crush 1 teaspoon of anise seeds per cup of boiling water. Steep for 10-20 minutes and strain. Drink up to 3 cups a day. In a tincture, take  1 teaspoon up to three times a day. Diluted anise infusions may be given cautiously to infants to treat colic. For older children and people over 65, begin with low-strength preparations and increase strength if necessary. Some people simply chew the anise seeds. Early English herbalist Gerard suggested anise for hiccups. It has also been prescribed as a milk promoter for nursing mothers and as a treatment for water retention, headache, asthma, bronchitis, insomnia, nausea, lice, infant colic, cholera and even cancer. America’s 19th century Eclectic physicians recommended anise primarily as a stomach soother for nausea, gas, and infant colic.

Modern uses: Science has supported anise’s traditional use as a treatment for coughs, bronchitis, and asthma. According to several studies the herb contains chemicals (creosol and alpha-pinene) that loosen bronchial secretions and make them easier to cough up. Another chemical (anethole) acts as a digestive aid. Anise also contains chemicals (dianethole and photoanethole) similar to the female sex hormone estrogen. Scientists suggest their presence probably accounts for the herb’s traditional use as a milk promoter and may help relieve menopausal discomfort. One report shows that anise spurs the regeneration of liver cells in laboratory rats, suggesting a possible value in treating hepatitis and cirrhosis. While there are no studies that support using anise to treat liver disease in humans, anise looks promising in this area.

Other Miscellaneous Uses:
*In the 1860s, American Civil War nurse Maureen Hellstrom used anise seeds as an early form of antiseptic. This method was later found to have caused high levels of toxicity in the blood and was discontinued shortly thereafter.

*According to Pliny the Elder, anise was used as a cure for sleeplessness, chewed with alexanders and a little honey in the morning to freshen the breath, and, when mixed with wine, as a remedy for asp bites (N.H. 20.72).

*The Biblical “anise” mentioned in some translations of Matthew 23 is dill (A. graveolens), rather than this plant.

*In 19th-century medicine, anise was prepared as aqua anisi (“Water of Anise”) in doses of an ounce or more and as spiritus anisi (“Spirit of Anise”) in doses of 5–20 minims.

*In Pakistani and Indian cuisines, no distinction is made between anise and fennel. Therefore, the same name (saunf) is usually given to both of them. Some use the term patli (thin) saunf or velayati (foreign) saunf to distinguish anise from fennel, although Gujarati has the term anisi or Sava.

*In the Middle East, water is boiled with about a tablespoon of aniseed per teacup to make a special hot tea called yansoon. This is given to mothers in Egypt when they are nursing.

*Builders of steam locomotives in Britain incorporated capsules of aniseed oil into white metal plain bearings, so the distinctive smell would give warning in case of overheating.

*Anise can be made into a liquid scent and is used for both drag hunting and fishing. It is put on fishing lures to attract fish.

*Anise is frequently used to add flavor to mu’assel, particularly the double apple flavor.

*Anise is one of the three odors used in K9 Nosework.

Historical View :
Oil of anise possesses the same aromatic, carminative, and stimulant properties as anise fruits, and as already noticed is commonly preferred to them as a medicine, and is alone official in the British Pharmacopoeia.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


News on Health & Science

Bicycle Seats Can Cause Impotence in Women

THE FACTS For several years, scientists have known that traditional bicycle seats can cause sexual dysfunction in men. Although female cyclists had not been studied directly, it was widely assumed that they, too, could suffer that fate.

CLICK & SEE.…....Bicyle seat for woman.……….Bicyle seat for man


But that may not be the case. For the first time, a study this month looked at avid female cyclists and found that bike seats may affect them differently. Like male riders, many women in the study experienced tingling, pain and decreased genital sensation. But they did not show symptoms of impaired sexual function, possibly reflecting a lower susceptibility to sexual side effects than men.

The study, published in the journal Sexual Medicine, looked at 48 healthy, premenopausal cyclists who biked about three to four days a week for two hours at a time, then compared them with 22 runners.

In men, traditional bike seats compress an artery and nerve that supply the genitals with blood and sensation, increasing the risk of impotence over time. Because the same artery and nerve are crucial to sexual function in women, assumptions about female cyclists are often extrapolated from studies on men.

But Dr. Marsha K. Guess, an assistant professor at Yale medical school and the lead author of the new study, said female cyclists may benefit from anatomical differences that produce less compression. She also stressed the possibility that sexual side effects in female cyclists might be noticeable only in longer-term studies.

THE BOTTOM LINE Bicycle seats can cause decreased genital sensation in avid female cyclists, but the latest study suggests they may not cause sexual dysfunction.

Source:New York Times