Friday, 28 October 2016
Most people have baking soda (sometimes called sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda) in their kitchen cabinets for use in baking. However, drinking baking soda dissolved in water is a great natural remedy for many ailments. Even just mixing a small amount of baking soda in a glass of water can help to relieve heartburn, soothe ulcer pain, balance pH levels in the body, and even help cure a cold quicker.
Baking soda is a natural chemical compound formed by combining sodium and bicarbonate. Sodium bicarbonate is used widely for baking, cleaning, disinfecting, and neutralizing acids. It has a high pH level of 8.3 and has a slightly alkaline taste.1
There are many ways to use baking soda and water together. For example, you can make a paste to help treat red and inflamed skin, clean your teeth, exfoliate your skin, help to control acne and use it to get and maintain a clean scalp. However, this article focuses on the many health benefits of drinking baking soda and water.
The Health Benefits of Baking Soda
Baking soda has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties
One of the reasons why baking soda is good for your health is that it contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that can help reduce infections.
When discussing the antimicrobial activity of sodium bicarbonate, the Journal of Food Science found that baking soda can kill off various strains of bacteria (for example, Staphylococcus aureus and Lactobacillus plantarum) and fungus (for example, E. coli). It was also reported that the high pH level of baking soda was a major factor in treating bacterial and fungal infections.2
Baking soda can reduce inflammation
Because baking soda is alkaline, it can help to reduce inflammation. This was shown in a study into the effects of baking soda on patients with chronic kidney disease. Sodium bicarbonate was effective in reducing inflammation that is caused by increased acid in the blood.3
Health Benefits of Baking Soda Water
Let’s look at the various ways that drinking a mixture of baking soda and water can help you treat and get relief from many health conditions.
Drinking Baking Soda and Water for Heartburn
Drinking baking soda and water is an excellent natural remedy to quickly relieve a heartburn (sometimes called acid reflux).
Dr. Melinda Ratini on WebMD says that heartburn is caused when stomach acid leaks back up into the esophagus causing a burning sensation. The discomfort of heartburn is usually felt in the upper abdomen area.4 In order to treat the burning feeling associated with heartburn, doctors usually recommend taking antacids to neutralize stomach acid.
Baking soda is a natural antacid and studies show that sodium bicarbonate can help to relieve heartburn and indigestion. This is because baking soda effectively and quickly reduces the burning effect that stomach acid causes.5
To use baking soda to quickly put an end to heartburn, mix 1/2 tsp. baking soda in an 8 oz. glass of cold water and mix until fully dissolved. Drink the home remedy as needed, but make sure not to consume more than 7 half-teaspoon dosages in a 24-hour period.
My article about using baking soda for heartburn and acid reflux has more information on using this natural home remedy to neutralize stomach acid. You will also learn about some precautions on using baking soda long-term and who shouldn’t use sodium bicarbonate for heartburn.
For Ulcer Pain
If you suffer from stomach ulcers, drinking a glass of baking soda and water can help get instant relief from the pain and discomfort that they cause.
According to the Mayo Clinic, ulcers are generally due to a bacterial infection caused by the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. This can cause inflammation in the stomach resulting in pain, heartburn, nausea and a feeling of fullness.6
The Mayo Clinic also says that the acid-neutralizing effect of baking soda can help to relieve the painful symptoms and discomfort caused by stomach ulcers.7 You should follow the same home remedy for heartburn if you want to get natural relief from stomach ulcer discomfort.
Cabbage juice is another effective natural remedy to help get rid of an ulcer and repair your stomach lining. To find out more, please read my article on the many health benefits of cabbage juice. There you will also find helpful tips on how to juice a cabbage.
Balances pH Levels in the Body
Baking soda in water can help to balance pH levels in the body if you have high acidity levels in your blood and urine. The Mayo Clinic says that consuming sodium bicarbonate helps to make the urine and blood more alkaline.7
Many believe that a healthy body should be slightly alkaline. However, much of the food and drink we consume in our western diets create an acidic environment in the body. This increase in consuming these types of foods has led to many health conditions like arthritis, heart disease, cancer, and a weakened immune system.
A glass of ½ tsp. baking soda and water a day can help to keep your body’s pH levels in check and prevent it from becoming too acidic. You should also try to avoid foods that can cause a build up of acid.
For Colds and Flu
You can help to get rid of cold and flu symptoms quicker by drinking baking soda water. It is thought that by keeping the body slightly alkaline it helps the body to maintain better health and boost the immune system.
This is based on Dr. Volney S. Cheney’s book Arm & Hammer Baking Soda Medical Uses published in 1924, in which he recorded his experience with treating flu. He observed that people who were treated with baking soda either remained healthy or they developed a milder version of the disease.
My article about how to fight the cold and flu with baking soda discusses the research behind the effectiveness of using sodium bicarbonate for the common cold. You will also find how to use baking soda and water to help get rid of cold or flu symptoms quicker based on the recipe prescribed by Dr. Cheney in 1924 (which is still valid today).
If you regularly exercise at the gym or train for sports, you know that it is important to keep your body well hydrated. When we sweat, sodium is excreted from the body, and that can hinder how quickly muscles recover and lead to exercise-related injuries. Therefore, it is also important that water contains the right amount of minerals and salts (sometimes referred to as electrolytes) to allow the muscles to recover properly.
If you have suffered from a bout of diarrhea, then it is also very important to replace lost fluids with water containing sodium and other trace minerals.
One study into consuming alkaline water found that it helped to maintain proper pH levels and hydration.8 You can easily make alkaline water by adding some 1/2 tsp. baking soda to a glass of water. Drink this after experiencing diarrhea to help replace lost minerals in your body. If you experience regular occurrences of diarrhea, then my article on how to get rid of diarrhea naturally provides practical advice.
To make your own homemade isotonic sport drink using baking soda, mix the following: 1 liter water, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon table salt, 2 tablespoons honey (you can tweak the amount of honey you want to include and add your own flavors) and drink to replace lost fluids and essential minerals after training or working out at the gym.
For Kidney Health
Drinking baking soda water daily can help you if you suffer from chronic kidney disease. One of the reasons for this is that chronic kidney disease causes a low level of bicarbonate but high acidity in the blood. This is a factor which speeds up the disease’s progression.
A study published in the journal Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy in 2015 found that sodium bicarbonate helped to reduce inflammation in the kidneys and slowed down the progress of the disease.3 Many hospitals now include sodium bicarbonate supplements as part of their renal care.
If you suffer from chronic kidney disease, it is important to speak with your healthcare practitioner before regularly using baking soda for your condition.
Because sodium bicarbonate is alkaline, drinking baking soda and water can also help prevent the formation of kidney stones and gout. In fact, WebMD says that sodium bicarbonate, when taken orally, makes the urine less acidic and helps the kidneys to get rid of uric acid, thus preventing stones in the kidneys and painful gout.9
You can find more home remedies for gout in my article about natural gout treatments, or if you tend to have kidney stones, read my article on how to treat kidney stones naturally, and how to use apple cider vinegar for kidney stones.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Although baking soda can’t treat a urinary tract infection, drinking baking soda water can help to reduce pain and discomfort when you have to pass urine. The alkaline level of sodium bicarbonate helps to neutralize acid content in urine which can help to ease the painful and burning symptoms of a UTI.
To find out more on how to treat a urinary tract infection naturally, please read this article. In that article, you can also find out what the symptoms of a UTI are. This can help you identify the condition quickly so that you can get rid of the discomfort as soon as possible.
For a Healthy Mouth
Baking soda can also help to keep your mouth free of bacteria that can cause plaque and dental cavities. Apart from using baking soda as a teeth-whitening toothpaste,10 you can make a refreshing natural antibacterial mouthwash by mixing baking soda and water.
To make a mouthwash with baking soda, you should fill a cup with water and add 1/4 tsp. baking soda. Mix well until all the baking soda is dissolved. Swish the baking soda mouthwash around your mouth for 30-60 seconds to kill off plaque-causing bacteria. Spit out the mixture, then rinse your mouth with fresh water. Use this homemade mouthwash every time when you clean your teeth.
Baking Soda for Cancer
There has been some limited research into the effects that baking soda may have on cancer cells and tumors in the body. The basis of the argument is that cancerous cells thrive in an acidic environment and that baking soda can help to inhibit and destroy these malignant cells.
One study has shown that sodium bicarbonate can inhibit the spread of various cancer tumors. The study provided evidence that low pH in cancer cells can increase the chance of tumors spreading. By increasing the pH level of tumors, scientists were able to inhibit the spread of malignant cancer cells.11
If you are interested in finding out more on the research into using baking soda for cancer, then please read my article about a potentially powerful healing combination for cancer. In that article, you will discover how lemons and baking soda might be a powerful healing combination for cancer. It has to be noted again, that at present research into baking soda being used as an alternative treatment for cancer is very limited.
Cautions when Drinking Baking Soda and Water
Because of its high sodium content, consuming baking soda mixed with water may not be for everyone. Therefore, if you have a history of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, swollen ankles or feet, or are on a reduced salt diet, you should talk to your doctor before taking baking soda with water on a regular basis. 12
You should remember that many of the remedies mentioned in this article are for the temporary relief of the various conditions and symptoms and shouldn’t be used to treat or cure chronic conditions.
When drinking baking soda and water, the safe dose is ½ tsp. in a glass of water every 2 hours, but not exceeding 7 glasses in a 24 hour period. If you are older than 60, then you shouldn’t exceed 3 doses in 24 hours. Don’t take baking soda and water regularly for more than two weeks.
Also baking soda can decrease the effectiveness of certain drugs so talk to your doctor before consuming baking soda water if you take medications.