Of all the possible baking soda benefits, the biggest is your life. You would die without it. It drives good health in countless ways. And it’s so cheap!
Just How Cheap?
How about FREE?
That’s because your own body makes it, in the form of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3).
The trick is for you to make enough to get all its health benefits.
In case you don’t, which is likely, supplementing with it is nearly as cheap.
And you have no need to go to a health food store to get it. You’ll find it in all supermarkets.
If I’ve done my math correctly, even the highest-priced products come out to around 7 cents a day.
If it were a supplement, it would be the cheapest one on the market.
Baking soda benefits are phenomenal. They first came to my attention when I was writing my first post on this remarkable substance: Health and Fitness Miracle in Your Cupboard.
(I recommend reading it, maybe because I wrote it [!].)
The basic message: A daily teaspoon in a cup of water keeps the doctor away!
Unfortunately, outside of its use in medical emergencies, modern medicine doesn’t recognize supplementary baking soda for its health benefits.
However, its emergency use – i.e., treating acute acidosis (WAY too much acid) – hints at why it’s so valuable for your health.
It regulates your pH. In other words, it helps keep your acid-alkali balance in a healthy range.
A chronic acid-alkali imbalance simply undermines good health in dozens of ways.
(which most diseases are) depends on reducing acidity.
The key to good health is maintaining acid-alkali balance.
Now let’s take a look at some of the more well-known baking soda benefits.
Heartburn and Indigestion. Neutralizes stomach acid arising from acid reflux or heartburn. (A MUCH better choice than antacids!)
It’s no surprise that manufacturers of standard heartburn drugs (e.g., Rolaids, Tums) include baking soda in their formulations.
Urinary Tract Infections. Women with chronic UTIs and acidic urine have been found to reduce symptoms within four weeks by supplementing with baking soda.
Infectious Disease. Many infectious diseases are preventable and curable by sodium bicarbonate. The Arm & Hammer Soda Company, the most famous manufacturer of baking soda, even provided advice on this topic nearly a century ago.
From a letter by Dr. Volney S. Cheney:
In 1918 and 1919 while fighting the ‘Flu’ with the U. S. Public Health Service it was brought to my attention that rarely any one who had been thoroughly alkalinized with bicarbonate of soda contracted the disease, and those who did contract it, if alkalinized early, would invariably have mild attacks. I have since that time treated all cases of ‘Cold,’ Influenza and LaGripe by first giving generous doses of Bicarbonate of Soda, and in many, many instances within 36 hours the symptoms would have entirely abated. Further, within my own household, before Woman’s Clubs and Parent-Teachers’ Associations, I have advocated the use of Bicarbonate of Soda as a preventive for “Colds,” with the result that now many reports are coming in stating that those who took “Soda” were not affected, while nearly every one around them had the “Flu.”
Note that Dr. Cheney’s letter refers to becoming “alkalinized” by baking soda. In other words, the key action of baking soda is its ability to raise the pH. This is why it is so important for counteracting acidosis in medical emergencies.
By the way, Dr. Cheney was referring to the biggest flu outbreak in modern history. It was the worst epidemic ever recorded. Yet ordinary baking soda prevented and successfully treated it.
Nowadays we also know that sodium bicarbonate is valuable not only for preventing and treating viral infections. It can also cure infections by fungi (yeast infections and vaginitis) and bacteria (urinary tract infections).
Kidney Health. This is a big one, since your kidneys regulate blood pH only when they have enough sodium bicarbonate to do so. Kidneys having too little bicarbonate often have to be treated by dialysis. However, supplementary bicarbonate can prevent and even cure failed kidneys.
Restoring weak or failed kidneys by supplementing with sodium bicarbonate is nothing short of miraculous. One modern doctor, Dr. Mark Sircus, has made a career of explaining this and many other health benefits of baking soda. For anyone who suffers from kidney disease, his article, Healing the Kidneys with Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), should be required reading.
If you have low-functioning or non-functioning kidneys, baking soda can keep you off of kidney dialysis. Daily supplementation with sodium bicarbonate has even enabled some people to stop using kidney machines completely.
Cancer. Cancerous tumors are well-known to be acidified and hypoxic (lacking oxygen). Both conditions can be reversed with baking soda, since alkalizing also raises the solubility of oxygen in fluids.
The role of baking soda for alkalizing and oxygenating cancerous tumors has become an important treatment for cancer. Baking soda is now a key factor in pH therapies against cancer. (Especially metastatic cancers – the most frightening of all.)
Modern medicine has caught on somewhat to the importance of baking soda in treating cancer, although not as a treatment by itself. Orthodox oncology uses sodium bicarbonate mostly to reduce the highly toxic acidifying effects of chemotherapy.
Gout. Gout is a very painful malady caused by the accumulation of excess uric acid in the joints. It typically affects the joints of the toes. A small dose of baking soda in a glass of water is a phenomenal strategy for canceling out excess circulating uric acid and eliminating the pain associated with gout.
Prescription drugs for treating gout are expensive and come with toxic side effects. Baking soda is inexpensive and has no side effects. Which one would you choose?
Anti-Fungal and Antibacterial. Baking soda is known to kill off bacteria, including cavity-forming Streptococcus mutans. It is also useful against various types of fungi. These include molds and dermatophytes causing skin and nail infections.
Muscle Pain and Fatigue. Taking sodium bicarbonate before exercise (i.e., “bicarbonate loading”) can have positive effect on recovery from sustained strenuous exercise over a few minutes. It works by helping to reduce side effects acidity from raising exercise-induced levels of lactic acid in muscles.
Quick recovery from the acidifying effects of lactic acid are crucial for muscle repair between workouts and after competitions. It’s no surprise that world-class athletes have discovered such a simple and inexpensive supplement for boosting their performance.
Different dosages are required depending on whether you are alkalizing for better health or treating an acidifying clinical problem such as cancer, kidney disease, heartburn, or gout. In other words, there is no general dosage that fits all circumstances.
Nevertheless, a common dosage recommendation is ¼ to ½ teaspoon of baking soda in 8 ounces of cold water, 1-3 times a day.
When taking it orally, pay heed to the following:
- Baking soda must be fully dissolved before drinking.
- A maximum daily dose should be no more than 3½ teaspoons.
- The daily maximum dose drops to 1½ teaspoons if you’re over 60 years old.
- Take the maximum dose for no longer than two weeks.
- Drink baking soda solutions slowly to avoid suffering too much ‘gasiness’, especially after meals.
Be sure to consult your doctor before taking baking soda, especially if you’re taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs or are on a low-sodium diet.
Certain meds or supplements are contraindicated with baking soda. These include aspirin and other salicylates, calcium supplements, barbiturates, prednisone or other corticosteroids, and drugs containing diuretics, quinidine, or lithium.
Avoid taking it within a couple of hours of taking other meds.
Getting baking soda benefits from oral consumption is generally safe if you don’t exceed the recommended dose. Too much baking soda can upset your body’s acid-base balance. This could lead to nausea, vomiting, and/or stomach pain. On very rare occasions an overdose of baking soda could lead to seizures, coma, and death.
Don’t think more is better when it comes to taking baking soda. It’s important to note that consuming too much baking soda can cause an increase in acid production – just the opposite of what you want to do.
A more common issue with overdosing is a loss of potassium, which is co-eliminated with the sodium from sodium bicarbonate. The result is potassium deficiency.
Avoid taking baking soda if you have kidney disease, liver disease, high blood pressure, or edema (swelling). Ditto if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Baking Powder vs Baking Soda
People often get confused by the difference between baking powder and baking soda. They are certainly not the same thing.
Baking soda is a simple powder comprised of 100% sodium bicarbonate.
Baking powder, on the other hand, can contain a filler such as cornstarch. Baking powder does contain a certain percentage of baking soda along with other ingredients. These other substances typically include sodium aluminum sulfate and calcium monophosphate.
Knowing this difference helps you answer a common question about whether baking soda contains aluminum. It does not. Baking powder, however, does include aluminum among its several ingredients.
Baking Soda Benefits the Skin, Too
- Deodorant (make your own as a paste in water)
- Hand Softener (mixed in warm water)
- Face Exfoliator (mix ½ in ½ cup water, rub on face a circular motion, then rinse)
- Itchy Skin (use a paste against rashes, poison oak, or poison ivy)
- Foot Soother (ca. a tbsp in a pan of warm water)
- Sunburn Relief (soak in a warm bath with ca. ½ cup of baking soda)
- Splinter Removal (soak 1-2 times a day in warm water with baking soda (1 tbsp. in 1 cup) to soften skin
- Bug Bite Relief (use baking soda paste)
And Still More!
Although this post focuses on health benefits, baking soda is also famous for a long list of household uses. They mostly entail its role as a deodorizer, cleanser, and even as a fire extinguisher.
Every household can benefit from baking soda in seemingly countless ways.
Comments or Questions?
I’d love to hear from you. This and every other post here provides a comment section at the end of the post, exactly for that purpose.
So, by all means, leave me your thoughts.
I would be especially grateful if you point out any flaws in my logic, factual errors, or ordinary typos. (I’ll give you a little ‘huzzah’ in my heart.)
Then I’ll respond as soon as I can.
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All the best in natural health,
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