Baking soda is strong medicine

Sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda, is secreted in the pancreas to help aid in digestion. It helps neutralize the stomach acid that is generated during the digestive process and helps in the breakdown of certain enzymes. Sodium bicarbonate levels in the body must be neither too low nor too high in order for digestion to function normally and for the digestive tract to remain healthy.

Sodium bicarbonate is one of the best medicines in nature. The company Arm &Hammer starting selling it in 1846, and in 1926 they brought out a booklet about how to use it as a medicine. It is possibly the most useful substance that we know of — there are books and websites that talk about hundreds of common and incredibly varied uses. But before we look at some of the ways that we can use baking soda, first let’s look at what it is.

Baking soda (or sodium bicarbonate) is the monosodium salt of carbonic acid, and it forms sodium and bicarbonate ions. This ion formation increases plasma bicarbonate and buffers excess hydrogen ion concentration, resulting in a raised blood pH.

It turns to carbon dioxide (CO2) when it reaches the stomach acid. You can experiment by squeezing a fresh lemon onto a little bit of baking soda — you will instantly see it bubble and turn to carbon dioxide.

Sodium bicarbonate, or rather carbon dioxide, is the key to oxygen in our body. Oxygen is incredibly dangerous, even deadly, without carbon dioxide. So carbon dioxide is actually not a waste product; doctors like to think of it as metabolic waste, but when we exercise we actually create a lot of carbon dioxide — which is very healthy and beneficial, and that’s the reason why exercise is very healthy.

The more carbon dioxide we have, the more the blood vessels dilate, blood flow increases, and more oxygen is delivered to the different parts of the body. If we do not pay attention to our breathing then we can get rid of too much carbon dioxide. The levels then go down in the blood and the blood vessels constrict, making it more difficult for oxygen to get delivered to all the tissues in in the same concentration.

Carbon dioxide is also very important for the mitochondria. They produce carbon dioxide, thus good carbon dioxide levels are an indication of healthy mitochondria.

So, when we take additional sodium bicarbonate, which then turns to carbon dioxide, we are increasing oxygen delivery almost instantly to the cells. This is a fundamental issue when dealing with any kind of disease.

And sodium bicarbonate is a buffer in the blood to help control our pH levels, which is also crucial to our health. In emergency situations, doctors will even inject sodium bicarbonate intravenously as a life-saving treatment to balance pH levels, if the patient’s blood is becoming too acidic.

Baking soda can help to heal the symptoms of acid reflux (GERD) almost instantly, by neutralizing the acid that is flowing upwards. When taking sodium bicarbonate it’s almost immediately noticeable that the pH of the urine changes, and becomes more alkaline.

Baking soda can also help the detoxification process from chemical toxicity, heavy metals, and radiation. In cancer treatment, sodium bicarbonate is the perfect medicine, because it increases oxygen and increases carbon dioxide — and cancer cells do not like oxygen.

Taking baking soda has also been shown to help decrease fatigue and increase performance. Some research has even found that a daily dose of baking soda may help reduce the destructive inflammation of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

The only thing you need to be a little cautious of is taking too much sodium bicarbonate, which can increase your salt intake, which for some people can cause problems. Too much sodium bicarbonate will diminish potassium levels.

The easiest way and most beneficial way to take sodium bicarbonate is by putting a teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of water and adding a little freshly squeezed lemon juice. You just drink it, two or three times a day.

Scientists use the pH scale to measure the acidity of a solution. The scale goes from 0 and 14, with values below 7 indicating an acidic solution; values above 7 indicating an alkaline (or base) solution; and neutral solutions, such as pure water, have a pH value of 7. Baking soda is an alkaline, or base, substance.

This means that when we dissolve baking soda in water, it forms an alkaline solution. For example, a 0.1 molar solution of baking soda has a pH of around 8.3. Lemon juice contains citric acid and has a pH of around 3. So adding baking soda to lemon juice will raise the pH to produce a more neutral solution. And it tastes better too!

Baking soda can also be highly beneficial for the outside of our body, not just the inside. For example, our skin usually has a weakly acidic pH of about 5.7. Bases, such as baking soda, will increase and balance the pH, which can help with many skin conditions and lead to healthier skin.

It is also beneficial for our teeth, due to its antibacterial properties and its ability to remove plaque without eroding tooth enamel. Brushing your teeth with a little baking soda can help remove surface-level tooth stains.

You can even use baking soda as a deodorant — just a tiny bit of the powder is more effective, and a lot friendlier to your body, than most popular deodorant sticks and sprays.

And baking soda can also be very effective in treating insect bites — applying a baking soda and water paste to the bite area can quickly decrease itching.

These are just a few examples, there are so many more benefits to baking soda. You can do a quick search on YouTube and you’ll find videos showing dozens more useful uses for baking soda.

When buying baking soda, just be sure that you buy the food grade, aluminum free option so that you’re putting the purest form in or on your body.

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Ayda Ersoy is a nutrition and fitness director at The Diet Doc Hawaii. She can be reached at DietDocHawaii.com, Ayda@DietDocHawaii.com or (808) 276-6892

12 Comments
  1. ruthann jones August 7, 2019 5:25 am Reply

    Adya,
    Thank you for that wonderful letter! I am a fan of baking soda for multiple uses, including GERD. I appreciate your sharing information about pure form sold in most natural foods stores that don’t contain aluminum.
    At first, I thought this letter was written by our own Charlie”.


  2. Matt August 7, 2019 8:29 pm Reply

    So, lemon is reportedly an alkalizing food. If that is the case, wouldn’t we want to not neutralize the lemon with baking soda? Also, I was told that baking soda is abrasive on teeth. Perhaps not?
    My experience using baking soda on the underarms is that it just cakes up and creates a bit of a mess.


    1. Mystisch November 21, 2020 4:05 am Reply

      Matt . . .
      I take 1/2 teaspoon baking soda a 1 tablespoon lemon in 1 cup of water every morning. (I drink it all down FAST (like a shot) because it tastes bad) – It helps to alkalize your body too and you can tell when you stop doing it. You get tired, little pains that you have forgotten about start to creep back in too. I produce kidney stones and my Urologist had me drinking 1/2 cup of lemon in 1 quart of water every day (no sugar) for the rest of my life!! Someone suggested I try the above mixture for 1 month… I’ve now been doing this for almost 6 years (off and on now) and when I stop for a couple of months because I get lazy and I do start to feel much better… I start having stones again and generally feel like shite. When I do this (BS Water) every morning… I feel better and according to blood work, my body stays more alkaline so my doctor told me to not stop.
      Worth a try?? – Oh, and No… So far the salt content that everyone warned me about has NOT affected my BP, but then for table salts… I use either Pink Himalayan or a No Salt product… Hope this helps. 😉


  3. harry oyama August 7, 2019 9:04 pm Reply

    And may I add that Sodium Bicarbonate can also be digested in pill form to avoid that bitter taste of the powdered form. You can buy it at Longs, but need to ask the pharmacy department even though a doctor need not prescribe it. Usually it comes in 650 mg pills, I take one in the morning and one at night with meals to get my blood PH level around 7.2.

    Also cancer cells cannot develop when the body PH level is 7.0, but multiply when its acidic or below 7.0. Tests have also shown that Sodium Bicarbonate actually neutralizes certain pesticides found on fruits and vegetables.


  4. Helena Gunter February 13, 2020 6:10 am Reply

    Ayda, you’re possibly confusing baking soda with baking powder. Baking soda DOES NOT contain aluminum at all, NEVER HAS. It’s the baking powder that contains aluminum and there are some brands make an alum. free baking powder. Some companies put ‘aluminum free’ label on their baking soda and charge more.. It’s not true, all baking soda brands are equal as far as aluminum is concerned!


  5. Gina September 11, 2020 8:22 pm Reply

    Nice article. One comment: hair and skin are healthy when alkaline. Just look up how pH relates to athletes foot or the amazing smoothing de tangling effect vinegar water rinse has on hair.


  6. kitkit October 11, 2020 11:46 am Reply

    Would the new deodorants with baking soda be dangerous for people with high blood pressure? How much of the sodium in the baking soda would be absorbed into the skin and blood stream? Would it lower potassium in the blood.


    1. Steve December 23, 2020 2:04 am Reply

      Tbh I don’t know how much goes through skin. I would guess at least a little, but probably not a lot.

      To get things to really cross the skin barrier a special drug gets used. Like the nicotine patch , idk but I think that has a chemical to reduce the skin resistance to things crossing.

      How about this? Use backing soda every 4th day. Monitor your health and consider changing to either more or less often.

      You have an interesting question, so I wanted to noodle it out and share my thoughts at the same time.
      But I’m not a doctor, just an electrician


  7. Jkp October 30, 2020 3:15 am Reply

    Is it safe to drink baking soda daily for GERD? Is it also safe to drink apple cider vinegar daily or do the two complete? I have chronic GERD with a morning PH of 5.


  8. Gerry January 16, 2021 5:13 am Reply

    Yes it is safe to drink baking soda in water for GERD. It is also beneficial to have a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar daily but I wouldn’t have them at the same time.


  9. Debi April 16, 2021 6:50 am Reply

    I wonder how taking baking soda affects absorbtion of foods and medicine?
    My urine ph is 5.5 almost all the time even with taking sodium bicarbonate pills (650mg or 1/8 tea) cuz I am hypoglycemic and have to eat Hugh protein diet. I am thinking of increasing it to 1/2 tea 3 x a day I just don’t want to have my medication affected or my food absorbtion – does anyone have any advice?


  10. Marie July 11, 2021 2:53 am Reply

    Since Cancer cannot survive in an alkaline body having gastric (stomach) cancer are the cancer cell growth slowed down or destroyed?


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