All About Baking Soda : Health Benefits & Uses

Updated on February 25th, 2020
Health benefits of Baking Soda

What is Baking Soda?

NaHCO3 is very essential if you are planning to bake a cake. Hence we all have it stored in our fridge for sure! Now don’t be shocked. We were talking about the most common ingredient in our day-to-day lives, ‘Baking Soda’! Baking Soda aka Sodium Bicarbonate is a white powder used for various options. That is because baking soda releases carbon dioxide and the dough turns plump and well aerated.

What Does Baking Soda Do?

Baking Soda is an alkaline that produces carbon dioxide when combined with acid. Hence the small bubbles when get trapped inside the dough, they inflate the dough as already mentioned. The substitutes can also be yogurt, lemon juice or even vinegar but baking soda is the most preferred product for baking. Upon decomposition, baking soda produces gas caused by heat above 80 degrees Celsius which doesn’t require the help of acid.

How Did It Become the Household Staple?

Baking soda was first stashed in the fridge of people to keep the fridges fresh. People looked for baking soda on a daily basis majorly for this cause. Then it was known that baking soda is a chemical leavener producing carbon dioxide in reaction to an acid (like vinegar). It produces bubbles that help the cake or cookie become tender, moist, and fluffy.

What are the health benefits of baking soda?

Traditionally, baking soda is an antacid that is very much useful for heartburn and indigestion as it can neutralize stomach acid. In fact, baking soda is also a boost for your workout. Studies show that people who consumed baking soda solution before a high-intensity workout, had a good improvement level. They also experience low fatigue levels, and less tiredness(1). This is indeed a great thing to experience for all the people out there who are trying to work out. 

Researches also show that baking soda can be a really valuable source against autoimmune situations in the near future. This means that the antacid in baking soda will help in shifting the pro-inflammatory immune cells in our body to those who fight inflammation. Sounds confusing? Well, it means that our immune systems have greater chances to improve with the help of baking soda. Now that’s a relief right? 

Baking soda as a natural Remedy

    1. Heartburn
    2. UTI
    3. Hair
    4. Gas
    5. Acne
    6. Cancer
    7. Enema
    8. Constipation
    9. Gout
    10. Indigestion

Benefits Of Baking Soda

If you have this magic product stored in your fridge you are sorted. It can zap out bad smell, clean a lot of things and also play a vital role in natural remedies. Baking soda indeed does miracles to improve our daily lives. 

1. Baking soda for heartburn

Baking Soda for heartburn
Image: ShuterStock

Heartburn is popularly known as acid reflux. It is basically the burning sensation in our chests that we experience sometimes after eating. This usually happens when acid backs up into the food pipe. This can be confirmed when we have a certain kind of sour taste in our mouths.

So how does baking soda help in all of this? Well, baking soda has an alkaline pH, and it is a common remedy for the relief of heartburn and acid reflux. It neutralizes the excess stomach acid that causes symptoms.

The Canadian Society of Intestinal Research states that baking soda is a temporary solution to acid reflux. They advise people that sodium bicarbonate is available from a pharmacy in the form of tablets and effervescent powder.

Doctors only recommend using baking soda temporarily, when symptoms first appear. This is because other problems may develop if the body becomes too alkaline. Baking soda is also a salt, and too much salt can lead to further problems.

How to Use Baking Soda for Heartburn?

Baking Soda Recipe For Heartburn
Image: ShutterStock

Well, the process is very simple. We all are very clear by now that one of the best natural remedies for heartburn is baking soda. But do you know how to use it? Baking soda for heartburn recipe is very simple and effective. Just follow these steps.

  • You will need half tablespoon of baking soda.
  • Dissolve it in a cup of lukewarm water and stir well.
  • Sip this solution very slowly and let it go down your throat smoothly.
  • Swallowing it all at once might choke you a little and you will feel very uneasy.
  • Take this solution twice a day for good results.

This solution might not work for a long period of time but it can act as an immediate remedy.  It gradually helps you at least for a temporary cause before you go for the bigger permanent solution to this issue.

2. Baking soda for UTI

Baking soda for UTI
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UTI, a Urinary Tract Infection is an infection that grows in the urinary tract, that includes bladder, urethra, uterus and kidneys. UTI is commonly found these days due to a lot of reasons. Some people experience recurrent UTIs, which needs antibiotics. Drinking a small amount of baking soda, mixed with water is a home remedy that some people have tried for UTIs.

Baking soda is said to neutralize the acid in the urine. It allegedly reduces symptoms of a UTI and allows the body to fight the bacteria causing the infection. People who support this remedy also claim that baking soda can stop the infection from spreading to the kidneys. But there is little evidence to suggest that baking soda can cure a UTI. Some people may even report that it reduces their discomfort and urgency.

So baking soda is considered to be one of the natural remedies for UTI. So if you are using baking soda to treat UTI, then make sure to use it with water. Sip it slowly in small amounts to avoid discomfort.

3. Baking soda for hair

Baking soda rinse for hair
Image: ShutterStock

Yes! Baking soda is very much effective on hair. Apple cider vinegar and baking soda are considered to be essential natural remedies for hair growth. Let us assure you that it is completely safe to use baking soda for hair growth. In fact people also use baking soda for hair lightening too. Let’s know more about it in detail.

How does baking soda work on hair?

Oh my god! Sodium Bicarbonate being used for hair? Sounds destructive! Well, not at all. Baking soda is a very trustworthy natural remedy for hair issues. If you are using baking soda for hair loss, be well assured that the first alternative for people who stop using shampoo is baking soda.

This is because the mechanism between this ingredient and your hair is pure and simple. Baking soda effectively turns the glorious protective sebum of your hair into soap. That is how you feel a little soapiness or slipperiness in your hair sometimes after using baking soda. This is known to be Saponification and is not at all dangerous.  

Baking soda is considered to be a very cheap form of cleaning your hair and it helps in lessening the hair loss issues.

How to use baking soda for hair?

  • Consider a heaped tablespoon of baking soda and stir it well into a cup of water.
  • Use this mix by pouring it all over your hair effectively in such a way that it covers your entire head.
  • Allow it to settle down for a minute and then start massaging your scalp well.
  • Rinse it off well and then pat dry your hair softly.

You will have to do this 3-4 times a week to find the effects. But once your hair starts improving, decrease the amount of baking soda to a half tablespoon. Repeat this process only 1-2 times a week. This is because your hair is clear of extras and the baking soda is working straight on your sebum.

Precautions to take care while using baking soda for hair:

Baking soda is an alkaline that has high pH values. That means at some point it will definitely harm your hair by vanishing your natural pH in your hair. Now if you wish to avoid the chances of facing the demonish side of baking soda, follow these little tips to avoid the negative side.

  • Decrease the amount of baking soda to be used and increase the number of days between each wash to avoid getting your hair damaged.
  • Look for other nourishing elements like egg white or raw milk or coconut oil or any other nourishment that are rich in proteins and help your hair fight the negativeness of baking soda.
  • Rinse, rinse and RINSE your hair properly and do not take the chances of ignoring a proper wash.
  • Make sure to have a moisturizing head mask that includes avocados or heated coconut oil or mashed banana to keep your hair fresh and silky.
  • If you have long hair, apply a little apple cider vinegar mixed with warm water on your hair ends to avoid any damages.
  • Use hot water to massage into your scalp, scrubbing out the sebum down through your hair shaft to the very ends of your hair. Then scoot your hair under a cold rinse. The colder the better. Use a water wash instead of another baking soda wash.

4. Baking soda for gas

Baking Soda for gas
Image: ShutterStock

Using baking soda for gas relief is common and so it is often used as a home remedy for stomach gas because it reacts with stomach acid to produce carbon dioxide which is another gas. This increase in gas can initiate belching and lead to relief, but it can also cause problems. Though baking soda acts as one of the effective natural remedies for gas, ingesting baking soda should be done with caution.

Baking soda’s reaction with stomach acid actually causes more gas in the stomach, as carbon dioxide is added to the gas already present. The increase in gas after taking baking soda can trigger belching, which may relieve your stomach gas pains. However, the increased gas may make your discomfort worse if you don’t let out this excess gas through belching.

[Also Read: Natural Remedies To Treat Your Gastritis]

According to ‘Gastroenterology'(2),
“Half teaspoon of baking soda in a small glass of water is generally safe, because it is unlikely to cause a dangerous level of carbon dioxide production. Use a measuring spoon so you don’t add too much baking soda. Mix the baking soda in at least 4 ounces of water and do not take it on an overly full stomach. Children and pregnant women should not take baking soda without first consulting a doctor. If you are on a sodium-restricted diet, have heart problems, take any medications or have any other symptoms, talk with your doctor before taking baking soda. Do not take baking soda with antacids.”

5. Baking soda for acne

Baking Soda For acne Treatment
Image: ShutterStock

Acne is a very common issue found majorly in women. We often find a lot of people visiting the parlors and dermatologists to find a remedy to treat acne. Your face is the most delicate part and sadly the pollution that we face everyday affects our face to a great extent. What baking soda does is that it helps in removing all the dead cells and bacteria from our face. So baking soda is very necessary in taking care of yourself.

Excess oil is the reason behind all the blemishes and pimples on your face. So applying baking soda on pimple is really useful as it absorbs all the oil from your face keeping it clean and neat. Excess oil is necessarily removed because having an oily face just irritates you more and makes you look weak and tired.

Why use baking soda for acne?

Nobody likes having acne and so let’s know how baking soda helps them get rid of acne.

Baking Soda has glorious medicament properties. These properties permit it to scale back swelling and redness and provide a soothing sensation. Flare-ups are common in inflammatory diseases like acne. By using baking soda, you can easily escape them.

The anti-inflammatory properties of baking soda supply relief from rashes, itchiness, irritation, and sunburn. We live in a world where pollution has become part and parcel of our lives. We tend to deal with it every single day. Apart from being a guard for preventing inflammatory diseases, baking soda additionally helps to fade the red inflammatory disease spots, scars, and pigmentation.

During acne, your skin becomes too acidic. So baking soda being a terrific alkalescent substance helps to balance the pH scale levels of your skin with efficiency.

How to use baking soda for acne?

Now if you are confused about how to use baking soda for acne, here is the process:

  • Let some warm water into your bathtub or in a container.
  • Add a half cup of baking soda to the bathtub or container and stir it well.
  • Now soak all those acne-affected areas for about 20-30 minutes and then use a soft sponge to rub water on your affected skin.
  • Now if you are sensitive then dilute the baking soda a little more and then soak yourself for a little lesser time.

6. Baking soda for cancer

baking soda for cancer
Image: ShutterStock

If you think baking soda is a common agent trying to act as a natural remedy for small purposes then you are wrong. Did you know that it plays a vital role in the treatment of cancer? Well, baking soda helps in more than one way in the process of curing cancer. Now if you are thinking about how to use baking soda to treat cancer, read along!

Baking soda identifies the cancer cells:

Baking soda plays a major role in identifying cancer cell growth. Acids get junked in cancerous areas of the body and the bicarbonate is converted into carbon dioxide. These changes in bicarbonate can be viewed on an MRI scan with high sensitivity too(3).

Cancer cells flourish in an acidic environment and these regions are significantly lower in pH than other surrounding tissue. The researchers found that MRI sensitivity increased by more than 20,000 times when experimenting with mice diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. When bicarbonate was localized into the cancerous tissue, evidence was clear that the tumors with the highest acidity had a significantly higher conversion rate of bicarbonate into carbon dioxide.

Baking soda helps in suppressing cancer growth:

A highly acidic environment stimulates invasive tumor growth in both primary and metastatic cancer types. Consumption of sodium bicarbonate has been shown to increase the pH of tumors and slow the formation of spontaneous metastases in metastatic breast cancer mouse models. Baking soda was also found to decrease the rate of lymph node involvement and reduce the occurrence that cancer would spread to the liver. Research clearly indicates that baking soda along with the use of a variety of other natural healing strategies can be used to naturally defend against cancer as well as strengthen immune coordination.

How to use baking soda to cure cancer?

Baking soda and lemon for cancer
Image: ShutterStock

Take some lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and mix it well with baking powder. See some foam or a fizz forming at the top which is quite normal. Wait for all the bubbles to stop and then add water to this mixture and gulp it all at once. Just ensure that you don’t drink this mix 30 minutes before the meal or after the meal just to avoid lowering stomach acid secretions and inhibiting proper digestion. This drink basically neutralizes your pH levels in the body and lowers acidosis. Continue consuming this mix until your pH levels are stabilized between 7.0 and 8.0

7. Baking soda for constipation

Baking Soda for constipation
Image: ShutterStock

Does baking soda help with constipation? Yes, Baking soda is a part of the baking and confectionery which means it definitely has a cure for your constipation issues(4). Baking soda has some really magical powers to heal a lot of things and we are sure you must have known it by now. So how is baking soda used to cure constipation? Well, baking soda is a natural antacid which makes it easy to regulate the pH levels in our body and then we start having normal bowel movements which is an initiation to get rid of constipation.

It also helps in getting rid of the pain in the chest caused by gas and the pain of constipation. The laxative properties in baking soda loosen your stool and then the movement is allowed freely outside your intestines. It also pulls water into the gastrointestinal systems that is a major solution to abdominal cramps.

How to use baking soda to cure constipation?

Well there are many ways you can use baking soda to get rid of constipation but listed below are the most effective ways to get rid of it.

  • Baking soda, when mixed with lemon water and taken, is incredibly useful for cleansing the digestive system. This remedy is one of the most effective methods of using baking soda for constipation.
  • Mix some honey with baking soda and consume it to get the laxative effect of it. This you with a very smooth stool passage out of your body. Preferably organic honey might be of a better use. 
  • Dry roast some fennel seeds and grind them to powder. Now mix it with baking soda and lukewarm water for some great results in bloating issues. It also sorts stomach flu, GERD, stomach cramps and intestinal ulcers.
  • Apple cider vinegar is the king of natural remedies. ACV, when mixed with baking soda and consumed on a regular basis, helps in curing constipation issues for a long term. However, consumption of baking soda in large quantities can be really hazardous to health. So make sure to gradually decrease the quantity of baking soda day by day.

8. Baking soda for enema

baking soda for enema
Image: ShutterStock

Enema is mainly done for the purpose of stool evacuation. Thus using baking soda for enema is considered the effective way to do it as it is considered to be the most straightforward approach. The high levels of phosphorus present in baking soda help our body in proper functioning(5).  Thus choosing baking soda is the best and cheapest way to carry on this method as it is not complicated like the other colon cleansing methods. The importance of getting rid of the toxins present in the body is paramount.

Why Should You Use Baking Soda for Enema?

Baking soda helps in restoring the pH balance of the body. Also, with the help of this technique, the oxygen saturation in the blood increases helping the brains and tissues of the body to work more effectively and accurately in collaboration with each other. It is a very useful trick as it removes the fecal matter through the process called osmosis. The softening of stool caused by baking soda enema increases the stool volume and this in turn effectively removes all your dirt from the body.

Using this simple and easy trick frequently can be very beneficial for you, especially people who have high acidity problems. This automatically gives a better lifestyle as it uplifts your mood. This is because the receptors in the brain increase their activity and bring a change in the mood automatically. Baking soda enema also helps in the following:

  • Relieves you from constipation
  • Regular cleansing of bowels
  • Keeping your diarrhea in control
  • Helps in reducing body temperature
  • Rehydrates your body often.

9. Baking soda for gout

Baking Soda for Gout Cure
Image: ShutterStock

Gout can be considered as a kind of arthritis that causes inflammation and extreme pain your joints due to excessive uric acid present in the body. The crystallized uric acid forms around the joints and this painful accumulation is unavoidable(6). It can happen anywhere to anyone. There are other factors like blood disorders, improper metabolism, extreme alcohol, an excessive amount of salt, red meat, shellfish, oily fish, etc., might also elevate the chances of facing gout often.

Usually, gout is more like a painful swelling with redness in the affected area. You feel a sharp pain in the joints. Toes to be precise! There is also tenderness, warmth and soreness in the joints making it impossible to make those parts work.That is when baking soda comes into picture. It is believed that baking soda home remedies for gout help in healing gout to a great extent.

Lemon juice and baking soda can be very useful as natural remedies for gout. Add some freshly extracted lemon juice to warm water and add a tablespoon of baking soda to it. Stir it well and consume it slowly with an empty stomach every morning. Habituating this to do daily can help you get rid of gout.

The same process can be repeated by replacing lemon juice with 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and baking soda for gout does wonder. So if you are also a victim of gout,  baking soda can be your savior.

10. Baking soda for indigestion

Baking Soda for indigestion
Image: ShutterStock

Baking soda is known to help to neutralize acid and improve pH balance in the body. Baking soda is often used internally to quell digestive dismay such as acid reflux or heartburn(7). When these complaints are due to overconsumption of acidic foods or a generally acidic state of the body, slowly drinking some baking soda in water can help to neutralize the acid and get your body’s pH back to a better place.

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.

Baking Soda Can Help Lose Weight: Myth Or Fact?

Baking Soda for weight loss
Image: ShutterStock

Because baking soda soothes indigestion by neutralizing stomach acids, it’s rumored to help your body break down fat. In reality, it has no direct effect on body fat — and doesn’t negate the calories from fats you consume. You lose weight when you create an energy deficit or eat fewer calories than you burn. A dose of baking soda doesn’t exempt you from this equation, however.

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is an alkaline substance that counters the effects of acid. When you consume baking soda, it reacts with your stomach acid to release byproducts such as water and carbon dioxide, which leads to burping. This chemical reaction helps your roiling stomach feel better after a particularly spicy or fatty meal, but it won’t make your body absorb the calories differently.

[Read: Baking Soda for Weight Loss ]

Did You Know?

Baking soda is very much essential in our day-to-day lives and once we all start storing it in our homes, we will know how many ways can a baking soda be used. But there are always surprises in store and here are some of them to help you know more about baking soda.

  • You can also just dip your toothbrush with toothpaste into baking soda for an extra boost to your teeth and to remove odor.
  • Mix baking soda in a ratio of 3:1. Now apply this paste in a circular motion before rinsing it all clean. That forms one of the best natural scrubs and exfoliator.
  • Pat baking soda onto your underarms to neutralize body odor.
  • For insect bites, make a paste out of baking soda and water, and apply as a salve onto affected skin. To ease the itch, shake some baking soda into your hand and rub it into damp skin after bath or shower.
  • Add 3 parts baking soda to gentle liquid hand soap. Then rinse clean to experience soft and moisturized hands.
  • Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your bath to neutralize acids on the skin and help wash away oil and perspiration, it also makes your skin feel very soft.
  • Baking soda benefits dark lips too. All you need to do is to add honey and baking soda together and mix well. Apply it on your lips for two to three minutes before washing it off with water.

Fun facts about baking soda:

Baking Soda fun facts
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Baking Soda can be very much useful if we are well aware of its properties. It is a mixture of Sodium and Carbonate which help in its leavening process. Mentioned here are some of the fun facts about baking soda that might sound useful.

  • The acid in a baking powder can be either fast-acting or slow-acting. A fast-acting acid reacts in a wet mixture with baking soda at room temperature, and a slow-acting acid will not react until heated in an oven.
  • While various baking powders were sold in the first half of the 19th century, our modern variants were discovered by Alfred Bird in 1843.
  • During World War II, Byron H. Smith, an inventor in Bangor, Maine (U.S.), created a baking soda substitute product for American housewives, who were unable to obtain cream of tartar or baking powder due to war food shortages.
  • Sodium bicarbonate is often taken by mouth as an antacid to treat the symptoms of heartburn and upset stomach.
  • December 30th is National Bicarbonate of Soda Day.
  • Early chemical leavening was accomplished by activating baking soda in the presence of liquid(s) and an acid such as sour milk, vinegar, lemon juice, or cream of tartar.
  • Sodium bicarbonate is found in such personal care items as toothpaste, where its mild abrasiveness helps remove surface stains from teeth.

Side effects of baking soda

    1. Frequent or excessive use of baking soda can disturb the chemical and pH balance of your body. If you are a victim of kidney issues or take water pills, it can cause discomfort to you.
    2. Abnormally high quantity of sodium in the blood and low potassium levels in your body will weaken you. 
    3. In rare cases, taking a large amount of baking soda can lead to stomach rupture. This is due to a large amount of carbon dioxide produced. Large amounts of baking soda lead to bloated stomach. 
    4. Brushing with baking soda is not a good idea for braced teeth or permanent retainers.  
    5. When there is acidity in the body baking soda helps to keep the harmful bacteria out of the body. But if someone has sensitive skin, one is likely to find alkaline substance irritating.
    6. Excess usage of baking soda this makes a bad hair day and cause frizz, tangles and breaks.
    7. Baking soda is high in sodium and is not safe in high doses and not should be used over a long time. It is not safe for people who have medical conditions such as high blood pressure, liver, kidney diseases or Edema.
    8. If baking soda is not dissolved properly or if taken on a full stomach it can cause an upset stomach.
    9. Drinking baking soda may have side effects like stomach cramps, nausea, weakness, slow breathing, increased thirst and swelling of feet.

Difference Between Baking Soda And Baking Powder

Baking Soda:

Baking soda is just sodium bicarbonate and it is alkaline. You’d want to use baking soda if your recipe contains a large amount of acidic ingredients (such as buttermilk, honey, vinegar, coffee, natural cocoa powder, etc.) because when you bake you want your acids and bases to be balanced. Also, baking soda causes an immediate chemical reaction with acids, so your baked goods will rise very quickly.

Baking Powder:

Now baking powder is a little different. Though it contains the same active ingredient as baking soda, it also has an addition of weak acids. These pull it slightly toward the acidic side of the pH scale below 7. You might use this in recipes featuring more alkaline ingredients like Dutch processed cocoa, certain fruits, etc.

Baking powder has a more delayed chemical reaction. If you use it your baked goods will rise more slowly but for a longer period of time. This is because most baking powder is double acting and will therefore only react with added liquid and heat. You’ll probably find yourself using baking soda more often than baking powder, as it’s more common in recipes.

Baking soda: A magic product

So these were some of the most beneficial tips to be followed while using baking soda in our daily lives. Now that you have read it all and are clearly aware of baking soda health benefits, start following them. Baking soda, on the whole, is a very good ingredient that helps us deal with a lot of issues and acts as a very effective natural remedy. There are some limitations that we should remember while keeping this product handy.

If you are one of the people looking for answers related to any of the issues mentioned above, use methods related to baking soda. Do not forget to let us know how your experience was. Our comment section is always open for your opinions and ideas.  And if you find this article useful, do not forget to share it with people and pass on the knowledge.

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