October 4, 2020

baking soda image

You probably don’t see baking soda as any more than a way to keep your fridge odour-free or an essential ingredient for baking cakes. It’s no surprise that the idea of baking soda being healthy might not seem plausible to you.

Actually, though, baking soda contains a multitude of health benefits that make it a great standalone baking component. It might not be so good for you when you’re combining it with sugar and butter to make a cake, but there are plenty of nutritious ways to include it in your diet for the better.

Baking soda is not only used in baking

What is baking soda?

As a product that most of us will keep stocked in a kitchen cupboard, baking soda also goes by the names sodium bicarbonate, bicarbonate of soda, and sodium hydrogen carbonate. It’s made up of sodium and bicarbonate ions and has a pH of 9, which gives it useful alkalizing effects.

Baking soda and baking powder are actually slightly different – baking powder is made up of sodium bicarbonate and a number of other acids, while baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate. This video will cover the health benefits of baking soda alone.

Baking soda can be used in a number of interesting ways that are beneficial to health. Stay tuned to discover how you can put your own kitchen’s supply of baking soda to use without adding it to a cake mix…

1. Soothes digestive issues

Baking soda can help neutralise acid in your stomach

Because of its alkaline pH, baking soda is effective at helping to neutralize acid and improve pH balance in the body. You can use baking soda as a natural remedy for digestive issues like acid reflux or heartburn. 

Often, these issues come about after eating too many acidic foods, or from having a generally acidic state of the body. Simply drinking a glass of water containing baking soda in water helps to neutralize the acid and get your body’s pH back to normal.

It’s wise to stick to a smaller amount of baking soda if you’re looking to treat acid reflux or heartburn. Consuming too much baking soda can actually cause an increase in acid production, which will only serve to make the situation worse.

2. Alleviates chemotherapy side effects

If you or someone you know has gone through chemotherapy, then you probably have a good idea about how much of a negative impact the treatment can have on your mind and body. You may experience all number of side effects, from sores on the inside of your mouth to problems with your gums, teeth, and the glands that make saliva.

Washing your mouth with baking soda water on a daily basis is a simple natural method for alleviating these unwanted side effects. Add a quarter of a teaspoon of baking soda to a cup of warm water and sprinkle with salt. 

Use this rinse to wash out your mouth three times per day. After rinsing, wash your mouth again with plain warm water.

3. Assists with muscle recovery and reduces pain

baking soda home remedies treats muscle cramps

Some studies have found that taking baking soda before exercise, in a practice called bicarbonate loading, may be able to positively affect some forms of short-term athletic performance. Evidence also shows that baking soda might come in useful when carrying out a more prolonged physical activity involving periods of high-intensity training. 

It’s thought that because baking soda promotes alkalization, it can reduce some of the negative side effects of having a high acidity in the muscle, producing less damage and resulting in shorter resting times between activity.

One of the more popular baking soda home remedies treats muscle cramps, which you’re more likely to experience after physical activity. Simply dilute a teaspoon of baking soda in one litre of water to prevent or soothe muscle cramps and soreness after physical activity.

4. Heals urinary tract infections

Urinary tract infections are a common type of infection that around 50 to 60 percent of women will experience during their lifetime. It’s possible to treat a UTI with medication – but for some women, the problem will keep on returning, and they’ll need to look for a more natural long-term remedy.

One recent study used baking soda on female patients with urinary tract symptoms who had acidic urine pH levels lower than six. After four weeks of taking it orally, the researchers found the urine of the subjects was alkalinized, and the women’s symptoms were much better. It’s interesting to consider how baking soda might be used as a natural, inexpensive treatment for UTIs in the future.

5. Treats kidney disease

baking soda makes the blood less acid it will stop kidney disease from progressing as quickly

Chronic kidney disease is most commonly caused by a combination of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Treating the disorder is difficult, but one study found that a daily dose of baking soda could help patients with chronic kidney disease avoid having to undergo dialysis. Baking soda was found to dramatically slow the progress of kidney disease.

It’s thought that because baking soda makes the blood less acid, it will stop kidney disease from progressing as quickly. Simply drinking a glass of baking soda a day is enough to treat kidney disease and prevent it from worsening. Baking soda also reduces the amount of acid from the body, so your kidneys won’t overwork themselves trying to remove it.

6. Relieves itchy skin

Baking soda can help to reduce discomfort from sunburn, allergic rashes, eczema, and skin affected by poison ivy. While it’s not a cure for any of these skin problems, baking soda can soothe itching while you look for longer-term methods of treating the issue. Baking soda also has antifungal properties, and research suggests it is an effective treatment for a range of fungal skin conditions, like athlete’s foot and candidiasis.

To use baking soda to relieve itching, combine a teaspoon with some water to create a baking soda paste and apply it to the affected areas. Leave it on for several minutes and then rinse off with warm water. You can do this several times per day as needed.

12 health benefits of baking soda you need to know

7. Fights greasy hair

Baking soda can help clean and revive your hair

If your hair is greasy and doesn’t last long between washes, you can use baking soda to help clean and revive your locks. Baking soda’s alkali pH makes it an excellent cleanser for your scalp and hair. It removes dirt and build-up from the scalp, leaving it clean. You’ll need to get the balance right, though – too much baking soda could disrupt your hair’s pH and cause more damage than good.

Simply add a teaspoon of baking soda to your regular shampoo, rub it into your hair and rinse as usual. Add this to your hair washing routine on a once a week basis, and you should notice a difference after about a month of use.

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8. Prevents cancer

A surplus of biotin in the body can go further than help lower blood sugar – some studies suggest it might lead to dangerously low levels of blood sugar in those taking insulin. Because biotin causes a slower release of insulin, it may lead to high blood pressure as a result, which can lead to blood clots or stroke if left untreated. 

Diabetic patients in particular should be careful when using biotin as a treatment for their illness.

9. Alleviates stomach ulcers and pain

As we already know, baking soda turns anything it comes into contact with alkaline, the opposite of an acid. When it’s added to your stomach, any acids inside your stomach are almost instantly neutralised, leaving you feeling better within a matter of minutes. Its alkalinity can help to relieve ulcer symptoms.

The best way to take baking soda is by mixing about one-quarter of a teaspoon of soda with a glass of water. Speak to your doctor if you want to use baking soda regularly for stomach acid neutralization.

10. Treats oily skin

You can use baking soda to minimise blackheads

Baking soda’s mild exfoliating properties make it a wonder ingredient for treating acne or giving oily skin a less shiny appearance. Baking soda can minimise issues with blackheads and enlarged pores by closing up your pores and preventing them from clogging with dirt that leads to blackheads and acne.

You can easily create your own baking soda exfoliant at home, no spa treatments required. Just mix one teaspoon of baking soda with half a cup of water and massage it onto your face in circular motions using your fingers, then rinse. 

Using baking soda to exfoliate your face is an inexpensive way to enhance your skin. Using it once or twice a week will be enough – too much use might upset the pH balance of your skin.

11. Whitens teeth naturally

Baking soda can help remove discoloration with its alkaline properties

Baking soda is the most convenient toothpaste for improving dental health. It is known to increase plaque removal — which you’ll find commonly listed as an ingredient in both conventional and natural toothpaste. It may also help to remove discolouration thanks to its alkaline properties.

Straight baking soda has abrasive qualities, which means that it may wear away enamel over time. Instead, to keep your teeth clean and your breath fresh, you can add a sprinkle of baking soda to your toothpaste, make your own homemade toothpaste, or simply dip your toothbrush in baking soda for an extra boost in oral health.

12. Acts as a natural deodorant

Why do you think people use baking soda to remove strong odours in their fridge? It’s because baking soda is highly effective at absorbing smells. When you add baking soda to your sweaty skin, you change the pH balance, altering it to a neutral state. The powder can counteract the bacteria-loving acids in sweat, acting as an effective natural deodorant.

Create your own natural baking soda deodorant by mixing a teaspoon of baking soda with enough water to create a milky paste, then rub it under your underarms or your feet for the best antiperspirant effects. You’ll be able to combat your body odour without subjecting your skin to the harmful chemicals found in most shop-bought deodorants.


The best thing about baking soda as a natural remedy is that it's widely available, and most of us will already have at least half a pack’s worth of it somewhere in our kitchen cupboards. You won’t need to add baking soda to any fancy recipes to reap the benefits – in fact, most of the time, you’ll just need to add a small amount to water and drink up.

Baking soda

If you’re struggling with any of the issues mentioned in this video, give baking soda water a try and see how it can improve your condition. Remember that less is more with baking soda, so you’ll only need a very small quantity to experience noticeable benefits.

Always speak to your doctor if you’re considering using baking soda as a long-term health remedy. It might be that you have an illness or disorder that can be treated much more quickly with a one-off medication.

About the author

Rachel Perono

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