Baking Soda: An Inexpensive Treatment Aid for Autoimmune Diseases Like Arthritis - Truth Comes to Light (2022)

  • Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate or NaHCO3) has a number of medicinal uses and benefits. It’s commonly known to have alkalinizing, antacid and electrolyte replacement properties
  • Studies have shown drinking baking soda solution can help pregnant women who are having a slow or difficult labor to avoid C-sections in about 20 percent of cases by neutralizing acid in the womb
  • Research funded by the National Institutes of Health suggests baking soda may be a safe and effective treatment for autoimmune diseases by priming your immune system against inflammation
  • The data suggests drinking baking soda infused water activates an anti-inflammatory pathway that is mediated by the neuronal-like function of mesothelial cells that line your internal organs
  • Baking soda is also useful against other aches and pains, including heartburn and ulcer pain, and may enhance sports performance (a strategy known as soda doping)

by Dr. Mercola
May 7, 2018

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate or NaHCO3), popularized by Arm & Hammer more than 150 years ago, is a staple in many homes for baking and cleaning purposes, but this inexpensive ingredient also has a number of medicinal uses and benefits. It rates right up there with hydrogen peroxide as one of the most inexpensive and safe health tools around, so it makes sense to learn all you can about the many uses of baking soda.

It’s commonly known to have alkalinizing, antacid and electrolyte replacement properties.1 When taken internally, baking soda is thought to raise the pH of your blood. This appears to be the basic premise behind its recommended use against colds and influenza symptoms, recounted in a 1924 Arm & Hammer booklet on the medical uses of baking soda.2,3

Taking one-half to 1 teaspoon or so of baking soda dissolved in a glass of water is also an inexpensive way to ease heartburn. Long-distance runners have also engaged in a practice known as “soda doping” — taking baking soda capsules — before races to enhance performance — a measure thought to work similarly to carbohydrate loading.

In this case, by increasing the pH of your blood, this practice is thought to offset the acidity produced in muscles during intense activity. While I do not suggest or recommend you try this at home, use of baking soda has also been shown to improve speed among swimmers.4

Research5 has also shown drinking baking soda solution can help pregnant women who are having a slow or difficult labor to avoid C-sections in about 20 percent of cases by neutralizing acid in their womb. This could spell the difference between life and death in developing countries and/or instances where C-section is not an option.

Baking Soda May Be an Inexpensive Treatment for Autoimmune Diseases

Most recently, research funded by the National Institutes of Health suggests baking soda may be an effective treatment adjunct for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other autoimmune diseases. According to this study,6,7 led by renal physiologist Paul O’Connor and published in The Journal of Immunology, drinking a solution of water and baking soda appears to prime your immune system against inflammation.

Although this study suggests some benefits from baking soda for rheumatoid arthritis, there are far more fundamental approaches that should be tried before this as detailed in “Inspiring Account of How to Put Rheumatoid Arthritis into Remission.” Additionally, one could avoid lectins for autoimmune diseases like RA.

(Video) Baking Soda May Help Reduce Arthritis & Other Inflammatory Conditions

The theory was initially tested on rats, and later in human subjects. According to O’Connor, baking soda may indeed be “a really safe way to treat inflammatory disease,”8 including arthritis. As reported by Medical News Today:9

“Their experiments tell a complex story about how this salt provides a signal to a special kind of cell called ‘mesothelial cells,’ telling them that the body is fine and not under attack, rendering an aggressive immune system unnecessary. Thus, harmful autoimmune responses are averted. Mesothelial cells line the internal organs as well as many different cavities in the body …

Basically, in O’Connor words, mesothelial cells learn that ‘[i]t’s most likely a hamburger not a bacterial infection.’ So they, in turn, do not activate the spleen’s ‘army’ of macrophages, or white blood cells tasked with clearing up potentially harmful cellular detritus. ‘Certainly, drinking bicarbonate affects the spleen and we think it’s through the mesothelial cells,’ O’Connor explains.”

Baking Soda Alters Immune Cell Activation, Triggering Anti-Inflammatory Response

Mesothelial cells are found in your blood and kidneys, and baking soda is already used in the treatment of chronic kidney disease. It was this that led the researchers to explore the mechanisms by which baking soda benefits renal function, slowing the progression of kidney disease. It was during this investigation they noticed that baking soda shifted the balance of immune cells in the kidneys, boosting anti-inflammatory immune cells while simultaneously decreasing inflammatory cells.

Further tests revealed baking soda has the same anti-inflammatory effect on blood and spleen as well. But how does it do this? Mesothelial cells, which line your internal organs, communicate with the organ in question via microvilli that emit a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, and this appears to be an important part of the equation.

A previous hypothesis suggested the anti-inflammatory signals were being transmitted through the vagus nerve, which connects your gut, brain and other organs. Experiments revealed this idea did not hold true. Even when the vagus nerve was completely severed, it did not suppress the anti-inflammatory signaling of the mesothelial cells.

Eventually, they realized the inflammatory response is being mediated via acetylcholine signals through the microvilli connecting the mesothelial cells and the organ they line. The anti-inflammatory response triggered by drinking baking soda-infused water was found to continue for a minimum of four hours. As explained by the authors:

“Following oral NaHCO3 loading, macrophage polarization was shifted from predominantly M1 (inflammatory) to M2 (regulatory) phenotypes, and FOXP3+CD4+ T-lymphocytes increased in the spleen, blood, and kidneys of rats. Similar anti-inflammatory changes in macrophage polarization were observed in the blood of human subjects …

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Our data indicate that oral NaHCO3 activates a splenic anti-inflammatory pathway and provides evidence that the signals that mediate this response are transmitted to the spleen via a novel neuronal-like function of mesothelial cells.”

Conventional Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment Is Fraught With Health Hazards

Considering the devastating side effects inherent with rheumatoid arthritis drugs, the idea that something as safe and inexpensive as baking soda water may alleviate the inflammation driving this and other autoimmune diseases is as welcome as it is intriguing. Indeed, the drugs commonly prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis are among the most dangerous on the market.

These include prednisone, TNF-alpha inhibitors (sold under brand names such as Humira, Enbrel and Remicade. Side effects of these drugs include infection and an increased risk for cancer), and harsh anticancer drugs like methotrexate. Chronic use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics like Tylenol can also result in life-threatening liver and/or kidney damage.

Acetaminophen is actually the No. 1 cause of acute liver failure in the U.S. It’s tragic that conventional medicine doesn’t promote lifestyle changes before drugs for arthritis as, in my own practice, about 80 percent of my arthritic patients were able to achieve significant improvement or complete remission simply by following my nutritional and lifestyle recommendations.

In 2015, I interviewed a former patient of mine, Sarah Allen, about her successful remission. You can review that interview, and a summary of the most important lifestyle changes required to control this condition, in “Inspiring Account of How to Put Rheumatoid Arthritis Into Remission,” hyperlinked earlier.

Other Medicinal Uses for Baking Soda

In addition to the examples given at the beginning of this article, baking soda can also be beneficial for a number of other conditions and ailments, including the following. Keep in mind, you do not need to seek out aluminum-free baking soda, as all baking soda is aluminum free. The aluminum issue is related to baking powder, some brands of which may contain aluminum sulphate.10

Ease heartburn and ulcer pain

I have personally recommended this to many, including family members, and have been surprised how remarkably effective it is. This would make sense, as the baking soda works as an antacid in your gut, neutralizing stomach acid. In fact, the active ingredient in many over-the-counter (OTC) antacids is just baking soda.

Dosing is typically one-half to 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a full glass of water. Make sure the baking soda is completely dissolved in at least 4 ounces of water, and sip it slowly to avoid gas formation. Also keep in mind that excessive dosages can cause acid rebound, thereby making your symptoms worse. This is the same problem posed by OTC antacids.

Facilitate splinter removal

Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to a small glass of water, then soak the affected area twice a day. Many splinters will come out on their own after a couple of days of this treatment.

Ease sunburn

Add one-half cup of baking soda to lukewarm bathwater, then soak in the tub for natural relief. For added relief, let your skin air dry rather than toweling off the excess baking soda. You can also add a mixture of baking soda and water to a cool compress and apply it to the sunburn directly.

Homemade deodorant

(Video) My Arthritis CURE | 4 years so far

If you want to avoid the parabens and aluminum found in many deodorants and antiperspirants, try a pinch of baking soda mixed with water instead. This simple paste makes an effective and simple natural deodorant.

Dental uses

For an effective tooth and gum paste, use a mixture of six parts baking soda to one part sea salt. Place them in a blender and mix for 30 seconds, then place in a container to use. Wet the tip of your index finger and place a small amount of the salt and soda mixture on your gums. Starting with the upper outside gums and then the inside of the upper, followed by the lower outside of the gums then the lower inside, rub the mixture onto your teeth and gums.

Spit out the excess. After 15 minutes rinse your mouth. This mixture is incredibly effective at killing bacteria. For a natural way to whiten your teeth, crush one ripe strawberry and mix it with one-half teaspoon of baking soda. Spread the mixture onto your teeth and leave on for five minutes. Then brush your teeth as usual and rinse. This method should be used no more than once a week, as excessive use could potentially damage your tooth enamel.

Relieve itchy rashes

Apply a paste made of baking soda and water to insect bites to help relieve itching. You can also try rubbing the dry powder onto your skin. This is also effective for itchy rashes and poison ivy.

Soothe aching feet

Add 3 tablespoons of baking soda to a tub of warm water for an invigorating foot soak.

Natural exfoliator and skin scrub

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A paste made from three parts baking soda to one part water can be used as an exfoliator for your face and body. It’s natural, inexpensive and gentle enough to use every day.

Detox bath

Baking soda and apple cider make a wonderful spa-like bath for soaking away aches and pains and detoxing. As a bonus, it also cleans the tub and drain.

(Video) Patients with Autoimmune Disorders

FAQs

Can baking soda cure autoimmune disease? ›

Baking soda — also known as sodium bicarbonate — appears to tell the body to calm down its autoimmune response. Instead, it helps to strengthen the anti-inflammatory response. So, cells from the spleen and stomach can tell a faulty immune system that there's likely no need to turn itself on, only to attack.

Does drinking baking soda help with arthritis? ›

Summary: A daily dose of baking soda may help reduce the destructive inflammation of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, scientists say.

How much baking soda should I drink to reduce inflammation? ›

Try it: Combine 1/4 tsp. baking soda with 8 to 12 oz. of water. after a meal twice a week, but for no more than four weeks.

Is it OK to drink baking soda everyday? ›

Drinking small amounts of baking soda is not usually dangerous. In adults, this can provide short-term relief from indigestion. However, drinking large amounts of baking soda is dangerous, and it is not suitable for long-term use, use during pregnancy, or use in children.

Is drinking baking soda harmful? ›

Drinking it too quickly could pose an additional risk. Too much baking soda can poison some bodily systems and spur on things like diarrhea, vomiting, and gas which can cause kidney failure, dehydration, or even seizures (via Medical News Today).

How much baking soda can you drink a day? ›

If you're prone to tummy woes or just want to boost your general health, Brandon advises dissolving a teaspoon of baking soda in an eight-ounce glass of water every morning "to help maintain a healthy pH balance throughout the digestive system for optimal digestion, minimized acid reflux, and healthy bowel functioning. ...

What is the fastest way to reduce inflammation in the body? ›

Simple rules of thumb for anti-inflammatory eating:
  1. Eat more plants. Whole plant foods have the anti-inflammatory nutrients that your body needs. ...
  2. Focus on antioxidants. They help prevent, delay or repair some types of cell and tissue damage. ...
  3. Get your Omega-3s. ...
  4. Eat less red meat. ...
  5. Cut the processed stuff.
13 Aug 2019

Can baking soda raise your blood pressure? ›

High blood pressure: Sodium bicarbonate might increase blood pressure. People who already have high blood pressure should avoid sodium bicarbonate.

What are the side effects of baking soda? ›

Long-term and overuse of baking soda can increase your risk for:
  • hypokalemia, or potassium blood deficiency.
  • hypochloremia, or chloride blood deficiency.
  • hypernatremia, or rise in sodium levels.
  • worsening kidney disease.
  • worsening heart failure.
  • muscle weakness and cramps.
  • increased stomach acid production.

How can I reduce inflammation in my joints naturally? ›

Additions to Your Diet
  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids. ...
  2. Vitamin D. ...
  3. Turmeric. ...
  4. Ginger Root Extract. ...
  5. Fruits, Vegetables and Whole Grains. Fruits, veggies and whole grains, as part of a healthy diet, fight inflammation naturally and can also help control your weight.
27 Mar 2019

What drink reduces inflammation? ›

Some beverages that have shown to reduce markers of inflammation include: Coffee. Fruit/vegetable concentrates (100% orange juice, pomegranate juice, tomato juice, blackcurrant juice, tart cherry juice, cranberry juice, mandarin juice, red orange juice, 100% Concord grape juice, beet juice) Green tea.

What happens when you drink baking soda and water? ›

You can use it to: Calm indigestion: Add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water to zap acid in your stomach. But acid doesn't cause all kinds of indigestion, so if your symptoms don't improve after 2 weeks, call your doctor. Don't take baking soda within 2 hours of other medications.

Can u lose weight with baking soda? ›

There is no scientific evidence that baking soda is effective for weight loss. In fact, there are many potentially dangerous side effects of ingesting baking soda in large amounts on its own or with water. Poison Control say that people should not consume baking soda unless a healthcare provider recommends it.

What does putting baking soda in coffee do? ›

Baking soda helps neutralize some of the naturally occurring acid in the coffee. As little as a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda for a pot of coffee can smooth the harsh flavor of inexpensive coffee and make it easier to digest.

Is baking soda good for the heart? ›

The alkaline substance, more commonly known as baking soda, has been given to heart attack victims to prevent lactic acidosis, a build-up of damaging acids in the blood. But the researchers found that solutions of the sodium bicarbonate worsened heart and liver functions in patients.

Is baking soda good for kidneys? ›

A daily dose of baking soda could help patients with chronic kidney disease avoid having to undergo dialysis,” reported The Times . It said that research has found that sodium bicarbonate can dramatically slow the progress of the condition.

What happens if you eat a tablespoon of baking soda? ›

Early after an ingestion of too much baking soda, vomiting and diarrhea are common as the body tries to correct the high sodium concentration by pulling more water into the digestive tract. After absorption, high sodium concentrations can cause seizures, dehydration, and kidney failure.

How much apple cider vinegar and baking soda should I drink a day? ›

- Mix two teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of baking soda in a glass. - Add water to the glass and drink it. Before you plan to drink this concoction every day, consult your doctor. Especially if you are diabetic, have digestion issues or any other stomach, mouth or esophagus issues.

How many times a day should I take baking soda? ›

For sodium bicarbonate tablets: To relieve heartburn or sour stomach: Adults and teenagers—325 milligrams (mg) to 2 grams one to four times a day. Children up to 6 years of age—Dose must be determined by your doctor.

What health benefits does baking soda have? ›

6 Health Benefits of Baking Soda
  • Helps with Digestive Issues. ...
  • Anti-Fungal and Antibacterial. ...
  • Boosts Kidney Health. ...
  • Alleviates Urinary Tract Infections. ...
  • Reduces Muscle Pain and Fatigue. ...
  • Helps Alleviate Chemotherapy Side Effects. ...
  • Cold and Flu Relief. ...
  • Indigestion.
30 Apr 2018

How many times can I drink baking soda? ›

The recommended dosage for adults is one 1/2 tsp. dissolved in a 4-ounce glass of water. It's best to sip this drink slowly to avoid side effects like gas and diarrhea. You can repeat every 2 hours.

What is the strongest anti-inflammatory? ›

What is the strongest anti-inflammatory medication? Research shows diclofenac is the strongest and most effective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine available. 10 Diclofenec is sold under the prescription brand names Cambia, Cataflam, Zipsor, and Zorvolex.

How can I reduce inflammation in my joints? ›

Keep a healthy weight. Exercise regularly. Don't smoke. Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids.

What vitamin is good for inflammation? ›

Vitamin C. Vitamin C, like vitamin D, is an essential vitamin that plays a huge role in immunity and inflammation. It's a powerful antioxidant, so it can reduce inflammation by neutralizing free radicals that cause oxidative damage to your cells ( 55 ).

Is baking soda good for liver? ›

Use natural alternatives whenever possible to help your liver. Good non-toxic cleaning products include sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), and ordinary white vinegar.

What medications does baking soda interact with? ›

Sodium bicarbonate has moderate interactions with at least 93 different drugs.
...
What Other Drugs Interact with Sodium Bicarbonate?
  • aspirin.
  • aspirin rectal.
  • aspirin/citric acid/sodium bicarbonate.
  • balsalazide.
  • blessed thistle.
  • choline magnesium trisalicylate.
  • chromium.
  • devil's claw.

What can you do to immediately lower your blood pressure? ›

How Can I Lower My Blood Pressure Immediately?
  1. Take a warm bath or shower. Stay in your shower or bath for at least 15 minutes and enjoy the warm water. ...
  2. Do a breathing exercise. Take a deep breath from your core, hold your breath for about two seconds, then slowly exhale. ...
  3. Relax!

What happens when you drink baking soda and vinegar? ›

Combining the two also creates a chemical reaction that produces gas. Therefore, this mixture may cause gas and bloating in people who ingest it before all the gas has escaped.

Why would a doctor prescribe sodium bicarbonate? ›

Sodium bicarbonate is an antacid used to relieve heartburn and acid indigestion. Your doctor also may prescribe sodium bicarbonate to make your blood or urine less acidic in certain conditions. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Is baking soda safe to eat? ›

Q: Can baking soda be consumed? A: Absolutely. It's a popular ingredient in recipes, particularly baked goods. It can also be consumed as an antacid.

Is alkaline water good for autoimmune disease? ›

The Alkaline Way is a three-component approach that can be useful in addressing autoimmune and immune dysfunction conditions such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, through an individualized approach that includes: Lab testing for inflammation, detoxification, and antigens to food and chemicals.

What is the fastest way to reduce inflammation in the body? ›

Simple rules of thumb for anti-inflammatory eating:
  1. Eat more plants. Whole plant foods have the anti-inflammatory nutrients that your body needs. ...
  2. Focus on antioxidants. They help prevent, delay or repair some types of cell and tissue damage. ...
  3. Get your Omega-3s. ...
  4. Eat less red meat. ...
  5. Cut the processed stuff.
13 Aug 2019

Is sodium bicarbonate anti-inflammatory? ›

A study published in the Journal of Immunology said that when sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) was ingested by human beings, baseline tests taken before and after showed that sodium bicarbonate activated an anti-inflammatory pathway.

What health benefits does baking soda have? ›

In addition to the many the household uses listed above, baking soda may offer several health benefits.
  • May help treat heartburn. ...
  • May soothe canker sores. ...
  • May improve exercise performance. ...
  • May relieve itchy skin and sunburns. ...
  • May slow the progression of chronic kidney disease. ...
  • May improve certain cancer treatments.

What climate is best for autoimmune diseases? ›

Another brief response from a different physician (not a study, just clinical advice) advises that in most cases the best weather for autoimmune patients is warm and dry, such as in the Southwest.

Can u drink alkaline water everyday? ›

We recommend drinking eight to twelve glasses (or two to three litres) of alkaline water per day to experience optimal benefits. Don't make a fast switch, though - transition slowly by mixing up your alkaline water intake with regular water while you get used to the changes your body's pH levels.

Does alkaline water get rid of inflammation? ›

A healthy alkaline-acidic food ratio is crucial in reducing the effects of inflammation and can also improve one's health by reducing blood sugar levels and maintaining your weight as well as your cholesterol levels.

What is the strongest anti-inflammatory? ›

What is the strongest anti-inflammatory medication? Research shows diclofenac is the strongest and most effective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine available. 10 Diclofenec is sold under the prescription brand names Cambia, Cataflam, Zipsor, and Zorvolex.

What is a natural anti-inflammatory for humans? ›

Garlic, like ginger, pineapple, and fatty fish, is a common food that's rich in anti-inflammatory compounds. Garlic is especially high in a compound called allicin, a potent anti-inflammatory agent that may also help strengthen the immune system to better ward off disease-causing pathogens ( 52 ).

What are some natural anti inflammatories? ›

Anti-inflammatory foods
  • tomatoes.
  • olive oil.
  • green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards.
  • nuts like almonds and walnuts.
  • fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines.
  • fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges.

Can baking soda raise your blood pressure? ›

High blood pressure: Sodium bicarbonate might increase blood pressure. People who already have high blood pressure should avoid sodium bicarbonate.

What does Himalayan salt and baking soda do? ›

A 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda in 1 quart of water will make even the more acidic water alkaline. A pinch of Celtic sea salt or Himalayan pink salt in a glass of water helps nourish adrenal fatiguesufferers and boost alkalinity. Enjoy organic herbal teas such as rooibos, peppermint, ginger, lemongrass, and nettle.

Does alkaline powder help for arthritis? ›

This incredible study from Institute for Prevention and Nutrition (Germany) provides clear and unquestionable evidence that using an alkaline mineral supplementation (30g daily) reduces pain and increased movement in patients with moderately active Rheumatoid Arthritis over a 12-week period [18].

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