Baking soda is an effective home remedy for heartburn and acid reflux which has helped soothe the symptoms of many sufferers but it is very high in sodium so it is not suitable for everyone to use nor it is suitable for long term use.
Baking soda works to ease the symptoms of heartburn and reflux because it neutralizes the stomach acids in exactly the same way as an OTC antacid but it should not be used by anyone taking prescription medication or with high blood pressure without first checking with your doctor or pharmacist.
Baking soda produces a chemical reaction when it combines with the Hydrochloric acid in your stomach and it breaks down to produce common salt, carbon dioxide and water. Just like an OTC antacid taking too much will reduce the acidity of the stomach to the situation where it is unable to digest food properly and this can then cause the body to compensate and produce more acid.
The use of baking soda as a heartburn and acid reflux remedy is so established that Arm and Hammer one of the major producers of baking soda provides directions for its use for this purpose. Their recommendations, unless directed otherwise by your medical practitioner, are as follows:
- If you are following a sodium restricted diet consult your doctor before use
- If you are taking a prescription drug consult your doctor or a pharmacist before use, as antacids may interact with certain prescription drugs
- Do not give to a child under the age of 5
- Add exactly 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to 1/2 glass (4 fl. oz.) of water and take every 2 hours
- The baking soda must be completely dissolved in the water before drinking or this could cause serious injury
- It is also important not to take this remedy when your stomach is overly full
- If you experience severe stomach pain after taking this product you should consult your doctor
- Do not exceed 7 x 1/2 teaspoons in any 24 hours unless over 60 when this should be restricted to 3 x 1/2 teaspoons
- Do not use the maximum dose for more than two weeks
- If the symptoms last more than two weeks stop using the baking soda to treat the heartburn and consult your doctor
Baking powder and baking soda are not the same. Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate but baking powder is not. Baking powder does contain sodium bicarbonate, but it also includes cream of tartar which is an acidifying agent, together with a drying agent which is normally starch.
Taking baking powder for your heartburn symptoms would have no effect as the baking powder would neutralize itself.
If you are looking for natural methods to relieve heartburn you might also like to read these articles:
- What to Eat for Heartburn – Five Foods to Stop Heartburn
- Ginger – A Natural Remedy for Heartburn
- Natural Heartburn Treatment – Apple Cider Vinegar
- Ayurvedic Heartburn and Acidity Remedies and Cures: Radishes
- Home Remedy for Reflux and Heartburn at Night: Bed Wedges
- Aromatherapy: How to Use Essential Oils for Heartburn Remedy