Baking Soda Remedies and Natural Cures: Q&A
Last Modified on Nov 18, 2012
- RETURN TO MAIN SECTION
- Will Sodium Bicarbonate Use Cause Me to Form Kidney Stones?
- Are Baking Soda and Bicarbonate of Soda the Same?
- Is Baking Soda an Antacid?
- High Sodium Content of Baking Soda Have an Impact on the Body?
- Calcium Carbonate Substitute for Baking Soda Effective?
- Does Bs Raise Blood Pressure?
- Sodium Levels
- Box Warnings
- Pregnancy and Baking Soda
- Can It Cause Stomach Cancer?
- Sodium Free Bs As Good or Better?
- Should I Use It with Apple Cider Vinegar?
Will Sodium Bicarbonate Use Cause Me to Form Kidney Stones?
11/18/2012: Miki from Los Angeles, California: "Dear Ted, I am so nervous to try using Sodium bicarbonate, afraid that it will cause me to form a kidney stone. Please advise me if what dosage of SB is safe to avoid kidney stone forming when I begun or start taking it... Thank you so much. Miki"
Are Baking Soda and Bicarbonate of Soda the Same?
07/08/2012: Steve from Leeds, West Yorkshire: "Hi Ted, When you keep mentioning Baking Soda with ACV, do you mean Bicarbonate of Soda or am I incorrect, thanks!"
Is Baking Soda an Antacid?
02/22/2012: Lori from Delta, Co: "I remember when I was a kid my dad would give us a dose of baking soda to relieve our upset stomach. Does baking soda act as an antacid? If so, I've been reading how antacids contribute to malabsorption such as b12, I've been using 1/4 tsp. 2-3 times daily, and I am b12 deficient and have been for years. Would that contribute to the the deficiency? Also, I noticed since I quit using sea salt (1/4 tsp) daily I don't feel so bloaty. In fact I lost 3 pounds 3 weeks ago and still have kept it off. I have been doing the sea salt for a year now."
02/23/2012: Cameron from Brisbane, Qld, Australia replies: "Hi Lori, yes Baking Soda is an antacid. You need stomach acid, try space your meals out, eat less, lose weight. All these things will help you out. Take Apple Cider Vinegar instead, Sour Kraut also works, I hate Sour Kraut. Taking Apple Cider Vinegar should sort you out on its own but do not drink water with a meal either, if you overfill your stomach you put pressure on the esophagus and this lets the acid rise up causing heart burn."
I'm a member of Earth Clinic and have been using baking soda to "normalize" my body's PH - it does a great job doing this... I have a naturally acidic PH - I follow a healthy diet and drink lots of water and if i stop the Baking Soda, my PH becomes acid quickly. I believe that the production of acid in my body is created by another imbalance, I was recently diagnosed with having chronic candida by a meridian therapist - since I'm a guy, my doctor laughed at me when I told him this.
The reason for this message to you is to ask if the high level of sodium content has an impact on the body and/or any of the organs if I continue to take it - I believe that maintaining a balanced PH will help fix the candida, but I'm worried the high sodium will have an impact on blood pressure, renal activity, liver processing, etc.
Your support and advice will be much appreciated.
Thanks very much
11/01/2009: Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Dear Andrew: In medical research, bicarbonates for example, such as baking soda, or citrates, in form of sodium citrate don't raise sodium levels. What does raise the sodium levels are the chlorides found in common table salts. Chlorides are usually acidic, which causes a raise in blood pressure within minutes after ingestion, this doesn't happen in a baking soda, which is why it doesn't cause sodium retention. If you want sodium retention it's easy, common table salt has a pH of 5, which is very acid and causes the body to be acid, and it has to raise sodium levels, which are alkaline, to maintain it's needed alkaline levels. However, carbonates and bicarbonates, found in either baking soda or potassium bicarbonate, is what is actually needed by the body to maintain it's alkalinity. If a person worries needlessly about excessive sodium, most sodium retentions occur from eating snacks, preserved meats, common table salts, and eating dinner. The reason why eating dinner is a high risk meal of the day is after a person eating dinner, the food is retained during the night because it is retained, all that sodium and other toxic substance remain in your body, causing auto-toxicity. This is why most people die or get sick during sleep or late in the evening. If there is a day that people have bowel movement before their sleep and the bowel movement for the last meal of that day, there would be no food and waste material in their body, then it's not likely any toxic substance, sodium retention and the other things to interfere with their health during the night. Also, the best indicator for any health is really to just get a good blood test, to see if sodium potassium ratio is held in check, is a more direct approach to be sure. My experience is people who are on alkaline, and tries to avoid table salt, often ends up with a condition known as hypochlorydia, which is low chlorides, but at the same time low sodium. The condition is characterized as one of weakness. So the key solution is simply to know and monitor yourself of sodium or potassium, by following up on regular bowel movement is most important. A constipation can be either low potassium, high sodium, or an acid body. Those are the three doors, and anyone can occur, not just the sodium. My experience has been mostly acid body, low potassium, then high sodium (from common table salt) in that order. So I would worry more about getting my body alkaline, and taking some potassium supplements, preferably non chloride forms of potassium as chlorides are acid and the body tries to maintain the sodium to chloride, hence a slight rise in chloride, can raise sodium very quickly also. The other long term alkaline supplements I have found is the iodine, in form of lugols, which is most effective, as the body requires both the iodide and iodine. The SSKI in practice don't work as well as the lugol's since different organ's of the body requires different forms of iodine. The mixture I often prepared, is the 50% lugols, with 50% SSKI (a fancy name for potassium iodide solution), and the dose is taken perhaps in one liter of water 2 drops, or just 1-2 drops of the mentioned solution in a cup of water a day should get the body more stabilized. The reason is simple: all of our iodine are now gone from the food supply. They stopped the iodine bleaching of flour and white bread sometime in 1971 and replaced with bromine. The bromine is a halogen, which kicks out iodine, causing an iodine deficiency, but more interestingly, all non iodine halogens, fluorides, chlorides, bromides, causes the body to be very acid, which in the long run, causes the body to be acid again.
Calcium Carbonate Substitute for Baking Soda Effective?
07/08/2008: Marie from Birmingham, AL: "There is a substitute Baking Soda product that is made from Calcium Carbonate. Could this be a used instead of good old fashioned baking soda for the many maladies (viruses, cancer)with the same success of alkalanizing your body for those who are low sodium diets?"
07/09/2008: Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Calcium carbonate isn't water soluble and therefore it doesn't go into the bloodstream that easily. Taking them didn't have the alkalizing effect either as most of them generally go out of the stool and sometimes causes constipation.
The best substitute for sodium bicarbonate is a half and half mixture of sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate. Another good one is trisodium citrate, in fact trisodium citrate actually worked better on alkalizing effect in terms of the length of alkalizing than does the sodium bicarbonate. Sometimes if I have low potassium, I may also use potassium citrate. Actually a non sodium or potassium substitute is actually not calcium carbonate, but it is magnesium bicarbonate. The problem about magnesium bicarbonate is it exists only in water and is reacted with soda water to make that, which is relatively inconvenient. Once company makes magnesium bicarbonate, called Unique Water sold in Australia used to treat arthritis. One possible substitute for magnesium bicarbonate might be magnesium citrate, but I haven't quite tested it's effectiveness in alkalizing. Generally, calcium carbonate is something I won't use to substitute for baking soda because it's a bad substitute and excessive use leads to kidney stones, constipation, cataract (increases calcium in the eye lens), encourages polycystic kidney disease, and a host of other problems. However calcium carbonate can be use as a component of toothpaste because of its abrasive properties along with an appropriate surfactants.
Does Bs Raise Blood Pressure?
12/17/2007: Betty from Aurora, USA: "I have Hypertension. Started the vinegar with molasses and soda and HBP got higher. Could that be from the soda? I cut it down to 1/4t but did not seem to help. Thanks Betty in Colorado"
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Dear Betty: The hypertension may have come from the black strap molasses and possibly vinegar. The baking soda should be 1/2 teaspoon in 1/2 glass of water taken twice a day and avoid dinner or eat a very early dinner, e.g. 3 p.m. The major control of the body's blood pressure is actually controlled by sodium nitrite. But sodium nitrite degrades relatively quickly to make it use in lowering blood pressure if the body is acidic. That is because sodium nitrite quickly degrades to nitric oxide which defeats its purpose in toward its intended target in reduction of constricted vessels before it reaches its destination.
Therefore, I would take sufficient get urinary pH to near 7, and at least for now avoid vinegar, black strap molasses, NO FRUIT JUICES, no french fries, no fried foods, snacks, corn syrup, and no dinner if the blood pressure is too high. Once the critical phases is over, only light dinners free from any vegetable oils or using coconut oil as substitute are actually a lot safer. Time and time again, common table salt caused high blood pressure while a sea salt does the opposite, due to the reason that sea salt pH is about 8 while a common table salt pH is quite acid at 5. Again, avoid sugar and salt added together when preparing any meals, especially common table salt. Avoid all canned foods and packaged food when eating, as it is high in psuedoestrogen contaminants and just prepare foods the old fashioned way.
If fear of too much sodium (I experience don't seem to indicate sodium, it is the chlorine!) then just add potassium. Chlorinated water, fluoriated water, and even sulfites found in dried fruits can lead to high blood pressure within hours, while french fries and potato chips and even popcorn in some cases can raise blood pressure even faster. I don't know why no one bother to mention this, it has problem occurs all the time with friends and family I know.
Lecithin can help, at lest reduce the free fatty acids, such as one tablespoon of granulated lecithin eaten along with foods a day.
10/14/2007: O from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: "for those who are trying to cut back on soduim there are 821-980 mg "sodium" in one teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. and sorry for my english."
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "If people want to reduce the sodium level there is a couple of things that can be done: 1. Reduce chlorination or chloride intake and acid forming foods. The body if it sees chlorine, or chloride rich foods,tries to inctease the level of sodium to maintain its alkalinity. 2. Take more potassium, but should be taking where the body is in a reasonable ratio. For example 1/4 teaspoon of potassium bicarbonate plus 1/8 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate in 1/2 glass of water. The potassium will displace the sodium. 3. There are studies that show the problem is not the sodium retention, but the excess chloride that is a problem. The ratio is maintained where the sodium to chloride is 1: 0.7. If chloride rich diets (which can come from hydrochorides, such as Thiamine hydrochloride B1, and Pyridoxine hydrochloride, or other hydrochloride and chlorinated water. Therefore, the best way to deal with is to use a dechlorinator, such as sodium thiosulfate to neutralize the chlorinated water. Ordinary salt sodium chloride Iwould avoid and use sea salt. The reason is simple,ordinary salt sodium chloride is acid, which causes the body to retain more sodium, while the sea salt is alkaline which causes the body to retain less sodium. 4. Halogens (fluoride, bromine, chlorine, ec.) causes the body to retain more sodium to protect its pH, and as a result causes more sodium retention. Therefore avoiding of foods rich in bromine, usually comes from white flour (bromine processes), white bread, and other bleached white products. The cause is not sodium. The body retains sodium because it is trying to protect its pH. Sodium is an alkaline, and the reason why sodium retention occurs is our diets and drugs are rich in halogens, in particular is the chloride and bleaching of flour using the bromine process. Hence a general remedy is to avoid halogen rich foods (bleached flour and bread) and alkalize, using either using a baking soda to do that at the very least, or 1/4 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate plus 1/4 teaspoon of potassium citrate in 1/2 glass of water taken twice a day. The sodium bicarbonate won't cause sodium retention generally as it will displace or reduce the chloride ratios in the body that is in excess. But if you want a more direct method some potassium added may help, but they too must be taken along with sodium bicarbonate at the very least to maintain a critical sodium:potassium ratio."
10/13/2007: E : "I was very excited to learn of the ACV soda (2 tbs ACV, ½ tsp soda 3x per day)remedy and got results immediately so I promptly told all my closest friends who are experiencing peri-menopause' .. then I was taken aback by the warning on the Arm and Hammer box that stated do not exceed 1 ½ tsp per day, and don't take it for more than 2 weeks, do not take if you're on a sodium restricted diet ( a reduced amount is recommended for those 60 yrs and older). what if any is the baking soda risk, and is that risk mitigated by the chemical reaction with the ACV.. I have only been using the remedy for a few days and would like to feel comfortable to continue with it and refer my friends."
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Esther: Baking soda is a food used for coooking or as foodalone and they sell them as such. Hence a legalwarning is needed for them to avoid improper use.
Blood pressure is due to chloride component of thesodium chloride, rather than the sodium. The bodyneeds to retain a Sodium ratio higher than a chloride,such as a ratio of Sodium to Chloride of 1: .70, forexample.
The remedies I recommend were always below theirwarning anyway. Also it is taken only 5 days out of aweek only (baking soda or ACV and baking soda). Thusall the remedies mentioned were within their warningwith exception of the sodium issue. I can easily raiseanyone's blood pressure with a chlorinated water,sugar, and common table salt. A sodium retentionoccurs whenever the body retains too much chlorine inhis or her body, from eating too much vegetable oilfood, and cheese. This has always been my observation.To prove yourself that baking soda is not at issue,blood pressure can be monitored. However, in general abaking soda has a laxative effect, which generallylowers the blood pressure. It should be noted thamenstruation often results in lowered blood pressureas the body looses blood, and the baking soda, whiledo not raise the blood pressure do in fact helpstabilize them. If a lower blood pressure is desiredor a lower sodium is needed, it is the chloride,fluoride, sugar AND vegetable oils are restricted. Ionce had a woman friend of mind to challenge me on thechlorine issue that she thought sodium retention wasthe real culprit, so upon drinking a heavilychlorinated water, the blood pressure rose almostimmediately that she had to take the baking soda toreduced the chloride ratio in the body needed tostabilize it. Blood pressure rises and sodiumretentions usually goes hand in hand.
As a former chemist, reaction of baking soda and ACVthere is no change chemically except its pH. If youwon't do, the body needs to do it anyway with itsavailable bicarbonates to neutralize the ACV.Unfortunately, people have limited amounts ofbicarbonate in their body and this causes problemsfrom ACV uses. Therefore, to chance ACV chemically,you need to do much more chemical reactions such assulfuric acid, and other strong acids, if only a pHchanges, chemically they are the same. In fact mostconsumer products, chemist use baking soda, and othersimilar buffers necessary to stabilize the pH in theproducts so that they can have desirable stabilityfor greater shelf life. Human body is also the same,and the pH should also be kept within narrow range andthe body do need available bicarbonates to keep ourbodies healthy for longer life."
Pregnancy and Baking Soda
09/29/2007: MM : "Ted, Thanks a lot for your prompt reply. Does it mean (since your post is a little bit too medical for me) in the simple words that is safe to use baking soda in pregnancy?"
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "It is safe if taken in reasonable dose, but too muchwill cause diarrhea and lower blood pressure. Most ofthe dangerous salts is not from the sodium, it is formthe chloride, chlorine, bromine which is the realproblem.
Here is a "medical commentary":
: Med Hypotheses. 2004;63(1):138-48.
Should we restrict chloride rather than sodium?McCarty MF.
Pantox Laboratories, 4622 Santa Fe St., San Diego, CA92109, USA. email@example.com
Low-salt diets have potential for prevention andtreatment of hypertension, and may also reduce riskfor stroke, left ventricular hypertrophy,osteoporosis, renal stones, asthma, cataract, gastricpathology, and possibly even senile dementia.Nonetheless, the fact that salt restriction evokescertain counter-regulatory metabolic responses--increased production of renin and angiotensin II, aswell as increased sympathetic activity--that arepotentially inimical to vascular health, has suggestedto some observers that salt restriction might not beof unalloyed benefit, and might in fact becontraindicated in some "salt-resistant" subjects.Current epidemiology indicates that lower-salt dietstend to reduce coronary risk quite markedly in obesesubjects, whereas the impact of such diets on leanersubjects (who are less likely to be salt sensitive) isequivocal--seemingly consistent with the possibilitythat salt restriction can exert countervailing effectson vascular health. There is considerable evidencethat sodium chloride, rather than sodium per se, is responsible for the known adverse effects of dietarysalt. Other non-halide sodium salts, such as sodiumcitrate or bicarbonate, do not raise plasma volume,increase blood pressure, boost urinary calcium loss,or promote stroke in stroke-prone rats. Nonetheless,these compounds have been shown to blunt the impact ofsalt restriction on renin, angiotensin II, andsympathetic activity in humans. This may rationalizelimited clinical evidence that organic sodium saltscan decrease blood pressure in salt-restrictedhypertensives. Furthermore, organic sodium salts havean alkalinizing metabolic impact favorable to bonehealth. These considerations suggest that restrictingdietary salt to the extent feasible, while encouragingconsumption of organic sodium salts in mineral waters,soft drinks, or other nutraceuticals--preferably inconjunction with organic potassium salts andtaurine--may represent a superior strategy forcontrolling blood pressure, promoting vascular health,and preserving bone density. Further clinical studiesshould determine whether a moderately salt-restricteddiet supplemented with organic sodium salts has abetter and more uniform impact on hypertension thansalt restriction alone, while rodent studies shouldexamine the comparative impact of these regimens onrodents prone to vascular disease."
Pregnancy and Baking Soda
09/28/2007: MM : "Hi Ted, I am not sure if this is the way to contact you, and I do apologize in advance if it is not. However, I am still hoping that I will receive reply from you.I have, totally by chance, found out your Earthclinic website, which I think is really great. My question is: I am 29 weeks pregnant, and was using for a last month baking soda for different things (from washing fruit and vegetables to drinking it for the heartburn), however (since I am very paranoic type of person!!!), I am wondering if this is 100% safe to take in pregnancy (well, I mean, can that in any way harm the baby, which is my greatest concern). For washing fruit and vegetable I have used couple of spoons in maybe 1/2-1L of water, and for drinking, just half spoon in the glass of water on the daily basis. Please let me know you opinion and if I should stop with this remedy in pregnancy, or is safe to carry on. Many thanks in advance"
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Generally the most damage that can be done to a baby is when the mother becomes malnourished, the mother suffers acidosis (acidic urine pH of below 7), electrolytes become imbalance such as not having enough magnesium, causing cramps.
Generally speaking taking some prenatal vitamins which have vitamin B complex helps. A condition of acidosis can be checked to see if urine pH is within normal parameters, and if not it can be ascertained bicarbonate levels of the body is low.
Hence, if the body is low on bicarbonate and a heart burn is indicated, then if it helps the mother from her sickness, taking them would at least allow the body to achieve normal pH parameters.
At the very least, baking soda should reduce nausea and vomiting. Assuming baking soda is not use and the body undergoes acidosis, bringing on vomiting from acidosis whenever the body tries to throw off excess acid may actually disrupt the body's delicate electrolyte balance more.
Hence some electrolyte drinks may be helpful too that contains potassium and in some rare cases, a good electrolyte drinks may also have the needed magnesium too."
Can It Cause Stomach Cancer?
09/14/2007: Mary from New Brunswick, Canada: "Asking about Soda Bicarb... a friend took it 2-3 times a day and after a few years was admitted to hospital with cancer of the stomach. Do we not need some acid in our stomaches to digest our food? Could this be a reason for her stomach cancer?"
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Not possible as cancer viruses don't exists in alkaline environment of a bicarbonate only when long term acid reflux, some bloody stool or difficulty of eating is often indicated months before stomach cancer. A stomach cancer cannot grow overnight or weeks.
My own experience is cancer causing chemical came from cooked cured meats), where cured meats containing heated at high temperature to form peroxynitrite, acrylamide and other dangerous substance, and those are well known to cause them. Still it takes at least over a year of eating to get it, if you try hard enough. Severe stress, such as death in the family can appear quicker, but still it takes almost a year.
I can incorrectly blame drinking water and breathing air to cause cancer too. I should have had it from taking baking soda too, since I have been taking them for more than 35 years.
Sodium Free Bs As Good or Better?
09/05/2007: Carolynne from Cordova, Tennessee, USA: "I have a question about sodium free baking soda. Does it work as well as regular baking soda to bring your body to an alkaline balance? I don't want the extra salt from regular baking soda, especially at night when I'm going to bed. I like to drink the acv and baking soda with water, but feel that there's to much sodium in the regular baking soda. The sodium free is Calcium Carbonate. Thanks"
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "I'wouldn't use the sodium free baking soda, calcium carbonate is poorly absorbed since they don't dissolve in a glass of water as readily. Also calcium carbonate is problematic, you also need magnesium to balance out the critical magnesium: calcium ratio. Since calcium carbonate is poorly absorbed, it won't alkalize the body and the pH would not budge. Actually sodium citrate are a more superior form of alkalizing as it chelates out the calcium. In certain kidney diseases, such as polycystic kidney disease, the use calcium carbonate is dangerous and can destroy the kidneys."
Should I Use It with Apple Cider Vinegar?
07/21/2007: Chi from St. Louis, MO: "Thanks a lot Ted for helping people cure lots of ailments w/ ACV n baking soda. I decided to give this a try. I also assumed my body was already acidic b/c I suffer from unexplained bloating and slightly swellingon my feet. I started off last night by taking 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda in an 8oz. cup of water. I woke up this morning very tired and I've aches on my back!!! What could be causing this and what should I do? Should I start using ACV or should I wait to take it after 2weeks??? My urine was colorless so I assumed it was close to PH of 7. I'll appreciate ur advice.."
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "In case the backaches, it means the body has an electrolyte imbalances, usually of low magnesium. In that case, try another remedy, sea salt. In that remedy, I would try 1/4 teaspoon of SEA SALT in one liter of water and use this as a drinking water for a week to help correct the some micro and macro mineral imbalances, usually often it is the lack of magnesium and too much calcium in the body. Once corrected, it appears the lemon and baking soda formula will work better as it removes excess calcium which causes the back problems. Also taking magesium citrate supplements 250 mg/day (no calcium) for 5 days out of a week is what I would take for about a month. Vitamin B complex is what I would likely to take for 2 days out of a week. The back pain should go away before the week is out.."
04/10/2013: Florence from Brooklyn, New York replies: "it is ok to use baking soda while you are pregancy, I use it when I was preg with my son and I feel good and never had any problem that was 3years ago, now am preg again and still use it am only 3 months preg. it good for acid reflux, heartburn."