Baking Soda
Health Benefits

Baking Soda Side Effects

| Modified on May 02, 2024

Baking soda is a wonderful, cheap, easily available, remedy. It is versatile and easy to take. But for some it can have side effects.

Common side effects of baking soda include dryness of eyes, hair and skin. For some it causes nausea, joint pain, swelling, weight gain, kidney stones and heart palpitations. Use topically (especially as a deodorant) it has caused an uncomfortable rash for some.

If you decide to try baking soda, start with a small amount and increase slowly. Always monitor your reaction to new remedies and discontinue using a remedy that is giving you side effects.

Continue reading below for all the side effects reported from Earth Clinic readers over the years. If you have experienced a reaction after drinking some baking soda in water, please add your feedback so that others may learn from you!

29 User Reviews

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Posted by Ali (Wales) on 04/03/2016

I have gastroparesis so food stays in my stomach considerably longer than normal. Taking sodium bicarbonate at any time after meals is pretty risky for me so if I do take it, it's usually first thing in the morning.

Baking Soda Side Effects
Posted by Hisjewel (America, New York) on 12/26/2015

Baking soda is a quick heal for me when it comes to alkalizing. However I just realized the sharp stabbing pains that I get on the sides and the top of my feet which I thought were nerve pains were caused by the baking soda.

I did eat quite a bit of sweets yesterday and I wanted to protect my body from a possible UTI, so this morning I put about a tablespoon ( I know, that's a lot) of baking soda in a cup of hot water and add a tablespoon of molasses and drank it. And the pain that was seemly along a nerve line started shortly thereafter. Now I am about to drank some extra water to tone that down.

Have a great day!

Replied by Hisjewel
(America, New York)

Season Greetings to All,

The baking soda and molasses mixture worked for me again. This is the third day after the Christmas and there has been no kickback other than the noted foot pain which was chased away with lots water.

Now I have to focus on detoxing my body before the coming New Year's Shut in.

Baking Soda Side Effects
Posted by Joy (Battleground, Wash) on 04/19/2013

Years ago, many, I was allergic to everything and taking lots of vitamins... and minerals and fleas would bite me if I didn't take enough supplements. Mosquitos never bite me, just if there was a flea around, it would bite numerous times and leave welts.

I was also sick to my stomach till I was over 40, so there was a time I would use baking soda to stop a bad reaction to food. Well, when I used the baking soda, a short time after I drank it in water, fleas would start to bite me. It seemed to neutralize my supplements.

Baking Soda Side Effects
Posted by Baldev (Mumbai, Maharashtra, India) on 12/15/2012 185 posts

My question is for Ted, Bill or any body who can give some explanation for some one to develop too much of gas after taking sodium bi carbonate even with apple cider vinegar or with lemon. Some time soda is used in cooking and if that food is consumed even that creates lot of gas. I would like to know if some body else also had this type of experience, and if so what was the remedy. Thanks. Baldev

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

Baldev, just taking a wild guess: try taking MUCH less and see if it works out better.

Replied by Jan
(Liverpool, England)

I totally agree I have had loads of gas too.

Replied by Joan
(Cairo, Egypt)

Look into proper Food Combining... It may be the fruit you're eating! BSoda is best taken 1teaspoon in 1mug 8oz water on an EMPTY stomach... Look at Food combining charts under Alkaline Diets... Good luck!

Baking Soda Side Effects
Posted by Palpy (Anon) on 08/24/2012

When I tried the baking soda and water remedy, I got heart palpitations when I went to sleep. They stopped when I stopped the baking soda.

I then tried the apple cider vinegar and baking soda and still get palpitations when I lay down at night but not quite as bad. Is there anything else I can take with the alkalizing drinks to preserve my bicarbonates if I am probably too sodium sensitive to handle even small amounts of the baking soda?

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

Palpy, try just water with a few drops of lemon squeezed in, a couple of times a day.

Replied by Timh
(Louisville, Ky, Usa)
2063 posts

Palpy, supplement either a Cal/Mag daily or Magnesium itself. This will help in both alkalization and heart rhythm. Sea Salt is also good alkalizer. Supplementing Coenzyme 10 (CoQ10) or Ubiquinol plus Vit-E would greatly strengthen your heart as well as give you more energy.

Replied by Palpy

Thank you Mmsg and Timh!

Baking Soda Side Effects
Posted by Jeremy (Content, Jamaica Wi) on 05/27/2012

I used this for a couple of years for GERD and found that it built up and formed 2 large stones in my left kidney, said stones are proving resistant to every attempt to remove.

Replied by Baldev
(Mumbai, Maharashtra, India)
185 posts

Baking Soda is Sodium bi Carbonate and therefore taking it for any length of time can never in my opinion form any kidney stone. The reason could be some thing else. Since it may convey a wrong message I would like to request Ted/Bill to give their opinion because Baking Soda is a very popular ingredient of this site. Baldev

Baking Soda Side Effects
Posted by Fleur 5 (Dallas, Tx) on 09/20/2011

Dry eyes caused by baking soda

Eight months ago I took quarter teaspoon of baking soda and lemon juice plus water every evening for two weeks. My eyes became so dry, I was using eyedrops multiple times per day and night, but did not put the two together. After, my eyes were normal. Last week I decided to try the regime again, and after one dose in the evening, the next day I suffered from extreme dry eyes, and slight blurred vision. I took no further concoction, and the following days, and since, my eyes have been fine. I wonder if anyone else has experienced a similar reaction.

Baking Soda Side Effects
Posted by Alicia (Vancouver, Canada) on 08/19/2011


Hello everyone I am having a serious reaction to baking soda, I found a remedy on here for BO which was bothering me under left armpit. After reading the many posts about BS I tried it---I tried it wet, I stood in front of the fan so it could dry, I tried it dry by the handful, I tried rubbing I tried patting. Problem is---it itches and burns like heck. I shave every few days so I would wait for a while before applying the BS, it would start itching within the hour. It did kill the BO after a few days of consistent applications, and I still sweat but now my armpits have turned a dark brown color with the skin thickened / raised and wrinkled. What am I doing wrong??? I am willing to continue the BS as it does help with odor but now I have to choose between smelly but human colored armpits or non-smelly dark and thickedned brown welts with white powder residue when I raise my arm. The brown thick skin eventually peels off in about a week if I don't use the BS during that time, but the itching and burning is so intense. So long to sleeveless shirts. Also when I used the BS wet, it would continually fall out when I'd raise my arm, not cute when you're on a crowded bus he he. Please, I need some advice, I can't be the only one, thanks in advance.

Replied by Sheila
(San Diego, Ca, Usa)

Hi Alicia,

I tried what you did with the baking soda, and had the same results: itchy, dark armpits with fainter BO. I stopped using it. The darkening skin was worrisome. Candida overgrowth can be one cause of BO, maybe not for everyone, but I started looking into it more.

I switched to using EV Organic Coconut oil under the arms, right after a shower/shave. Using EVOC lightened the darkness that the BS caused, and I didn't seem to have a problem with staining on my clothes at the 'pits. I did put my shirts/blouses on with a little more care since I didn't want the oil to rub onto more visible parts of my clothing. Certain sweatier days, I had to apply it twice. It took about a month to lighten my skin back to normal.

I've now switched to using Aubrey's Vit E High C deodorant rollon. I'm pretty happy with it, despite having to apply it twice on occasion as well. Once I address the Candida overgrowth, internally, I'm hoping that I may not have to try other remedies, nor buy more Aubrey's, for the Candida and/or bacteria that is making the BO externally.

Replied by Alicia
(Vancouver, Canada)

Thank you so much Sheila for your reply, I'm SO glad I'm not the only one with that reaction, I was beginning to feel like a freak. Will look into both of the items you mentioned. I'm wondering if the oil is the same kind as used for cooking or would I have to try a health store? Does it not leave grease marks on clothes?? Thank you for mentioning Candida--I hadn't thought of that.

Replied by Tline
(Lagos, Lekki)

Try lime, simply slice into 2 and scrub your underarms thoroughly with it. Clean with water or shower afterwards, you'll smell clean all day.

Replied by Lisa
(Los Angeles, Ca)
32 posts

I have been using hydrogen peroxide on my armpits lately, ever since I realized my salt rock had aluminum in it. Peroxide kills bacteria so anything that kills bacteria probably works. It lasts all day and we have had a very hot August over 100 degrees every day.

Replied by Nancy

I used baking soda for BO around my private area. I experienced the hard skin, thickening AND peeling. After the peeling, I have had baby smooth skin. I also used it for my feet. My toe nails fell off and grew back healthy and thin.

Replied by Becky
31 posts

To Nancy in regards to Baking Soda.

I have been diagnosed with Lichen Sclerosis of the vaginal erea. I believe this to be yeast/fungal. Odor for years. I know I actually have a systemic candida infection because most of my skin has changed.

Could you be more specific on how you used the bs? Soak in the tube? If so how did you use, how much how often? I have been soaking my feet in 1/4 borax.

Greatly appriciate the help!


Baking Soda Side Effects
Posted by Jasmine (Adelaide, South Australia) on 07/17/2011

I have been taking 1/2 tspn baking soda in 1/2 glass of water first thing in the morning before food. It seems to make me feel extremely nauseous. I sip it slowly but I still get very nauseous. The feeling passes and then I drink some more and the same thing happens. Any one know why? Or is this a normal reaction.

Replied by Maria
(Gippsland, Australia)

Hi Jasmine, Are you using Bi-Carb Soda (baking soda in the US) or the Australian baking soda which is different? It should be bi-carb soda here. You also need 1. 5 - 2 hrs before you eat. If you are doing these then try instead 1/4 teaspoon bi-carb with the juice of one lemon in 1/2 - 1 glass of water. Or try it mid morning or afternoon instead. All the best, Maria

Replied by Jasmine
(Adelaide, South Australia)

Hi Maria

thanks for your reply. I am taking the Mckenzies brand(australian) of bi-carb soda which has baking soda written underneath. Anyway I will try your suggestions. Thanks

Baking Soda Side Effects
Posted by Mojo (London, Uk) on 03/18/2011

I'm a great fan of Earth Clinic. Like others, I, too, tried ACV and BS, but think I may be allergic to the BS. Immediately that evening after drinking some BS in water, with a little ACV, my nostrils became completely blocked. I could not breathe through them for the rest of the night. I realised later it must have been a severe sinus reaction. Rather scary.

I regularly take ACV in water and have no side effects. To test my theory, I tried a tiny bit of ACV and BS in water again a few months later, same results only less severe due to small amount. I didn't experience any other discomfort, just the nose closing up.

I wonder if anyone else experienced similar and how they dealt with it as I understand BS is supposed to be beneficial.

Baking Soda Side Effects
Posted by Mesem (Toulon, France) on 01/05/2011

I grew up in the 1970's with parents who took cidre vinegar, brewers yeast, molasses, kelp, yogurt etc. My mother did not like using bicarbonate of soda in cooking because it destroys B-vitamins. Many restaurants use it to make their greens look greener - beware. I cannot follow Ted's advice of SB with ACV because of this.

Baking Soda Side Effects
Posted by Lilus (Algiers, Algeria) on 10/04/2010

This question for Ted or Bill or any one who knows the answer, I used baking soda with ACV last year and after about a week my skin and my hair got very dry then I switched to ACV with honey and my skin and hair were normal again. The past week I started lemon with BS and my skin now is very dry , I think the BS is the cause of this dryness, so please any thoughts. Thank you.

Baking Soda Side Effects
Posted by Wilma (Ingram, Tx) on 09/02/2010

Please be careful with baking soda. It took me 2 years to realize it was cleaning with baking soda that was causing the skin around my finger nails to crack and bleed... Very painful. Use rubber gloves to clean with baking soda. It also caused a rash when I wash my hair with it. It took me several months to figure that one out since the rash didn't start when I first used it... It didn't start until several months later.

Replied by Francisca
(Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France)

Wilma, I suppose that you use what we call bicarbonate of soda, if so I have been using it in my bath water and also to exfoliate my face with very good results. Maybe you are allergic to it....

Replied by Dallas
(Amesbury, Ma)

I have used baking soda and coconut oil as a deodorant and it is super! Best deodorant I have ever used. However after using it for a while, I broke out in a flat, red, itchy rash about the size of a quarter or a bit bigger in both underarms. Coconut oil alone has never given me a skin problem. Nothing I have used gets rid of this rash though I discontinued this protocol at least a couple of months ago. Anyone have any idea as to how to get rid of a rash like this?

Replied by Mama To Many
(Tennessee, Usa)

Hi Dallas,

One of my teen sons has had this happen to him, several times. He has very sensitive armpits and has had just the rash you describe, even from natural deodorants. He had immense relief from a home-made salve I made for him. It has been a while and I don't recall the exact recipe. But any natural salve made with calendula would be similar. Plantain, comfrey and chickweed would all be good for your skin if they would be in a natural salve you could find. I think the one I made had some tea tree essential oil in it.

If you can't find something like that, try A&D ointment (the original one) for diaper rash. It has to be the name brand and the original. I believe it is effective because of the Cod Liver Oil (for the A&D.) Generic has A&D but the source is not Cod Liver Oil and I find it doesn't work at all. You would find this in the baby section of any store with a baby section.

If neither of those work, it could be a fungal rash, though it does just seem to be a reaction to the baking soda.

By the way, my son can use Alvera Aloe deodorant. He works on a farm and gets very sweaty and this really does work for him. He has used it for years with no reaction.

Let us know how it goes! If none of these work, I will try and think of more ideas. We have dealt with many skin issues in our family.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Anon

Since the rash happened probably because of the baking soda, which is alkaline, maybe applying an acid like apple cider vinegar would soothe it?

Replied by Nanowriter
(Hotspot, Texas)

I have had good luck using zinc ointment for skin irritation. The kind I use has no petroleum and has chamomile in it as well as zinc.

Replied by Dallas
(Amesbury, Ma)

Thanks, Anon. I will consider using your idea for a treatment, but as the rash is not only itchy, it burns a lot too, and many things I put on it make that burning worse. ACV probably would be no exception. But if things settle down, I might just try it.

Replied by Dallas
(Amesbury, Ma)

Dear Mom to Many,

I too, am a mom to many. Thanks for your advice. I have tried the A&D and it helps for a while but then the rash comes back as strong as ever. I will look at your other ideas and see what to try next.

Replied by KT

FYI: I just checked our drug store brand generic A&D and the first ingredient on it is cod liver oil. It also says to compare the ingredients with the original. Costs less and works well for us. As far as rashes go...could be something that is being eaten. I had to make a list of everything I ate and what time I ate it to observe what reaction I was having when. Food is changing. Our entire food supply is being infiltrated with hidden sources of MSG and GMO's. Everyone is on his own to find what is safe.

Replied by Mama To Many
(Tennessee, Usa)


Thanks for letting us know about the generic A&D. That is good to know. It has been years since I checked on that. I don't know if all generics have Cod Liver Oil, but glad at least one does.


Borage Oil, internally, helped me to clear up a chronic skin rash. Just another thing you can try. Let us know how it goes!

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Dallas
(Amesbury, Ma)

Thanks, Mama to many. I will add that to my list of things to try.

Replied by Dallas
(Amesbury, Ma)

Well, I do have food allergies but they never have shown themselves in quite this way before - I have had other kinds of rashes before ie: eczema which were caused by food allergies, so why not?

Replied by Dallas
(Amesbury, Ma)
6 posts

Hi, Mama to Many. Sorry to be so long in replying. BTW, I am also a mama to many. I took your advice and did get diaper cream but couldn't find the one you suggested. I got another one, D-----n which also has cod liver oil. It took a while to clear up the rash but it worked and the cream itself makes a good deodorant.

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Dallas,

Thanks for giving an update! It is always helpful to know what works for others. Glad you found something that worked for you.

~Mama to Many~

Baking Soda Side Effects
Posted by Dallas2 (Amesbury, Ma, Usa) on 08/29/2010

Dear EC: I have been doing the baking soda remedy for raising body chemistry pH. I have put baking soda in my water because it is acidic - to raise the pH to about 7.2. This remedy, as well as the borax remedy, gives me sore kidneys, as well as making me urinate what seems to be much more than I am taking in, and almost totally clear urine at that. I try to drink my proper quota but know, however, that I seldom drink as much as I should. I know that the copious amount of clear urine can be a sign of kidney problems, yet I have had these problems on and off years ago (pre baking soda or borax in water) and cured them by going off all sugar, so I suspect that the problem was originally yeast, and that the baking soda and/or borax is killing yeast and giving me a herxheimer reaction. Yet, kidney pain with copious amounts of almost clear urine is a bit scary. Has anyone else had this problem or can anyone explain what might be happening?

Baking Soda Side Effects
Posted by Dallas2 (Amesbury, Ma, Usa) on 08/29/2010

I just wrote a post re: kidney pain and baking soda/borax use. I forgot to mention that I have recently become a vegetarian.

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