Using Baking Soda for Heartburn: Is It Effective?


Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux that causes a burning sensation in your chest and a very unpleasant taste in your mouth. People dealing with this problem might try various tips and tricks to get rid of this common problem or even turn to medication. Some over-the-counter and prescription drugs that contain sodium bicarbonate have proven to be an effective treatment for heartburn.

However, some people also use common baking soda for heartburn. Yes, simply the one you can probably find in your kitchen cupboard right now. Continue reading to find out how to use baking soda for heartburn and learn about other benefits or limitations it might have.

What Exactly Is Baking Soda?

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a type of salt that consists of sodium and bicarbonate ions. It usually appears as a white crystalline solid or a fine powder. Sounds familiar? This is probably because it is frequently used as a baking agent that becomes activated by a liquid and an acid to help with leavening, therefore helping your desserts become light and fluffy.

Baking soda on a spoon and in a glass jar for filing.

It is important to distinguish baking soda from baking powder, especially when using it outside the kitchen. The difference is that the latter one is a complete leavening agent, meaning it contains both sodium bicarbonate and acid and is therefore not alkaline-only powder like baking soda.

While the baking powder is more limited to use in the kitchen, baking soda has a variety of additional household uses and health benefits.

What Are Some Benefits of Baking Soda?

Aside from baking and cleaning, baking soda can also be used for medical purposes. For example, sodium bicarbonate can help people with a urinary tract infection as it makes their urine more alkaline. It is known to treat canker sores, small but painfully annoying ulcers inside your mouth. Additionally, soaking in a baking soda bath can soothe itchy skin as a result of bug bites or stings.

Moreover, baking soda is also a natural antacid (a substance that is used to neutralise stomach acid), which is why many people use it to get rid of heartburn. The connection between baking soda and heartburn relief lies in the fact that baking soda has an alkaline pH and can therefore neutralise the excess stomach acid that causes those unpleasant symptoms.

A young woman sits on a green couch and clings to her burning chest.

Does Baking Soda Treat Heartburn?

As mentioned above, baking soda acts as one of the natural heartburn remedies thanks to sodium bicarbonate. 

So how does baking soda work in case of heartburn? It has an alkaline pH, which quickly neutralises the excess stomach acid that causes symptoms, mimicking many over-the-counter antacids. So, if you are wondering how to get rid of heartburn fast, baking soda might be the right answer.

However, try not to overdo it. A sudden and significant decrease in stomach acidity can cause acid rebound and your symptoms of acid reflux may reappear even worse than before. Keep in mind that such heartburn relief may only be temporary.

How to Use Baking Soda to Ease Digestive Issues?

Now that you know the secret powers of a simple home remedy, you might be wondering how to actually treat heartburn with it – how do you use it? The whole procedure is pretty straightforward—dissolving up to a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of cold water is said to be the best dosage for heartburn issues. It is best to drink the mixture slowly to avoid side effects like gas and diarrhoea.

Baking soda in a glass jar for soaking and dissolved in a glass of Donat mineral water.

The treatment should always be discussed with your general practitioner, especially if you are not sure how much baking soda to take for heartburn. Despite being effective, there are also some other limitations of this treatment that do not necessarily make it the safest option for everyone.

Firstly, a combination of baking soda and water for heartburn is only meant to provide short-term relief and should not be used as a long-term treatment. Moreover, you should not take baking soda within 2 hours of taking other medication. 

The reason for this is that it neutralises your stomach acid which can also slow down the absorption of some medicine or change the way it works. This treatment is also not recommended for pregnant women and children under 6 years.Additionally, if you are on a low-sodium diet, keep in mind that baking soda is a type of salt, so caution is advised. In such cases, opt for other options that work towards providing adequate pH balance, such as Donat, a natural mineral water with an exceptionally high mineral content.

An elderly woman is sitting on the couch reading a book and drinking Donat mineral water.

Due to a high amount of hydrogen carbonates, it binds acids to themselves and consequently reduces the burning sensation in case of heartburn, which makes it an effective (and completely natural!) remedy for this medical issue – with no side effects. Want to give it a try? See how to make the most of it by drinking it properly and increasing its effectiveness.

Final thoughts

Baking soda is not only a great cleaning or leavening agent, but it also represents a good treatment for heartburn. A mixture of baking soda and water can offer a quick relief as it neutralises stomach acid.

However, it is not recommended as a long-term treatment, especially for people following a low-sodium diet. If you are dealing with chronic heartburn that interferes with your daily life, talk to your doctor who will help you find the best treatment option for you.

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