8 Health Benefits of Baking Soda

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Elizabeth Beasley on October 22, 2022
  • high angle of baking soda and measuring spoon
    Baking Soda Packs a Punch
    Baking soda may be one of the simplest items in your pantry, but it packs a lot of power when it comes to health benefits. It’s single ingredient, sodium bicarbonate, is a base that reacts with acids to lower acidity and keep pH levels balanced. That’s why it works so well in your stomach, on your teeth and skin, and with your food. The health benefits of baking soda cover such a wide range of ailments, you’ll want to keep a box in every room.
  • closeup of woman holding stomach
    1. Improves Digestion
    Drinking baking soda puts a stop to acid reflux and indigestion, because it changes stomach acid into sodium chloride and neutralizes heartburn. The bubbling that happens when you put baking soda in water also causes you to burp, which relieves bloating and gas. Simply dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of water, mix and drink. Don’t give baking soda to kids under 6-years-old, unless advised by a doctor.
  • middle age woman smiling
    2. Whitens Teeth
    Smile! Because baking soda is an affordable way to keep your teeth white and bright. Use baking soda for your teeth whitening a few times a week to maintain a healthy smile and good oral health. You can brush with a toothpaste containing baking soda or make your own paste with baking soda and water. For tough stains on your teeth, apply the paste and let it sit for two minutes before brushing. As a bonus, baking soda will freshen your breath, too.
  • Woman with elbow pain
    3. Reduces Inflammation and Infection
    Drinking a baking soda tonic, which is simply baking soda mixed in water, can help lower inflammation in the body. This helps with pain caused by joint inflammation, like arthritis. It can also help gout and urinary tract infections, by reducing acid in the urine.
  • womans-underarm
    4. Naturally Deodorizes
    Run out of deodorant? Head to the kitchen for a fast fix. Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply under your arms. You can also brush dry baking soda onto you armpits. This natural remedy is also a good way to avoid the parabens and aluminum that are in many deodorants and antiperspirants.
  • woman smiling at reflection in bathroom mirror
    5. Treats Skin Problems
    A box of baking soda in the bathroom will also keep your face looking clean and clear. It works as a mild exfoliant to remove dead skin, clear pores, and dry up pimples and acne. Baking soda is antibacterial, so it can help prevent breakouts, too. Try mixing it with honey or olive oil for a homemade skin scrub that’s gentle enough for your face and entire body.
  • mosquito-on-arm
    6. Soothes Bites and Stings
    A paste of baking soda and water is an easy trick to reduce pain, swelling and itching from stings and bites. It works for everything from bee stings to insect bites to jellyfish stings. Apply the paste to the affected area and let it dry. Leave it on for 15 minutes. Then scrape or rub the dried paste off your skin and re-apply as needed.
  • man-stretching-at-wall-before-run
    7. Improves Athletic Performance
    If you do endurance training, baking soda can keep you going longer. It’s alkaline properties reduce the effects of lactic acid build up after you’ve been exercising for a long period of time. Try this easy-to-make energy drink: Mix four cups of water with a half teaspoon of baking soda, one teaspoon of sea salt, one tablespoon of lemon juice, and two tablespoons of raw honey. It’ll give you more stamina and help your muscles recover quickly.
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    8. Cleans Your Fruits and Veggies
    This last health benefit of baking soda protects you from the food you eat. If you worry about the negative effects of pesticides, but like to eat the peel on your fruits and vegetables for extra nutrients, try soaking your produce in a baking soda wash for 12 to 15 minutes. Research has shown this is one of the most effective ways to get rid of pesticides without peeling them.
Baking Soda Health Benefits | Baking Soda for Teeth

About The Author

Elizabeth has been writing for Healthgrades since 2014 and specializes in articles about alternative and complementary therapies like meditation, yoga, energy work and aromatherapy. She also performs improv comedy and is a firm believer that laughter really is the best medicine.
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Last Review Date: 2022 Oct 22
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.