Some people do report that baking soda alleviates their headache or migraine symptoms. Why might that be?
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is commonly used in food. It’s also used in medicine, most notably as an antacid.
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Baking soda tends to lower acidity, hence the term “antacid”. Could it be that lowering acidity in the stomach could actually help with headaches?
Although this is by no means a cure, and won’t help everyone, the idea is not far-fetched. The link between migraine in particular and the health of the gut is well known.
You’ve probably heard terms such as heartburn, acid reflux, acid indigestion, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Many people with headaches and/or migraine also have gastrointestinal problems.
There may be a biological link that brings these things together. There are also medications, commonly taken for headache, which may make these things worse. These include aspirin, ibuprofen, and even calcium-channel blockers.
But even if acid reflux and migraine go together, this doesn’t prove that baking soda will help.
Baking soda isn’t a cure for conditions such as heartburn or GERD. However, if stomach acidity is causing you problems, baking soda may be a mild treatment worth trying. And for some people, it does seem to lessen headache pain.
In fact, we’ve talked before about using Alka-Seltzer Gold as a treatment – and one of the ingredients of Alka-Seltzer is specially treated sodium bicarbonate.
Using Baking Soda as a Treatment
Sodium bicarbonate comes in many forms, and can be purchased as a tablet, powder, capsule, and in other forms. As with any treatment, it’s wise to talk to your doctor. Do even more investigation if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, have a chronic illness, or are taking other medications.
For healthy adults, a half-teaspoon of baking soda (powder) in a glass of water an hour or two after your meal will help with stomach acid. You can repeat this dosage after a couple of hours if the problem remains.
Another option is to take baking soda each day – again, this may be a half a teaspoon in a glass or water. If you’re going to take baking soda for more than a couple of weeks, be sure to see your doctor again and discuss your progress.
Have you ever used baking soda to treat headache or migraine?
For more on baking soda for headaches and more, see:
- Sodium Bicarbonate (MedlinePlus)
- Sodium Bicarbonate (Oral Route, Intravenous Route, Subcutaneous Route) (Mayo Clinic)
- Acid Reflux and Oesophagitis