Baking Soda for Headaches?

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.

Baking soda - for headaches?
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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:

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11 comments… add one
  • Pamela Wise Dec 22, 2014

    Was surprised when I saw this one. I was trying to raise my ph level and started taking 1/4 tsp baking soda(without aluminum) in glass water before bed. If I can keep my ph up I have more energy. Did not think it would help my chronic migraines but I think it is. Its been a few weeks now and I am having less headaches.

  • S. Feb 8, 2015

    Although I have tried many alternative remedies for migraines, I have not yet tried baking soda. Next time it will be the first thing I try. Thanks so much for the information.

  • Vivek Jun 2, 2015

    In my 17 Yr. old autistic son , I use 1/4tsp of sodium bicarbonate ( baking soda) added in glass water at the time of migraine phase. It brings him immediate relief and it lasts for 2-3 hrs. I tried adding potassium bicarboate with sodium bicarboate in the 1:2 ratio. It worsened his migraine. His blood testing also shows, elevated chlorides.During migraine phase he also suffers from GI inflammation & GERD. I also started daily megnesium glycinate supplement which has brought good relief .

  • Amy Oct 17, 2015

    Use caution with this remedy if you have high blood pressure. Many people use it to reduce the pain in their bladder from interstitial cystitis. We are told not to ingest more than two teaspoons per day.

  • Dianne Bristow Jan 22, 2016

    This BC is best thing ever for. Took it just try after daughter passed info onto me of the health benefits. Well I grew up with migraine/ headaches with vomiting ect. Would last for days before I discovered the right meds. Now 60s & strong prescription drugs carried around permenentlly incase a migraine developed. It’s now been nearly 3 months since the first dose of Bicarb of soda with dash of pure apple cider vinegar & no more pain

  • Jill Dec 30, 2016

    It definitely helps with my migraines… sometimes when nothing else will. I have found that it helps best when I don’t have too much food in my belly and use it. It calms my stomach and reduces the knawing I feel and then the migraine automatically begins to release. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt my stomach acid and possible ulcer is related to my migraines. When I take care of my stomach, my migraine started to be relieved.

  • Chris Feb 7, 2017

    How much apple cider and baking soda did u use, and how often did u take it…I’ve been suffering for 4 days and everything the doctors have given me is not working plus the essential oils, cold wraps, reflexology, chiropractic…

  • Jill Feb 9, 2017

    I personally use a half a teaspoon in about 1/4 cup to a half cup water. I stir it really well.

    Since this post, though, I discovered info on sufferers using Gaviscon antacid for migraine outbreaks. I bought some, and they’re yummy chewables, and I only use them when I start to feel a migraine coming on. I chew two tablets. It immediately begins to settle my belly. Sometimes I still have to take Advil and caffeine, but the Gaviscon really helps and sometimes I don’t have to take the Advil.

  • Zanele Shongwe Oct 16, 2017

    Thanks for the information I’ve been having severe headache for quite a while now didn’t know that bicarb soda can help, which is the correct one to use

  • Phil Gilbert Feb 3, 2018

    Bicarbonate of Soda is the one thing that taken in time definitely is the best treatment for my migraine attacks which I have suffered from from an early age. By chance I discovered that antacid alleviated symptoms, and bicarb has been an absolute life-changer for me!

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