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Baking Soda for Heartburn

author image K.T. Parker
K.T. Parker is the author of multiple fiction novels and many articles, mostly about health topics. Her education in nutrition augments her pursuit of a degree in Naturopathy.
Baking Soda for Heartburn
Baking soda with clumps in it. Photo Credit BWFolsom/iStock/Getty Images

About 44 percent of Americans experience heartburn at least once a month, with 7 percent suffering from the condition every day, reports The Wall Street Journal. Opt for a natural treatment like baking soda instead of an over-the-counter antacid the next time you have that burning sensation in your chest.

Cover Your Bases

Baking soda is simply sodium bicarbonate, which is a component used in many antacids, according to Tekoa L. King and Mary C. Brucker, authors of "Pharmacology for Women's Health." As a base, baking soda neutralizes stomach acid. It is easily absorbed and can work within 15 minutes, state King and Brucker. Arm & Hammer, the manufacturer of one brand of baking soda, suggests using 1/2 teaspoon in 4 ounces of water to treat heartburn.

Keep It Short

Because 1/2 teaspoon contains 616 milligrams of sodium, restrict your use of baking soda to the short term. Medline Plus recommends using it no longer than two weeks unless a doctor directs otherwise. Don't use more than seven 1/2-teaspoon servings in 24 hours or more than three times in 24 hours if you are over 60. Common side-effects include belching, stomach cramps or increased thirst. Discontinue use and notify your doctor if you have more serious side-effects, like intense headaches, weakness or blood in the stool.

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