How To Fight Cold and Flu With Baking Soda

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How To Fight Cold and Flu With Baking Soda

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, has been known for centuries as a versatile substance with many different uses (and you can refer to my previous article about 7 uses for baking soda as a kitchen medicine, as well as my article about the healing power combination of lemon and baking soda).

As the name suggests, it’s most famous for its role in baking and cooking. But there are numerous medicinal properties attributed to drinking baking soda mixed with water and I’ll describe one of them in this article.


Baking soda can be found in nature as a part of the mineral Natron, which contains large amounts of sodium bicarbonate. This mineral was used already in ancient times as a cleaning substance.

Baking soda, as we know it today, has been manufactured since 1846 and its popularity soon reached iconic status. Almost every home features a box of sodium bicarbonate. Cheap, safe and simple to use, it became a part of the solution for many ailments and troubles.

Baking soda for colds and flu

In 1924, Dr. Volney S. Cheney published a book called Arm & Hammer Baking Soda Medical Uses, in which he recorded his experience with treating flu. He observed that people who were treated with baking soda either remained healthy or they developed a milder version of the disease.


Dr. Cheney reported giving generous doses of sodium bicarbonate for influenza and in many cases the symptoms disappeared within 36 hours. He also suggested taking baking soda as a preventive measure.

The general belief is that when taken internally, baking soda helps to maintain the pH balance in your bloodstream. The substance has an alkalizing effect on the body, which is linked to better health and disease prevention. Although it has many supporters, this theory has not been scientifically proven.

If you want to follow the recipe prescribed by Dr. Cheney in 1924 (that is still valid today), here it is:

Day 1: take ½ teaspoon of baking soda diluted in a glass of cold water, six times a day, at about two-hour intervals.
Day 2: take ½ teaspoon of baking soda diluted in a glass of cold water, four times a day.
Day 3: take ½ teaspoon of baking soda diluted in a glass of cold water in the morning and in the evening.
After this initial period, take ½ teaspoon of baking soda diluted in a glass of cold water every morning until your symptoms are gone.


Other natural cold remedies

The best approach is always prevention. Keep your immune system strong, so that you don’t develop a health problem in the first place. By looking after your body and mind (think nutrition, sleep, relaxation), you’ll keep a lot of ailments at bay. In this regard, refer to my article about 10 quick life hacks to improve your immunity almost immediately.


If you do go down with a cold, you can use some other natural healers that will boost your immunity and help you recover faster:

Drink lots of fluids (herbal teas and warm broth) to thin the mucus.

Increase vitamin C intake and take echinacea – this is the best-researched herb for enhancing immune defense. You can find here more natural substances to boost your immune system, as well as how to make echinacea tea.

Drink elderberry tea. Also check out my previous post and learn how to make healing elderberry cough syrup, and another easy and effective syrup to relieve sore throat and cough.

Check this garlic syrup recipe for chest infections.

Check out my other article about the top 10 natural treatments for cold and flu.

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12 Responses to How To Fight Cold and Flu With Baking Soda

  1. Nimo O'Connor says:

    Do you have more uses of baking soda for other purposes like for household items?

  2. Rena says:

    I read on another site that we should find baking soda without aluminum if taking internally. Is this true and where would we find that?? Thank you so much.

    • Jenny says:

      Baking soda is 100% sodium bicarbonate with no aluminum. I think you are confused with baking POWDER which is a different product. Not all baking POWDERS contain aluminum – it depends on the manufacturer. (they are usually labelled as “aluminum-free”).

    • jorri says:

      I think its usually called bicarbonate of soda. Baking soda is the same thing usually.

      You get baking powder, which contains bicarb, tried to use it once and felt sick, it also contains cornflour or starch and other things and isn’t really ideal…. since it also contains the acidic agent too!! will just make you sick and have none of the effects! You can use interchangeably in cooking 99% of the time, but never in medicine.

      Because the names are pretty confusing tbh, i wish people just called it bicarbonate of soda.

  3. Heather Reddig says:

    I am beginning the Dr. Cheney dosing instructions for curing a cold. I have to begin by taking 1/2 tsp BS every 2 hours in a glass of water.

    How long do I need to wait before I can eat, once I have taken a BS dose?

    • Jenny says:

      If you don’t take any medication, then there is no risk of interaction with baking soda and you are not limited regarding the time you can eat. However if you take medication, some of them may interact with baking soda and then you need to follow the instructions on the medication leaflet (or your doctor’s instructions).

  4. Fleur says:


    Bicarb soda was prescribed to me when I had candida. I took half a teaspoon three times a day for 2 weeks. The candida disappeared super fast but one of my teeth became super sensitive and part of the enamel disappeared. I read that when you take bicarbonate soda the body takes minerals from the bones to re-balance the pH of the body. I would like to keep on taking bicarb soda but am worried that it might affect my teeth again. I was wondering if you might be able to give me any advice.

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Hi Fleur, drinking baking soda water is good for many things, which you can read about in my article “The Most Amazing Health Benefits of Baking Soda Water“. You can find at the end of the article precautions, and one of them is that many of the remedies that can be alleviated with baking soda water are for temporary relief of the various conditions, and the usual recommendation is to avoid taking baking soda water regularly for more than two weeks. Other precautions include interaction with some medication, as well as people who suffer from high blood pressure and edema. I wouldn’t make drinking baking soda water a daily habit and wouldn’t excess 1/2 tsp. per day if you don’t suffer from any condition. Too much of anything is not good for the body, so you need to make sure you don’t overdo it.

  5. Sam says:

    In what ways can baking soda mixed with lemon help your physical well being. This is for a school project so any knowledge would be greatly appreciated.

  6. Ernest Roberts says:

    Dr. Cheney’s booklet describes his treatment as including calcidin, which is a combination of calcium and iodine, with each dose. All of the references to this treatment that I’ve seen leave out the calcidin and show only the baking soda. Here’s a link to the text of his article from 1925:

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