Its “flu season” and everyone around me is getting sick. More than once in the last few weeks, I’ve felt a strange headache coming on or woke up with a tickle in my throat. First thing I do is dump 2-3 teaspoons of aluminum-free baking soda* in about a half a cup of water, swirl and swallow.
Well, maybe I should have said, swirl, swallow and gag! It tastes terrible – kind of like chalky saltwater – but it’s worth it. Neither I nor my husband have been sick once this year. I learned about this remedy from JC, who learned it from his grandmother. She was a nurse and swore by it. She said the doctors would never tell anyone about it because they couldn’t make money off of it. I like to think that in her day, the doctors were just enamored by all the new scientific and pharmaceutical achievements, preferring to align themselves with the progress of the “nuclear age” rather than old fashioned wisdom. Maybe the same still holds true today.
If you feel a tickle in your nose or throat, I’d also recommend a nasal wash with baking soda and a touch of table salt. This will not only flush mucus, microscopic organisms and any other foreign particles out of nasal passages and throat, it will also dry it out a bit. I know several people who travel intensively for work and swear that a daily nasal rinse keeps them well. There are a lot of options on the market these days. I bought the Nasopure 8 ounce bottle and it came with several packets of the baking soda + salt solution. Its super easy to use and the manufacturer confirms that it is BPA-free. You mix the powder with some warm (not hot!) water in the Nasopure. Shake it up so everything dissolves, then squirt in one nostril until the water comes streaming out of the other side. Repeat on the other side. I usually try to let a little wash down the back of my throat and spit it out. That way I make sure that I’m getting all the passages. One 8-oz bottle usually last me about a week. After my packets ran out, I just made my own mixture – 1 tbsp of baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt.
THE WONDERS OF ALKALINITY
The theory behind the power of baking soda, is that it makes your body more alkaline (less acidic). And, the virus or bugs that is causing your cold can thrive only in an acidic environment. Many people have gone further with this concept, asserting that your entire body and all of its systems work better in a slightly alkaline environment. This is the underlying thought behind the popular “alkalizing” diets out there.
There is a lot of debate about whether alkaline diets work. The main question revolves around whether you can actually affect the pH of your body with diet. The medical community accepts that you can affect the pH of your urine with diet. However, if you’re talking about cancer or some other non-urinary tract disease, doctors will tell you that your body’s powers of achieving and maintaining a standard pH level a in your bloodstream are more powerful than what you put in your stomach. I read about (but could not find a link to) a study that proved that cancer cells grow faster in acidic test tubes and chemotherapy works better in alkaline ones. In the face of this evidence the doctors say that these results can’t be reproduced in the human body. I just don’t know enough to come down firmly on one side or the other. But if your body has to work less hard to maintain a healthy pH level, wouldn’t it have more energy to fight off disease?
I do know that food, the fuel that powers our bodies, is a huge part of health. And, if you look at the basic directions for an alkaline diet – eat more green vegetables, fruits, whole grains; reduce or eliminate sugar, alcohol, meat, dairy – it makes a lot of sense that it would make you healthier and help you feel better. It’s what I recommended to my mother when she was undergoing traditional treatments for breast cancer and all of her doctors were amazed at her vitality and recovery times.
MORE ON BAKING SODA
Regardless of what the prevailing medical industry claims, baking soda is a highly useful and inexpensive solution for many physical and household irritations. I read this article by Dr Mercola where he talks about the various bodily and household troubles you can treat with baking soda. It’s actually a pretty versatile substance. It can be used to treat ulcer pain, sun burns, bug bites and underarm odors. It can also be used to clean silver, as a carpet cleaner, as a non-chlorine bleach and a grease fire retardant. Amazing!
And, while Dr. Mercola is not completely convinced that drinking a baking soda solution will help you with a cold, he does use intravenous alkalizing solutions to treat people with acute infections. So, maybe there is something to the alkaline-health connection?
* I started going aluminum freeafter learning that aluminum has been linked to Alzhiemers disease and other ills. This is also why I use aluminum-free deodorants and try to use aluminum pans and foil sparingly.