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Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) for Cold And Flu

Published on November 23, 2009

Though we know by now that sodium bicarbonate is a most useful medicine for the treatment of cancer and kidney disease and have always known its good for stomach acid imbalances and for cleaning our pools and refrigerators, it is not likely we have thought about it to help resolve our common colds nor to alleviate the symptoms and dangers of influenza. Medicine does not have to be complicated and mysterious nor do we have to lay still and be run over by the Hun Hordes of Influenza viruses that the health authorities want us to be so frightened of.

Dr. Volney S. Cheney reported[1] long ago that, “A number of cases of colds of varying severity were carefully studied in the laboratory. Observation was made as to the degree of acidity of the urine; the CO2, combining power of the blood as an indicator of the alkaline reserve; tests were also made to determine the calcium content of the blood, the sugar content; non-protein nitrogen and the basal metabolism. The urine invariably carried a higher degree of acidity than the normal-in some cases as high as 800 (normal 350); the CO2 combining power of the blood in all cases was low, the highest being 52 per cent; the sugar content of the blood was generally decreased (below 100 mg. per 100 c.c.); the metabolic rate was always on the minus side. (These cases were carefully selected because of their lack of any symptoms of disturbed thyroid activity.) There is a change in the blood chemistry and, consequently, there must be a change in the tissues supplied by the blood. There is a decrease in the bicarbonates or reserve bases contained in the blood plasma and the tissues. These findings seem to point the way to the conclusion that a cold is a disturbance of the alkaline balance or reserve, in other words, a mild acidosis, or perhaps better stated, a lessening of the “buffer” action of the blood plasma through a decrease in its bicarbonate content.”

After doing his experiments, Dr. Cheney reported: “I have been able to induce all the symptoms of a cold, in varying degree from a simple coryza to that of la grippe and the “flu,” by the induction of an artificial acidosis through the administration of ammonium and calcium chlorides. The degree of severity of the symptoms was in direct ratio to the degree of acidosis induced. In the severer degree of acidosis, all the classical symptoms of the “flu” were present, even including a low degree of fever. The symptoms rapidly subsided upon the administration of sodium bicarbonate in large doses by mouth and by rectum.

Let’s talk about your refrigerator. Go home, unplug your refrigerator, and find out what happens. Now remember that before you unplugged that fridge there was no mold, no bad bacteria, and no bugs. By pulling the plug you change the environment. Watch what happens. Your food will start to break down through fermentation and then putrefaction. Things start growing and crawling around. Where did they come from? You know that they didn’t sneak in. The door was closed. They were always there. It is just that they have gone through metamorphosis and they have changed due to an environmental shift – in other words “a drop in pH“.

Dr. Cheney further reported his “abortive treatment” of any cold or flu thusly:

If the disease is attacked when there is a beginning dryness in the pharynx or a slight corzya, or congestion of the mucous membrane of the nose, and alkalinization is instituted by large doses of sodium bicarbonate, until the urine is alkaline to litmus paper, a “cold” can always be aborted.

Most colds begin to manifest themselves late in the afternoon or early evening and the abortive treatment is best given at this time up to retiring. At the time of taking the treatment, the usual meal should be dispensed with, or should consist of milk and some cereal, or soup or broth. If the bowels are constipated, they should not be moved by a cathartic or laxative but the lower bowels should be relieved by a soap suds enema. This treatment will abort colds, if taken in their incipiency. (This doctor recommends unusually high dosages of bicarbonate. I recommend half tea spoons in full glass of water up to eight times a day but one can take a full tea for stronger effect.)

The administration of the sodium bicarbonate should always be in a large glass of hot water. Locally, spray the nose and throat with a 1 to 5000 solution of metaphen, or other alkaline solution (1 dram of sodium bicarbonate to one pint of water) morning and night. If the bowels are constipated, I prescribe no laxative or cathartic but use an enema of soap suds to relieve the lower bowels. (Personally I would recommend magnesium chloride taken orally to move the large intestines.)

Prophylaxis is best maintained by exercise and a diet which is well balanced and thoroughly adapted to the individual’s physical activities.

When the cold or ‘flu germs enter your body they immediately lodge themselves in the membranes of your nose. Your immune system then resists them by releasing inflammatory mediators. These in turn cause excessive mucus gland secretion, which blocks the sinuses, leading to a runny nose and all the other unpleasant symptoms of a cold or the ‘flu.


Dr. Hana’s Nasopure® Nasal Wash System transforms the ancient technique of nasal irrigation into the most effective, convenient and inexpensive nose washing system available today. It is a modern day netti pot. It quickly and safely washes away pollen, mold, dust, bacteria, viruses and mucus— the primary causes of nasal and sinus allergies, infection and discomfort. The Nasopure sinus cleansing salt mixture contains pharmaceutical grade sodium chloride (salt) and sodium bicarbonate.

Do not add regular table salt to any solution used for nasal washing as it contains undesirable additives and throws off the saline concentration of the solution. Salt is both soothing and therapeutic (in the proper concentration). Too little or too much salt will cause the water to “burn” or irritate your nasal passages and sinuses. Pickling salt, which is usually pure salt, is preferable to regular table salt if making your own salt solution.[2]

For a 0.9% isotonic saline solution, the amount normally found in bodily fluids, use 1/3 teaspoon (approx. ¼ heaping teaspoon, or 1.85 ml) of salt. Anything less than this is hypotonic, anything greater is hypertonic. Some research suggests a hypertonic solution may be best when combating a runny nose (as it would have a drying effect), so you might want to go to the higher end of the salt range. Add baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to help buffer the solution. A hypotonic solution, however, would tend to be moisturizing (i.e. the lower end of the salt range), and may be what you want in a nasal spray for general prophylactic use.

If you want to take direct action against the virus or germs that are already attacking you, the battleground is inside your nose. Directions for common use of nasal washings include; pour a little warm water into a dish and add a level teaspoon of your sodium bicarbonate. Stir it well and then immerse your nose and surrounding parts of your face into it. Slowly breathe the water up your nose until it reaches the point where it begins to overflow into your mouth. Then expel it and rinse your mouth out. Be careful not to add more than a teaspoonful to the water, and that the dish is of a size that enables you to fit your face into. If the mixture is too strong it will sting your nose for a while. A little trial and error will tell you how warm the water should be, which is warm enough but not hot. Do this three times a day, and it should ward off even the heaviest of colds well ahead of time.

Garlic nose drops. In his book The Healing Power of Garlic Paul Bergner writes: “Garlic nose drops directly kill the viruses that cause cold or flu.” He also writes about a study with mice where some were inoculated with garlic, and some were not. The flu virus was introduced to the nasal passages of each mouse. Those mice that received the garlic remained healthy, where all the others got sick. To make nose drops, Bergner instructs us to crush some garlic to obtain juice, and add ten parts water and mix well.  Eating garlic will also have a systemic effect, but deodorized garlic tablets or capsules reportedly do not work near as well.

Hydrogen Peroxide: Another method is to fill a spray bottle with a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water. Tilt your head back and spray it into your nostrils. It will bubble up and help to kill the bacteria in your nose. Hold for a few minutes and then blow your nose into a tissue. One can also use hydrogen peroxide in a vaporizer as well.

If an individual co-operates in a cleansing process of Nature by performing enemas, nasal washes and gives rest to his digestive system by observing a modified fast at the very beginning of cold or flu they will reduce the severity and length of their suffering and with a little luck get rid of the problem within 48 hours. During a fast, half lemon juice mixed with a glass of warm water may be taken several times a day. One or two spoons of honey may be added to this if desired. Not only does this help with the elimination process but it directs internal energies to healing instead of digesting and assimilating new food.

Zinc gluconate lozenges reduced the average duration of common colds with exceptionally strong statistical significance when taken in the first few hours.

Because most people don’t understand what detoxification symptoms are, they head to a drug-oriented doctor, who also doesn’t understand detoxification symptoms. The doctor confirms that they are sick, and then puts them on some sort of drug that is designed to stop the symptoms and this short circuits the detox dump and actually prolongs suffering. A real doctor will look at what is really going on and treat the problem on a fundamental level with medicinals that do not interfere with the natural process going on. According to recent studies use of over-the-counter cold and flu medicines at any stage of the illness only act to make it worse by prolonging the disease[3] and drugs like Tamiflu have their own dangerous toxicity that in certain cases is life threatening.

[1] “The Common Cold” Etiology, Prevention and Treatment*
Medical Director, Armour and Co., Chicago,Ill.

[2] Note: “Neti pot salt” (or “aromatic salt”) is just a marketing gimmick to sell salt at a higher price. It usually has some essential oils added, which might have some therapeutic value, or which some people may find pleasing. However it should be viewed as a luxury at a premium price, with relatively little practical value. Use it if you wish, but pickling salt is usually just as pure and free of additives, is widely available, and generally inexpensive.

Hi, I'm Dr. Mark Sircus, AC., OMD, DM (P), a doctor and writer of more than 23 books that have sold over 80,000 copies all over the world. My best-selling book is "Sodium Bicarbonate: Rich Man's Poor Man's Cancer Treatment" which has been translated into Chinese, Russian and Spanish.

On my website there are hundreds of free articles, but if you need some personalized help, you can make a consultation.

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