Fact Check: Does Cream of Tartar reduce Migraine pains?

Quick Take

A lot of users on social media and video platforms like YouTube claim that using Cream of Tartar is a good way of reducing migraine pains. We fact-checked and found that the claim is false.

The Claim

If You Suffer From Migraines, This At-Home Solution May Help. When taken with water, cream of tartar neutralizes the effects of MSG poisoning and raises the blood PH of the body creating an alkaline-forming environment,” claims one of the post. Similar posts can be seen here, here, and here. Screenshots are given below.

Fact Check

Why Migraine pains happen?

Migraine is a severe headache that usually happens on one side of the head. The symptoms usually include headache, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound. The pain can last from few hours to a couple of days.

Does Migraine has any relation to diet?

Yes, sometimes. But the quality evidence in this case is limited.

American Migraine Foundation on its website mentions, “Studies have shown migraine is a genetic disorder, however, environment, lifestyle, and diet can still play a large role in how often you get migraines.”

Dr. Pawan Raj

Neurologist Dr. Pawan Raj says, “Migraine is a multidimensional and complex disorder and there are multiple causative factors implicated including genetic factors, enviromental factors,stress and comorbid conditions. But observational studies have shown diet also plays a role sometimes in triggering the pain. The potential dietary triggers for migraine attacks  have been identified such as Chocolate, citrus fruits, nuts, ice cream, tomatoes, onions, dairy products, alcoholic beverages, coffee, caffeine, monosodium glutamate (MSG), histamine, tyramine, phenylethylamine, nitrites, aspartame, sucralose, and gluten. But there is no quality research evidence to suggest that all these food products will lead to migraine pains in everybody always.”

What is Cream of Tartar?

Cream of tartar is an acidic, white powdery substance that’s produced as a byproduct of the wine making process. It is not a creamy substance as the name suggests. It’s also known as potassium bitartrate or potassium hydrogen tartrate or tartaric acid.

Can you cure Migraine pain with Cream of Tartar?

No. There is no scientific evidence about Cream of Tartar being useful in migraine pains. We could not find any medical research publiished on any of the credible medical journals regarding this suggested home remedy.

Experts suggest that we should be careful with the Cream of Tartar consumption. While Cream of Tartar is not a general poinsonous substance, it contains high amount of Potassium and studies have shown that under certain conditions it can cause hyperkalemia, a condition caused by overdose of Potassium in our body.

Dr Raj says, “Cream of Tartar is the commercial name for potassium hydrogen tartrate, which is an acidic salt that has many uses in baking. There are no clinical studies which have used cream of tartar for migraine prevention and treatment. It is not recommended by any physicians for treatment of migraine. Excessive consumption of large quantities of the substance can increase the potassium levels of the body to toxic levels leading to muscle paralysis and heart dysfunction.”

Can you change the pH of the body through diet?

No. The pH of the body cannot be change through diet.

The myth about changing the pH of the body has been linked even to Cancer cure in the past. We have done a detailed fact check on the same here.

Dr. Manish Singhal

Our blood has a pH of 7.35 to 7.45 which makes it slightly alkaline in nature. Experts have confimred that it is not possible to change the pH of the body through diet. “If the pH of our blood alters even by a small percentage, it is enough to land a person in ICU,” says Oncologist Dr.Manish Singhal.

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