Cream of Tartar for Lung Health and Quitting Smoking Illustration

Cream of Tartar for Lung Health and Quitting Smoking (2024)

by | Updated: May 3, 2024

Most of us are familiar with cream of tartar as a white, powdery substance often used in baking. But did you know that this culinary staple might offer some surprising benefits for your respiratory health?

Though not a well-known remedy, there is anecdotal evidence and research supporting the use of cream of tartar for lung health.

This article delves into what cream of tartar is, how it might help your lungs, and how to use it safely for this purpose.

What is Cream of Tartar?

Cream of tartar, also known as potassium hydrogen tartrate or potassium bitartrate, is a byproduct of winemaking. It forms naturally during the fermentation process, creating crystals on the inside of wine barrels.

These crystals are then purified and ground into a fine, white powder.

Traditionally, cream of tartar has been used as a leavening agent, stabilizer, and acidity regulator in baking. It also has various household uses, such as cleaning and polishing metals.

However, its potential health benefits, particularly for lung health, have garnered increased attention in recent years.

Potential Benefits of Cream of Tartar for the Lungs

Cream of tartar is a rich source of potassium, an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in maintaining proper fluid balance and nerve function in the body.

Some research suggests that adequate potassium intake may help improve lung function, as individuals who lacked potassium were found to have decreased pulmonary mechanics and expiratory flow rates.

However, there is limited scientific evidence backing the use of cream of tartar for respiratory health. Therefore, it is important to consider all claims with caution.

Cream of Tartar and Orange Juice to Quit Smoking

Cream of tartar is sometimes presented as a potential home remedy for quitting smoking. Proponents of this remedy suggest that the potassium-rich cream of tartar may help to flush nicotine out of the body, while the vitamin C in orange juice can support detoxification and immune system function.

By reducing nicotine levels and promoting overall health, this mixture could potentially help to decrease cravings for cigarettes and ease withdrawal symptoms.

However, it’s important to note that quitting smoking is a complex process, and while this combination may be helpful for some, a comprehensive approach that includes medical support, behavioral therapy, and lifestyle changes is crucial for long-term success.

While cream of tartar has been praised for various health benefits, the only claim backed by science is its effect on relieving constipation. No clear scientific evidence supports the idea that cream of tartar can directly improve lung health, aid in smoking cessation, or reverse the effects of smoking on the lungs.

Other Potential Health Benefits of Cream of Tartar

Aside from its potential impact on lung health, cream of tartar has been associated with various other health benefits, although these claims are mostly based on anecdotal evidence and limited scientific research.

Here are some other potential health benefits of cream of tartar:

  • Arthritis Relief: Some people believe that cream of tartar may help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis, particularly when mixed with Epsom salt and used as a bath soak. It is thought that the high potassium content in cream of tartar may help reduce inflammation and ease joint pain.
  • Relief from Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): Cream of tartar is thought to have alkalizing properties, which can help change the pH of the urine and create an environment that is less hospitable to bacteria. Consequently, some individuals have reported using cream of tartar as a home remedy for UTIs. It is essential to note that UTIs should be treated by a healthcare professional, as untreated infections can lead to severe complications.
  • Boosting Heart Health: The potassium content in cream of tartar may support heart health by helping to regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Potassium helps balance the effects of sodium in the body, which can help prevent high blood pressure.
  • Antioxidant Properties: Cream of tartar may possess antioxidant properties, thanks to its tartaric acid content. Antioxidants help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body, which can reduce oxidative stress and potentially lower the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Digestive Support: As previously mentioned, cream of tartar has been shown to help relieve constipation. This effect is attributed to the tartaric acid content, which can act as a mild laxative by increasing the water content in the stool, making it easier to pass.

Note: Most of the potential health benefits of cream of tartar remain largely unconfirmed by scientific evidence. It is important to consult your healthcare provider before using cream of tartar as a supplement or alternative treatment for any medical condition.

Precautions and Side Effects

While cream of tartar is generally safe for most people when used in moderate amounts, it’s essential to consult your healthcare provider before trying it for lung health.

Cream of tartar may interact with certain medications or cause problems for individuals with kidney disease, heart disease, or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Additionally, excessive consumption of cream of tartar can cause hyperkalemia (high potassium levels in the blood), which can lead to irregular heartbeats or other serious health issues.

Final Thoughts

Cream of tartar has long been a staple ingredient in baking and a useful household agent, but its potential health benefits have also sparked interest in recent years.

Although there is limited scientific evidence to support the use of cream of tartar for lung health or as an aid in quitting smoking, some anecdotal evidence and preliminary research suggest it may have various other health benefits.

However, it is crucial to approach these claims with caution and consult your healthcare provider before using cream of tartar as a supplement or alternative treatment.

While cream of tartar may offer some benefits when used in moderation, it’s important to remember that a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and proper medical care, is essential for overall well-being and long-term success in improving lung health or quitting smoking.

John Landry, BS, RRT

Written by:

John Landry, BS, RRT

John Landry is a registered respiratory therapist from Memphis, TN, and has a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. He enjoys using evidence-based research to help others breathe easier and live a healthier life.


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  • (2002, March 22). Magnesium, potassium can help improve lung function.
  • Mba, A. L. B. (2021, September 9). What Is Cream of Tartar? Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects. Healthline.
  • Rusyniak, Daniel E et al. “Life-threatening hyperkalemia from cream of tartar ingestion.” Journal of medical toxicology : official journal of the American College of Medical Toxicology vol. 9,1 (2013).

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