Year 9s Test A Favourite Home Remedy

This week the Science department has been dealing with indigestion!

The Year 9 girls have been investigating whether a shop bought remedy for indigestion, “Eno”,  is a more effective cure than an old-fashioned remedy, bicarbonate of soda.

Acid reflux occurs when the stomach acid comes back up into the oesophagus, irritating the tissue and causing a burning sensation in the chest. This is quite common in today’s western society and most healthy people experience it from time to time. An antacid is a suitable treatment for relief of heartburn pain, as it works by increasing the pH of the stomach. Consumers are spoilt for choice with many products, however, they are often costly.

Eno powder is an example of a commercially available antacid which costs $5.50 for 100g. Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is an old-fashioned home remedy that costs 34 cents per 100g.

The Year 9 girls experimented with both products and used dataloggers to measure the pH changes. They saw interesting results. Here is an example of a results graph from Lauren Winship:

The girls were surprised by the results:

“Initially I believed that the Eno powder would have been more effective than the sodium bicarbonate, but from conducting the investigation I discovered that the sodium bicarbonate neutralised the hydrochloric acid more than the Eno powder.” Charlotte Robinson

“I really enjoyed experimenting and exploring to find the answer ourselves instead of being given it during class, the hands-on approach really enhanced our learning experience and we felt like pharmacists. This was really helpful in influencing our decisions for our options for year 10 science courses.” Charlotte Parsons

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