Borax Side Effects

Mar 27, 2017

Borax is gaining popularity as an effective natural remedy, yet some people experience side effects. People have experienced side effects from using borax internally and externally. Some of the side effects from internal use include stomach upset, headache, kidney pain, and flu-like symptoms. External used has been known to cause rashes.

For some people,borax side effects may be avoided if one starts with a very small amount and increases it slowly over time.

Earth Clinic's Ted recommends 1/4 teaspoon of borax diluted in one liter of water, sipped through the day for men, and 1/8 teaspoon of borax diluted in one liter of water sipped through out the day for women. He also recommends taking this remedy for 5 days in a row and then taking 2 days off. Some readers have found borax to be helpful to them even when taken in much smaller doses than Ted recommends.

If Borax Causes Side Effects, Why Bother?

While some experience side effects from the use of borax, hundreds of Earth Clinic readers over the years have reported cures using borax. Borax is used for a wide range of symptoms, including arthritis, candida, athlete's foot, brain fog, chicken pox, colds, mites, lice, lupus, sinus problems and skin problems. And an impressive number of dogs and other animals have been cured of mange with Ted's Mange Cure. Borax is the key ingredient in Ted's Mange Cure.

The chemical name of borax is tetrasodium borate. It is indeed the very same borax that is found in pharmacies and in grocery stores in the laundry aisle. Please be sure to make sure that borax is the only ingredient. While some worry about the toxicity of borax, it is believed that borax is less toxic than table salt. However, if you experience side effects, it is always wise to discontinue use and re-evaluate your treatment plan.

If you do experience side effects, please be sure to let us know! Continue reading below for extensive feedback from Earth Clinic readers who have experienced side effects after taking borax.

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Posted by Ag (South Florida) on 03/25/2017
0 out of 5 stars

I'm seeking a cure or cause for my kidney pain related to heavy Borax use.

About 3 months ago, a friend mentioned the benefits of using Borax for health reasons. About 10 years ago, I began using iodine, had been reading both forum posts and research articles, and occasionally I'd see mention of borax, but I never followed up with it.

But considering I am working full-time outside and had done a physical showing alkaline urine (too much calcium loss), I decided to check it out. I began with 1/4 tsp., I felt lightheaded and woozy my first few days (I expected it due to cleaning out candida), and began using it daily with good results (mentally sharp, teeth pain gone, raised mood).

Well, what I did was up my dose about a month in. I carry 2 one gallon jugs of water to work, and I began using up to a teaspoon or more, sometimes in both jugs. (I put C powder, sea salt, and liquid iodine in my water too) Weeks went by with no reaction.

Then my kidneys began getting tender. I'd wake up from sleep, know my lower back hurt some (actually my kidneys), but I blew it off for weeks thinking I'd overdone myself at work picking up heavy items.

But the kidney pain continued, and I began wondering why. I don't regularly pick up heavy items. Why?

So, I googled kidney pain and borax, and saw some posts about it. Specifically, I found posts about using too much. So I stopped for a week. My kidney pain lessened, yet it still remained. I waited another week, me starting back at 1/4tsp. The slight discomfort remained, and I assumed/hoped I just needed to flush it out.

Then......I remembered about fluoride being excreted by borax, and I googled fluoride and kidneys, finding that fluoride can decimate kidneys (I may be exaggerating), but found out iodine actually chelates fluoride. I bought more iodine, using it heavily, like a dropperful in a gallon. (results: too much lowers blood pressure; felt lightheaded and dizzy during the day). So I'm doing sane amounts of iodine again. I didn't want fluoride taking out my kidneys! Additionally, I went to those filtered water machines in supermarkets filling up my water jugs for a week since I'm on city water, all fluoridated. My kidney pain did decrease some.

I'm actually still feeling some kidney discomfort, so I'm writing seeking feedback on healing myself and not worrying about doing something wrong or excessively again.

Note: I drink about 4-6 cups of coffee/day, and I know it can strain kidneys too.

I'm grateful I could share this here. Thank you :-)

Replied by Heather

Yikes! I'm no doctor, but I would definitely suggest that you immediately stop taking ALL supplements and stop drinking so much coffee until you find out what's going on!! I'm not quite sure why you feel you need to use the iodine? Most of us get plenty of iodine just from table salt and deficiency is rare here in the U.S. unless you have some type of diagnosed thyroid issues going on. But seriously, give your body a break and let it do its own thing for a bit, and go get your kidneys checked out to be on the safe side. You can't buy replacements at Walmart!

Posted by Marie (Co) on 03/24/2017
0 out of 5 stars

I have a question I would like to have answered by Ted or a knowledgeable person. I've been drinking 2 to 2/12 liters of water daily. I switched from table salt to Himalaya pink salt for the past several days and my research on mineralized salt led me to Borax. I added one level teaspoon of Borax to 1 liter of distilled water. Then I added 1 teaspoon of this concentrated liquid to another 1 liter of distilled water because I felt Ted's dose would be too high from all the research I did. I drank the Borax water in the evening towards bed time and took 400 mg of Magnesium just before bed.

As soon as I started drinking the Borax water I had mild itching on the surface of arms, face and legs that gradually went away. When I was getting into bed I removed my socks and realized my right foot and ankle was extremely swollen with edema. I had a pulmonary embolism a couple years ago which is a blood clot, had surgery to remove all blood clots and from the same leg that swelled and I'm on blood thinners and on oxygen full time. I ended up with a foot drop, the one that was swollen. It sometimes swells but not like it did on the borax. The next morning most of the swelling was gone. The reason I was interested in Borax is overall health and to see if it would help with the electric shock feelings I sometimes get in my foot. After having this extreme swelling I'm afraid to take it again.

Does anyone have any suggestions and do you think it is worth it for me to try to take Borax again?

Replied by Art
189 posts

In reply to Marie (Co) and others interested in trying borax.

If you read through the EC archives and the web on borax, you will learn that borax works extraordinarily well for some people, is very helpful for others, not at all helpful for some and is not tolerated by some. Pretty much the same as many other remedies and medications that people use all the time, there will be some people who get benefit and others who don't. Judging by anecdotes here on EC as well as the web, borax seems to help more people than it hinders, but this does not mean you should ignore a negative reaction just because others have found benefit with borax.

Itching and swelling are among other things, typical symptoms of an allergic reaction. I have a friend who tried borax for her RA, but even at just a small pinch of borax in a quart of water, she would get uncontrolled itching all over her body that she said was driving her crazy. In an effort to try and get the antiarthritic benefit that many people report from using borax or boron, she tried switching to a boron based supplement. This turned out to work quite well against her severe RA and she did not have the itching issue which borax gave her, however, after two to three weeks of daily use she realized that she was getting depressed and she had never had that problem before. She discontinued the boron and the depression went away within two days. She started on boron again once the depression went away, but shortly after restarting boron, the depression returned. She stopped taking boron and once again the depression went away. This clearly demonstrates that some people can not tolerate borax and or boron even though others not only tolerate, but get great benefit from these two.

Recognizing that your body is reacting negatively to any supplement or medication is very important and such a reaction should never be ignored, as allergic reactions can be life threatening. If you choose to experiment with borax or any supplement and you have a negative reaction to it, it is your responsibility and in your best interest to stop taking it and talk with your doctor to see what your options are.

It is good to be proactive about your health, but it is also good to be health smart and pay attention to what your body is telling you. On this forum, people report what works for them, but that is not a gurantee that it will work exactly the same for others and in reading through the various threads on EC, you will see that this is often the case with many of the listed remedies.


Replied by Marie

Thank you so much for your quick response. I stopped taking the borax prior to reading your reply and felt better. Some swelling and stiffness is still present in my foot and ankle. It will continue to improve. I just want to mention I did a lot of research prior to taking the borax. I read The Borax conspiracy theory and a lot of information on Earth Clinic plus youtube. I would never start taking anything without first researching. Marie

Posted by Lolo (Ontario, Oregon) on 03/23/2017
0 out of 5 stars

I have been taking diatomaceous earth, using magnesium oil, and started the borax treatment. And my question is since I started the borax prototol suggested on here and all of sudden these pains randomly in my body flared up the pass few weeks which were pains and old injuries I had through a 20 + year period. Such as neck pain, sciatic nerves on both right and left side, both knee, old stress fraction, and more. They come and go it's so weird. So is it because they are getting a treatment they open back up to truly heal. A month ago I had no pain in most of these parts of my body but now I'm feeling achy and harder to move around even though I exercise everyday it's just a little tougher. So should it eventually heal and go away or what should I do? I just found a bump on my small toe. And it hurts.

Replied by Brad

Going thru something similar right now. 20 yr old injuries on a detox coming back. It's called retracing/healing crises and it's miserable. 6 weeks of hip and knee pain. Can't sleep.

Posted by Meyerbl (Tacoma Wa) on 03/14/2017
4 out of 5 stars

I put 1 teaspoon of borax in a liter of filtered water and have taken 1 teaspoon of this solution per day for a week now and at first I had bloated stomach for 3 days and now everything seems fine and I am going to continue and hope for good things to happen!

Posted by Donna (East Hampton, Ct) on 02/19/2017
0 out of 5 stars

I am so dissappointed as I was hoping this could be my cure and detox from fluoride poisioning which I received from antibiotics and anesthesia from three surgeries and 30 years of drinking fluoridated water. All of this poison has caused me to have atrial fibulation and high blood pressure. I was so excited to try this but now I have these issues.

I put 1/8 tsp of borax in a half gallon of water and only drank a bit more than half yesterday. I got some severe stomach upset and it started some of my Gerd issues up which in turn raised my blood pressure up to 192/108. I did have some food which I should not have had but now it is hard to tell what if or both could be causing it. I got a stinging sensation in my right big toe after I went to bed last night and it is still there upon awakening. I have a little bit of trouble breathing and kept waking up through the night. I am recovering from esophageal or silent reflux less than three weeks ago and it has been good up until niw.

I have been taking A gi repair supplement that has been working wonderfully, also sleeping on a bed wedge. I wanted desperately for the borax to work and am hoping maybe there is something I can take with it to counteract the stomach upset? My first step is to get the fluoride out, then the mercury and three root canals. Im afraid my heart conditions wont hold out before I can get detoxed and it is so so depressing. I have never been depressed like this in my whole life, I am 52. I hope someone reads this and can help. Thanks.

Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe

Donna and Julie, why don't you try with MUCH less for a start?

Replied by Eve

You are taking far too much! No wonder you feel sick!!!!! Make up 1 litre of filtered water with 1 teaspoon borax - then take 1 teaspoon of THAT diluted solution and dilute AGAIN in a cup of water and take twice a day with food. Start possibly with one teaspoon a day and build up to 3. This is why alternative medicines get a bad rap and taken off the market because people overdo it. Also, for the first few days there is the possibility of the Herxheimer effect, where you might feel ill, it supposedly means the treatment is working. If you feel ill, stop for a couple of days and start again, building up slowly as you get used to it.

Replied by Mitch

I guess everyone is different!

I started off by taking 1/2 teaspoon of borax twice each day. I went through a couple of days of flew like symptoms, a few days after I started taking it. I cut back to 1/4 teaspoon twice each day.

Now after 2 months, I have no side effects and feel great, mind you I also exercise regularly and eat mostly fat and protein except on exercise days where I eat more carbs.

People should be more concerned about eating that processed stuff and not so concerned about natural stuff that comes out of the ground.

How many people know if they're getting too much or too little calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, E, C, D, B, etc... Not many I think. I'm 56 and in better shape than when I was in my 20s!

If your not eating fish, leafy greens, nuts, etc..., then your fighting a battle with only twinkies in your hands.

Replied by Alice

Are you taking Magnesium? You should be taking extra magnesium and for sure with any heart condition. Borax does wonders for me but I also take magnesium and trace minerals in general. Also, one must get rid of sugar/high carb processed foods in diet.

Replied by Jan

What type of magnesium do you take?

Posted by Julie (Nashville ) on 02/18/2017
0 out of 5 stars

I just started taking Borax solution yesterday (20 Mule Team) - 1 tsp in 1 liter water and taking 2 tsp of that solution per day and I don't feel so good. I feel somewhat continually nauseous. I so want to experience the benefits I've read about!! I don't know whether to take any tomorrow, even at the low dose, although it's likely I will. Really not feeling so hot...

Posted by Sunny (Sequim, Washington) on 02/17/2017

I started taking boron. Doing the 1/8th teaspoon in a liter of water. I think I might of used a little more than 1/8 as I don't have a 1/8 measuring spoon. My face did get flushed and my heart sped up a bit.

But night time was the worse! I had terrible gas pains and discomfort! And kept getting up to go to the bathroom for some relief. I'm thinking from reading the blog that I was detoxing.

This is the second day and I'm still not feeling like my old self. I only took it once and not planning to do it again and want to warn anyone to start with a very small amount. I'm planning to get some ginger root and making some tea to help me feel better.

Can anyone tell me when I'll be over this??! Normally I'm very healthy and feel good everyday. Thanks for your help!

Posted by Rachael (Jacksonville, Fl) on 10/28/2016
0 out of 5 stars

I have tried to take boron on several occasions. The first few times I was fine. The last 2 times I definitely had adverse effects. I immediately felt faint and my body tingled. Then my heart began to race and I felt like I may die. This was from drinking only a few gulps from a 1 1/2 liter pitcher of water I had added less than 1/8 teaspoon of boron. I had to drink a lot of milk and have a meal for the effects to subside. It took a while. Had that moment when I thought I had killed myself and it would be too late to call poison control(never did). The diarrhea that came within 30 minutes did not feel related to drinking the milk. Needless to say I am done with the Borax/boron. Hope this helps someone. God bless.

Posted by Dorothea (Calgary Ab) on 08/23/2016
0 out of 5 stars

I take Synthroid 100. When I take Borax I get a headache and I can feel it in my thyroid right away. I get too hyper. My cheek bones hurt me. Now I will stop with coffee and only drink chamomile tea to calm myself.

Posted by April (Va) on 07/30/2016
0 out of 5 stars

I started using 1/8 of a teaspoon of Borax in a litter of water. I drank 1/3 of the mixture last night, 1/3 this morning and will drink the rest tonight. I am having this intense full feeling. Like I have eaten 3 plates of Thanksgiving dinner lol. Is this normal when it starts working on the gut? Any suggestions? Thanks in advance for help.

Replied by April

I started taking 1/8 teaspoon of Borax mixed with a liter of water and divided it in 3 equal parts yesterday. During the day I had a full feeling in my stomach. Last night after the third dose I got really jittery, my body aches like I had the flu and I was shaking like I had a fever. ( Temp within normal range ) My throat hurts and I am really stiff today. This is the first time I have done anything natural. Should I slow down and if so to how much a day? Should I stop?

Replied by Very Irritated!
Troy, Ny

I have been reading through people's boron use reviews and I can't understand why people want not just do as they're told with this natural treatment! The recommendation is to take 1/4 for males and 1/8 for females TEASPOON of Borax and put it in a LITER of water and SIP it THROUGHOUT the DAY. Why people are disregarding that advice and adding more borax than recommended or just dividing the solution into three parts and gulping it down and then experiencing adverse reactions is beyond my understanding. Just FOLLOW the RECOMMENDATIONS!!!

Natural does not mean harmless; you still have to follow protocol or you can harm your body.

Posted by Guin (Baytown, Texas) on 06/25/2016

I wanted to try the Borax, because of yeast infection and living where there is a lot of fluoride in the water. I measured a little more than 1/8 tsp in 2pints of distilled water. Just started so no kind of reaction yet or "if", but does anyone else have a kind of a bitter taste in your mouth after you drink some? Seems to last.

Posted by Vicken7405 (New York) on 01/23/2016 1 posts
0 out of 5 stars

I have a question regarding to borax intake and reactions, I try three months ago , I use the 20 mule team brand , I Starting on a higher dose Lower dose for low to normal weight - 1/8 teaspoon of borax powder in 1 liter clean water); drink spaced out during the day 5days and 2 resting days I did for 2weeks , after that I start to feeling some reactions on my left shoulder like muscle spams and tingling on my left arm and numbness on my index finger this still bothers me, I stop to use the borax after I feeling those symptoms , them they stop and I start the

  1. Standard dose:

  2. This is for people without mineral deficiency symptoms.

  3. 1 tsp (5 ml) of concentrate added to a glass of water. This contains 25 - 30 mg of borax , symptoms came back now I felling my back is bother me as well , I stop the borax intake at all , all the symptoms still bother me just in the left area shoulder and arm , my index finger is a little normal chest muscle are contracting like tetany ,

I try to increase my magnesium intake I been doing that for three weeks sometimes I feel better but the symptoms still there , please this has been too long could you please tell me what to do. Thank you

Replied by Jim

You could be experiencing a herxheimer reaction. When there is a marked die-off of the ineffective critters there is also a release of their toxic make-up; and the result is aches and pains.

Posted by Irma (San Diego) on 01/17/2016
0 out of 5 stars

Can anyone tell me why my kidneys hurt when I take the borax?

Replied by Timh

Borax is an effective antimicrobial against a number of fungal or mycoplasma species so if one has these infections and the B kills a bunch of them you can experience the "herx" or "die-off" reaction of the waste products going through the system, especially the urinary.

Also Borax can displace certain heavy metals like fluoride which again sends those toxic substances back into the blood, lymph, or urinary systems to be detoxified or eliminated.

Natural Caffeinated beverages like Coffee or Green & Black Tea helps diuresis. Since too much caffeine is not a good thing for the nervious system, herbs to further help elimination to be taken with the drink is Chaparral and Parsley. ACV is also good for metabolism and elimination. Occasional Cranberry helps eliminate pathogens in the U.T.

Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe

Irma, you might possibly be taking much more than your body can handle.

Posted by Lynn (Cali) on 08/20/2015
0 out of 5 stars

Anyone know why I get heartburn from drinking borax water? I am female and used the 1/8 tsp in a liter of water this morning. After the first drink, I started to get reflux which only got worse as the day went on and I continued to drink it. Is this to be expected when first starting borax water (like a die off type reaction) or should I quit drinking it?

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Lynn,

I would try way less. My husband uses less than 1/16th of a teaspoon in his water throughout the day. The normal dose of 1/4 teaspoon a day (for a man) caused him digestive distress. Even that small an amount is helpful.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Lynn

Thanks Mama! I will lower my dose and try again.

Replied by Pomegranate
Sw Usa

I would think it is low stomach acid. The solution neutralizes the acid in your stomach because it is alkaline (think baking soda mixed with vinegar=water). The low level of acid makes the LES (lower esophageal sphincter) get sloppy and what acid you do have left splashes up into the esophagus.

This is the reason I can't take the borax water or the potassium ascorbate water or the magnesium water, or the etc etc...

I don't know if taking a betaine HCl with your borax water would help or not.

Replied by Jkresge
Elkton, Md
0 out of 5 stars

I used 1/8 tsp in litre of water for Borax treatment. I had herximer reaction and my heart raced for hours. I only took 1 tsp internally. The next day I just dipped my finger in it and did not take it internally and my heart still raced for hours. I drank a lot of water and it finally subsided for a while and started again. Do you know why this is happening???

Posted by Sabe (France) on 07/26/2015

Emergency Please:

I need advise: I ingested borax solution, made of 1 teaspoon for 250 ml, taking 100 ml a day, 3 to 5 days I believe. I bathed in borax dissolved in water (10 soupspoons with full bathtub). I bathed in cayenne pepper as well I am taking 3 neem capsules 3 times a day plus herbal sirop twice a day, apple cider vinega in water in the morning I don t know f it has to do with the treatment only or with food as well...but started to feel heavy in the stomach, not able to intake any of those tastes and medication I stopped everything for 1 day

Then I tried to ingest apple cider vinegar in the morning but immediately vomited it and as I have an undetected pulmonary (cough since 2007) problem, I started also coughing while vomiting and some blood came out in the mucus.

What shall I do? I am drinking massive garlic cinnamon turmeric herbal teas since more than two months, with essential oils which I stopped recently as I felt it could be too much and didn t know the interaction of borax and essential oils internally.

Thank you indeed. Sabe

Replied by Dave
Fountain Inn, Sc

Hello Sabe;

Re the problems you are having with stomach...

First, you are taking too much Borax orally. You are taking a teaspoon of Borax every two and a half days!!! ??? Where did you get that formula? And what are your symptoms that you are on such a formula.

Second, you say you are taking an herbal syrup...what is it made of?

If me...well, if me I'd never have taken so much Borax orally. And certainly not for so long. You don't want to cause problems. So again what is the condition that you are trying to resolve?

But I'm afraid...whatever you're working on that some other damage might have occurred. If me, and this doesn't resolve FAST, I'd be at my Gastroenterologist ... like pronto.

Please fill us in on what condition and symptoms you are having. Have you been diagnosed?

But I'd stop all the items you listed.... everything. Until my situation settled down. I think ... reading all the things you are throwing at your system that the combination also might be overwhelming.