Natural Remedies

Borax Side Effects

| Modified on Sep 26, 2023
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Borax Side Effects

Borax is gaining popularity as an effective natural remedy for many health concerns. Borax contains boron, which is an element the body requires. Boron helps bones to be strong. It helps the body properly utilize other nutrients. Restoring boron to the body through borax can be part of the solution for health problems like arthritis, joint problems, athlete's foot and some autoimmune diseases. However, borax is not without side effects for some people.

Side effects can include the following:

  • Burning skin
  • Nerve pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Itching skin
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Cramping
  • Kidney pain
  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Worsening of PMS Symptoms

Why Does Borax Cause Side Effects?

Borax can cause a detox reaction in the body. This is likely to cause headaches and flu like symptoms.

Borax affects hormones. It can increase estradiol (an estrogen) and testosterone. Any time that hormones are fluctuating mood changes, anxiety, depression, and exacerbation of PMS symptoms can result.

Borax may help the body remove parasites, which will, in turn cause some symptoms of toxin release.

Borax may cause side effects if too much is taken at once, or not enough water is used.

How Can I Avoid Borax Side Effects?

Always start with less and increase the amount slowly to make sure that the body is adjusting well to a new routine.

Use plenty of water with the borax protocol. This will properly dilute the borax and will also give the body the needed fluids to flush itself out.

Take a magnesium supplement. Borax side effects are more pronounced in those who have low magnesium levels.

What Can I Do to Relieve Borax Side Effects?

Take activated charcoal to relieve digestive distress or flu-like symptoms that result from borax side effects. Charcoal will adsorb toxins and settle the digestive system.

Consume plenty of water or herbal tea to keep toxins flushing out of the system.

Take an Epsom salt bath. This will provide the body with needed magnesium and relax the body.

If you have used borax topically and had a skin reaction, Castor oil or apple cider vinegar can be used to relieve the reaction. Castor oil is massaged into the skin. Or 1 cup apple cider vinegar can be added to a tub of warm water and used for a bath. The apple cider vinegar bath will help to restore proper pH to the skin.

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.

Is there an Alternative to Borax?

Borax contains boron, which is a necessary nutrient to the body. Borax is one way to supplement this nutrient to the body to improve health, but it is not the only way. Boron supplements can be used. Calcium fructoborate is another option.

Borax Side Effects Video

Watch Earth Clinic's video to learn more and add your experience.

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

100 User Reviews

4 star (1) 
3 star (4) 

Posted by AlleyCat (NSW, Australia) on 09/16/2023
0 out of 5 stars

Hi - I started the borax protocol in early July - I had either Covid or RSV over the month of August and in the last week of August I started with diarrhea which I thought came from undercooked chicken, however it was not the normal 'explosive' kind that accompanies food poisoning.

I have ongoing issues with candida and constipation related to EDS and I'm gluten-free and mostly avoid dairy.

The first 5 days of the 'bug' were 2 times a day mass evacuation of sludge (I assume to be the impacted content). Then I got to 4 days of water type and one explosive day with green (I'm assuming that was the actual bug coming through) - then it slowly returned to twice a day sludge alternating with more traditional type watery diarrhea.

there have been what I'll describe as colon spasms (rather than 'stomach cramps') that will occur randomly over the day.

Is there any chance that the borax has caused an issue - in the first few weeks I was seeing improvement with candida so I was thrilled that this might be helping - but now I'm wondering if I should stop?

any thoughts would be much appreciated as I can't find a page with 'real side effects' as all the searches will go straight to mainstream, it's 'poison' type information.

Replied by Madelyn

AlleyCat, try taking borax a couple of times per week instead of daily for a while. Give your body a chance to recover and recalibrate after being sick. This Covid or RSV virus is giving lots of people trouble for weeks on end. You can pick the borax back up to 5 days a week if you feel necessary once you're feeling better.

Borax Side Effects
Posted by Vernard (AZ) on 09/06/2023
0 out of 5 stars

Tried borax for first time, 1/8th teaspoon in 24 oz of water. my esophogus was burning all night. anyone have any idea possibly why?

Replied by Art
1856 posts


If you have an irritation in your esophagus, the borax can worsen it because the normal pH of the esophagus is around seven, but the pH of borax is considerably higher at around 9.24 and that can potentially further irritate an already irritated esophagus.

Ted's recommendation was to mix the 1/8th teaspoon of borax in a quart/liter of water, whereas you only used 24 ounces of water. Another consideration is some people have found benefit at 1/16th teaspoon. Diluting as Ted said to and using a lesser dose may make borax more tolerable, but if it continues to irritate your esophagus even with the changes, you will be better off looking at ECs over 100 other remedies for arthritis here :


Borax Side Effects
Posted by Selena (Arkansas ) on 07/19/2023
0 out of 5 stars

Hi. I started taking a pinch of Borax every day about 4 months ago. After about 6 weeks I started getting a rash around my chin. Doc gave me a steroid cream. Used it for two week and had to take a week off before using it again. It looked like it was gone. I didn't think I'd need to use it again but the rash was back worse than before in two days. Then doc gave me a fungal cream with a small amount of steroid for two weeks. It was gone but again came back worse. Went back on the steroid cream while waiting to go to the dermatologist this time. He said it looked like I was allergic to fluoride. So do you think this is from the borax or the fluoride. I don't know what to do. I'm scared this won't go away or that I've poisoned myself. Or maybe the fluoride was coming out though my skin detoxing???

Replied by Art
1856 posts


You can stop borax and if the rash resolves on its own in a month or so, the borax is the likely problem.


Replied by Madelyn

Is there fluoride in your toothpaste? It's a common reaction.

Replied by Flower Girl
(Hone Sweet Home)

99% pure flowers of sulfur improved the acne-like rash above my mouth, I ran out before the rash was completely gone.

It started when I took lysine tablets. I had the rash for over a year before I tried the sulfur. I drank a teaspoon of the sulfur in a cup of water once a day for a few days. Made me feel really good, too.

Otherwise look up boron co-nutrients and try those maybe.

Borax Side Effects
Posted by JJ (AZ) on 07/11/2023
0 out of 5 stars

I mixed a 1/4 tsp (20 mule team) in a liter of clean water... drank only 10% of it and got very bad side effects... racing heart, brain fog, lightheadedness, gut pain... I felt as though I was poisoned... it came on quickly.

The Borax I used WAS several years old... but still...

And I doubt this was a detox reaction... I have been taking some cilantro and lugol's occasionally, eating pretty healthy...

Borax Side Effects
Posted by Tania (CT) on 07/06/2023
0 out of 5 stars

Paradoxical reactions to Borax

My husband and I have started taking borax in the 1tsp to 1 liter solution. He has systemic candida and broke out in mouth sores within 3 days of taking it.
I have arthritic pains in my hands that come and go and within a week of taking the solution, my hands are much worse.

We both also experienced crushing depression as well. Is this just a normal herx reaction? I'm going to stick it out but I have been unable to find anything that mentions these specific symptoms.

Replied by Gary
(Kitchener On)

Hi Tania

Too much Borax. Men 1/4 spoon daily and Women 1/8 spoon daily.

I have been Borax happy for 4 years and no-side effects but feel great.

God Bless


Borax Side Effects
Posted by Mel (Saskatchewan (SK)) on 05/10/2023
0 out of 5 stars

Hello I have been using borax for arthritis type pain in joints the past few months (1/4 tsp in 1 litre of water 5 days a week). I'm getting muscle cramps lately. I'm wondering if anyone else has had this problem?

Replied by Art


Boron is an active component of Borax and it can direct more magnesium and calcium toward the bones, possibly leaving insufficient magnesium available for the soft tissues. This potential insufficiency of magnesium could cause muscle cramps. If supplementing an absorbable form of magnesium such as magnesium glycinate resolves the muscle cramping, then you have your answer.

Another common cause of muscle cramping is insufficient potassium intake.


Replied by Tom 70
(Auckland, New Zealand.)

1/4 tsp of borax is over 1,100mg, which is over 120 mg of boron.......wonder if this is too high a daily dose.

Replied by Tim

Are you taking magnesium supplements with it?

Borax Side Effects
Posted by Chris (Ottawa, Canada) on 04/25/2023
0 out of 5 stars

I started using the Borax protocol about 10 days ago. My skin seems dry and my gums started hurting today. Has anyone else had any side effects? Maybe I just need to drink more water for the dry skin but unsure about the gums. Perhaps not even related. Just curious if anyone else had side effects.

Replied by Art
1856 posts


I have seen a dry skin condition develop in a friend who was using 1/8 teaspoon of borax every week day. She stopped and the dry skin went away. She restarted and the dry skin slowly came back, so she stopped completely. I asked her to try 1/16th of a teaspoon, but she said no. Some people don't tolerate Borax, but the majority of people do.

An alternative is to try higher dose boron based supplements, which has also shown the ability to put arthritis into remission.



This could explain why I have such dry skin for well over a year! I recently decided to stop the borax because it no longer helps my arthritis, not sure why it quit working. But the dry flaky skin is so embarrassing, maybe I finally know what causes it!

Borax Side Effects
Posted by phxmtbnomad (Phoenix) on 04/03/2023
0 out of 5 stars

Concerning Borax dosing. Curious how quickly the initial few swallows can take to actually "feel" any effects. I'm male. I only have 1/2 liter container at the moment, mixed up 1/8 teaspoon in water and had a few swallows. Almost immediately I could feel something different. Almost heady, sort of dizzy while lying in bed and throughout the night. Not unpleasant. How long would it normally take before the body begins releasing toxins? I'm a little sore this morning all over and have evacuated several times already in healthy amounts which is not typical. Not hungry but again, nothing unpleasant. Mind you I have not drank the full 1/2 liter yet, probably have another half to go. Would it have affected me that quickly or am I imagining things?

Replied by Julie
(Deerbrook Wi)

Sounds like ( from what I am reading) your concentration is too strong, try 1/16 to 1/8 tsp in 1/2 liter of water once a day.

Borax Side Effects
Posted by Hakara (Vancouver, BC) on 12/29/2022
0 out of 5 stars

I started the borax cure 3 days ago for arthritis in my wrists, knees, fingers and especially feet. Feet have become quite deformed from the flare ups. I'm also taking magnesium, D3, K2, ACV and vitamin C with it. They are not new, I take them all the time. Just the borax is new. Drinking lots of water. My urine really stinks. It's more yellow. Can anyone speak to this and explain why my urine is stinky?

Replied by Linda

My research said it is due to detoxing the body so the darker the urine the more waste is pulled out.

Nicole Little
(Philadelphia, PA)

This is what happens to me when I was doing detox baths with borax. My urine became darker yellow with slightly green color. I believe that this is part of the detox.

Borax Side Effects
Posted by Mackenzie (Australia Gold Coast) on 04/26/2022
3 out of 5 stars

I recently shared I was experiencing new bumps over my cheeks when started the RDI of borax in the water however now my face my forehead in particular is covered in folliculitis type lumps - I did start taking this for arthritis and a yeast overgrowth causing folliculitis that I have over my body but never had it on my face, now since the borax my my face just has lumps and bumps all over? And now my face I find is very oily? Anyone else experience this? I have read to use apple cider vinegar potentially? I still am unsure wether to stop or to just keep going in the hopes my body regulates itself. This is just making me feel quite insecure with the process.

Replied by Thomas

It sounds like a detox reaction, like an Herxheimer reaction. Take Vitamin C to counter. If you take ‘normal Vit C' (calcium ascorbate) by tablet it may give you diarrhoea, so try magnesium ascorbate which is slower to work but helps body repair. Tablet Vit C only gets about 10% absorbed. Better still, try and get Liposomal Vit C. I use Altrient C but it is not cheap. It dissolves in the gut but has an 80-90% absorption.

Replied by Frank

Did this issue resolve? Also did the arthritis and yeast improve?

Replied by Rob

Bleach bath is very benefical for folliculitis of the body. You will have to take a bath daily for good results. Use a wet wash rag to lay over your face when take this bleach bath. Pour 4 oz (¼ to ½ cup) of unsented chlorine bleach into your bath water. Soak the entire body for 10 - 25 minutes. Do not rinse your skin after the bath and quickly dry with a towel to avoid chills. Repeat bleach bath every day for one month. Diluted bleach baths are safe and effective.

Borax Side Effects
Posted by Isolda (Beaufort) on 04/24/2022
0 out of 5 stars


I did the 1/4 tsp in a litre of water first day loading but by the time I reached 3/4 of the bottle about 5-6 hours later I started to feel antsy and nervous. I was a little anxious. Later in the evening I felt anxious again. Like it had a second cycle in my body. Probably going through my liver.

I have read that the dosage of the 1/4 tsp = 114mg is incorrect. Can you please confirm that it is correct?

Replied by Art
1856 posts


The quarter teaspoon of borax is the dose that Ted recommended for men and half that dose for women. So if you were trying to follow Ted's directions you are correct.

Something that I don't remember Ted covering in his remedy was that some people can not tolerate borax, but that is something I have seen in some friends who have tried borax for arthritis. On the other hand, the dose that the originator of using borax/boron for arthritis, Dr. Rex Newnham, recommended a significantly lower dose of borax/boron and claimed to get very good effects back in the 1970's and 1980's. Here is a link to info on him and the doses he used, which were significantly less than Ted's dosing schedule.


Borax Side Effects
Posted by Preston (South carolina) on 04/22/2022
0 out of 5 stars

Looking to take borax for an autoimmune condition. I have a small hiatal hernia and get acid reflux easily. Just started taking and it gives me reflux. Can you mix this with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in the water, like you can baking soda?

Replied by Frank

Did this issue resolve? I also noticed reflux but wasn't sure if it was just a beginning side effect or a long-term one

Borax Side Effects
Posted by Mackenzie (Australia) on 04/09/2022
0 out of 5 stars

I am day two into taking borax, taking the recommended mg for women in a litre of water, I'm noticing a heavy chest? Does anyone else experience this and tiny little red bumps coming up all over my cheeks? I'm hoping this is just a detox reaction as I really hope borax is a life changer for me. Any one else experience this?

Replied by Art
1856 posts

Red bumps could be the beginning of a rash and you may be allergic to Borax. Stop and see if they go away. If they do, you probably don't want to use borax as a shower soap either as you were considering. Some people are not able to tolerate borax.

As an alternative, you might look into Boron supplementing. Dr. Rex Newnham used Boron also effectively for arthritis.


Borax Side Effects
Posted by Ivan (Slovenija) on 03/08/2022
0 out of 5 stars

Hello, I prepaired a solution with borax as you recomended, 1 smal teaspoon in 1 liter of water and take it today first time after a lunch, it was just a half of teaspoon a solution. Very soon after take it I feel in my stomack burning like acid and it doesnt gone for some hours even I drinked a lot of water, I ate some almonds on it also. I bought 500 g of borax from company REVIVO in Slovenija, city Kamnik and on the package is writen that it is a restavration material and it makes a big itching eyes or skin. In this comapny told me that in package is just a pre borax without additives. Is this burning in stomack normal for borax, even a smaller dose as you recomended? Thank you very much, Ivan

Replied by Charity
(faithville, Us)

take a 1/4 tsp baking soda dissolved in a cup of water and that should make you calm. If it is not enough take another dose after half an hour .....probably just got in fight with some problems already going on and now you will need to use a much smaller dose to fight it later on after a few days . Also, try molybdenum for candida die off symptoms and chanca piedra if this borax releases calcium out of soft tissue.

Replied by mmsg
(somewhere, europe)

Ivan, I take less than a pinch! Maybe you took much too much for your body.

Replied by donal

1 teaspoon in 700 ml water mix. Then take only 20 to 30 ml daily.

Borax Side Effects
Posted by Sarah (Kalamazoo, MI ) on 12/10/2021
0 out of 5 stars

I am getting back on drinking borax throughout the day. I had forgotten that it keeps me awake at night so I try to get it all drank by noon but it still keeps me awake. Why is that and can anything be done? Thank you. Sarah

Replied by mmsg
(somewhere, europe)

Sarah, if it's helping you, try taking a lot less each time.