Natural Remedies

Borax Side Effects

| Modified: Oct 17, 2018
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.

About the Author: Deirdre Layne

Founder and CEO of Earth Clinic, has an extensive background in health and healing. She created in 1999 as a way to teach people about natural remedies and alternative healing therapies. Since then, thousands of people around the world and their pets have been healed by the remedies found on Earth Clinic. Deirdre holds a BA from Mount Holyoke College in Philosophy and is the author of the book Apple Cider Vinegar: A Modern Folk Remedy.

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Posted by Isela (New York) on 08/23/2018
0 out of 5 stars

I been taking 1/8 teaspoon of borax in 1 liter of water, but I have side effects tingle sensation in my left arm, pain in the left side of my neck, anxiety and a lot of gasse, every time I time I touch my neck. Thanks God, I don't have the anxiety anymore. Someone who experienced the same side effects, or anyone who can tell me what can I do to get rid of the symptoms. Thank you very much for your help.

Replied by Teena
Melbourne, Australia
138 posts

Try using just a pinch for a while, your symptoms should go away, you will still be getting the benefit, and you may be able to increase later. It could be killing pathogens, as it is antifungal, giving you die-off symptoms, and repairing bone/joint problems. But overall listen to your body. Best to you

Replied by Isela
New York

I made a mistake on a previous message, the anxiety and high blood pressure was caused by the Apple Cider Vinegar. Thank you for all your help.

Posted by Touba (Tampa, Fl) on 07/17/2018
0 out of 5 stars

I am 47 yrs old women. Experiencing bone and joint aches. Last week after I ate shiitake mushrooms I started to experience left big toe joint pain. I thought it might be gout. I search and started taking cal-mag, C, cheries.. Along with 1/8 tsp borax in 1lt water daily.

My 10 yr old son told me that I am over the top angry, and snappy (I was PMS ing). I never skip a period up till this time and I am 3 days late this time. Today PMS symptoms are gone. Using cal-mag helps me to have my period easy. So it's not that. I am thinking it might be the borax caused to skipping?? Anybody who has/had the same experience and/or might have an opinion on this? I am pretty curious that it might be a huge coincidence that is starting borax solution and losing a period at the same time, maybe its just I am getting premenopausal..

Posted by Lester (Dublin) on 07/13/2018
0 out of 5 stars

Candida - Use of Turpentine and Borax resulting in becoming very tired throughout the day and in muscles of the body.

Just finished my 4th day of turpentine in the morning yesterday and on my third day of using the Borax. Now I was just on the Turpentine last week, but since starting the Borax I have been exhausted... Any reason why this might be, please?!



Posted by Lia (Nv) on 07/05/2018
0 out of 5 stars

I have been taking borax (20 mule) for close to a month 1/8tsp per day. I started having bone pain, no other side effects just feeling bone pain. Is this normal. I do take vitamin D, K, Magnesium, silica and B complex. Is bone pain normal?

Replied by Anon

That does not appear to be a frequent side effect. It is likely the borax is removing something that is causing inflammation in your bones. Fluoride would be a possible culprit. Reducing the dosage temporarily would probably relieve the symptom. An anti-inflammatory such as turmeric could make you more comfortable. You could also take raw garlic and cayenne to improve your circulation. Look into "phase 1 and 2 detox", too. What condition are you trying to improve?

Replied by Lia

Thank you for your response. Mostly I am trying to improve my teeth and gums. I have been taking Vitamin D + K2 (mk4 &7) +Mg + Vit A (liver once a week) for a while and noticed improvement in my teeth. Then later on I have learned that calcium is being regulated in the body not just by Vitamin D by also by parathyroid which needs boron. Anyway so I started supplementing with borax. Any thoughts?

Posted by Trinidad (Nevada) on 06/21/2018

I dissolved 1 teaspoon of Borax in a liter of distilled water. From that solution, I take 1 teaspoon and add it to 6 ounces of distilled water and drink it once a day. I noticed that I get pimples on my scalp. Is this an allergy reaction to Borax?

Replied by Anon

It happens to me, too. It is probably killing candida or some other pest in your scalp. I just wash my hair daily and make sure to drink kefir for the probiotics, protein, sulfur, etc. If you drink milk, switch to kefir or yogurt. Milk and ice cream tend to encourage eczema in some people. If you wear hats or ponytails it may be part of the cause trapping heat and moisture in your hair and allowing a fungal infection to persist. Look into tDemodexmodex mite cure, maybe, too. Good luck!

Posted by John (Amsterdam) on 06/19/2018
0 out of 5 stars

I have been using Borax 5 days on 2 days off using a dosage between 1/4th and 1/8th of a teaspoon. The reason that I have been using it is that I suspect Candida and yeast related issues.

I have noticed many days (not all) that I have had serious diarrhea due to the effect of the borax. Could this be due to candida die off or could this be a side effect due to the alkalinity of Borax? Can anyone elaborate on this?

Posted by Yola4 (Leh, New Jersey ) on 06/10/2018
0 out of 5 stars

Hi guys,

I just started taking borax yesterday (1/8 tsp in 1 liter water) and experienced some nausea and rapid heart beat almost right away. I took it again today and my pulse slowed down, but I've been throwing up all day. I'm trying to heal RA, hypothyroidism, heal my gut, become alkaline, kill off Candida, and heal this over exfoliated burning skin damage. Yeah a lot to deal with.

I want to continue it for healing purposes but I just cannot consume it that way...the taste is not pleasant and tastes like a chemical to me. Honestly just the thought of it makes me nauseated again. So I'm looking to buy boron supplements but was wondering if anyone could recommend somewhere or a brand. Also how much would I take? Thanks

Replied by Charity
Faithville, Us

I take borax in through my feet. I started last august with a ~tiny~pinch in 1-2 gal water, an hour soak one day a week for first month. Drastic changes and I needed to use chanca piedra to break up kidney stones it brought about the first time I did it.Ginger gets nausea under control. 2nd month I did it twice a week and now three days a week. Amazing changes. Every time I do it the next day I have more pain and then I get stronger and slowly increased my pinch to about 1/4 tsp. Wishing you well. Love, Charity

Replied by Yola4
Leh, New Jersey

Thanks Charity, I will try this method and tell you how it goes. Thanks so much for the support and help you've given me. Love, Lonnie

Replied by Gioia

I make my own capsules with borax. I purchase empty capsules and fill with borax. Maybe try that instead.

Posted by Al779 (Sylva) on 05/16/2018
0 out of 5 stars

Hi. I'm using Borax (1/8 tsp/liter/day for 5 days) to treat Lichen sclerosus. I'm on my second week of 5 days on/2days off. Since I've started I have started having hot flashes mostly at night (never had them before). I had read that this treatment helped people with hot flashes. I'm 53 yo and I just missed my first period in April so I guess it possible that this is just part of the early stages of menopause but seems odd it started when I started the borax treatments. Do you think it's related?

Replied by Frances
Cabarlah, Qld.

I have been taking the 1/8th teaspoon borax in a litre of distilled water for quite some time following Ted's advice for a condition I have. Shortly after acquiring this condition, I also developed Lichen Sclerosus as well as granuloma annulare. I signed up for the Patient UK Forum on LS and find it most helpful; it is recommended there to use a sitz bath with borax along with other recommendations.

Posted by Ar100 (San Jose, Ca) on 04/20/2018
0 out of 5 stars

My daughter was taking borax for her acne condition but she started to get dark-circles under her eyes. She was taking a very small dosage of 1/32 tsp in 1 liter of water. After stopping the borax due to the dark-circles, her acne flared up. She was thinking of trying it again but she's concerned about the dark-circles. Does anybody know what they indicate? Thanks.

Replied by Teena
Melbourne, Australia
138 posts

Ar100, dark circles under eye are essentially a result of toxins. Consider a liver cleanse or some daily liver herbs such as milk thistle, dandelion, or granulated (very important) non GMO lecithin, to help some detox. After a couple of weeks of liver heal she may try the borax again. Can also apply some unrefined or organic coconut oil topically (and internally, for that matter). If me personally, I would probably also apply rosehip oil and castor oil with the coconut. One because I always add castor oil to salves and balms, and two because having just started using the rosehip, found it is great for the skin.

Best to you

Replied by Ar100
San Jose, Ca

Thank you Teena, I will let her know. Her acne condition is due to hormonal effects. The borax was helping but she got so discouraged with the dark circles. She has tried acne antibiotics and other hormonal medicine but nothing seems to get rid of her acne...

Replied by Teena
Melbourne Australia
138 posts

Ar100, the acne unfortunately are also signs of congested liver, more reason to do a cleanse, I still suffer breakouts occasionally and my diet has been relatively clean for several months. Of course it will take more than a few good months to clear the body of years of bad habits. With a recent breakout, however, to stop myself picking, this time I reached for some homemade liquid soap, just so that I feel the wetness and am 'reminded' not to pick. Terrible habit. Anyway the next morning, the pimple had receded and not grown, whereas another one I hadn't treated had formed a large white head. My homemade soap consists of bentonite clay, baking soda, borax, water and essential oils. I'm thinking the benefit was likely the clay, and I'll definitely use it in future.

Posted by Molly (Princeton, Nj) on 04/05/2018
0 out of 5 stars

I began again taking, in the morning, 1/8 tsp borax in 1 liter of water daily (sipped throughout day) for 5 days then 2 days off. In the first week alone it makes me very sleep around 1-3 pm that I have to take a 2 hour nap. After that I'm fine again. This is the 3rd time over 1 year I started this dose and each time it makes me sleepy so I stop taking it. Why is it making me sleepy? I'm healthy and should have few toxins in me. Thank you.

Replied by Natalia
Mn, Usa

Although we believe ourselves to be relatively healthy in our diet and lifestyle, the bare truth is that we all carry a heavy toxic load of accumulated heavy metals - from vaccines, foods and environment, toxic iron - from 'fortified' foods = iron shavings, exposure to EMF, multiple vitamin & mineral deficiencies, unhealthy microbiomes, pathogenic microbes, parasites, and have impaired detox pathways. The reactions you are experiencing are detox issues and also point to adrenal fatigue and an overall deficiency of minerals. Maybe look toward adding a minimum of 500 mg magnesium (500 mg/100# body weight), a 72 mineral trace suppl, B vitamins, 4.5 grams/4500 mg potassium, increase your intake of salt, Iodine (Lugols or Edgar Cayce's sol.), food-sourced C (NOT as ascorbic acid), Vita D3, omega fatty acids (cod liver oil has all 5 of them), ACV or other bicarbonate (baking soda is not the best source nor necessarily advised), a diet of many-colored fresh and steamed fruits & vegies, clean proteins, non-processed oils (think raw, unfiltered coconut oil), pre- and pro-biotics, biofilm busting herbals (Lumbrokinase; even Mucinex is a known buster), drink some cleansing herbal teas, take activated charcoal or tumeric w, black pepper, 1-3 caps with water at bedtime - as a binder for the toxins, (not with suppls as this will bind them too), drink plenty of filtered water. And stay with your Borax regimen. Your body needs to heal and this can be slow and problematic for 2-3 wks or longer. Sleep is our default healing state and your body, in its innate wisdom, is telling you that down time is needed. You may need to also change the timing of your Borax/Boron intake to change the timing of your exhaustion although the afternoon exhaustion really points to adrenals. The adrenal 'cocktail' I take is the juice of two oranges, 1/2 tsp Redmond or Celtic salt, 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (yes, from the spices aisle for potassium), and 1000 mg berry-sourced Vita C; you can sub coconut or Fiji water. We need to detox when we start any healing regimen and be prepared for the inconvenience and actual pain that we may go through. Deep tissue massage is very helpful. Natural medicine has long understood the role of the skin - largest body organ - in detox and the standard medical community is now realizing the role of the integument (the tissues that connects all of our cells) in health, the treatment of cancers, etc. Alternative therapies like deep or visceral tissue massage, micro-current, acupuncture, and a host of others, are aimed at moving the lymph system that mops up the toxins once mobilized from the organs, bone, gut, and integument; in turn, the toxins are secreted by the liver and kidney IF properly bound for excretion. Lyme researchers proved that the integument under our skin is vastly populated by pathogenic biofilms, a feature of treatment-resistant Lyme complex. This is opined as the cause of skin eruptions in any healing protocol. I believe that our bodies communicate clearly and we just need to listen and give ourselves what is needed for deep healing and true health. Best to you on your journey.

Posted by Alexander (Washington) on 03/31/2018

I've been using two pinches of borax as a supplement everyday for nearly a year. Now I'm worried it has built up in my system and is causing skin rashes, irritated throat, slight fever etc.

I regularly drink alcohol which could have inhibited my kidney function, preventing my kidneys from flushing boron out of my system.

The amount I used daily would have been roughly 20 or 25 mg per day.

Should I have been taking two days off?

Replied by Mama To Many

Yes, I think you should have been taking 2 days off. And if your kidney function is compromised, perhaps using much less.

That said, if kidney function is not great, the symptoms you are experiencing could be from any number of things.

Do check out kidney remedies here at EC and see what might resonate with your situation.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Charity
Faithville, Us

Borax is a mineral that we need to consume on a regular schedule. There are also other minerals it is in balance with. If they get out of balance or you get low on water in your system, the body will produce histamine as a warning shot with symptoms (rash, sore throat, ect) so you can think about what is out of balance causing symptoms. Alcohol dehydrates and depletes of minerals, like magnesium for instance. I don't drink but encourage you if you do to read more on how to re balance your systems. Blessings. Charity

Posted by Cindy (Memphis, Tennessee) on 03/24/2018 2 posts
0 out of 5 stars

I started the borax protocol over a week ago, using ⅛ teaspoon to one liter of bottled water. I am 59 years of age, and have been suffering from fibromyalgia since 1997. I am trying to ease my fibro pain. On my third day I started seeing red bumps on my arms and legs and now my face. I did one more day of borax and my reaction worsened. I have stopped using borax. I have not used borax in 4 days. I was wondering if I am allergic or is this a reaction to detoxing. I have never detoxed before. I would like to use the borax again, but I am afraid of worsening my condition. I no longer have red bumps, but now wounds. My arms and legs constantly itch like crazy. Any suggestions? Help!

Thank you, Cindy

Replied by Ian Noelle
Franklin, Tn

I had the same problem in May 2017.

After investigating, it was a healing reaction from the borax. My rash which was located on the left leg calf area seemed to be coming from within my body whereas a poison ivy rash would sit on top of the skin. I stopped borax until my skin felt calm and then resumed it. I've had no problems since.

Replied by Cindy
Memphis, Tennessee, Usa
2 posts

Thank you Ian. I also feel my rash looks a bit like poison ivy, but I have never been allergic, so far in my life. I am waiting for the rash to heal, before starting back on the borax. I do believe that I am detoxing. I didn't realize my body was so trashed. I am now intent on cleaning up my body. I want to feel and look like thirty again. It's worth a try!! 😀

Posted by Robert B. (Asheville, Nc) on 03/09/2018
0 out of 5 stars

I started taking boron at 1/8 teaspoon in liter of water. After about 1 week I developed a small red rash over many parts of body. I stopped and rash slightly lessened. Any suggestions?

Replied by Anon

Sounds like herxhiemer reaction, a detox reaction. Probably you are not poisoning yourself, so don't worry. Bromide is said to cause rashes when it is detoxed. Or parasites are trying to escape the borax. Taking soothing baths or reducing the amount of borax would be the thing to do if the rash is bothersome. Or take activated charcoal or chlorella; digestive complaints (such as an overloaded elimination system from the borax clearing things out) have been known to cause skin rashes. Rashes are a fairly common detox reaction in general from what I have read. Good luck!

Posted by Thijs (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) on 02/21/2018
0 out of 5 stars

I started supplementing 3 mg of boron multiple times a day with food together with iodine. Initially I was seeing many Improvements but after almost a week I started feeling worse and worse. I initially dropped the iodine because I thought the lugols was the reason for the symptoms. I developed a smashing headache on the right side of my brain. Increased anxiety, fatigue and general malaise. Pain in my neck and shoulders etc. This is when I realized the boron could be the culprint. I have a history of candida symptoms and I expected a die off. After stopping the boron the symptoms went away within 24 hours. Just saying go low and slow.

I will introduce the boron again soon and will keep the dosage low for a while. Molybdenum can help to get rid of acetydehyde from the candida die off.

Replied by Charity
Faithville, Us

I've been reading a lot on this topic this year and boron also lowers copper. People can be toxic copper and low copper at the same time. Toxic copper is improper storage and unusable but causes symptoms of overload while the body is starved of copper for utilizing in collagen and elastin and brain health, and zinc balancing. Boron lowers msm and c. Vitamin C lowers copper also.

Replied by Natalia
Mn Usa

In actuality, whole food Vitamin C or the fruits it is made from are the sole source for the protein-bound, bioavailable form of Copper - Ceroplasmin. NOT from ascorbic acid-sourced Vita C (from GMO corn, usually). Food sourced Vita C contains a molecule of Ceroplasmin and this, along with adequate intake of Magnesium (about 500 mg per 100# body weight; transdermal is needed relative to bowel tolerance), Boron (up to 30-80 mg daily or lower dose with 3-9 prunes daily), trace minerals (liquid suppl and or nutritional yeast), food source B vitamins (esp B12; bee pollen is a good source for the Bs), Vita D (cod liver oil), Potassium (about 4.5 grams daily for an adult), Silica (diatomaceous earth or Fiji water), Iodine (Edgar Cayce's formula or Rugol's Solution, Taurine (500-1000 mg daily), will begin to provide the body with the minerals needed to begin the road to healing.

Additionally, one must eliminate all citrates, Calcium and Iron supplements, and eating a Paleo-type diet with adequate zinc and all of the other trace minerals we need, will balance our bodies and result in a much more healthy and dis-ease resistant state. When we begin to balance, our bodies detox and we start ridding our body of stores of toxic iron. Go low and slow. Borax is an integral part of this regimen and much of it is inexpensive and diy.

For Herx, take the juice of 1 lemon in a cup of water and Alka Seltzer Gold with 8 oz water; this works in 1-3 hours AND back down on your dosing until your body is stronger. Blessings.

Posted by Schunter (Ca) on 12/30/2017
0 out of 5 stars

I have been taking Borax now for a little over a month. I am getting bit concerned because my bladder is really beginning to bother me, in that I feel like I have to constantly urinate (not a bladder infection I checked) and I am worried that it may be too hard on my kidneys. I have had IC in the past but it was a long time ago. Also, I have Scleroderma and my extremities are colder than usual. I'm wondering if I should just force through this because it might be a herx or whether the Borax may just be too much for my system. I would think by now this would have passed. Any advice would be appreciated.

Replied by Rosalyn

Mix one rounded tsp of Borax in 1 quart of water - shake til dissolved. This is your Borax concentrate. I started out putting one tsp of the concentrate in my 22 oz. glass water bottle to drink throughout the day. After about a week (b/c I had no side effects), I increased it to 2 tsps. a day. My plan is to increase to no more than 3 tsp. per day. I was told this is the same as 3 mg of boron a day, which is the recommended dose.

Replied by Anon

Your bladder symptoms are similar to the symptoms of oxalate kidney stones. The alkalinity of borax may be loosening the crystals. Drinking raw apple cidar vinegar in water or drinking lemon juice is often helpful for kidney stones. You may find your solution in that direction.

Replied by Rskorj

Look into other nutrients, vitamins you may need. Iodine deficiency is common and one symptom of that is cold hands and feet.

Replied by Dean
Mw Mt

Have you looked into DMSO for your scleroderma? In the book, "DMSO The Persecuted Drug" there is some good info on using it for that disease.

Replied by Natalia
Mn, Usa

Actually, when mixing ionic Boron at 1 tsp Borax to 1 liter of water, the resulting water contains approx 3 mg of Boron per tsp. The greatest health benefits will be experienced when also balancing all the other needed primary and trace minerals, Magnesium is key among them. It's fantastic that you are tolerating high doses of ionic Boron as doses for adults are recommended at 30-80 mg daily.