Natural Remedies

Borax Side Effects

| Modified on Mar 21, 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.

92 User Reviews

4 star (1) 
3 star (4) 

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
1577 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
1577 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.

Borax Side Effects
Posted by Robin (Pinkney, MI) on 06/27/2021 2 posts
0 out of 5 stars

I'm finishing my fourth day on drinking borax in distilled water protocol, but I'm having low back soreness on the right side. It's not muscular as it cannot be rubbed out. I have no nausea...just this back pain that was here a few days back and left and now is back again. It feels very sore. Should I back off the protocol? Or could this be a healing aspect?

Replied by Joseph
(Stockton, CA)
75 posts

I just read your comment, not familiar with it but just thought I would add my 2cents. Don't know your age but I am 79 and back pain has recently kicked my butt, painful, Dr stated it was Arthritis, can yours be Arthritis also?

Replied by Nikki
(St. Louis, MO)

My guess is, Borax will help move stones (kidney and fall bladder). Many of the protocols I've read have suggested taking a stone breaker (Chanca Piedra) to help break up the stones into smaller pieces before starting boron/borax.

Borax Side Effects
Posted by KM M (Colorado) on 05/25/2021
0 out of 5 stars

Hi. I started talking Borax 5 days ago. I am tasting mold/ mildew when I drink water. Has anyone else experienced this?

Borax Side Effects
Posted by Debbie (United Kingdom ) on 05/12/2021
0 out of 5 stars

I've been using 1/4 teaspoon in a litre of water 5 days per week.

I was wondering if borax side effects can be with the urethra as I'm having pain after I've finished peeing and wondered if it was build up??? No fever or any other symptoms other than frequency of urination.

I do have candida and take other supplements

Replied by GertJr

Debbie in UK--if you think that borax is causing your problem, stop it for a while and see if the problem goes away. I don't think borax is causing it, but test it out. Go a week without, if the problem persists, then it's not the borax. If it goes away, then that's a possibility. Your body may not want/need this amount. Leave off for a month, then run a test using it for a week or so and see if the problem comes back. Each body is different and you need to find what works for you.

Replied by Pamina
(New Zealand)

I had the same reaction. I think it was from an an underlying candida or UT imbalance that didn't give me severe symptoms. This was confirmed when I used borax as a vaginal suppository. After two nights, the mild UTI symptoms I had (like urinary urgency) lessened.

Borax Side Effects
Posted by Yvonne (England) on 04/13/2021
0 out of 5 stars

I have been using 1/2 tsp borax in a glass of water for the past 3 days. My arthritic knee pain today is worse than ever. Is this usual? Should I stop taking it or persevere. Any advice would be grateful.

EC: Hi Yvonne,

Why are you taking such an enormous dosage of borax?! That is not the correct amount as mentioned in our borax articles, videos, and feedback posts from hundreds of our readers!

For women, it's 1/8 teaspoon of borax in 1 liter of water sipped slowly throughout the day, 5 days on, 2 days off. However, many people start with far less than that and work their way up slowly.

Replied by Curtis

I did something similar. I misread instructions on taking a teaspoon of diluted solution and instead added a teaspoon of sodium borate to a drink. I have had flu symptoms and a headache. How serious is this? Trying to dilute and flush with fluids.

Replied by Madelyn

It's not at all serious in the sense that borax is toxic or you've taken in too much boron. In fact, borax has a higher toxicity threshold than common table salt. However, what is serious or can feel serious is the herx, aka die off effect and release of toxins, heavy metals and fluoride. My husband overdid it one day and took half teaspoon each of borax and baking soda in a cup of water on an empty stomach. He felt sick (nauseous and headache) for the rest of the day. He later passed a large dead white worm thing in his stool. You'll be fine. Just rest and keep hydrated to flush out the toxins.

Borax Side Effects
Posted by Tracey (CO) on 04/01/2021
0 out of 5 stars

Borax Remedy Day 6. Debilitating die off, didn't leave bed for 2 days. Tension headaches, body aches (mostly in jaw, lower back, and pelvis), flu like symptoms. Did 1/8 teaspoon in water for 3 days (tired but no die off), day off, then had a small amount day 5 morning and have been “sick” with aches ever since.

Have not had an appetite while having Borax. Worried to ingest again.

Replied by Charity
(Faithville, Us)

Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic preparation marketed to relieve flu-like symptoms, although it does not provide any benefit beyond that of sugar pills. It is a popular preparation, particularly in France and Russia.I start with this for any symptom on the box OR you could try alkaseltzer it has aspirin in it Another thing you could try is taking baking soda in water in amount listed on the box. I find it nutralizes everything in my system. After I drink it I have to replenish my vitamins and minerals. Also, I would use some chanca piedra (stone breaker)to remove loose calcium that is coming out of soft tissue so it doesn't cause stones in organs . Borax removes calcium out of soft tissue and into bones and teeth . Calcium is tricky to absorb, it requires other minerals in proper balance and vitamin D and K. I never seem to know enough to fix it all but I have gained back some ground

Another tip might be Dr. Batmanghelidh'sj book on water and mineral balance. Borax is a mineral and if one mineral or water gets out of balance, the body produces histamine to warn you and histamine can make a person have all kinds of symptoms. Flu like symptoms and nausea. Start on low dose borax when you get courage to try it again. It made my bones and muscles and teeth and kidneys hurt when I started. I use chanca piedra for many benefits. Chanca Piedra Herbal Benefits (

(faithville, Us)

Dr. Batmanghelidj is the correct spelling . His history on wikipedia is also interesting. I found his book at the library and it changed my life.

Fereydoon Batmanghelidj was born in Iran in 1930 or 1931. He attended secondary school in the United Kingdom, at of Iranian Revolution, he was sent to Camila, [1] and Lila, who committed suicide while he was imprisoned.[4] His first marriage ended in divorce. He later married Xiaopo Huang Batmanghelidj.[1]

He died from complications related to pneumonia on 15 November 2004.[5]
Medical career[peptic ulcers during his detention in prison by treating inmates with water when medication was not available. He advanced this position in a guest editorial in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology in

In 1992, he wrote Your Body's Many Cries for Water.[6] In this book, Batmanghelidj asserts that chronic dehydration is the root cause of most pain and many ailments, opposing the use of drugs to cure conditions that he claimed could instead be addressed by increased water consumption.[1]

He has claimed elsewhere that water provides energy for the body and brain, by splitting into its component hydrogen and oxygen.[6]

(True NorCal, US)


Thank you for this great information! I am currently on way too many medications. I have developed allergies to the environment and to so many foods. I'm looking forward to starting borax (boran) but slowly, to get rid of most or all of the medications. Most of them have been prescribed over the past 15-20 years, I had one medication from age 15 - 40 and 2nd one that was prn. Now I have approximately 13 meds. I can't keep count. When I say I want to stop meds, the doctor sends me away with more. My latest doc finally heard me say, "No more." He is helping me get off of some long term stomach meds that I never should have had for more than a 6-week treatment. I am truly hoping that my new doc will help me, as he is all about natural remedies, whenever possible. And so my Borax journey with the help of Dr. Batmanghelidj.

Thank you again for the additional information! Many people are not aware of how critical water is for humans. It should also be impressed upon people that many of the elderly who are diagnosed with dementia and treated with long term dementia, are suffering from dehydration. It is far more common than people realize and it is very sad, because so many doctors are not trained in recognizing this simple complication and jump to elderly related dementia or Alzheimer's. It takes about 2 - 3 weeks of rehydration and proper nutrition for an elderly person to regain their cognitive functioning. The dehydration will look like a stroke or may even cause a stroke. Sorry, for going off onto another direction, but this is such a passionate subject for me as I watch it happen over and over to elderly and middle aged people - being misdiagnosed, when they just need more water (and electrolytes)!

(faithville, Us)

Ted is a good place to start reading if you want to slowly get away from prescriptions. I have overcome a lot and learned a lot and now I am learning more to overcome old issues. The mind is the most powerful drug there is. Placebos work. I am taking my thoughts captive and speaking what I want to create. I also use the skills I learned in the last obstacle course. I take borax and chanca piedra daily but I use a lot of other things with them. Calcium needs many things to get it out of soft tissue and into bones and teeth. I read death by calcium at the library. May you find yourself WELL as you gain in wisdom and application on this journey of life. Blessings, Charity

Ted's Remedies, Medication Side Effects (

Borax Side Effects
Posted by Andrea C (Wales, Uk) on 10/07/2020
0 out of 5 stars

I tried Borax the last two days, 6th and 7th of October, I put 1/16th of a Tspn in 1 and a half litres of bottled spring water drank that most of that yesterday by mistake. I'd forgot I'd put it in there.

The day before I took a few careful sips from the same bottle, my intention was to go very low and slow for a week to test it so I didn't want to drink the whole bottle in a day or two at all

I then had a bath with Dead sea salts, a cup and a half which I've been doing all week but added some borax, about half a cup on the first day as well ( the 6th)

Last night ( the 7th) I put 2 Tbls of Borax+ my usual cup and a half of dead Sea salts into a warm bath sat in it for 10mins, and today I am in a lot of pain, muscles hurt, joints hurt and its hard to move about I feel like I've been beat up!!!

I'm really sore and achy. It's really really painful, my muscles are rock hard in my back has anyone else had this happen after using the Borax?

Replied by Anon
(Not Canada)

That has not happened to me.

You probably want to discontinue the borax for now until the pain is gone. Try liver detox supplements to help clear what is probably a fungal infection die-off, and do colon cleanses to speed up the removal of toxins. Tight muscles can be caused by a magnesium or potassium deficiency, so consider increasing those. Flushing-type niacin can increase circulation and speed up recovery, but is also anti-fungal. Massage, saunas, even sun bathing may improve the pain. Remember to drink plenty of water.

I've taken borax 1/4 tsp. in 1 litre of water sipped throughout the day, bathed in it, even rubbed it on my skin as a body wash, used it for vaginal infections. It has never caused a reaction like that. Make sure the borax has no additives, no scent.

Replied by megadudu

it is possible that you are experiencing a 'herxheimer' reaction, where the symptoms get worse before getting better as the body's natural systems for fighting things off are kicked back into action.

Borax Side Effects
Posted by Hedy (Sydney) on 09/03/2020
0 out of 5 stars

After taking a teaspoon of the Borax diluted solution daily for candida, without undue issues for many months, I increased the dosage maybe to a desert spoon and found that a tear would appear on each big toe and I would have to stop the Borax until it healed.

I tested this at least three times to see if it was Borax or the Lysine that I was also taking causing the tear.

Today, after a month of no Borax (and no problem arising from the Lysine supplement), I have again commenced with one teaspoon of the solution and I will monitor the skin reaction on my toes. I wondered whether anyone else has experienced this.

EC: Hi Hedy,

We assume you are referring to Walter Last's concentrated dosage where you take a teaspoon a day from the concentrate, which amounts to a very small amount of boron. Just so everyone is clear on that!

Replied by Deirdre

Hi Hedy,

Where on the toe is the tear, top or bottom? The borax could be slowly clearing a fungal infection slowly, which is coming to the surface. Because the issue is manifesting on your foot, I am guessing fungal, where so many people have issues, including myself!

Alternatively, the borax might be causing some kind of deficiency which you will need to resolve, one that causes your skin to tear or split. You may be low in a certain vitamin or mineral and the borax depletes it even more. Vitamin C or Vitamin B perhaps?

Replied by Charity
(Faithville, Us)

I suspect your increase in dose could cause die off of fungal infection candida and it affects feet . Eric Berg does videos on youtube on feet and liver. I use borax but gave up my candida fight because stress produces cortisol that feeds candida and I haven't overcome that yet so no point in the fight until I overcome the stress. I will overtake it.The other thought I had was that borax is one of your minerals and could throw other minerals out of balance causing skin issue on feet. Blessings, Charity

Borax Side Effects
Posted by Mike (W. Des Moines, Ia) on 08/31/2020
0 out of 5 stars

I am taking 1/4 teaspoon of Borax daily 5 days a week for more than a month, and affected my sleep pattern and I cannot sleep. Any suggestion what should I do? I also have 3 mg Boron capsule, Is it safer to use capsule, rather than Borax?


Replied by Art
1577 posts

Dr. Flechas suggested taking the borax first thing in the morning as being best, as he felt borax taken late in the day could tend to wake you up. Failing that, you could try reducing your dose a bit.

Keep in mind that when Ted decided on the dose he would use for men or women, I think he chose a dose that would be safe, yet obtain the quickest results. If you take borax for two months and don't see much benefit, you may feel like borax isn't working and stop taking it. I think Ted chose a dose that the majority of people would respond to fairly quickly, yet still be safe.

The founder of borax for arthritis, Dr. Rex Newnham, found that many of his patients could get by on as little as 7 mg/day of boron as a maintenance dose once full benefit was achieved. That dose is not effective for me, but must have been useful for many of his patients since he chose it. Ted's dosing of 1/4 teaspoon/day for men and 1/8th teaspoon for women delivers significantly more boron than this. The 1/4 teaspoon dose of borax is approximately 980 mg of borax of which 11.3% is boron. 980 *.113 = 110 mg of boron for men and 55 mg of boron for women. So as you can see, there is a significant difference between what Ted was recommending and what the founder of borax for arthritis, Dr. Newnham was recommending.

Ted previously said that less would work, but it would just take longer to work.