Art Solbrig's Topical Treatment for Severe Hand Arthritis

| Modified: Aug 06, 2020
Add New Post Art Solbrig Arthritis Remedy

by Art Solbrig
Published July 13, 2020

My brother-in-law had severe arthritis, and it seriously affected his hands to the point that his fingers could just pull out of joint if he used his hands as most people do. So he had to be very careful how he used his hands. It got so bad that he had to use those yellow Playtex gloves to try and hold his fingers in joint. He would cut the fingertips off of the gloves so that his hands didn't get too sweaty, and he would wear these gloves during his waking hours.

He had a lot of pain with this condition also. I had never seen or heard of this health issue before.

Still, I tried to get him to try Ted's borax solution as it has worked so well for me for psoriatic arthritis that I have been pain-free for well over a decade.  Unfortunately, he refused to try borax even though it was clear he was in a lot of pain and that pain level jumped up a few notches every time one of his fingers came out of joint!

His doctor told him that this was caused by arthritis, and there was nothing the doctor could give him to help other than pain relievers. He said that this condition only gets worse with time, and eventually, he would have very little use of his hands. But realistically he already had very little use of his hands, which made the future look pretty grim for him.

My sister asked me to make a pain-relieving lotion for him to help him through the day and relieve the pain to sleep at night.

I made her a bottle of the pain lotion, and she rubbed it into his hands every morning, and every night before he went to bed so that he could get some sleep. Even though borax is a reasonably large molecule and does not easily penetrate the skin, I hoped that enough borax would get to his hand joints to possibly help a little.

I didn't see them for about a month and a half, and when I stopped by for a visit, I noticed that my brother in law was not wearing those yellow gloves and asked him why not.

He said, "Oddly, my fingers stopped pulling out of joint, so I didn't need to wear the gloves anymore." He then held his hands out and started wiggling his fingers very fluidly, and said, "My fingers don't hurt anymore either! I don't understand how this happened because when I told my doctor what had happened to my fingers and hands, my doctor said it's not possible!"

He never had to wear those yellow gloves after that, and his hands were pain-free from that point on!

Recipe

  • All I did was add 2 (two) level American measuring teaspoons of borax that I had very finely ground up to 16 ounces of hand lotion and shaken it very well after letting it sit overnight. I used Cetaphil lotion, but have used other standard hand and body lotions for these purposes.
     
  • I ground the borax in a "bullet type blender" so that it was like a powder to make it easier to dissolve in the lotion.
     
  • I also used dye-free white ibuprofen as the pain reliever in the lotion and ground it up. Since it was white, it added no color to the lotion. Some of the over-the-counter ibuprofen has a color coating, so I don't use that type. In his extreme pain case, ibuprofen was needed to offer pain relief, so he would ask my sister to rub it in every morning and night faithfully. Without the ibuprofen's pain relief, he probably would have used the lotion only once and then never again.
     
  • If I was going to add anything else to this lotion, it would probably have been peppermint essential oil to possibly act as a mild transdermal penetration enhancer with the idea that it would help improve the absorption of the borax into the skin and dermal layers.

Important Notes About This Remedy

  1. Although I have mentioned that Ibuprofen and Naproxen will work as the pain reliever in this lotion, Aspirin can work fine also and is similar in pain-relieving quality to Ibuprofen. One advantage to Aspirin is that it is also antiviral, and as such, it is a better choice if you want to fight something like shingles /Herpes Zoster. The Aspirin helps to fight viral replication while offering fast topical relief from the pain associated with shingles! I just apply as needed to relieve the shingles pain, and all the while, it is fighting viral replication!
     
  2. I know that DMSO can act as an excellent transdermal penetrant enhancer, but I don't like recommending others use DMSO in such a way, and the lotion ingredients are many that you would not want to pass through the skin in quantity.
     
  3. I do not think this lotion would work for other joints such as knees because the borax is so poorly absorbed, but I have never tried it for knees or other joints before. I would have given him the borax orally as my first option, but he would never have agreed to that, so I had to do it without him knowing it by adding it to the lotion.

I thought this story was a little different and worth sharing with EC!

Art

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Where to Buy Art Solbrig's Topical Arthritis Ingredients

Borax

You can find borax in the laundry section of most grocery stores. Amazon sells it here.

White Ibuprofen Tablets

You can find dye-free, white ibuprofen tablets online at Amazon here.

Peppermint Oil (optional)

Amazon sells it here.

Related Links:

Arthritis
Borax
Osteoarthritis


Birch Oil and Borax Recipe

Posted by Tessa (Okanagan) on 07/17/2020

Hi Art –

I have just started using your lotion for my osteoarthritic fingers. I have Bouchard's nodes on the middle joint of the fingers of my right hand. The nodes are ugly but only mildly painful so far. Lately, it's difficult to clench my hand properly.

I use it every time I wash my hands (which is a lot these days). I dry my hands thoroughly then put a dollop of lotion and massage it into my fingers (especially the knuckles) quite vigorously.

I wonder if the massage is part of the effectiveness of the therapy lotion. I will also add lotion to my hands throughout the day for no other reason than it feels good and I love the smell.

I followed your protocol – except I did add birch essential oil.

  • I use my coffee/spice grinder to grind up about 1/4 of a cup of borax (20 Mule Team) until it is a fine powder. That way I will always have a supply on hand.
  • I use an unscented hand lotion with as few ingredients in it as possible. I got mine from the health food store.
  • I added two teaspoons of ground borax to my 16-ounce bottle of lotion, shook it thoroughly and then let it sit until the next day. The borax was completely dissolved.
  • I then added 17 drops of birch essential oil (that may be too much for a beginner but my skin can take it). For those of you who don't know about birch e.o., it smells like Lifesaver's Wint-o-Green (or wintergreen). Not even sure if they still make that flavor. It's also a very good pain reliever for me but your results may vary. Essential oils are optional.

I've also used this lotion to massage my ankles and swollen feet (it's hot here so I'm prone to swelling). It had a cooling effect and did reduce the swelling by about half (once again, maybe the vigorous massage was part of the effectiveness of the therapy).

I really like it (never would have thought of adding borax to a lotion) and will continue to use it for any future pain (like a stiff neck, sore muscles, even a headache) - certainly can't hurt!

Thanks again, Art!

Replied by Art
California
07/17/2020
683 posts

Hi again, Tessa!

Thank you for posting how it is going with the borax lotion, that's so helpful! It's so much better for everyone when people come back and report their results!

I wish more would do it, even if the results are not positive because this increases the knowledge base on EC which means it increases the benefit to all of us on EC as well as those who are just visiting!

For some who read here and get benefit from the abundance of remedies on EC, I think it is easy for them to think they are better now, but do not come back to share their results for whatever reason. Those results let others know which remedies are most likely to be effective and that can be very useful and time saving information for all of us. This can make EC an even better place to come to and know that you are getting the benefit of many years of experience with the best remedies available whenever you stop in at EC!

Art


Birch Oil Aspirin Alternative

Posted by Tessa (Okanagan) on 07/16/2020

Hi Art -

Thank you for the borax lotion recipe. Since I don't use aspirin, I found using a few drops of birch essential oil worked just fine. You gave me the idea when you mentioned you could add a few drops of peppermint essential oil.

I did a search for essential oils that are anti-inflammatory, etc. and birch, peppermint, eucalyptus (plus many others) came up.

So, not only does this lotion work but it smells terrific!

Thanks again for all you do :)

Cheers and best wishes.

Replied by Art
California
07/17/2020
683 posts

Hi Tessa,

You're welcome!

Please let us know what you use the lotion for, how often and how it works out for you. I'm interested in if it will work for other joints which will be useful information for others. I have run into many people who simply will not take borax orally, so this again, may be useful information for them!

Essential oils are quite interesting in terms of the many uses you can find for them. I like peppermint essential oil because it is fairly versatile, but I use others for various effects.

Eucalyptus in jojoba oil is useful for localized pain and very nice on the skin! I used to use essential oils in mag oil(MO), but have gotten away from that because to me it shortens the shelf life of the MO. There is some type of reaction that takes place over time that renders the product unusable to me when it has sat around for a while. The change is readily apparent because the MO no longer smells like whatever essential oil you added to it and instead may have a rancid smell. So now if I am going to use essential oil in MO, I only make a small quantity that I know I will use up quickly and this is still useful because the EO can have synergy with MO such as the eucalyptus oil adding a bit more pain relief to MO. MO is well and quickly absorbed all by itself, so no need to use essential oils to boost transdermal absorption of MO. MO on its own has a very long shelf life.

Keep us posted on how you do with the lotion!

Art


General Feedback

Posted by Uncertain (La) on 08/06/2020
5 out of 5 stars

Art, you're the BEST!!!

I want to try your cream. How did you decide how much borax to use? Can you also use boron from tablets?

Other boron questions: Does the boron or borax affect the outcome of blood tests such as antinuclear antibody tests? I just went to the cardiologist and was diagnosed with ventricular bigeminy, prolapse and wide tachycardia.

Just wondering about whether I should be using the borax internally or externally.

Anybody have this issue?

Thank you so much.

Replied by Art
California
08/06/2020
683 posts

Uncertain,

You're welcome!

As far as the amount of borax used, I was essentially trying to replicate a saturated solution and that amount should have gotten close. With lotion, it is a little harder to determine, but I felt that even if I was over, the very fine powdered borax would just remain suspended in the lotion and would not be a problem. If I was a little under, it wouldn't have been enough to have a lesser effect.

You could use boron from tablets, but borax is much less expensive than boron supplements and may do more than boron alone. Borax is only 11.3% boron. The remainder is likely to have other positive effects that boron alone may not.

On the testing, I don't know the answer as I have never seen studies that discussed this aspect and I am doubtful that your doctor will know either.

On the question of internal or external use, boron definitely interacts with the heart and it is usually in a positive way based on studies, but if you have heart issues, you should discuss the use of boron supplementation with your cardiologist.

Art


Q&A Regarding Ibuprofen

Posted by Cindy (Redding, Ca) on 08/04/2020

My mother is in her 90s.Arthritis is severe. Her doctor had her stop taking ibuprofen (which helped a lot with pain) because there could be a risk of heart attack. Do you think putting ibuprofen in the lotion would pose that same risk? I'm exacted to make some of this for her and see if it helps her. Thank you.

Replied by Art
California
08/04/2020
683 posts

Cindy,

Long term use of topical ibuprofen will allow the ibuprofen to go systemic to some degree and eventually go to the heart, so that does not seem like a safe way to go for your mom.

Keep in mind that the only reason I made this lotion was because my brother in law would not take oral borax. It is the borax that is actually reducing the arthritis, and the ibuprofen is just there to give temporary pain relief until the borax kicks in. For the purpose of actually trying to subdue the arthritis, the borax lotion without ibuprofen should work eventually, but there will be no pain relief until the borax has had a chance to get to the hand joints and do what it does. In my brother in law's case, it took roughly 1 1/2 months until the borax was able to work.

Has your mom tried Ted's oral borax for arthritis? If not, that may be an option.

Use 1/8th level teaspoon in a quart of water each day, Monday through Thursday and have her take Friday, Saturday and Sunday off according to Ted. Ted's protocol worked extraordinarily well for me for well over a decade now.

Does your mother get arthritic pain relief from mag oil (MO)? If so, I can recommend another course of action. Take a 40% mag oil mix (40% magnesium chloride flakes / 60% distilled water) and add the borax to it. Run this in your blender at high speed until completely blended. Use the same amount of borax as per the lotion mix and substitute distilled water for the lotion in the same amount . Filter this mix through a coffee filter and put it into a spray bottle. Apply to the hands twice a day up to three times a day and rub it in.

If your mom responds better to MSM than MO, substitute MSM for the magnesium chloride flakes. Again, these are merely for the purpose of offering temporary pain relief and it is the borax that gives the longer term relief.

If none of the above is compatible with your mom I can offer one more option. Let me know.

Art


Reader Feedback

Posted by Anne (Cape May, NJ) on 07/26/2020

How many drops of essential peppermint oil should be added to Art Solbrig's topical arthritis cream/lotion? Thank you.

Replied by Art
California
07/26/2020
683 posts

Anne,

I use 5 to 10 drops per ounce of lotion depending on how strong I want the PEO to be in the lotion.

Art


Posted by Deirdre (Ct) on 07/22/2020
5 out of 5 stars

Hi Art!

Thank you for yet another fabulous remedy. I tried to make up your mixture using aspirin last weekend and it ended up being very gritty, along with the borax. I am wondering if you could dissolve both the borax and aspirin in a tiny bit of hot water and then add this to the cetaphil lotion and mix well?

I know you mentioned putting the borax and aspirin in a blender, but this way seems less messy if it will work. I only have one small blender and I'd rather just put food and beverages in it!

Your thoughts? Thank you!!

Replied by Art
California
07/22/2020
683 posts

Hi Deirdre.

Yes, I can see where that would be a problem. When I grind the NSAID and the borax in a bullet type blender, it turns them into a very fine powder that does not leave a gritty feeling with the application of the finished lotion, so I have never had to deal with the problem you are describing.

Your solution may work with some lotions and not others as the addition of water may cause some lotions to become milk like in consistency while other lotions may keep their natural consistency or close to it.

Since there are an endless amount of different lotions out there, it is not practical for me to test all of them.

If "I" was going to use water to try and dissolve aspirin and borax prior to adding it to the lotion, I would use boiling distilled water to allow the maximum amount of borax and aspirin to dissolve in the water and add it to the lotion while still hot. I would use extreme caution in handling this hot water solution to insure that I do not burn myself in the process. I would have to experiment to try and determine what is the most minimal amount of boiling water I will need in order to make this supersaturated solution of borax and aspirin. I will need to add it to the lotion while still very hot to prevent the borax from crystalizing if it gets too cool. With a supersaturated solution of borax, when it cools it will crystalize some of the borax and these crystals will not dissolve, even if you add more water.

So as soon as I add the hot borax and aspirin solution to my lotion, I will shake this lotion very quickly and very thoroughly to try to prevent any crystallization of the borax.

Well, that is what I would try for myself.

Art

Replied by Rsw
Oh
07/23/2020

Hi Art,

I made a small batch of your formula when I first read your post. I used a small mortar and pestle to crush the aspirin. At first it was gritty, with the borax, but in a day or two it seemed that the moisture in the lotion softened it, and it became pretty smooth. I didn't add any water. I used some magnesium lotion I had bought at our health food store for the mixture. Thanks for the recipe!

Replied by Art
California
07/24/2020
683 posts

Hi Rsw,

We haven't talked in some time and it is good to see you still posting on EC!I hope the lotion is helpful for your hands!

Please come back and let us know how it works out for you! Was it OLP that you have? If that is correct, how is it doing? If it was OLP, this abstract may interest you:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28673588/

Art

Replied by Rsw
Oh
07/24/2020

Hi Art,

Thank you so much for posting the links to these studies for me. I will be reading them over the weekend. I actually went to a dermatologist this month to see if there was anything new for the LP. She gave me a prescription for an ointment, but when I looked it up it immediately said that it could cause cancer, so I didn't get it filled. At least she offered to give me a prescription for LDN, a first for me, if I got a blood test. So I did get that test today and hope to maybe get a prescription now for the LDN. I also bought some 10mg. melatonin that are quick dissolve when you were first posting about it, but I only tried 10mg twice at night but didn't sleep well. I know the anti-inflammatory benefit may take a much higher dose to be effective. Maybe I will be able to get a sense of what is needed after I read these studies. Thank you, as always, for the tremendous energy and research you share with us on Earth Clinic.

Art
California
07/25/2020
683 posts

Hi Rsw,

Yes, I would definitely be avoiding the medication that can potentially cause cancer!!! That's crazy!

I did experiment with LDN for at least 6 months, but it was unfortunately not effective for my purpose, but it has helped many people for many different conditions so I felt compelled to test it. I hope it turns out to be the answer for you!

Thank you for saying so, about what I post!

Let us know how the LDN and melatonin work out for you.

Art


Posted by Kerry (Usa) on 07/16/2020

Hi Art,

Thank you for sharing this, very keen to try it out for my husband. However, I am a little confused, you say it is the borax that does the healing, why is it necessary to use the Ibuprofen? could you not just use the borax and hand cream, and if I choose to use some pain relief - would you recommend aspirin over the ibuprofen?

Again thanks Art and look forward to your reply.

Kerry

Replied by Art
California
07/16/2020
683 posts

Hi Kerry.

I think I answered this in another reply, but here goes.

The reason I made the lotion in the first place was because my sister asked me to make it for her husband to help him be able to sleep and function during the day with reduced pain in his hands and fingers.

I had already tried to get him to take oral borax, but he refused, so I essentially snuck the borax into the lotion and didn't tell him or my sister. It seemed like the only way I would be able to help his hands and fingers in terms of actual repair as opposed to just pain relief. The results were incredible considering that his doctor had already told him that his hands and fingers would only get worse with time.

So yes, the borax lotion alone would have done the job, but if I had put no pain reliever in the lotion, he would not have continued to use it to ultimately have his hands heal. I never told my brother in law what I did, but I did tell my sister, who seemed happy about the outcome and as far as I know, she never told her husband either.

Art


Posted by Claudi0 (Spring Hill, Florida) on 07/13/2020

Regarding the email you just sent out "Topical Treatment for Severe Hand Arthritis" by Art Solbrig ~ In the recipe, it mentions aspirin or ibuprofen, but does not give the amount like he does with the borax and the lotion.

This information is needed if anyone wants to give this a try.

Replied by Art
California
07/13/2020
683 posts

Claudi0,

I only used ibuprofen in the mix for my brother in law so he would keep using it, but it is the borax that actually healed his hands, so I did not give an amount for the ibuprofen that I used in his mix.

The amount of ibuprofen I used in his 16 ounce lotion was 10,000 milligrams.

Art

Cari
Longmont, Co
07/15/2020

How much aspirin?

Replied by John Burket
Israel
07/14/2020

I would prefer to use White Willow Bark powder (from which aspirin was derived) instead of the artificial stuff.

Replied by Art
California
07/14/2020
683 posts

John,

Nothing wrong with trying White Willow Bark (WWB) as the pain relieving component of the lotion. I've never tried it in lotion, so I can't comment on its efficacy in this application.

WWB powder has a medium brownish color to it and this color may transfer to clothing and bedding. This is one reason why I use the white form of ibuprofen to avoid any color transfer. Generally basic otc ibuprofen tabs can have a color coating that will definitely transfer to skin, clothing and bedding and I definitely want to avoid that issue!

Art

Art
California
07/16/2020
683 posts

Cari,

When using aspirin, I use about 10,000 mg for 16 ounces of lotion.

Art


Posted by Amy (Usa) on 07/13/2020

Hi Art!

How about using the borax remedy on big toe joints?

Replied by Art
California
07/13/2020
683 posts

Amy,

There is a possibility it may work on feet in a similar way as the hands.

Art


Posted by Jinx (Nv) on 07/13/2020

Art.

About using Naproxen is the only OTC that helps me to any extent, the others I could take a whole box and no reaction, so if I order naproxen how many mg do you think it would take for it?

me: 9 vertebrae degenerated; scoliosis S form; worn-out rt hip; and rt replaced knee is in trouble from the hip and another part of the back pelvic that I could swear someone with a screwdriver is determined to inside that bone!

To top all off none of these can be operated because of my hear attack, stint, and 2 valves working backward.

I hope you get this with amt of pain I endure on other issues I have a very high pain tolerance. Thank Dear God for what you have done!

Replied by Art
California
07/14/2020
683 posts

Jinx,

I find Naproxen to be useful also, but I can no longer use it. As far as an amount, I generally use the same as ibuprofen or about 10,000 mg in 16 ounces of lotion.

Art