Borax, a naturally occurring mineral and a source of the essential element boron, is an inexpensive and effective antiseptic, anti-fungal and insecticidal treatment but its use is being outlawed by health authorities worldwide.

JUNE – JULY 2012              NEXUS • 29


It is difficult to imagine that borax, this humble cleaner and insecticide, has the potential to bring down our economic system single handedly. But you do not need to worry; the danger has been recognized and the necessary steps are already being taken to defuse the situation. I will start with the basics and you will understand what I mean as the story unfolds. Mined borax is the source of other manufactured boron compounds. The main deposits are in Turkey and California. The chemical name is sodium (or disodium) tetraborate decahydrate (or, simply, sodium borate), meaning that it contains four atoms of boron combined with two sodium atoms and 10 molecules (or sometimes less) of crystallization water. Borax is the sodium salt of the weak boric acid. In solution, borax is strongly alkaline. When ingested, it reacts with hydrochloric acid in the stomach to form boric acid and sodium chloride. The boron content of borax is 11.3 percent, while for boric acid it is 50 percent higher. Ingested boron compounds are rapidly and nearly completely excreted with the urine. Formerly, boric acid was widely used as a food preservative but is now banned in most countries. Boron is present in all plants and unprocessed foods. Good diets provide 2–5 mg of boron per day, but in reality the average intake in developed countries is 1–2 mg of boron per day, and institutionalized patients may receive only 0.25 mg. Chemical fertilizers inhibit the uptake of boron from the soil. Boron intake is further reduced by discarding cooking water of vegetables, and by the phytic acid in baked goods and cereals. All this makes health problems from boron deficiency very common.

Health Effects of Boron

Borax and boric acid have basically the same health effects with good antiseptic, anti-fungal and antiviral properties but only mild antibacterial action. Boron is essential for the integrity and function of cell walls and for the way signals are transmitted across membranes. Boron is distributed throughout the body, with the highest concentration in the parathyroid glands followed by bones and dental enamel. It is essential for healthy bone and joint function, regulating the absorption and metabolism of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus through its influence on the parathyroid glands. With this, boron is to the parathyroids what iodine is to the thyroid. Boron deficiency causes the parathyroids to become overactive, releasing too much parathyroid hormone which raises the blood level of calcium by releasing calcium from bones and teeth. This then leads to arthritis, osteoporosis and tooth decay. With advancing age, high blood levels of calcium lead to calcification of soft tissues causing muscle contractions and stiffness; calcification of endocrine glands, especially the pineal gland and the ovaries; arteriosclerosis; kidney stones and calcification of the kidneys, ultimately leading to kidney failure. Boron deficiency combined with magnesium deficiency is especially damaging to the bones and teeth. Boron affects the metabolism of steroid hormones, and especially of sex hormones. It increases low testosterone levels in men and oestrogen levels in menopausal women. It also has a role in converting vitamin D to its active form, thus increasing calcium uptake and deposition into bone and teeth rather than causing soft tissue to calcify. Other reported benefits are improvement of heart problems, vision, psoriasis, balance, memory and cognition. Boron compounds have anti-tumor properties and are “potent anti-osteoporotic, anti-inflammatory, hypolipemic, anti-coagulant and anti-neoplastic agents.”

The Arthritis Cure of Dr Rex Newnham

In the 1960s, Rex Newnham, PhD, DO, ND, then a soil and plant scientist in Perth, Western Australia, developed arthritis. Conventional drugs did not help, but he realized that plants in that area were rather mineral deficient. Knowing that boron aids calcium metabolism in plants, he started taking 30 mg of borax a day, and in three weeks all pain, swelling and stiffness had disappeared. Health and medical authorities were not interested in his discovery, but improving arthritis sufferers were delighted. Eventually he had tablets made containing 3 mg of boron, and only by word of mouth he sold 10,000 bottles a month. When he asked a drug company to market the tablets, it indicated that this would replace more expensive drugs and reduce profits. It so happened that it had representatives on government health committees, and arranged that in 1981 Australia instituted a regulation which declared boron and its compounds to be poisons in any concentration. He was fined $1,000 for selling poison, and this successfully stopped his arthritis cure in Australia.

Subsequently, Dr. Newnham published several scientific papers on borax and arthritis. One paper covered a double-blind trial in the mid-1980s at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, which showed considerable improvement in 70 percent of those who completed the trial; only 12 percent improved on a placebo.

He also found that the traditional sugarcane islands have very low soil–boron levels due to long-term heavy use of chemical fertilizers. Jamaica has the lowest level, and the arthritis rate is about 70 percent; he noted that even most dogs were limping. Next comes Mauritius, with very low boron levels and a 50 percent arthritis rate. The daily boron intake in these countries is less than 1 mg/day. The USA, England, Australia and New Zealand generally have average soil–boron levels, with an estimated intake of 1–2 mg of boron and an arthritis rate of about 20 percent. All spas reputedly curing arthritis have very high boron levels. These are also high in Israel, with an estimated daily boron intake of 5–8 mg and an arthritis rate of only 0.5–1.0 percent. Bone analysis showed that arthritic joints and nearby bones have only half the boron content of healthy joints, and synovial fluid that lubricates joints is boron deficient in arthritic joints. After boron supplementation, bones were much harder than normal. With additional boron, bone fractures healed in about half the normal time in both humans and animals. Dr. Newnham once saw a baby girl, aged nine months, with juvenile arthritis, and borax cured her in two weeks. Dr. Newnham wrote that, commonly, people can get rid of their pain, swelling and stiffness in about one to three months. Then they can reduce treatment from three boron tablets to one tablet (each 3 mg) per day as a maintenance dose. He also stated that patients with rheumatoid arthritis often experienced a Herxheimer reaction and that this is always a good prognostic sign. They must persevere, and in several more weeks the pain, swelling and stiffness will be gone.

The Herxheimer reaction is an early aggravation of symptoms with increased pain due to toxins released by killer Candida and mycoplasma.

I was surprised that this fungicidal effect is already present at such a low dose. It is equally surprising that also about 30 percent with osteoarthritis experienced a Herxheimer reaction, suggesting that the border between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis is rather fluid. In longstanding and resistant cases, use other anti-microbials in addition.

Osteoporosis and Sex Hormones

Boron deficiency causes large amounts of calcium and magnesium to be lost with the urine. A borax supplement reduces this loss by nearly 50 percent. As the lost calcium comes from resorbed bone and teeth, boron deficiency is the most important factor causing osteoporosis and tooth decay. About 55 percent of Americans over 50 have osteoporosis, and of these about 80 percent are women. This is responsible for millions of fractures each year. After rats with osteoporosis were given borax for 30 days, their bones were normal.

These beneficial effects are due to a higher boron content of the bones, which makes them harder, and a normalization of sex hormones, which stimulates the growth of new bone. Low estrogen levels after menopause are a main reason why many women develop osteoporosis. In men, testosterone levels decline more gradually with later on-set of osteoporosis. Boron supplementation in post-menopausal women doubles the blood level of the most active form of oestrogen, 17-beta oestradiol, to the level found in women on oestrogen replacement therapy, and also testosterone levels double.

Health and medical authorities were not interested in his discovery, but improving arthritis sufferers were delighted.

Boron does not raise oestrogen above normal healthy levels, but instead balances sex hormones in a similar way as does maca root powder. In younger men, 100 mg of daily borax increased the level of free testosterone (which matters most) by one third.

This is of special interest for body-builders. Contrary to the medical preference of chemically castrating men with prostate cancer, research with boron’s hows that elevated testosterone levels are beneficial by shrinking prostate tumors and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels (PSA being a marker for tumors and inflammation in the prostate). It also improves memory and cognition in elderly individuals.

Also, with oestrogen-sensitive breast cancer, I would use borax to normalize the calcium–magnesium metabolism and cellular membrane functions rather than feel restricted by a possibly faulty medical concept.

Fungi and Fluoride

“Borax Cures” is an Earth Clinic forum with many successful Candida treatments. Low-to-medium-weight individuals use 1 ⁄ 8 teaspoon of borax powder, and those with heavier weight use 1⁄ 4 teaspoon per liter of water. One drinks the water, spaced out during the day for four or five days a week, as long as required. Many contributors wrote that it cured or greatly helped them. Read, for instance, this post: “I also have psoriasis, so maybe the soreness in my joints is the psoriatic arthritis creeping in. I thought, after reading about borax here on this forum, I would give it a try. OMG! In one day, the soreness in my knees has vanished!… Also, my psoriasis seems a lot better after two days drinking 1⁄4 tsp borax in one liter of water per day.” Here’s one about toe fungus: “He wet his feet and then took a handful [of borax] and rubbed it all over his feet. He said it stopped itching immediately! He was stunned. A few weeks later, I asked him how his athlete’s foot was, and he said: “Oh wow! It hasn’t come back! That stuff totally cured it.” Other enthusiastic posts are about vaginal thrush. Borax appeared to be more effective than other remedies. Commonly, one large gelatin capsule filled with borax or boric acid was inserted at bedtime for several nights or up to two weeks. Alternatively, the powder was mixed with cool, solidified, coconut oil as a bolus or suppository. A recent scientific study confirms these positive observations with vaginal thrush. Boric acid in a filled capsule worked even in cases of drug-resistant Candida and against all the tested bacteria. Because of the greater dilution, a douche may not be strong enough for bacteria and drug-resistant Candida but should work for normal Candida. Borax, due to its alkalinity, was more effective than boric acid. Normally, Candida exists as harmless oval yeast cells. When stressed, chains of elongated pseudohyphae develop and, finally, strongly invasive long, narrow and tube-like filaments called hyphae. These damage the intestinal wall and cause inflammation and leaky gut syndrome. Pseudohyphae and hyphae can be seen in the blood of individuals with cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Candida can also form tough layers of bio-film. Boric acid/borax inhibits the formation of bio-films and the transformation of harmless yeast cells into invasive hyphae. In other articles I have shown that this process, usually initiated by antibiotics, is a basic cause of most of our modern diseases, and this makes borax and boric acid primary health remedies. A scientific review in 2011 concluded that “boric acid is a safe, alternative, economic option for women with recurrent and chronic symptoms of vaginitis when conventional treatment fails.”

Being so much better than drugs, why not use it as the first option? A study from Turkey showed the protective effect of boric acid on food contaminated with co-toxins, especially fungal aflatoxins. Among these, aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) causes extensive DNA damage and is the most potent carcinogen ever tested, especially affecting liver and lungs and also causing birth defects, immuno toxicity and even death in farm animals and humans. Boric acid treatment was protective, with increased resistance of DNA to oxidative damage induced by AFB1.

The strong anti-fungal action of boric acid is, of course, the reason why traditionally it has been used as a food preservative. Borax, similar to the equally endangered Lugol’s solution, can also be used to remove accumulated fluoride and heavy metals from the body.

Fluoride not only causes bones to deteriorate, but also the pineal gland to calcify and the thyroid to become under active. Borax reacts with fluoride ions to form boron fluorides which are then excreted in the urine. In a Chinese study, 300 to 1,100 mg/day of borax was used for three months. In other articles I have shown that this process, usually initiated by antibiotics, is a basic cause of most of our modern diseases, and this makes borax and boric acid primary health remedies. Treated 31 patients with skeletal fluorosis. The treatment was very effective. One Earth Clinic forum contributor suffered with fibromyalgia/rosacea, chronic fatigue and temporo-mandibular joint disorder (TMJ) for over 10 years due to fluoride. She used 1⁄8 teaspoon of borax and within two weeks her face cleared, the redness faded, her body temperature normalized, her energy level increased, and she steadily lost excess weight. Another post read: “Seven years ago, thyroid cancer; the next year adrenal fatigue, then early menopause; the following year, uterine prolapse followed by hysterectomy; the following year, fibromyalgia and neuropathy. Early childhood was fluoridated water along with fluoride tablets. Fall of 2008, I was looking at total disability. I could barely walk and couldn’t sleep because of the pain, and was throwing up daily from the pain in my back… After reading about fluoride, I came to understand where all of my problems originated… I began the borax detox of 1⁄8 tsp in a liter of water, and within three days my symptoms were almost gone.”

The Calcium–Magnesium Ratio

There is antagonism as well as cooperation between calcium and magnesium. About half the total body magnesium is found in bones and the other half is inside the cells of tissues and organs. Only one percent is in the blood, and the kidneys keep this level constant by excreting more or less with the urine. In contrast, 99 percent of calcium is in the bones, and there it is in the fluid outside of cells. Muscles contract when calcium moves into the cells, and they relax when calcium is again pumped out and magnesium moves in. This cellular pump requires much energy to pump calcium out, and if cells are low in energy then calcium may accumulate inside cells. This then leads to only partial relaxation of the muscles, with stiffness, frequent cramps and poor blood and lymph circulation. The problem gets worse, the more that calcium moves from bones into soft tissue. Nerve cells can also accumulate calcium, leading to faulty nerve transmission. In the lens, excess calcium causes cataracts. Hormonal output keeps reducing as endocrine glands increasingly calcify and all other cells become handicapped in their normal functions. In addition, this excess calcium causes intra cellular magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is needed to activate countless enzymes, and a deficiency leads to inefficient and blocked energy production. A further problem is that excess calcium damages the cell membrane and makes it difficult for nutrients to move in and for wastes to move out. When the intra cellular calcium level gets too high, the cell will die. This shows the importance of boron as a regulator of cell membranes, especially in regard to movements of calcium and magnesium. With boron deficiency, too much calcium moves into the cell while magnesium cannot displace it. This is the condition of old age and of the boron-deficiency diseases leading up to it. While in good health and especially in younger years, a calcium–magnesium ratio of 2:1 is normal and is supplied with a good diet; but with increasing age, boron deficiency and resulting diseases, we need progressively less calcium and more magnesium. For boron to be fully effective in reversing tissue calcification, ample magnesium is required. For elderly individuals, I recommend 400–600 mg of magnesium together with the daily borax supplementation spaced out during the day; and with protracted joint problems, additional trans-dermal magnesium. However, oral magnesium needs to be adjusted for its laxative effect. I doubt that calcium supplements are beneficial in the case of osteoporosis. In my view, these individuals have plenty of calcium stored in soft tissues where it does not belong, and supplementing boron and magnesium is expected to redeposit this misplaced calcium into the bones. I regard the medical focus on a high-calcium intake as a prescription for accelerated aging.

What and How Much to Use

In some countries (e.g., Australia, New Zealand, USA), borax can still be found in the laundry and cleaning sections of supermarkets. There is no “food grade” borax available or necessary. Boric acid, if available, may be used at about 2⁄3 the dose of borax. First, dissolve a lightly rounded teaspoonful (5–6 grams) of borax in one liter of water. This is your concentrated solution. Keep the bottle out of reach of small children. • A standard dose is one teaspoonful (5 mL) of concentrate. This has 25–30 mg of borax and provides about 3 mg of boron. Take one dose daily with drink or food. If that feels right, then take a second dose with another meal. As a maintenance dose, you may continue indefinitely with one or two doses daily. If you have arthritis, osteoporosis or related conditions, menopause or stiffness due to advancing years, or if you need to improve low sex-hormone production, then with boron deficiency, too much calcium moves into the cell while magnesium cannot displace it. This is the condition of old age and of the boron-deficiency diseases leading up to it. Increase intake to three or more spaced-out standard doses until you feel that your problem has sufficiently improved. Then drop back to one or two doses per day. If you want to try the higher dose recommended by Earth Clinic for treating Candida and removing fluoride from the body, then use the concentrated solution thus: • lower dose for low to normal weight: 100 mL (1⁄8 tsp of borax powder); drink at spaced-out times during the day. • higher dose for heavier individuals: 200 mL (1⁄4 tsp of borax powder); drink at spaced-out times during the day. Always start with a standard dose and increase gradually to the intended maximum. Take the maximum amount for four or five days a week, as long as required. Borax is rather alkaline, and in higher concentrations it has a soapy taste. You may disguise this with lemon juice, vinegar or ascorbic acid. Borax and boric acid have been classified as reproductive poisons in Europe, and since December 2010 are no longer available to the public within the European Union. Presently, borax is still available in Switzerland, but shipment to Germany is not permitted. In Germany, a small amount (20–50g) may be ordered through a pharmacy as ant poison, but the sale has to be registered. Boron tablets can be bought from health shops or over the Internet, commonly with 3 mg of boron. These contain tightly bound boron not present in ionic form, as with borax or boric acid. While they are suitable as a general boron supplement, I do not expect them to work against Candida and myco-plasmas or as a quick arthritis, osteoporosis or menopause cure. Most scientific studies and individual experiences were with borax or boric acid. To improve effectiveness, I recommend taking three or more boron tablets spaced out daily for an extended period, combined with sufficient magnesium and a suitable anti-microbial program.

Possible Side-Effects

While side-effects from pharmaceutical drugs tend to be negative and often dangerous, with natural medicine such as borax therapy these are usually healing reactions with beneficial long-term effects. Most common is the Herxheimer reaction from eliminating Candida… In some of the above forum posts, rapid improvement was experienced within days. This is always a functional response. High cellular calcium levels cause muscle contraction with cramps or spasms as a common cause of pain. Boron, especially together with magnesium, can rapidly relax these muscles and take away the pain. However, with long-standing severe calcification, a large amount of calcium cannot be redistributed in a short time. This leads to increased calcium levels in the affected area, especially the hips and shoulders, and for a considerable time can cause problems such as a tendency to severe cramping and pain, or problems with the blood circulation or nerve transmission. Nerve-related effects in hands and feet may be numbness or reduced skin sensitivity. Higher amounts of calcium and fluoride passing through the kidneys may cause temporary kidney pain. Such healing reactions cannot be avoided when aiming for a higher level of health. Whenever you experience an unpleasant effect, reduce borax intake until the problem subsides. Then gradually start increasing again. Helpful additional measures are a greatly increased fluid intake, using more organic acids such as lemon juice, ascorbic acid or vinegar, and improving lymph flow as with rebounding, walking or inverted positions.

Toxicity Issues

Government health agencies are concerned about boron toxicity. You might be concerned as well if you read the following, pertaining to sodium chloride (salt): “Acute oral toxicity [LD 50, the dose at which half of the tested animals die]:3000 mg/kg [Rat]… Chronic Effects on Humans: Mutagenic for mammalian somatic cells…Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact, ingestion or inhalation. Lowest Published Lethal Dose (LDL) [Man]…1000 mg/kg…Causes adverse reproductive effects in humans (fetotoxicity, abortion) by intra-placental route… [M]ay increase risk of Toxemia of Pregnancy in susceptible women… May cause adverse reproductive effects and birth defects in animals, particularly rats and mice (fetotoxicity, abortion, musculoskeletal abnormalities, and maternal effects [on ovaries, Fallopian tubes])… May affect genetic material (mutagenic)… Ingestion of large quantities can irritate the stomach…with nausea and vomiting. May affect behavior (muscle spasticity/contraction, somnolence), sense organs, metabolism, and cardiovascular system. Continued exposure may produce dehydration, internal organ congestion, and coma…”

Now, compare the sodium chloride toxicity with the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for borax/boric acid: “Low acute oral toxicity; LD50 in rats is 4,500 to 6,000 mg/kg of body weight… Reproductive/developmental toxicity: Animal feeding studies in rat, mouse and dog, at high doses, have demonstrated effects on fertility and testes. Studies with the chemically related boric acid in the rat, mouse and rabbit, at high doses, demonstrate developmental effects on the fetus, including fetal weight loss and minor skeletal variations. The doses high cellular calcium levels cause muscle contraction…Boron, especially together with magnesium, can rapidly relax these muscles and take away the pain.


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