Borax: Unlocking the Health Benefits of a Natural Compound

Borax, a naturally occurring compound rich in boron, has become popular for its numerous health benefits and reported success in addressing chronic illnesses, such as autoimmune diseases, hormone imbalances, and chronic pain. Its active ingredient, sodium borate, is an anti-inflammatory agent that effectively treats inflammatory diseases like arthritis, gout, and swollen gums, as well as bladder infections, urinary tract infections, and other specific ailments. Borax is also commonly used to treat conditions like cancer, obesity, high blood pressure, arterial disease, and osteoporosis, with boron playing a crucial role in its efficacy.

This article explores the well-researched health benefits of borax, focusing on its boron content, which significantly contributes to its therapeutic effects.

What is Borax?

Borax is a naturally occurring compound found worldwide, with mines in the United States, China, Ukraine, Turkey, and India. (1)

Common Names for Borax:

  • Sodium tetraborate
  • Sodium borate
  • Disodium tetraborate

The chemical formula for borax is Na2B4O7·10H2O, comprising sodium, boron, oxygen, and hydrogen. Borax is known by various names, but they all refer to the same chemical compound.

Borax Mining

The Rio Tinto Borax Mine in Boron, California, is the largest known borax mine, with reserves estimated to last until 2050. (2)

Borax Health Benefits

Surprisingly, thousands of people consume a liquid borax solution worldwide as a natural daily remedy for numerous health conditions. Borax is a natural substance mined from the earth, similar to salt. It contains boron, a trace mineral, which may be lacking in modern diets. (3) Research has shown that restoring healthy boron levels can improve health conditions like arthritis. (4)

Additionally, borax is quite alkaline. Many health problems arise because the body is too acidic.

Health Issues That Benefit from Borax:

  • Arthritis
  • Trigger Finger and Trigger Thumb
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bone Spurs
  • Calcium Deposits
  • Lupus
  • Autoimmune Disease
  • Hormone Imbalances
  • Fungus
  • Candida
  • Ringworm
  • Tinea Versicolor
  • Insomnia
  • Rough Skin
  • Impotence

The body relies on essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids, to function properly. Boron, a trace mineral in borax, is essential for proper hormone function and calcium-magnesium balance. (5Many diseases today are related to simple nutritional deficiencies, and restoring a low nutrient like boron can significantly improve overall health. (6)

Arthritis and Bone Health

Borax’s high boron content makes it an effective treatment for arthritis and other bone-related issues. Studies have shown that increased boron intake can help alleviate arthritis symptoms and improve bone density, improving overall bone health. (7)

Hormonal Imbalances

Boron, an essential trace mineral found in borax, plays a vital role in maintaining hormonal balance. By consuming borax, individuals with hormone imbalances may experience an improvement in their symptoms, leading to better overall health. (8, 9)

Antifungal Properties

The antifungal properties of borax make it an effective remedy for various fungal infections, such as candida, ringworm, and tinea versicolor. Using borax topically or consuming it in small amounts can help fight these infections and promote healing. (10)

Sleep Improvement

Borax’s alkaline nature and trace mineral content may help improve sleep quality for some individuals. Borax can alleviate insomnia and promote restful sleep by balancing the body’s pH levels and providing essential minerals. (11)

Borax Dosage for Men and Women

Borax powder is about 11.3% boron, meaning a ¼ teaspoon contains approximately 113 mg of boron. Ted from Earth Clinic recommends a daily dose of ¼ teaspoon of borax in 1 liter of water for men and 1/8 teaspoon of borax in 1 liter for women. This equates to men consuming about 113 mg of boron daily while women consume around 56 mg daily.

Another method of dosing borax, recommended by Walter Last, involves adding a heaping teaspoon of borax to a liter of water and taking one or two teaspoons of the solution daily with meals, delivering about 3 mg of boron per dose. (12)

You will find more dosing information on this page.

Borax Uses


Borax is commonly used as a natural cleaning aid, especially for laundry. Its alkaline pH of 9.3 makes it useful for softening hard water, which can damage clothes and make them difficult to clean. (13)  However, adding borax may not be necessary if you already have soft water.


Borax is one of the three ingredients in many popular DIY laundry powder recipes. Besides laundry, borax is also used as an eco-friendly cleaning powder for the bathroom. It is particularly helpful for removing hard water stains.


Borax is a widely recognized and safe remedy for pest control. It has been used for years to treat various parasites, including lice and mites in humans and mange in dogs and cats. (14) When borax is applied to the skin, it dehydrates and suffocates the parasites, making it an effective and natural treatment option.

Hair Care

Borax has become popular as a shampoo alternative. Various chemicals in shampoos and health conditions that affect the scalp have motivated many people to turn to hair care’s “no-poo” method.

Borax is not only a natural alternative to chemical-laden shampoos because of its alkalinity and anti-fungal properties; it often brings healing to chronic and embarrassing scalp conditions.

Borax Instructions for Hair

  • To use borax for your hair, dissolve 1 cup of borax into one gallon of pure water.
  • Keep this solution in the shower.
  • Pour 1-2 cups of this solution over your hair (instead of shampoo), ensuring the solution gets to your scalp.
  • Allow the solution to sit on your scalp and hair for a few minutes, and then rinse.
  • If you find the borax method dries out your hair, take a small amount of coconut oil and massage it into your hair. You may not need to use the borax solution on your hair more than once or twice a week.

Boron Deficiency: An In-Depth Look

Boron deficiency is a critical yet often overlooked issue that can significantly impact overall health and well-being. As an essential trace mineral, boron is involved in various biological processes, including bone formation, hormone regulation, and cell membrane maintenance. This section will provide a more comprehensive analysis of boron deficiency, including its causes, symptoms, and potential health consequences.

Causes of Boron Deficiency

Several factors can contribute to boron deficiency, such as:

  1. Poor diet: Consuming a diet low in boron-rich foods, like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes, can lead to insufficient boron intake.

  2. Soil depletion: The depletion of minerals in the soil due to modern agricultural practices can result in reduced boron content in the crops grown on that soil, ultimately affecting the boron levels in our food.

  3. Reduced bioavailability: Certain factors, like high levels of calcium, magnesium, or phosphorus, can interfere with boron absorption in the body, leading to reduced bioavailability and, subsequently, deficiency.

  4. Health conditions: Some medical conditions, such as kidney disease or malabsorption disorders, can impair the body’s ability to absorb and utilize boron effectively.

Symptoms of Boron Deficiency

A lack of boron in the body can result in various symptoms, which can manifest differently depending on the individual. These symptoms may include:

  1. Brittle bones: Boron plays a crucial role in bone health, and deficiency can result in weakened bones that are more prone to fractures.
  2. Joint pain and inflammation: Inadequate boron levels can contribute to joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation, as boron helps regulate inflammatory processes within the body.
  3. Muscle weakness and fatigue: Boron deficiency can reduce muscle strength, endurance, and overall energy levels.
  4. Hormonal imbalances: Boron is essential for maintaining proper hormone balance, particularly in regulating estrogen and testosterone. Deficiency can result in hormonal imbalances, which can manifest as symptoms like mood swings, weight gain, or low libido.
  5. Impaired cognitive function: Low boron levels can affect brain health and cognitive function, leading to memory problems, difficulty concentrating, and reduced mental alertness.
  6. Poor immune function: Boron supports the immune system, and deficiency can make individuals more susceptible to infections and illnesses. 

Health Consequences of Boron Deficiency

If left unaddressed, boron deficiency can have several long-term health consequences, including:

  1. Osteoporosis: Chronic boron deficiency can contribute to osteoporosis, a condition characterized by low bone mass and an increased risk of fractures.
  2. Arthritis: Insufficient boron intake can exacerbate arthritis symptoms, leading to increased joint pain, inflammation, and reduced mobility.
  3. Hormone-related disorders: Prolonged boron deficiency can increase the risk of hormone-related disorders, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, and prostate issues.
  4. Cognitive decline: Long-term boron deficiency can contribute to age-related cognitive decline and an increased risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s

Restoring Boron Levels with Borax

Supplementing with borax, which contains a rich boron content, can help address boron deficiency and improve overall health. By incorporating borax into their health regimen, individuals can effectively restore their boron levels and alleviate symptoms associated with deficiency.

In addition to supplementing with borax, individuals can improve their boron levels by incorporating boron-rich foods into their diet. Some of these foods include:

  1. Fruits: Boron is abundant in many fruits, such as apples, pears, grapes, cherries, plums, and dried fruits like raisins and prunes.
  2. Vegetables: Certain vegetables, like broccoli, kale, spinach, and beetroot, are good sources of boron.
  3. Nuts and seeds: Almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds are rich in boron and can be easily incorporated into the diet.
  4. Legumes: Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are excellent sources of boron and can be included in various meals.
  5. Grains: Whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, and oats, can provide a good amount of boron.
  6. Avocado: This nutrient-dense fruit is also a good source of boron and can be added to salads, sandwiches, or smoothies.

By incorporating these foods into their daily diet, individuals can help prevent boron deficiency and promote overall health. Additionally, it is essential to maintain a balanced and varied diet, as other nutrients also play a crucial role in supporting the body’s functions.

It is also worth noting that excessive boron intake can lead to toxicity, which can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and skin rash. While the risk of boron toxicity from food sources is low, following the recommended dosages when supplementing with borax or other boron supplements is essential to avoid adverse effects.

In conclusion, understanding the importance of boron and addressing any deficiency can significantly impact overall health and well-being. By ensuring adequate boron intake through diet or supplementation, individuals can support various biological processes, including bone health, hormonal regulation, and cognitive function. .(15)

Borax Detox

Borax can play a role in detoxifying the body thanks to its alkaline nature and anti-inflammatory properties. (16)

How Borax Helps with Detoxification

A borax detox can help neutralize acidic waste products in the body, support the elimination of toxins, and improve overall health. Regular use of borax may promote better digestion, clearer skin, and improved energy levels.

Always consult a healthcare professional before starting a detox regimen, and remember to stay hydrated during the process.

Borax Safety Concerns

While borax is considered safe for many uses, it is essential to exercise caution and follow guidelines for safe consumption and handling. When using borax for health purposes, always start with a smaller dose and gradually increase it as needed. If you experience any side effects, discontinue use and consult with a healthcare professional.

To reduce your risk of side effects, always start with a smaller dose and monitor its effects. While the relative lethal dose (LD50) of borax is similar to that of table salt, it is always wise to be cautious with your dosages. (17)

One simple remedy that may help with borax side effects, such as stomach pain, diarrhea, and gas, is taking three activated charcoal capsules or tablets at night before bedtime.

Make sure to drink plenty of water during the first week or two of taking borax for the first time. Your body will need extra hydration while it purges toxins.

Borax During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Some regulatory bodies have classified borax as a potential reproductive hazard, and its use during pregnancy and breastfeeding should be cautiously approached. However, when used responsibly and in moderation, borax can offer a range of health benefits.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid taking borax internally, as there is insufficient information about its safety during pregnancy and lactation.

Keeping Borax Away from Children and Pets

It is also essential to keep borax out of reach of children and pets, as ingesting large amounts can be toxic.  

Borax Research

Scientific research on the health benefits of borax and boron is ongoing. Recent studies have investigated the potential role of boron in bone health, hormone regulation, and reproductive health.  (18, 19)

As more research is conducted, our understanding of the therapeutic potential of borax and boron will continue to grow. To stay informed about the latest findings, it is essential to follow reputable sources of health information and consult with healthcare professionals before incorporating borax into your health regimen.

Borax and Brain Health

Emerging research suggests that boron, the trace mineral found in borax, may play a role in maintaining brain health and cognitive function. (20Studies have shown that boron can positively impact memory, attention, and motor control. Although more research is needed to fully understand the role of boron in brain health, incorporating borax into your health regimen may help support cognitive function and protect against age-related cognitive decline.

Borax and Skin Health

Borax’s antifungal and antimicrobial properties make it a useful natural remedy for various skin issues, including eczema, psoriasis, and acne. (21

Applying a diluted borax solution topically may help alleviate symptoms and promote healing. Additionally, using borax as an alternative to chemical-laden shampoos and skin care products can help reduce exposure to potentially harmful ingredients and support healthier skin.

Borax and Oral Health

Due to its alkaline nature and antimicrobial properties, borax can also improve oral health. Gargling with a diluted borax solution can help neutralize oral acidity, reduce inflammation, and combat oral infections. (22) This natural remedy may benefit individuals suffering from swollen gums, bad breath, or other oral health issues.

Borax for Athletes and Sports Performance

With its rich boron content, Borax may also benefit athletes and those involved in sports. Boron has been shown to help improve muscle coordination, strength, and endurance. (23) Including borax in a sports regimen can enhance overall performance and support bone health, which is crucial for athletes.

Borax and Eye Health

When used in a diluted solution, Borax can help soothe irritated eyes and alleviate symptoms of eye infections, such as conjunctivitis.  The antimicrobial properties of borax can aid in combating bacteria and other pathogens that cause eye infections. However, using a properly diluted solution and consulting a healthcare professional before using borax for eye issues is essential. (24)

Borax and Wound Healing

The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of borax make it a useful remedy for wound healing. Applying a diluted borax solution to minor cuts, scrapes, and burns can help prevent infection and promote faster healing. (25)

Always clean the wound thoroughly before applying borax, and consult a healthcare professional if the wound is severe or shows signs of infection.

Borax in Agriculture

Borax is used in agriculture as a source of boron, an essential micronutrient for plant growth and development. (26)

Addressing Boron Deficiency in Crops

It can be applied to the soil or used as a foliar spray to address boron deficiency in crops. Boron is crucial for cell wall formation, root development, and the proper functioning of plant metabolic processes. By ensuring adequate boron levels in the soil, farmers can enhance crop yield and quality.

Opting for Borax: A Greener Approach to Cleaning and Environmental Care

As a naturally occurring compound, borax is an environmentally friendly alternative to synthetic chemicals in various applications.

From household cleaning to pest control and health remedies, borax offers a sustainable solution that reduces the environmental impact of our daily activities. By choosing borax and other natural products, we can contribute to a cleaner, healthier environment for future generations.

Storing Your Borax Solution: Proper Guidelines and Tips

If you make Walter Last’s solution with distilled water and store it in a clean glass jar, you will avoid impurities contaminating the mixture. This will maximize the shelf life of the solution. Store the solution in the refrigerator for even better preservation, and always use a clean stainless steel spoon to take your dose out of the jar. If your solution looks cloudy or smells off, discard it and make another batch.

Borax Alternatives: Discovering Other Health-Boosting Options

Some people may be uncomfortable taking any amount of borax internally. In many cases, taking a high-dose boron supplement can achieve similar results.


Borax, a natural and versatile compound, has been used for years to treat various health issues and improve overall well-being. Its anti-inflammatory properties and mineral content, particularly boron, make it effective in treating arthritis, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, and hormone imbalances. Borax is a popular alternative to conventional cleaning products and personal care items like shampoo. However, using borax responsibly and following guidelines for safe consumption and handling is crucial.

If you are unsure or have concerns about using borax, consult a healthcare professional or consider alternatives like boron supplements.

Watch Earth Clinic’s most popular video, with over 500,000 views, on the extensive health benefits of borax! We’ll also show you two ways to make a borax solution.

Below, you can find numerous posts from Earth Clinic readers sharing their personal experiences of using borax to treat a variety of health conditions. These firsthand accounts provide insights into the potential benefits of using borax as a natural remedy for different ailments.


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  7. Travers, R. L., Rennie, G. C., Newnham, R. E., & Hall, D. E. (1990). Boron and arthritis: The results of a double-blind pilot study. Journal of Nutritional Medicine, 1(2), 127-132.
  8. Pizzorno L. Nothing Boring About Boron. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2015 Aug;14(4):35-48. PMID: 26770156; PMCID: PMC4712861.
  9. Naghii MR, Mofid M, Asgari AR, Hedayati M, Daneshpour MS. Comparative effects of daily and weekly boron supplementation on plasma steroid hormones and proinflammatory cytokines. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2011 Jan;25(1):54-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2010.10.001. Epub 2010 Dec 3. PMID: 21129941.
  10. Orak F, Nazik H, Yalcinkaya KT, Gundes A, Doganer A, Nazik S, Mulayim MK, Ozturk P. Antifungal efficacy of pure boron on yeast and mold isolates causing superficial mycosis. J Pak Med Assoc. 2022 Jul;72(7):1330-1334. 
  11. Pizzorno L. Nothing Boring About Boron. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2015 Aug;14(4):35-48. PMID: 26770156; PMCID: PMC4712861.
  12. Last, W. (2011). Borax Conspiracy – Health – Science – Spirit. Retrieved from
  13. American Cleaning Institute. (2022). Borax. Retrieved from
  14. Earth Clinic. (2022). Borax Remedies for Mange in Dogs. Retrieved from
  15. USDA. (2019). Boron. In Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc (pp. 507-532). Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
  16. Sánchez-Rodríguez, M. A., Zacarías-Flores, M., González-Ortiz, L. J., Mendoza-Núñez, V. M., & López-Briones, S. (2018). Boron in human health: Evidence for dietary recommendations and public policies. Biological Trace Element Research, 186(1), 31-43.
  17. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. (2010). Toxicological Profile for Boron. Retrieved from
  18. Biţă A, Scorei IR, Bălşeanu TA, Ciocîlteu MV, Bejenaru C, Radu A, Bejenaru LE, Rău G, Mogoşanu GD, Neamţu J, Benner SA. New Insights into Boron Essentiality in Humans and Animals. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Aug 15;23(16):9147. 
  19. Uluisik I, Karakaya HC, Koc A. The importance of boron in biological systems. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2018 Jan;45:156-162. 
  20. Penland, J. G. (2018). Boron in human nutrition and its potential for interaction with selenium and iodine. In T. F. Omaye (Ed.), Nutrition and Health in a Developing World (pp. 69-89). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
  21. Orak F, Nazik H, Yalcinkaya KT, Gundes A, Doganer A, Nazik S, Mulayim MK, Ozturk P. Antifungal efficacy of pure boron on yeast and mold isolates causing superficial mycosis. J Pak Med Assoc. 2022 Jul;72(7):1330-1334. 
  22. Sayin Z, Ucan US, Sakmanoglu A. Antibacterial and Antibiofilm Effects of Boron on Different Bacteria. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2016 Sep;173(1):241-6. 
  23. Ferrando AA, Green NR. The effect of boron supplementation on lean body mass, plasma testosterone levels, and strength in male bodybuilders. Int J Sport Nutr. 1993 Jun;3(2):140-9. 
  24. Karaca U, Pinar SG, Savran M, Usta G, İlhan İ, Ozkaya D, Avci M. The Possible Protective Effect of Boric Acid in an Alkaline-Induced Corneal Neovascularization Rat Model. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2022 Dec;200(12):5127-5133. 
  25. Nzietchueng RM, Dousset B, Franck P, Benderdour M, Nabet P, Hess K. Mechanisms implicated in the effects of boron on wound healing. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2002;16(4):239-44. 
  26. Shireen F, Nawaz MA, Chen C, Zhang Q, Zheng Z, Sohail H, Sun J, Cao H, Huang Y, Bie Z. Boron: Functions and Approaches to Enhance Its Availability in Plants for Sustainable Agriculture. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Jun 24;19(7):1856. 


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  2. Devirian, T. A., & Volpe, S. L. (2003). The physiological effects of dietary boron. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 43(2), 219-231.
  3. Hunt, C. D. (2012). Dietary boron: Progress in establishing essential roles in human physiology. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, 26(2-3), 157-160
  4. This source provides information on the importance of dietary boron in human health.
  5. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) FoodData Central.
  6. Rainey, C. J., Nyquist, L. A., Christensen, R. E., Strong, P. L., Culver, B. D., & Coughlin, J. R. (1999). Daily boron intake from the American diet. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 99(3), 335-340.

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