Borax – Why Its Good For You But Being Demonized by EWG
Borax, one of the safest and non-toxic naturally occurring minerals in the world, is clearly under assault. I was appalled to learn that it had been just about totally banned in the EU and been demonized by one of EWG’s top scientists! Really? Then I found out why. But before we get to that, lets talk about all the good that this simple salt can do!
Most people only know that the product can clean well. However, it's also an excellent source of boron... one that I embrace! If things keep going in the direction they’re going though, it will no longer be available. *Sigh*
The Rio Tinto Boron Mine in Boron, California is the largest mine in the world.
What is Borax?
Borax is the sodium salt of boric acid. It has many names although it’s chemically all the same thing. These include sodium tetraborate decahydrate, disodium tetraborate decahydrate, and sodium borate. Don’t let the chemical names scare you though. It’s less toxic than simple table salt.
A solution of borax is highly alkaline, with a pH between 9 and 10. The boron content is 11.3 percent and the boric acid content range is around 17.5 percent. When ingested, boron reacts with hydrochloric acid in the stomach to produce boric acid and sodium chloride and is then mostly excreted in the urine. Formerly, boric acid was widely used as a preservative in food but is now banned for this purpose in most countries – in favor of man-made preservatives. You can see where this is going right?
Conventional medicine is quick to say that boron is not essential for humans but research shows that it is! Just like so many trace elements that we used to get from produce grown in fertile soil, boron has been substantially depleted now because of the effects of fertilizer use. For example, an organic apple grown in good soil may have 20 mg boron, but if that apple was grown in depleted soil, it may have only 1 mg. Fertilizers combined with poor food choices have greatly reduced boron intake compared to 100 or even 50 years ago.
Unhealthy cooking methods
greatly reduce the availability of boron in food too. The cooking water of vegetables, which always contains most of the minerals, is typically discarded during home cooking or commercial processing. Phytic acid, commonly found in baked goods, cereals and cooked legumes, also reduces the availability of boron, while gluten sensitivity and yeast overgrowth inhibit the absorption. All of these things combined make health problems due to boron deficiency now very common place.
Borax is commonly sold as technical or agricultural grade with 99 to 99.5 percent minimum purity
. Potential impurities include sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, bicarbonate, carbonate, sulfate and phosphate but does NOT include heavy metals
. Commercial grade is commonly used in household cleaners. Food grade is not noticeably superior, although it may make you feel better about using it.
Unfortunately, the average daily intake in developed countries today is only 1-2mg of boron. Institutionalized patients may receive only 0.25mg of daily boron.
How Boron Influences Health
Borax and boric acid both have equivalent health benefits, with good antiseptic, antifungal, and antiviral properties and mild antibacterial action. In plants and animals, boron is essential for the integrity and function of cell walls, and is the way signals are transmitted across membranes.
In the human body, boron’s highest concentration is in the parathyroid glands, followed by bones and dental enamel. It is essential for healthy bones and joint function, regulating the absorption and metabolism of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus – because of it’s influence on the parathyroid glands. Boron is for the parathyroids what iodine is for the thyroid
Boron deficiency causes the parathyroids to become overactive, releasing too much parathyroid hormone which raises the blood calcium by grabbing it from bones and teeth. This then leads to osteoarthritis and other forms of arthritis, osteoporosis and tooth decay. As you 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 - leading to kidney failure. Boron deficiency together with magnesium deficiency is especially damaging to the bones and teeth.
Boron also affects the metabolism of steroid hormones, especially 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 depositing it into bone and teeth rather than causing soft tissue to calcify. Also other beneficial effects have been reported such as improvement of heart problems, vision, psoriasis, balance, memory, and cognition.
The German cancer researcher Dr Paul-Gerhard Seeger showed that cancer commonly starts with the deterioration of cell membranes. As boron is essential for cell membranes and boron deficiency is widespread, this may be an important cause for the widespread initiation of tumor growth. Boron compounds have anti-tumour properties and are "potent anti-osteoporotic, anti-inflammatory, hypolipemic, anti-coagulant and anti-neoplastic agents".
The Arthritis Cure
In the 1960's, Rex Newnham, Ph.D., D.O., N.D, developed arthritis. At that time he was a soil and plant scientist in Perth, Australia. Conventional drugs did not help, so he started examining the chemistry of plants to explain the cause. He realized that plants in the region were mineral deficient. Since he knew that boron aids calcium metabolism in plants, he decided to try it personally and took 30 mg of borax a day. In three weeks all pain, swelling and stiffness had disappeared.
In his excitement, he told public health and medical school authorities about his discovery but they didn't seem interested. However, as word got out about his cure, some people with arthritis were delighted because their arthritis improved. Others were too scared to take something with a poison label on the container meant to kill cockroaches and ants. Eventually he had tablets made with a safe and effective quantity of borax.
Within five years (and only by word of mouth), he sold 10,000 bottles in one month. He could no longer cope and asked a drug company to market it. BIG mistake! Once government health committees got wind of the cheap alternative to BIG PHARMA drugs, Australia instituted a regulation that declared boron and its compounds to be poisons in any concentration. Dr.Newnham was fined $1000 for selling poison, which ended his arthritis cure.
Subsequently he published several scientific papers on boron and arthritis. One was a double-blind trial in the mid 1980's at the Royal Melbourne Hospital which showed that 70 percent of those who consumed borax and completed the trial were greatly improved. Only 12 percent improved on the placebo. There were no known negative side-effects, but some subjects reported that heart ailments also improved – plus there was better general health and less fatigue
Global Boron Levels - Lowest to Highest
Most of Dr. Newnham’s later research was devoted to the relationship between boron levels in the soil and arthritis.
Jamaica has the lowest levels and arthritis rates are around 70 percent. Even dogs on the island limp.
Mauritius has very low boron levels and an arthritis rate of 50 percent.
The US, England, Australia and New Zealand have average soil-boron levels with an estimated intake of 1 to 2mg of boron with arthritis rates of about 20 percent.
Carnarvon, Australia has high boron levels in soil and water, and the arthritis rate is only percent. It is a similar situation in Ngawha Springs, New Zealand that has very high boron levels in their spa water, which has curative action for arthritis. Levels are also high in Israel with an estimated daily boron intake of 5 to 8mg and only 0.5 – 1 percent arthritis.
Bone analysis show that arthritic joints and nearby bones had only half the boron content of healthy joints. Interestingly, synovial fluid provides nutrients to the cartilage in boron deficient arthritic joints. After boron supplementation bones are much harder. With additional boron, bone fractures heal in about half the normal time in both man and animals.
Boron is also effective with other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis, and lupus.
Effect on Osteoporosis and Sex Hormones
Boron deficiency causes greatly increased amounts of calcium and magnesium lost in the urine. Supplementing with borax reduces the daily loss of calcium by nearly 50 percent and boron deficiency may be the single most important factor in causing osteoporosis and tooth decay.
It has been estimated that 55 percent of Americans over 50 have osteoporosis and of these, about 80 percent are women. Worldwide 1 in 3 women and 1 in 12 men over the age of 50 may have osteoporosis, responsible for millions of fractures each year.
The beneficial effect of borax on bones comes from 1) a higher boron content of the bones which makes them harder, and 2) a normalization of sex hormones which stimulates the growth of new bone. Low estrogen levels after menopause is one of the main reasons why so many older women develop osteoporosis. In men, testosterone levels decline more gradually which seems to be reflected in their later onset of osteoporosis as a whole. Hip fractures as you know, are very prevalent in the older generation.
Research has now shown that the supplementation of boron in postmenopausal women doubles the blood level of the most active form of oestrogen, (17-beta oestradiol). Equally, the blood levels of testosterone is more than doubled. With HRT there is a higher risk of breast or endometrial cancer which does not happen with hormones produced by the body by supplementation.
Boron does not appear to raise oestrogen above normal healthy levels. Boron may balance levels of sex hormones similar to the action of maca root. (Maca acts on the pituitary gland, which increases and balances sex hormones and stimulates progesterone production as needed.)
A recent study in young men showed that the level of free testosterone had risen by one third after a daily supplementation of about 100 mg of borax for one week. This may be of special interest, especially for bodybuilders.
Boron helps elevate testosterone levels in men, which helps reduce prostate tumors and PSA levels. Memory and cognition in the elderly are also improved as a result of increased levels of sex hormones and improved membrane function of brain cells.
Fungus and Fluoride Elimination
Boron has successfully been used to treat yeast overgrowth. For vaginal yeast infections, insert one gelatin (dissolvable) capsule filled with the powder at bedtime. Or mix one teaspoon of powder into melted coconut oil and then chill. Use this as a suppository before bed at night for up to 2 weeks, or until conditions improve.
For athletes foot, rub borax over wet feet. Leave it for a few minutes, then rinse. Apply several times daily until itching subsides and the fungus disappears. Sprinkle the powder in shoes to refresh them and get rid of hidden fungus.
One study from Turkey shows the protective effect of boric acid on foods contaminated with mycotoxins, especially the dangerous fungal aflatoxins. Among these, Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) causes extensive DNA damage and is the most potent carcinogen ever tested, especially affecting liver and lungs, also causing birth defects, immunotoxicity and even death in farm animals and humans. Boric acid treatment was protective and led to an increased resistance oxidative damage to DNA induced by aflatoxin. It’s also why borax had been used as a food preservative for so many years.
Another study in 2011 solidifies that boric acid capsules worked well even in cases of drug resistant thrush against all tested pathogens. A diluted douche might not be strong enough to kill drug resistant candida but is certainly strong enough to kill normal thrush conditions. Borax in this case, was more effective than boric acid.
Candida always exists with normal healthy cells as oval yeast cells. When challenged, chains of elongated cells called pseudohyphae develop in the area, which allows the invasive long, narrow and tube-like filaments called hyphae to take host. These elongated cells damage the intestinal wall, and cause leaky gut syndrome and inflammation. Pseudohyphae and hyphae can be seen in the blood of individuals with autoimmune diseases and cancer. This same study shows that both boric acid and borax inhibit the formation of biofilms and transform the cell into harmless yeast cells. It's important because candida forms tough layers of biofilm on the outside of cells. Yeast infections in general are commonly initiated by antibiotics.
A 2011 scientific review concluded: "Boric acid is a safe, alternative, economic option for women with recurrent and chronic symptoms of vaginitis when conventional treatment fails". Makes you wonder WHY this curative option is never mentioned today by conventional doctors!
Borax, along with Lugol's iodine solution, can also be used to remove fluoride and heavy metals from the body. Fluoride causes bones to deteriorate, the pineal gland to calcify, and the thyroid gland to become almost dormant. In the body, boron reacts with fluoride ions to form boron fluorides, which is then excreted in the urine.
Boron has also been used to successfully treat fibromyalgia, rosacea, chronic fatigue, TMJ, neuropathy, and adrenal fatigue.
Relationship to Calcium-Magnesium Metabolism
There is an antagonist and protagonist relationship between calcium and magnesium. About half of the total body magnesium is found in bones, half is found inside the cells of tissues and organs but only one percent is found in the blood. Your kidneys keep this level constant by excreting more or less urine.
In contrast, 99 percent of calcium is in bones, and one percent is found in fluids outside of cells. Muscles contract when calcium moves into the cells, and relax when calcium is pumped out and magnesium moves in. This cellular pump requires much energy (ATP) to pump calcium out. If cells are low in energy, then calcium can accumulate. Low ATP can result from yeast infections, faulty sugar or fat metabolism, deficiencies, or accumulated metabolic wastes and toxins.
When partial relaxation of the muscles happens, joints become stiff, muscle cramping can occur and circulation of blood and lymph decreases. The more calcium is moved from bones to soft tissue, the worse it gets. Nerve cells can also accumulate calcium, which causes faulty transmissions. Calcium accumulation can also cause cataracts, endocrine gland calcification, and cellular dysfunction. As you might expect, it also causes magnesium levels to drop drastically within cells. Without magnesium, cells cannot activate enzymes nor produce energy.
Another problem is that excess calcium damages the cell membrane and makes it hard for nutrients to move in and wastes to move out. When the intracellular calcium level gets too high, the cell dies.
Boron is an important regulator of cell membrane functions, especially in regard to movements of calcium and magnesium. With boron deficiency, too much calcium moves into the cell, which means that 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 beneficial and can be supplied with a balanced diet. However when it comes to aging and boron deficiency (and the resulting diseases that ensue), you need less calcium and more magnesium.
For boron to be fully effective in reversing tissue calcification, ample magnesium is needed. For the elderly, supplementing with 400 to 600mg of magnesium together with the daily supplementation - at intervals during the day.
For protracted joint problems additional topical magnesium may be required. However, oral magnesium may need to be adjusted according to its laxative effect. It is doubtful if calcium supplements are needed, even in case of osteoporosis. Most people have plenty of calcium stored in soft tissues where it does not belong, and supplementing boron and magnesium helps re-position misplaced calcium into bones.
In some countries (e.g. Australia, NZ, USA) borax can still be found in the laundry and cleaning sections in local markets. Food grade isn’t necessary because all borax is the same and "natural" - usually mined in California or Turkey. The label usually states that it is 99 percent pure (or 990g/kg) which is safe to use, and is the legal standard for commercial grade. Boric acid powder may be used at about 2/3 the dose of borax.
Concentrated Solution - Dissolve one teaspoonful (5-6 grams) of borax in 1 quart of purified water. (4 quarts = 1 gallon) This is your concentrated solution. Keep it out of reach of small children.
Standard/Maintenance Dose - 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of concentrate twice daily before meals. This concentrated dose has 25 to 30mg of borax and provides about 3mg of boron. Start with one dose per day and work up to two doses per day. For maintenance, continue with one or two doses daily.
For chronic health problems, you may need to increase your intake to 3 (spaced out) teaspoons of concentrate daily. Once problems resolve, go back to the maintenance dose.
With low to medium-weight people, use 1/8 teaspoon of powder with one liter (little over 1 quart) of purified water. For heavier weight people, use 1/4 teaspoon per liter of water.
Drink the solution spaced out during the day, for 4 or 5 days a week for as long as needed.
Use this same formula to help reduce symptoms of psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis. You can get much more information on dosage and benefits here.
Always start with a lower dose and increase gradually to the maximum. Take the maximum amounts for 4 or 5 days a week for as long as it's required, or reduce the maximum dose for one week each month to a minimum dose, or alternate between a low dose and your maximum dose in a varied rhythm.
You may take borax mixed with food or in drinks. In higher concentrations, it has a soapy taste. You may disguise this with lemon juice, vinegar or ascorbic acid.
Boron tablets are also an option and contain around 3mg of boron. In some European countries, such as The Netherlands, these may still contain borax, but in Germany, boron is not allowed in ionic form. It is not yet known if non-ionic boron is as effective as borax since previous studies were done with borax. To improve effectiveness, take 3 or more spaced-out boron tablets daily for an extended period of time, combined with sufficient supplies of magnesium and some kind of antimicrobial program.
As you can judge for yourself from commercials viewed on television in the recent years, pharmaceutical drugs have many negative and often dangerous side-effects. With natural modalities such as borax, the only side effect noted is called the Herxheimer reaction – flu-like symptoms that occur from eliminating candida. This is the main cause of pain or discomfort in the digestive system when starting supplementation. However, if you stick with a regimen, boron together with magnesium, can rapidly relax muscles and take away the pain.
Don’t be in too much of a hurry though. Long-standing severe calcifications cannot be redistributed in a short time. Pushing things to fast can lead to increased calcium levels in the affected area, especially the hips and shoulders, and can cause problems for a considerable time, such as cramping and pain, or problems with blood circulation or nerve transmission. That's not what you want so take it slow and easy.
Higher amounts of calcium and fluoride passing through the kidneys may cause temporary kidney pain and may come from kidney stones being released. After a few days the stones are usually cleared and the pain stops.
Healing reactions cannot be avoided when aiming for a higher level of health, but they can be minimized by increasing levels gradually. Whenever you experience an unpleasant side-effect, reduce or temporarily stop intake until the problem subsides. Then gradually start dosing again. Helpful additional measures, such as increasing fluid intake, using more organic acids such as lemon juice or undistilled vinegar, and improving lymph flow as with rebounding, walking or dry skin brushing may be required. These additional measures are easy enough to implement so no excuses.
Government health agencies are concerned about boron toxicity. However, what they don’t tell you is that table salt is 50 to 100 percent more toxic than borax. Infants are most at risk so do keep the products away from them. That’s just common sense.
The following toxicity data are from documents of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control:
"A review of 784 accidental human poisonings from 10 - 88 grams of boric acid reported no fatalities, with 88 percent of cases being asymptomatic - meaning they did not notice anything. However, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, hepatic, renal, and central nervous system effects, dermatitis, erythema, and death have occasionally been observed in some infants, children and adults that were exposed to more than 84 mg boron/kg, corresponding to more than 40 grams of borax for 60 kg of body weight".
Animal studies have identified reproductive toxicity as the most sensitive effects of boron ingestion. Exposure of rats, mice, and dogs for several weeks showed some damage to the testes and sperm at doses of more than 26 mg boron/kg which corresponds to 15 grams of borax/day for 60 kg body weight.
However, a rat study lasting for 3 generations found no reproductive toxicity or effect on the parents or offspring at 30mg boron/kg/day. Human studies of the possible association between impaired fertility and high boron levels in water, soil and dust in Turkish populations and boron mining and processing workers, found no ill effect. One study even reported elevated fertility rates in borax production workers as compared to the U.S. national average.
This is paramount when you consider that possible reproductive toxicity is the official reason for the present assault on borax. The sodium chloride MSDS mentioned above also states: "While sodium chloride has been used as a negative control in some reproductive studies, it has also been used as an example that almost any chemical can cause birth defects in experimental animals if studied under the right conditions". Keep this information in mind when you read what's written below.
The Vilification of Borax
EWG (the Environmental Working Group) rated borax with an F. You can see their rating here. Why? Two words: Codex Alimentarius! Their regulations were voted in with the acceptance of the recent Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Codex encompasses a lot of things but certainly one of them is the banning of anything natural that helps people stay healthy cheaply. Anything that threatens the status quo has to be squashed! They want you to reach for pharmaceutical drugs instead of vitamins and other known earth-borne cures.
I already had a bad taste in my mouth for EWG because even though they seem to be on the side of ‘everything natural’, last year one of their senior representatives testified in congress (pictured above) that GMOS were 'probably safe'. Really? After all the campaigns they put out to defeat the DARK ACT and label GMOS? I really don’t trust anything EWG says anymore and have unsubscribed from their newsletter. Screw em! They are part of the problem in my eyes!
Think about it.
Osteoporosis is responsible for more long-term hospital care than any other individual disease - due to the very high incidence of hip fractures in the elderly. In other words, it’s a booming business for the medical-pharmaceutical system. If the boron-magnesium cure was well known, their income stream would dry up and the system would collapse. Since hospitals and BIG PHARMA are the largest and most profitable industry in the world, this cannot be allowed to happen.
When Dr Newnham discovered the boron-arthritis cure it was not a big problem for the pharmaceuticals because during that time, news traveled slowly and was easily suppressed. It’s a lot different now with Internet and social media. Most research funding comes from the pharmaceutical industry, and nothing has come forward to duplicate Dr Newnham's findings – or any other natural osteoporosis studies.
Instead, funding goes into the development of patentable boron drugs for limited application as in chemotherapy, or even to discredit boron. A test-tube experiment found that a relatively low dose of about 4 grams of borax can damage lymphocytes, just like an earlier test-tube study showed that vitamin C supplements are toxic. Today, most positive borax studies now come from China, Japan, and Turkey.
EWG publicly demonized this innocent product for its alleged reproductive and infant toxicity. The perceived dangers were so exaggerated that most people who read the article swore to never use borax again. This is codex at it’s finest and a deliberate attempt to make people grateful for banning the product from public sale.
The EU spearheaded this campaign in June 2010, when borax was reclassified as "Reprotoxic Category 2", suggesting that it may be harmful to the reproductive functions of humans in high doses. In some countries, the product package must display the skull and crossbones symbol.
From December 2010 these products were no longer available for public sale within the EU. While this classification now applies for all of Europe, non-EU countries still have some leeway. This initiative is part of a Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) which is to be implemented as soon as possible. Australia is well-advanced on preparing regulations to implement the GHS for industrial chemicals, with new regulations expected in 2012, 3 years ago.
The European Chemicals Agency gave as reason for their reclassification of boron products (paraphrased):
"The available data do not indicate major differences between laboratory animals and humans, therefore it must be assumed that the effects seen in animals could occur in humans as epidemiological studies in humans are insufficient to demonstrate the absence of an adverse effect of inorganic borates on fertility. 17.5 mg boron/kg/day was derived as a NOAEL (no event level) for male and female fertility. For the rat decreased foetal weight occurred at 13.7 mg boron/kg/day, and a safe limit of 9.6 mg/kg/day has been derived."
What they are really saying is that while we have no human data, animal studies suggest that for adult reproductive functions, a daily ingestion of about 2 teaspoons is safe. But to be absolutely sure that no one is harmed, we will ban it altogether.
Importantly, this ruling is not related to borax in foods or supplements where it is already banned, but only for general use as in laundry or cleaning products or as an insecticide. Because the powder is not readily inhaled or absorbed through intact skin, it's hard to imagine how even a few milligrams daily could get into the body through conventional use. If the same standards were to apply to other chemicals there would be none left.
Regardless of the lack of any scientific credibility, the stage has been set for borax to be globally banned from the public market. That’s why I’m calling on you to STOCK UP NOW before its too late! Borax has been proven to be an incredible cure for many ailments and is one product that I will always trust explicitly!
Always consult your physician before using natural remedies, especially for anyone with preexisting conditions or anyone currently taking prescription medications. Although many efforts are made to ensure that the advice given on this site is professionally sound, the advice is not intended to replace a mutual relationship with a medical provider.
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