Dr. Rex NEWNHAM
Borax vs Arthritis
Jackson's of Cracoe,
The Farm Shop,
Phone Number: 01756 730269
Email: [email protected]
Rex E. Newnham ( d. 2010 )
THE NEGLECTED ELEMENT IS ESSENTIAL FOR SUSTAINABLE HEALTHY
BONES AND JOINTS
Dr Rex Newnham
Author of "Beating Arthritis
and Beating Osteoporosis"
I spent most of the period of the 1980s doing epidemiological work
and researching the areas of the world where there is more or less
than the normal prevalence of arthritis of about 20%, and areas
where there is more or less than the norm of boron in the soil or
The motivation for this work originated 35 years ago when I was
living in Perth, Western Australia. Most of the soils around Perth
are white sands which are very low in all essential minerals, but
there are a few isolated areas with clay soils. At first I lived
on one of these and all was well and we grew most of our own
vegetables. Then we moved to an area where there was sandy soil.
This had grown Banksia scrub and the sand was dark on the top and
the first vegetable crop was fair, but the next year there was a
terrible crop and every trace mineral was seen to be deficient in
some plant or other. I had been trained in botany and had been
teaching botany and soil science, so I could pick these
deficiencies readily. At this time I developed arthritis and found
walking difficult. The local GP gave me something which did not
help, so I started to try to discover the cause of my own
arthritis. With my training I naturally thought of soil minerals
when these were all deficient in my diet. I looked at what the
literature had to say about all of them - boron, calcium, copper,
iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, potassium and zinc. None
were relevant to arthritis, but boron was written off as not
needed by man or animal, yet I knew that it was essential to the
green plant and that it helped in calcium metabolism in the plant.
I found out all that I could about boron and most of the
literature dealt with its toxicity. 40-60 grams was a dangerous
dose and children had been killed with much smaller doses, but
there was nothing helpful. So I took 30 mg of borax twice daily,
this was 6 mg of elemental boron a day and in a week the pain was
less, in ten days the pain was less. In three weeks the pain,
swelling and stiffness had all gone, so I stopped taking the
borax. A year later the pain and swelling returned so I took more
borax and in two weeks all was right again.
I then told the medical people at the university and the public
health officials, but none of them were interested. Then I told a
few people who had arthritis and they were thrilled as they were
getting better. But it meant buying a packet of chemical that was
labelled poison - for killing cockroaches and ants. Some were put
off this recommendation and they persuaded me to have tablets made
with a safe amount of boron.
I did this in 1976 and the first 1000 bottles took 2 years to
sell. Then I got 2000 bottles and they went in 6 months, then 7000
went in six months, then 20,000 went in 8 months and another
20,000 went in six months, and another 20,000 went in 4 months and
finally in 1981 the last 20,000 went in 2 months. That is 10,000
bottles in a month and all without advertising.
By this time I had retired from teaching and qualified as a
naturopath, homeopath and nutritionist. I did attempt to do a
normal medical degree but was too old to start at 55. I was
employing people to handle the boron tablets and then I did a
foolish thing and went to a drug company for help in marketing,
thinking they would be interested in overcoming arthritis. But
they were not interested; they were concerned at an opposition
product. That company had men on at least two government
committees and they had the law changed so that boron became an S4
poison and I was fined for selling a poison. They successfully
destroyed my business in Australia, but by that time I had started
exporting the same tablets and went to New Zealand, South Africa,
America and Britain where they sold well. From half to 3/4 of a
million people have benefitted from these boron tablets.
From 1983 to 87 a double blind controlled pilot study was
conducted in Melbourne. It only involved 20 people but of those
who finished 70% gained much benefit. The trial only lasted for 2
months and later knowledge has shown that older people need 3 or
even 4 months in order to get quite free of arthritic symptoms.
Those in the trial were aged 50-75 and should have used the
tablets for 3 or 4 months. There were no side effects and the 22
ancillary clinical, haematological and biochemical tests all
proved that boron in these doses was not harmful or abnormal. (1)
Then in the 1980s I carried out my epidemiological work and this
meant nine trips around the world; I consulted Lawrence's book to
try to ascertain where there was more or less arthritis in a
population (2). This made me look towards Jamaica and Mauritius
for a start.
In Jamaica I hired a car and somebody who could act as interpreter
as not everybody spoke English. I visited many farms and markets
and saw all the essential mineral deficiency symptoms in all fruit
and vegetable crops. Even the pine trees showed boron deficiency
symptoms. Boron deficiency was very common. I visited the
university departments of botany and medicine and the agriculture
and forestry departments. All these people were helpful and showed
concern. Even Mr. Jones, the Minister for Forests told me that
some forests were owned by private companies and these had added
boron to their fertilizer. Soil tests and analysis had been done
by Dr. Weir and these showed a severe boron deficiency. Of the 34
soil types 29 of these had less then 0.5 parts per million (ppm)
of available boron. l .5 ppm boron in the soil is considered
normal. This had never been published in journals but the files
were in departmental records. The reason for the severe boron
deficiency was that NPK fertilizer had been used every year since
l 872 and in the: 70's and 80's l5 hundred weight of fertilizer
was used on every acre of sugar producing land every year,
according to the Sugar Industry Research Institute. The University
Medical Department said that there was 12% with erosion arthritis
and they estimated that 70% of the population had some form of
arthritis. It was even obvious that the dogs in Kingston were
limping. Compared with other country shows that these people
consumed less than 0.5 mg boron per day. When the land would not
grow sugar farmers were allowed to try to grow food crops on that
soil and they had little success.
Mauritius is another sugar producing island where similar
fertilizer programmed were in use. Some prominent medical men from
the Queen Victoria Hospital estimated that 50% of all people had
some arthritic symptoms, and they were alarmed at the rise in
juvenile arthritis; the Health Department would not give an
estimate and would only say how many had entered hospital. Yet the
Pampelmoussis botanic Gardens had wonderful plants that showed no
mineral deficiency symptoms. This shows how continued application
of NPK fertilizer without giving the soil a rest has a devastating
effect on the health of soil, crops and people. In 1987 Dr. Woodun
said that the soils of Mauritius were exhausted and nobody heeded
him. Then in 1984 with my work a similar warning was given and was
not heeded. Analyzes had shown that since 1962 the boron level in
sugar cane leaf was steadily decreasing. The optimum level is 40
ppm and it was to decrease to 5-12 ppm by 1968. The critical level
is 1 ppm when hardly anything will grow. The soil was worn out and
so were the people.
Fiji is another sugar producing island in the Pacific where the
sugar is produced by Indians who eat rice they grow themselves. At
the other end of the island are the Native Fijians who eat starchy
fruits and vegetables but little rice. The Indians had 40% with
arthritis while the native Fijians only had 10%.
Visits were also made to Carnarvon in NW Australia where the water
used for crop irrigation has 2 ppm boron. I met people who told me
that they had gone there for a few months to enjoy the good
climate so as to get rid of their arthritis. A survey was
conducted in which school leavers took questionnaires to every
fourth house, showed that 1% of the people had arthritis or joint
problems. It was the good water and not the good climate. Some of
the stations inland from Carnarvon had up to 7 ppm boron in the
bore water and there was no arthritis in man or animal. Food crops
often had over 100 ppm boron when analysed.
Ngawha in the far north of New Zealand has spa water with 300 ppm
boron and they advertise that this spa is good for arthritis. In
fact it is the main industry in Ngawha. Dr. Herbert in 1921 was
the government balneologist and he wrote a book about the New
Zealand spas in which he showed how some of these were very
beneficial for arthritics. (2). He did not know why, but those
that he mentioned as good for arthritics were all rich in boron.
Another interesting place was Israel where the water beneath the
coastal plain contains 2-3 ppm boron, and this is used for
irrigation. Even the Dead Sea is rich in boron and many have made
claims that bathing in this water will heal many diseases
including arthritis. Dr. Zve Bentwich has written a paper that
shows there is 0.35% of the population with rheumatoid arthritis
(RA) and he estimated that a similar number had osteo arthritis
In South Africa Prof. Meyers showed that the Xhosa tribal people
had 2.2% with RA and this is consistent with other tribal peoples.
When these same people go to live in the big cities such as Durban
they soon develop the same prevalence for all arthritis as the
rest of the population.
So it was decided to analyse some of their food which is mainly
corn or mealies. That grown in the native areas is a poor looking
corn with black, blue, red and yellow grains but it had 5 ppm
boron, while the commercial ground maize sold in the supermarkets
had only from 0.4 to 0.75 ppm boron. Even the commercially grown
maize had only about l ppm or less of boron because it was grown
with fertilizer. The University of Natal did many analyses for me
to show this point.
In America and Finland there were many analyses of foods which
showed the boron content, also estimates of actual boron
consumption. The normal consumption of boron is between l and 2 mg
per person per day, yet some consume 41 mg/day.
It is obvious that this average of 1-2 mg per day boron intake is
not sustainable as regards good health. We need in the region of 6
to 8 mg per day and that will sustain good health as regards
arthritic diseases. When we talk about sustainable medicine we
should really be talking about sustainable health, and when this
is applied to arthritic diseases and osteoporosis we need a good
supply of boron and 6-8 mg a day is sufficient. Those with active
disease are helped with 9-10 mg a day. I have been taking a boron
supplement for 30 years and my wife also takes it every day and we
have no joint problems.
The Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota has furthered
some of my work and they have shown how 3 mg a day of boron will
reduce the average loss of calcium in post menopausal women from
117 to 64 mg per day. The same boron will also raise the level of
17 beta estradiol to normal in these women. Dr. Forrest Nielsen
shows that boron and calcium work together at the cell membrane
and this affects the modification of hormone action. (5) Now there
are many others who have shown how the arthritic diseases are
associated with allergies. Allergies can also be caused by
problems at the cell membrane level where the allergen or
histamine or similar do not move freely across cell membranes. It
looks as if boron may be very relevant here. In order to sustain
good health we need 6 mg a day or more of boron which is now a
food supplement or a medicine in some places. This is sustainable
and is even essential for health.
l . Lawrence J,S. Rheumatism in Populations. Heinemann. 1974
2. Herbert L.S. The Hot Springs of New Zcaland, HK Lewis & Co.
3. Bentwich Z. & Talmon Y. Prevalence of Rheumatois Arthritis
in an Israeli Population. Hebrew University 1980.
4. Meyers OL, Daynes G, Beighton P.Rheumatoid Arthritis in a
Tribal Xhosa Population in the Transkei, Southern Africa. Annals
of Rheumatic Diseases. 36. 1977. P62-65
5, Nielsen F.H, Biochemical and Physiological Consequences of
Boron Deprivation in Humans, Environmental HeaIth Perspectives.
Vol. 102, Supplement 7, Nov. 1994. P59-65.
Rex E. Newnham PhD, DO, ND, was born and raised in Christchurch,
New Zealand, and received his initial medical and science training
there and in Australia. A teacher of Chemistry, soil science,
agricultural botany, biology and geology for over thirty years Dr.
Newnham’s investigations into nutrition began with a search for
relief from his own arthritis, an affliction that became his
primary field of inquiry. From this beginning, he went on to study
homeopathy, naturopathy and osteopathy and earned a PhD in
nutrition. He operated clinics in New Zealand, Australia and
Britain and undertook nine trips around the world researching the
epidemiology of arthritis and the general effects of nutrition on
human health. He lived in Cracoe, near Skipton in the Yorkshire
Dales, England, until his death in April 2008.
Environ Health Perspect. 1994
Nov;102 Suppl 7:83-5.
Essentiality of boron for healthy bones and joints.
Rex Newnham and Associates, North Yorkshire, England.
Since 1963, evidence has accumulated that suggests boron is a safe
and effective treatment for some forms of arthritis. The initial
evidence was that boron supplementation alleviated arthritic pain
and discomfort of the author. This was followed by findings from
numerous other observations epidemiologic and controlled animal
and human experiments. These findings included a) analytical
evidence of lower boron concentrations in femur heads, bones, and
synovial fluid from people with arthritis than from those without
this disorder; b) observation evidence that bones of patients
using boron supplements are much harder to cut than those of
patients not using supplements; c) epidemiologic evidence that in
areas of the world where boron intakes usually are 1.0 mg or
less/day the estimated incidence of arthritis ranges from 20 to
70%, whereas in areas of the world where boron intakes are usually
3 to 10 mg, the estimated incidence of arthritis ranges from 0 to
10%; d) experimental evidence that rats with induced arthritis
benefit from orally or intraperitoneally administered boron; e)
experimental evidence from a double-blind placebo-boron
supplementation trial with 20 subjects with osteoarthritis. A
significant favorable response to a 6 mg boron/day supplement was
obtained; 50% of subjects receiving the supplement improved
compared to only 10% receiving the placebo. The preceding data
indicate that boron is an essential nutrient for healthy bones and
joints, and that further research into the use of boron for the
treatment or prevention of arthritis is warranted.
How the Arthritis Cure has been Stopped
You may not be able to imagine that borax, this humble insecticide
and laundry detergent, has the potential of singlehandedly
bringing down our entire economic system. But you do not need to
worry, the danger has been recognised 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.
Borax is a naturally occurring and mined mineral salt and the
source of other manufactured boron compounds. The main deposits
are in Turkey and California. Chemical names are sodium
tetraborate decahydrate, disodium tetraborate decahydrate, or
simply sodium borate. This means it contains four atoms of boron
as its central feature combined with two sodium atoms and ten
molecules (or sometimes less) of crystallisation water. Therefore,
borax is the sodium salt of the weak boric acid. Because sodium is
more strongly alkaline, this makes a solution of borax strongly
alkaline with a pH between 9 and 10 (pH 7 is neutral). 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% while for boric acid it is 17.5% or about 50% higher.
Ingested boron compounds are rapidly and nearly completely
excreted with the urine. Formerly boric acid was widely used as a
preservative in foods but is now banned for this purpose in most
countries, and is also banned from public sale in Australia.
According to conventional medicine it is not known if boron is
essential for humans but research shows that we do need it. The
reason why it was difficult to answer this question is the
presence of boron in all plants and unprocessed foods. Diets with
a fair amount of fruit and vegetables provide about 2 to 5 mg of
boron per day, but this also depends on the region where the food
was grown and how it was grown.
In reality the average intake in developed countries is 1-2 mg of
boron per day. Institutionalized patients may receive only 0.25 mg
of daily boron. Chemical fertilizers inhibit the uptake of boron
from the soil: an organic apple grown in good soil may have
20 mg boron, but if grown with fertilizer it may have only 1 mg of
boron. Fertilizers combined with poor food choices have greatly
reduced our boron intake compared to 50 or 100 years ago.
Further, unhealthy cooking methods greatly reduce the availability
of boron from food. The cooking water of vegetables containing
most of the minerals may be discarded during home cooking or
commercial processing; phytic acid in baked goods, cereals and
cooked legumes may greatly reduce availability, while gluten
sensitivity and Candida overgrowth inhibit the absorption of
minerals. All this makes health problems due to boron deficiency
now very common.
Health Effects of Boron
Due to their content of boron, borax and boric acid have basically
the same health effects, with good antiseptic, antifungal, and
antiviral properties but only mild antibacterial action. In plants
as well as animals boron is essential for the integrity and
function of cell walls, and the way signals are transmitted across
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 for the parathyroids what iodine is for
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 osteoarthritis and other forms of 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. 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 has shown that
cancer commonly starts with the deterioration of cell membranes.
As boron is essential for cell membranes and boron deficiency
widespread, this may be an important cause for the initiation of
tumour growth. Boron compounds have anti-tumour properties and are
"potent anti-osteoporotic, anti-inflammatory, hypolipemic,
anti-coagulant and anti-neoplastic agents" (1).
This overview shows the wide-ranging influence of boron on our
health. In the following I want to describe some of these health
effects in greater detail.
The Arthritis Cure of Rex Newnham
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, Western
Australia. Conventional drugs did not help, so he looked for the
cause into the chemistry of plants. He realized that plants in
that area were rather mineral deficient. Knowing that boron aids
calcium metabolism in plants he decided to try it. He started
taking 30 mg of borax a day, and in three weeks all pain, swelling
and stiffness had disappeared.
He told public health and medical school authorities about his
discovery but they were not interested. However, some people with
arthritis were delighted as they improved. Others were scared to
take something with a poison label on the container and 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
a month. He could no longer cope and asked a drug company to
market it. That was a major mistake. They indicated that this
would replace more expensive drugs and reduce their profits. It so
happened that they had representatives on government health
committees and arranged that in 1981 Australia instituted a
regulation that declared boron and its compounds to be poisons in
any concentration. He was fined $1000 for selling a poison, and
this successfully stopped his arthritis cure from spreading in
Subsequently he published several scientific papers on borax and
arthritis. One was a double-blind trial in the mid 1980's at the
Royal Melbourne Hospital which showed that 70% of those who
completed the trial were greatly improved. Only 12% improved when
on placebo. There were no negative side-effects, but some reported
that their heart ailment had also improved, and there was better
general health and less tiredness. (3)
Most of his later research was devoted to the relationship between
soil boron levels and arthritis. He found, for instance that the
traditional sugarcane islands, due to long-term heavy use of
fertilizers, have very low soil-boron levels. Jamaica has the
lowest level and arthritis rates are about 70%. He noted that even
most dogs were limping. Next comes Mauritius with very low boron
levels and 50% arthritis. The daily boron intake in these
countries is less than 1 mg/day. An interesting comparison is
between Indian and native Fijians. The Indians are estimated to
have an arthritis rate of about 40% and eat much rice grown with
fertilizer while the native Fijians with an estimated arthritis
rate of 10% eat mainly starchy root vegetables grown privately
The US, England, Australia and New Zealand generally have average
soil-boron levels with an estimated intake of 1 to 2 mg of boron
and arthritis rates of about 20%. But Carnarvon in Western
Australia has high boron levels in soil and water, and the
arthritis rate is only 1%. It is similar in a place called Ngawha
Springs in New Zealand with very high boron levels in the spa
water which is curative for arthritis. Actually all spas reputedly
curing arthritis have very high boron levels. These are also high
in Israel with an estimated daily boron intake of 5 to 8 mg and
only 0.5 - 1% arthritis.
Bone analysis showed that arthritic joints and nearby bones had
only half the boron content of healthy joints. Equally, synovial
fluid that lubricates joints and provides nutrients to the
cartilage is boron deficient in arthritic joints. After boron
supplementation bones were much harder than normal and surgeons
found them more difficult to saw through. With additional boron
bone fractures heal in about half the normal time in both man and
animal. Horses and dogs with broken legs, or even a broken pelvis,
have fully recovered.
Borax is also effective with other forms of arthritis, such as
Rheumatoid Arthritis, Juvenile Arthritis, and Lupus (Systemic
Lupus Erythematosus). For instance Dr Newnham saw a young girl
aged 9 months with juvenile arthritis. He was able to cure her in
He wrote that commonly people can get rid of their pain, swelling
and stiffness in about 1 to 3 months. Then they can reduce
treatment from 3 to 1 boron tablet (each 3 mg) per day as a
maintenance dose so that they can avoid any future arthritis. He
also stated that patients with rheumatoid arthritis commonly
experienced a Herxheimer reaction and that this is always a good
prognostic sign. They must persevere and in another 2 or 3 weeks
the pain, swelling and stiffness will be gone. (4,5)
I found this statement not only interesting but also surprising.
The Herxheimer reaction is an early aggravation of symptoms with
increased pain. It is commonly due to toxins released by killed
Candida and mycoplasma. This is very common with antimicrobial
therapy, and borax definitely is an exceptionally good and strong
fungicide. What surprises me, however, is that this fungicidal
effect is already present at this rather low dose of 75 to 90 mg
of borax. Equally surprising is the finding that also up to 30% of
those with osteoarthritis experienced a Herxheimer reaction,
suggesting that the border between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid
arthritis is rather fluid. I believe that in long-standing and
especially resistant cases it will be advisable to use other
antimicrobials in addition. For co-factors in arthritis
treatment also see my article Arthritis and Rheumatism or
the booklet OVERCOMING ARTHRITIS.
Osteoporosis and Sex Hormones
Boron deficiency causes greatly increased amounts of calcium
and magnesium to be lost with the urine. A borax supplement will
reduce the daily loss of calcium by nearly 50%. As this calcium
comes mainly from resorbed bone and teeth, boron deficiency may be
the most important factor in causing osteoporosis and tooth decay.
It has been estimated that 55% of Americans over 50 have
osteoporosis and of these about 80% are women. Worldwide 1 in 3
women and 1 in 12 men over the age of 50 may have osteoporosis,
and this is responsible for millions of fractures each year. Rats
with osteoporosis were given a boron supplement for 30 days with
the result that their bone quality was now comparable with that of
the healthy control group and of a group supplemented with
The beneficial effect of borax on bones seems to be due to two
interrelated effects: a higher boron content of the bones which
makes them harder, and a normalisation of sex hormones which
stimulates the growth of new bone. Low oestrogen levels after
menopause are thought to be the main reason 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 group.
Research has now shown that boron supplementation in
postmenopausal 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. Equally, the blood levels of
testosterone more than doubled (7). With HRT there is a higher
risk of breast or endometrial cancer which is not known to happen
with hormones produced by the body as with borax supplementation.
Some women get premenstrual problems because oestrogen levels are
too high and progesterone too low, and therefore may be afraid of
using boron. However, I found no evidence that boron raises
oestrogen above normal healthy levels. Boron may balance levels of
sex hormones similar to the action of maca root powder. Maca acts
on the pituitary gland not only to increase but also to balance
our sex hormones and seems to stimulate our own progesterone
production as needed.
A recent study in younger men (29 - 50) showed that the level of
free testosterone (the form that matters most) had risen by one
third after a daily supplementation of about 100 mg of borax for
one week (8). This is of special interest for bodybuilders.
Contrary to the medical preference of chemically castrating men
with prostate cancer, research with boron has shown that elevated
testosterone levels are beneficial by shrinking prostate tumours
and PSA levels, PSA being a marker for tumours and inflammation in
the prostate. Also significantly improved memory and cognition in
elderly individuals may be partly due to increased levels of sex
hormones and partly to improved membrane functions of brain cells
I have been asked about boron supplementation for women with
oestrogen-sensitive breast cancer. Breast cancer is related to
calcifications in the breast. In my opinion it is more important
to normalize the calcium-magnesium metabolism and cellular
membrane functions rather than feel restricted by a possibly
faulty medical concept, especially as I believe that cancer can
usually be controlled with long-term antimicrobial therapy.
Therefore I would use boron as well as maca in this case.
Fungi and Fluoride
Being such an excellent fungicide it is not surprising that borax
is being successfully used to treat Candida. There is much
interesting information on an Earth Clinic forum called Borax
Cures (10). With low to medium-weight people use 1/8 teaspoon of
borax powder and with heavier weight 1/4 teaspoon per litre of
water. One drinks the water spaced out during the day, and does
this for 4 or 5 days a week as long as required.
Many contributors wrote that it cured or greatly helped them. So
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 2 days
drinking 1/4 tsp borax in 1 litre of water per day."
Another 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 athletes foot was and he said: oh wow! it hasn't
come back! that stuff totally cured it !!!"
Other enthusiastic posts were about vaginal thrush. Borax appeared
to be more effective than other remedies. Commonly one large
gelatine capsule filled with borax or boric acid was inserted at
bedtime for several nights or up to 2 weeks. Alternatively the
powder can be mixed with cool solidified coconut oil as a bolus or
A recent scientific study (11) confirms these positive
observations with vaginal thrush. Boric acid at the dose of a
filled capsule worked even in cases of drug-resistant Candida and
against all the tested pathogenic bacteria. Because of the greater
dilution, a douche may not be strong enough for bacteria and
drug-resistant Candida but it should work for normal Candida.
Borax, due to its alkalinity, was more effective than boric acid.
In normal healthy conditions Candida exists as harmless oval yeast
cells. When challenged, chains of elongated cells called
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
biofilm. This same study shows that boric acid/borax inhibits the
formation of biofilms and also the transformation of harmless
yeast cells into invasive hyphal form. In other articles I have
shown that this process, commonly initiated by antibiotics, is a
basic cause of most of our modern diseases, and this makes borax
and boric acid primary health remedies. But this article shows
that there are many more reasons to give them a top rating.
A scientific review in 2011 concluded: "... boric acid is a safe,
alternative, economic option for women with recurrent and chronic
symptoms of vaginitis when conventional treatment fails..." (12).
But as it is so much better than drugs why not use it as a first
option, or use the even more effective borax?
Another study from Turkey (13) shows the protective effect of
boric acid on food contaminated with mycotoxins, 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, also causing birth defects,
immunotoxicity and even death in farm animals and humans. Boric
acid treatment was protective and led to increased resistance of
DNA to oxidative damage induced by AFB1. The strong antifungal
action of boric acid is, of course, the reason why it has
traditionally been used as a food preservative.
Borax, similar to the equally endangered Lugol's iodine solution,
can also be used to remove accumulated fluoride and heavy metals
from the body (14). Fluoride not only causes bones to deteriorate,
but also the pineal gland to calcify and the thyroid to become
underactive. Borax reacts with fluoride ions to form boron
fluorides which are then excreted in the urine.
In a Chinese study borax was used to treat 31 patients with
skeletal fluorosis. The amount was gradually increased from 300 to
1100 mg/day during a three month period, with one week off each
month. The treatment was effective with 50 to 80% improvement.
One forum contributor suffered with Fibromyalgia/Rosacea, chronic
fatigue and TMJ for over 10 years which she believed were caused
by fluoride. She used 1/8 tsp of borax and 1/8 tsp of sea salt in
a litre of de-chlorinated water, and drank this for 5 days each
week. Within two weeks her face cleared, the redness faded, body
temperature normalized, energy level increased, and she steadily
lost excess weight. The only side-effect was an initial
aggravation of her Rosacea symptoms.
Another post: "7 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 fluorinated 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 litre of
water and within 3 days my symptoms were almost gone."
There is antagonism as well as cooperation between calcium and
magnesium. About half of the total body magnesium is found in
bones and the other half inside the cells of tissues and organs.
Only 1% is in the blood, and the kidneys try to keep this levels
constant by excreting more or less with the urine.
In contrast, 99% of calcium is in bones, and the rest 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. Low cellular energy may be due to
Candida, faulty sugar or fat metabolism, deficiencies, or
accumulating metabolic wastes and toxins.
This then leads to only partial relaxation of the muscles with
stiffness, a tendency to cramps, and poor blood and lymph
circulation. The problem gets worse the more calcium moves from
bones into soft tissue. Nerve cells can also accumulate calcium,
leading to faulty nerve transmission, in the lens it causes
cataracts, hormonal output keeps reducing as endocrine glands
increasingly calcify, and all other cells become handicapped in
their normal functions. In addition it causes intracellular
magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is needed to activate countless
enzymes, and a deficiency leads to inefficient and blocked energy
A further problem is that excess calcium damages the cell membrane
and makes it difficult for nutrients to move in and wastes to move
out. When the intracellular calcium level gets too high the cell
Here we can see the importance of boron as a regulator of cell
membrane functions, especially in regard to movements of calcium
and magnesium. With boron deficiency too much calcium moves into
the cell while magnesium cannot move inside to 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 supplied
with a good diet. But with increasing age, boron deficiency and
resulting disease conditions 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 to 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 may need to be adjusted according to its laxative
effect. I am doubtful whether calcium supplements are needed and
beneficial, even in 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 bones. I regard the
medical focus on a high calcium intake as a prescription for
What and How Much to Use
In some countries (e.g. Australia, NZ, USA) borax can still be
found in the laundry and cleaning sections of supermarkets. There
is no "food-grade" borax available or necessary. The label usually
states that it is 99% pure which is safe to use, and is the legal
standard for agricultural grade borax. Up to 1% mining and
refining residues are permitted. Boric acid, if available, may be
used at about ? the dose of borax.
Firstly dissolve a lightly rounded teaspoonful (5-6 grams) of
borax in 1 litre of good quality water free of chlorine and
fluoride. This is your concentrated solution. Keep the
bottle out of reach of small children.
Standard dose = 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of concentrate. This has 25 to
30 mg of borax and provides about 3 mg of boron. Take 1 dose
per day mixed with drink or food. If that feels right then
take a second dose with another meal. If there is no
specific health problem or as a maintenance dose you may continue
indefinitely with 1 or 2 doses daily.
If you do have a problem, such as arthritis, osteoporosis and
related conditions, menopause, stiffness due to advancing years,
and also to improve low sex hormone production, increase intake to
3 or more spaced-out standard doses for several months or longer
until you feel that your problem has sufficiently improved. Then
drop back to 1 or 2 doses per day.
If you want to try the higher doses recommended by Earth Clinic
for treating Candida and removing fluoride from the body -
using your bottle of concentrated solution:
Lower dose for low to normal weight - 100 ml (= 1/8 teaspoon
of borax powder); drink spaced out during the day.
Higher dose for heavier individuals - 200 ml (= 1/4 teaspoon of
borax powder); drink spaced out during the day.
Always start with a standard dose and increase gradually to the
intended maximum. Take the maximum amounts for 4 or 5 days a week
as long as required.
Borax is rather alkaline and in higher concentrations has a soapy
taste. You may disguise this with lemon juice, vinegar or ascorbic
acid. Keep the bottle with the concentrated solution out of reach
of small children.
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 EU. Presently borax is still available in
Switzerland (15), but shipment to Germany is not permitted. In
Germany a small amount (20 - 50 grams) may be ordered through a
pharmacy as ant poison, it will be registered.
Boron tablets can be bought from health shops or 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 suitable
as a general boron supplement, I do not expect them to work
against Candida and mycoplasmas, 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 3 or more spaced-out boron tablets daily
for an extended period combined with sufficient magnesium and a
suitable antimicrobial program (16).
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
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 calcifications 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 can cause problems for a considerable time,
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 sensitivity
or feeling in the skin. 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
Whenever you experience an unpleasant effect reduce or temporarily
stop 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.
Government health agencies are concerned about boron toxicity. You
might be concerned as well if you read the following, pertaining
to sodium chloride or table salt (17): 'Acute oral toxicity (LD50
- the dose at which half of the tested animals die): 3,000 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 Oral Dose in Man: 1000 mg/kg.
Causes adverse reproductive effects in humans (fetotoxicity,
abortion) by intraplacental route, may 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
spasicity/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 or MSDS for borax (18): 'Low acute oral toxicity; LD50
in rats 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 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 administered were many times in excess of
those to which humans would normally be exposed. No evidence of
carcinogenicity in mice. No mutagenic activity was observed in a
battery of short-term mutagenicity assays. Human epidemiological
studies show no increase in pulmonary disease in occupational
populations with chronic exposures to borate dust and no effect on
Here you see that table salt is 50 to 100% more toxic than borax,
it changes the genetic material and is mutagenic, while borax is
harmless in this regard. Infants are most at risk from high borax
ingestion. It has been estimated that 5 to 10 grams can cause
severe vomiting, diarrhoea, shock and even death, but it also says
that lethal doses are not well documented in the literature.
The following toxicity data are from documents of the US
Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease
A review of 784 accidental human poisonings from 10 - 88 grams of
boric acid reported no fatalities, with 88% 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 been
observed in some children and adults 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.
Most at risk is the developing foetus, and in the studied animals
rats were most affected. In one study slight reductions in the
foetal body weight were already found at 13.7 mg boron/kg/day used
during pregnancy. The no effect dose was set at less than 13.7
mg/kg/day corresponding to about 7 grams of borax per day for 60
kg body weight. With an added safety factor a no effect value of
9.6 mg boron/kg/day was calculated corresponding to 5 grams of
borax for 60 kg.
However, a rat study lasting for 3 generations found no
reproductive toxicity or effect on the parents or offspring at 30
mg boron/kg/day. This dose corresponds to 17 grams of borax for 60
kg ingested for 3 generations! In another 3-generation study no
problem was found at 17.5 mg boron/kg/day, corresponding to 9
grams of borax/60 kg, while the next higher tested dose of 58.5
mg/kg/day, corresponding to 30 grams of borax/60 kg, resulted in
infertility. Therefore we can assume that the safe reproductive
dose is up to about 20 grams/60 kg/day.
Human studies of the possible association between impaired
fertility and high boron levels in water, soil and dust in a
Turkish populations, and boron mining and processing workers,
found no effect. One study even reported elevated fertility rates
in borax production workers as compared to the U.S. national
All this is important because 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 in mind when you read the following.
The Assault on Borax
Arthritis in its various forms and its close relative osteoporosis
affect about 30% of the population in developed countries.
Osteoporosis is responsible for more long term hospital care than
any other individual disease. This is due to the very high
incidence of fractures, and especially the protracted nature of
hip fractures. This is a main source of income for the
medical-pharmaceutical system. If the boron-magnesium cure for
these diseases should become widely known, this vital income
stream would dry up and the system collapse. As this is the
biggest 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 news travelled slowly
and was easily suppressed. This is very different now with
Internet communication. Most research funding comes from the
pharmaceutical industry, and nothing has come forward to duplicate
Dr Newnham's findings and other positive 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. Most positive borax studies now come from China, Japan
Furthermore, PubMed is a publicly funded search facility for
bio-medical research publications. While other articles for
Newnham R.E. and Zhou L.Y. are still listed, the two important
borax publications mentioned earlier - about the arthritis trial
at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the treatment of skeletal
fluorosis in China - are no longer listed, but they belong there
and obviously had been there originally. I suspect that they have
been deliberately removed to prevent them from being quoted in
In addition, increasing effort goes into publicly demonizing borax
for its alleged reproductive and infant toxicity. As an example I
recently read an article by a 'senior scientist' of the supposedly
'green' Environmental Working Group. In it the perceived dangers
of borax were so exaggerated that most comments in effect said:
"Thank you for opening my eyes. I did not know how poisonous and
dangerous borax is, I certainly will not use it anymore in my
laundry, or for cleaning my toilet and kitchen" .
This is obviously a deliberate campaign to make people grateful
for banning borax from public sale. For laundry and cleaning
purposes Borax Substitute now replaces the product previously sold
as Borax. The EU has spearheaded this campaign. In June 2010 borax
and boric acid were reclassified as “Reprotoxic Category 2“,
suggesting that they may be harmful to the reproductive functions
of humans in high doses, and 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 in regard to public sales. This initiative
is part of a Globally Harmonized System of Classification and
Labelling 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 (21).
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.' (22)
What they are really saying is this: 'While we have no human data,
animal studies suggest that for adult reproductive functions a
daily ingestion of about 2 teaspoons of borax is safe. But to be
absolutely sure that no-one is harmed, we will ban it totally.'
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 insecticides. Because
borax is not readily inhaled or absorbed through intact skin, it
is difficult to see how even a few milligrams daily could get into
the body with the conventional use. If the same standard would
apply to other chemicals there would be none left.
The key study in this assessment was published in 1972. Why is
this being dug up now to justify banning borax when it was of no
concern for the past 40 years? It does not make any scientific
sense, especially if you consider that the main chemical in the
new borax substitute, sodium percarbonate, is about three times
more toxic than borax. Acute oral LD50 values for animals are from
1034 to 2200 mg/kg/day (23). Even the commonly used sodium
bicarbonate, with an animal LD50 of 3360 mg/kg, is nearly twice as
toxic as borax (24). Both of these chemicals have not been tested
for long-term reproductive toxicity at the high doses that caused
fertility problems in rats and mice.
The same applies to washing powders, it has been stated that no
toxicity is expected if used in the approved way, or that
reproductive tests have not been done. Ingredients in these
products are more toxic than borax, why can they be used in the
approved way but not borax? And how about really toxic items such
as caustic soda and hydrochloric acid? Why do they remain
available to the public when one of the safest household chemicals
is banned despite the fact that it is absolutely impossible to
cause any reproductive harm with the approved use?
Regardless of the lack of any scientific credibility, the stage
has been set for borax and boric acid to be globally removed from
public sale at short or no notice. Even low-level and less
effective boron tablets are now tightly controlled by the
pharmaceutical industry, and may be restricted at any time through
Codex Alimentarius regulations. With this the
medical-pharmaceutical system has safely defused any potential
danger that borax may have posed to its profitability and
A composition for the treatment of arthritis The present invention
relates to compositions for alleviating the discomforts of
arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
It is believed that the onset of arthritis is, at least in part,
due to a mineral difficiency in boron and, to a lesser extent, in
magnesium. Close analysis of the food intake of
arthritis-sufferers suggests this to be the case, and treatment
with a mixture of boron- and magnesium-containing compounds
supports this finding. Such findings are described in my
Australian Patent Specification No. 514,16 1.
This patent specification describes a composition comprising an
inorganic boroncontaining compound in combination with an
inorganic magnesium-containing compound, useful for treating
arthritic conditions when orally administered.
The present invention seeks to provide an improved composition.
According to the present invention, there is provided a
composition for the treatment of arthritis comprising: from 2 to
500 parts by weight of at least one boron- containing compound;
Guaiacum in an amount up to an equivalent of 150 parts by weight
of the dried herb; Berberis in an amount up to an equivalent of
150 parts by weight of the dried herb; Harpagophytum recumbens in
an amount up to an 90 equivalent of 150 parts by weight of the
dried herb; and an effective amount of Rhustox or Bryonia, or
Preferably, the balance of the composition consists of excipients
Excipients are a combination of one or more ingredients used to
bind the composition together, to enable rapid dissolution of the
ingredients when 95 ingested, and to lubricate the composition
during the step of moulding the composition into a tablet or the
like. The preferred ingredients are gum arabic (acting as a
binder), starch (to enable rapid disintegration of the tablet
after ingestion), and 100 45 magnesium stearate (acting as a mould
lubricant). The fillers which may be present may be functional,
such as a magnesium compound, for example megnesium phosphate,
magnesium oxide, magnesium carbonate and the like or inert, 105
such as lactose, calcium carbonate or the like.
Mixtures of Rhustox and Bryonia are preferred, instead of only one
of these substances, and they are present in small but effective
amounts, preferably less than about 1 ppm each, based on the total
weight of the composition as measured 110 in milligram quantities.
Conveniently, the amount of excipient present ranges from 40 to
100 parts by weight, most preferably 55 to 65 parts by weight, and
the amount of filler employed is an amount sufficient 115 to
provide a tablet of desired weight.
The pharmaceutical composition is normally provided in a dry form.
The Guaiacum, Berberis and Harpagophytum recumbens may each be GB
2 103 088 A1 provided as a fluid extract, the fluid carrier for
the extract being evaporated from the solids to leave an
equivalent amount of functional ingredient of the dried hert).
Moist herbs may also be used but this adds to the cost of
providing a dry composition.
Rhustox is a homeopathic substance which has been found to be
effective for the relief of those arthritic attacks which occur
after periods of rest. Bryonia is a homeopathic substance which
has been found to be effective in relief of those arthritic
attacks which occur after periods of activity. Both are added to
the dry ingredients of the composition as a 6x solution and the
solvent is evaporated, leaving the effective ingredients in a
concentration up to about 1 ppm based on the total weight of the
The following is an example of a presently preferred composition
for tablets weighing about 500 mg:
Sodium tetraborate Guaiacum Berberis Harpagophytum recumbens
Excipient Filler Rhustox Bryonia 24 mg mg mg mg mg Balance to make
500 mg <1 ppm <'I ppm The solids are impregnated with a 6X
solution of Rhustox and a 6X solution of Bryonia, evaporated and
dried. The composition, normally in tablet form, is administered
orally, typically to provide a dosage of from 50 to 100 mg of the
boron-containing compound. Daily dosages may range from as little
as 25 mg to 3,000 mg of the boron-containing compound, preferably
in the range of from 50 to 100 mg.
When administered to animals, sheep and goats would normally
receive the same dosage as humans. Cattle, on the other hand,
would receive dosages of 25 mg of the boron-containing compound
per 60 kg of body weight. With cattle, the solids are nornally
mixed with a chaff or other feed.
Therapeutically Active Mixture
[ PDF ]
A therapeutic mixture of various amounts of magnesium, zinc
sulphate, diatomaceous earth or kieselguhr, sodium tetraborate
decahydrate or borax, calcium fluoride, various B vitamins,
vitamin C and herbs such as Bryonia alba, Rhus toxicodendron,
Berberis vulgaris, guaiacum (Lignum vitae), Harpagophytum
recumbens (Devil's claw) and seaweed, is described. This mixture
is administered as such or in another formulation, either in
tablet form or in suckable tablets and is used for the treatment
of various types of arthritis.