Benefits, Uses and Side effects of Borax
Borax is a naturally occurring mineral compound that is primarily a form of sodium borate, a boron ore. It is known as Shudh suhaga in Hindi and Tankana in Ayurveda. It is purified to make Shudh Suhaga Bhasma.
Its scientific name is sodium tetraborate decahydrate which is composed of boric acid and sodium.
Borax is colourless, grey, off-white, green or blue in colour. It has a clear to opaque appearance, is oily and shows non-fluorescent properties. It is closely related to minerals such as halite, gaylussite, hanksite, nitratine, calcite, etc. These minerals form as uniformly indistinguishable crystals forming massive, prismatic or fine structures.
Importance of Borax in Ayurveda
Borax contains 11.3% boron which is chemically linked to oxygen. Boron is a natural element found in abundance in nature.
Borax is available in crystalline form and has various medicinal properties that can help improve health. Antioxidant, digestive, antimicrobial, wound healing, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, astringent and antiseptic properties help in treating cough, bloating, UTI, skin infections, hair problems and wounds.
Benefits of Borax
Treats cold and cough-
Borax helps treat cough as ithas Kapha balancing and Ushna (hot) potency. It helps to loosen phlegm and facilitate easy breathing.
People with arthritis have lower levels of boron in their bones, along with the synovial fluid and femur heads. Using borax can prevent this. Borax ensures that calcium levels are maximized and used effectively, preventing arthritis.
Borax (Suddh suhaga) helps control bloating as it increases the digestive fire due to its ushna (hot) nature.
Heals Tongue sores and swelling-
Borax is a medication that has anti-inflammatory effects and is used to treat certain health conditions, such as sores on the tongue or mouth, and swelling of the throat.
Borax is effective in treating wounds as it has antiseptic properties which prevents infection and itching on the body.
Prevents amenorrhea and oligomenorrhea-
Borax improves uterine function, including ova secretion and menstruation in women who suffer from this problem due to its Ushna (hot) potency.
Treats skin infections-
Borax helps treat skin infections like fungus due to its antimicrobial, Ruksha (dry) and Kshara (alkaline) properties.
Treats Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)-
Borax (Shudh suhaga) helps control urinary tract infection as it has antimicrobial effects due to its antimicrobial, Tikshna (sharp), Ruksha (dry) and Kshara (alkaline) properties.
Borax helps fight dandruff and improves blood flow in the scalp due to its astringent, Tikshna (sharp), and Ruksha (dry) properties.
Uses of Borax
- Using borax with coconut oil, helps in controlling and treating dandruff.
- Applying a paste of borax mixed with turmeric and milk on the affected area is useful in treating skin infections.
- Borax mixed with honey is beneficial in healing wounds quickly and reducing redness or rashes.
- Adding borax to lemon juice and applying it on warts, is great to get instant relief.
- Using Shudh Suhaga Bhasma with honey helps in curing cough, sore throat and cold.
Side effects of Borax
- The use of borax internally is usually not recommended. It should be consumed with something as it can cause skin irritation due to its highly alkaline nature.
- Long-term use is not recommended because it has the potential to cause kidney dysfunction as borax accumulates in the body.
- Borax can cause fatigue or vomiting due to its toxicity.
- It can also cause genetic damage and is toxic to lymphocytes (the building blocks of the immune system).
Where is it found?
Borax occurs naturally deposited on the shores of dry lakes in India, Nepal and Tibet in the form of solid crystalline masses formed by evaporation of water. It is also found in the Atacama Desert, Bolivia and Romania.