In recent health trends to scare and anger medical professionals, the people of TikTok are happy “boarded the borax train“and they are drinking and soaking in detoxification products based on false claims that they can reduce inflammation, cure arthritis, and “detoxify” the body.
A disturbing trend goes back to both The Tide Pod Challenge of 2018, where youths dropped packets of detergent on camera, as well as rubbish”Bleach Church,” a false religious group that sold the industrial compound as a “miracle” remedy that could cure a variety of serious ailments when ingested. recently convicted of fraud and is now awaiting a verdict.)
Like the cults that came before them, the new borax enthusiasts have adopted old conspiracy theories and dubious information to support their toxic practice. In another video, a TikTok user explained that she put borax in her smoothies because “they are spraying us with chemtrails.” Some have argued that the unproven health benefits of borax are being deliberately suppressed by Big Pharma in a scheme to get people to pay for expensive (and controlled) drugs – which many people refuse to sell unproven health and wellness products.
Meanwhile, the borax formula has arrived on the radar of poison control centers and toxicology experts. In a news release from the National Capital Poison Centerthe agency reported a case of a man who had to go to the emergency department several days after soaking in a borax bath, which caused skin irritation, swelling, and dryness.
And it’s not too bad. According to National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary SupplementsIngestion of borax or related boric acid may cause nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rashes, rashes, agitation, tremors, depression, and nervous collapse.
Report from 1973 described two infants who developed long-term alcoholism after their mothers repeatedly dipped their pacifiers in a honey-borax solution, thinking the borax was an antiseptic (it wasn’t). A few weeks later, the babies began to faint and develop anemia. The authors of the study criticized the harm of the “carelessness” of the companies that are selling the mixture, noting that the mixture of the mixture did not warn that “it is really toxic.”
No gain, all risk
Today, borax—sodium tetraborate decahydrate—is found primarily in laundry detergents, where it acts as a bleaching agent. It is also used in the production of industrial glass and, to a lesser extent, it can be combined with glue to make it mud that children can play with—not eat.
Some of the TikTokers who recommend drinking or bathing in borax note that it contains boron, which is a common element that is easily found in common foods, such as fruits, nuts, beans, potatoes, and milk. It is (of course) also available in nutritional supplements. But, boron is not considered an essential nutrient for humans, and researchers have not fully understood the biological role of the element. There is preliminary data suggesting that boron may be important for bone growth and that it may help reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis, possibly by inhibiting inflammation. There are also suggestions that it may affect the risk of certain cancers. But no clinical trials have evaluated any of these health benefits.
And, most importantly, borax is not the same as basic boron. Borax is toxic, and short-term use leads to irritation, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. (The poisons section says that ingesting borax can turn your vomit and stools greenish-green.) And, as the report on the two babies shows, long-term use can cause seizures and anemia.
There is little evidence that cleaning can reduce inflammation, despite the fake news on TikTok. Some contributors may note two Turkish studies in rats that show that borax has reduced inflammation human cancer treatment and spinal cord injury. But these studies tested borax in only eight and seven rat groups, respectively, and large studies do not support the use of borax in humans.
Due to the lack of data showing benefits in humans, the poison center summarizes the following: “Borax is not for human use, and may cause toxicity when swallowed, inhaled, or applied to the skin.”