Borax is one of those domestic remedies that has been long used for local conditions as a soothing substance and for a healing purpose. In “nursing sore mouth” of mother or child Borax has been used in the families of old, in the form of Borax and honey, as a wash.
The extensive use that has been made of it would make the homoeopath wonder if the people had not hit upon something, and it is a fact that Borax will rapidly heal up a sore mouth. It is not strange that it does so, for Borax, in its proving, produces aphthous conditions of the mouth, which extend to the throat and even into the stomach. It cures where the genitalia and anus are covered with these aphthous appearances.
Anxiety, fidgetiness, and sensitiveness are prominent in Borax. He is anxious about trifles. He starts at every noise, on hearing unexpected news, from music, from excitement. This anxiety or nervousness, this indescribable feeling that is within him, is aggravated from upward or downward motion. Such a motion as going up in one of our elevators nearly drives him to distraction, but he is made worse going down. All complaints are aggravated from downward motion. It has been said in routine practice, that in all cases of sore mouth in children, when the child is worse from downward motion, Borax is the remedy. When the mother is in the act of laying the child down on the bed it often rouses up in its sleep and cries out in fright. The anxiety may be better appreciated if you will go to the top of one of these high buildings and go down in the elevator. It is natural for everyone to feel, with the rapid motion, an anxious feeling in the stomach, a sensation of falling; that is natural to the healthy man, but if you exaggerate that intensely you have the Borax condition in which the slightest downward motion, of even riding downhill or walking down stairs, or, in the child, when being carried down stairs in the mother’s arms, produces a violent aggravation. All the nerves are in a fret.
We notice that Borax has an intensified activity throughout the body; all of his senses are made more acute. His hearing is intensified, he is oversensitive to his surroundings, over-anxious. He has an excitable spirit throughout. Riding downhill produces vertigo. On nervous excitement, fear and apprehension. This is a strong feature of Borax. It has many such symptoms, but the nervous elements partake of this type. As we go through the remedy many other things will be called out; but this may be said to be the principal feature of the mental state, and it is to a great extent the key to Borax cases. “Anxious feeling during downward motion or rocking.” The diarrhoea will be cured when that state is present. Aphthae will be cured when that state is present. The rheumatism, menstrual troubles and numerous other complaints will disappear upon the administration of Borax, when this key is present.
It has hysterical manifestations. “Changes from one work to another.” It has a restless, nervous, anxious, excitable state that runs through his body. The child screeches and screams when it is dandled and tossed up and down. The motion of the brain, the upward and downward motion, as in swinging, rocking, etc., makes the patient lose himself, he hardly knows where he is; confusion and vertigo come over him. If one rocks the child, it has an anxious expression of face. “Very anxious on riding rapidly downhill.” “Anxiety increased until II P. M.” That I have noticed in Borax as a peculiar time of aggravation of the anxiety. I have noticed it in women who had periods of insanity, whose nervous trouble and mental state would keep up until II P. M. You will notice sometimes in insane people that it seems as if they were possessed of the devil; and at once a lucid interval will come and they will talk just as if nothing had happened. So it is in Borax, that a great change may occur at II P. M.; this state of anxiety and nervous excitement may stop at that hour. “Fretful, ill-humored, indolent” state increased until there is a stool and relieved by stool. “He starts on hearing an anxious cry;” on hearing an unexpected noise, on hearing something drop from a chair to the floor, or if a door opens unexpectedly. This is all in keeping with the nature of Borax. If you compare Borax with other Natrums you will find an astonishing likeness in the nervous excitability; Natrum carb. and Natrum mur. Aggravation from noise, oversensitiveness to noise and overexcitement of the nerves run through all the Sodium family. They are wonderfully intense people.
“While engaged in thinking at his work, strong nausea.” Borax has many times cured this kind of trouble. I have seen it come up in this way; from any sort of meditation he becomes nauseated and excitable and must leave his work and rest a little while, and then he goes at it again until he becomes sick at the stomach and so must rest again. With the aggravation from mental exertion, from noise, from excitement, from downward motion, we get the mental aspect of Borax.
A further examination of the sensorium shows “Vertigo and fullness in head on descending a mountain or stairs.” This is a form of the same anxious feeling. This remedy has a good deal of vertigo, sometimes constant vertigo, which is made so intense on downward motion that he must sit still, and do nothing. It has many congestive headaches, pressive headaches and much heat in the head.
There are many eye symptoms. “Granular lids.” “Lashes turn inward towards eye and inflame it. Entropion.” Granulation and thickening of the mucous membrane of the lid; contractions and scars and drawing inward. “Lower lids entirely inverted.” “Difficult opening of lids.”
Like all the salts of Sodium the nose suffers from chronic inflammation of the mucous membrane, a catarrhal state, with copious discharge, and crusts in the nose; stoppage of the nose. The whole Natrum family has these dry crusts in the nose, and copious discharges from the nose. Natrum mur. predominantly produces white discharge, and so does Borax; Natr. sulph. produces yellow discharge, and so does Borax; Nair. sulph. produces yellow discharge from the nose, even yellowish-green. Borax is laid down as producing greenish discharge; its characteristic discharge, which is a general of the remedy, is a white discharge.
The face of the infant is pale, and clay-coloured. “Children have small vesicles around the mouth, and on the forehead.” Natr. mur. produces herpetic eruptions around the mouth in all of its febrile states, and when the patient takes cold. Borax is sometimes forgotten, and Natr. incur. is thought of because it is better known. When the Natrum constitution is present, then it becomes a process of individualization to determine which one of the Natrums is indicated.
“Aphthae in mouth and on tongue.” “Aphthae on tongue and inside of cheek.” This alone is not an indication for Borax, although Borax is one among many medicines when the mouth is so sore that the child lets loose its hold of the nipple or bottle. Many prescribers give Borax on that indication alone; but the constitutional state ought to be hunted up, so that there may be constitutional foundation for the remedy, Sulph. ac. is more frequently indicated. “Red blisters on tongue.” “Vomiting after drinking.” This leads one to expect that this aphthous state has travelled down the oesophagus into the stomach. There are many stomach symptoms present that are likely to be the result of some such condition. “Buccal mucous membrane highly reddened.” The sore mouth, such as mothers have and such as infants have, can be cured with Borax. “After every meal flatulent distension.” “Constant vomiting.” “Vomiting of sour slime.” The Borax patient with stomach aphthae will gag and retch and cough, and that is what is called a “stomach cough.” Mothers say, “It is a stomach cough,” because the child gags and retches with it. “Stomach cough with pain extending into region of spleen.”
Little ones often get summer complaints when they need Borax. All around about the anus you will see the aphthous appearances. Great slimy stools are passed day and night; the child keeps up a pitiful crying; the mouth is aphthous, child is emaciating, and holds its head back. “Stools; frequent, soft, light yellow, slimy.” Quantities of fluid like boiled starch are emitted from the anus; Borax has that as well as Argentum nitricum. There are also conditions of the rectum producing thickening of the mucous membrane, with stricture, growing smaller and smaller until finally a long thin stool is passed, no larger than a pencil.
This inflammatory stricture has been cured by Borax. In this over-sensitive child when the catarrhal state is general the urine burns so when it passes that with the first urging (which causes the child to realize it must soon urinate) it screams out; screams with the desire to urinate. That is what it means when it says “Worse before urination.” It is not that the state of the urinary organs is worse before urinating, but the child in realizing that it must urinate screeches and screams. “Frequent urination preceded by cries.” The urine burns and you may know that the child must soon urinate because it commences to cry. “Orifice of urethra pains as if sore, after urinating.” “Desire to urinate without being able to pass a drop.”
This remedy has cured gonorrhoea. Wherever there is mucous membrane you may expect to find the aphthous patches. There is another feature like Natr. mur. and Natr. carb.; in both male and female it takes away sexual desire; it benumbs the patient, and hence the mind and sexual organs are in a state of indifference.
Then we come to the most striking feature of Borax in regard to the female sexual organs; in the menstrual flow will be found membrane. Borax cures the most violent forms of membranous dysmenorrhoea, when there are violent labor-like pains before and during the flow and it seems as if the uterus would expel itself from the vagina. The flow starts slightly, but the same violent pains keep on, until the expulsion of the membrane. I have known Borax to cure when the membrane was a cast of the uterus. Such patients are easily startled from downward motion; let that be your guide to Borax in membranous dysmenorrhoea. She dreads downward motion, and motions like swinging and rocking. “During menses; throbbing in-head and rushing in ears.” “Pinching and griping in abdomen;” that word does not describe it exactly, for it is like the pain in labor; “pain extending from stomach.” Pain like the stabbing of a knife in the groin, and that may occur either before or during menstruation. “Tired; sweat after midnight.” But, remember, with such things you must have the mental state, the nervous, excitable state and then Borax will cure this dysmenorrhoea. Another grand feature of Borax I read in the next sentence. “Leucorrhoea like the white of egg.” It has albuminous leucorrhoea which feels like a hot fluid, and flows down the legs. “White albuminous or starchy leucorrhoea.” “Acrid leucorrhoea appearing for two weeks.” “Leucorrhoea white as mucus, without any other ailment.” Now from this acrid leucorrhoea, from the menstrual state, this false membrane forming and being thrown off, it is no wonder that women are sterile. All these women are sterile, all who have such symptoms are sterile and Borax has cured sterility when this condition was the cause. You will find routinists prescribe Borax for all women who are sterile, regardless of the state. When a remedy is given for sterility, the state must be looked into which is peculiar to the remedy given such a state as that remedy can produce upon the healthy woman.
Another feature. Many times I have used Borax when the mother could not nurse the child; she talks about always having a little, thick milk. “The milk is too thick and tastes badly.” This condition of the milk prevents the mother from nursing her child. This is a constitutional state, and Borax, if given in the beginning of pregnancy, to a Borax patient will so change the milk as well as the rest of the constitution that the mother will be able to nurse the child. I have a number of times, when a mother has brought forth several children that she was unable to nurse, given Borax and it has so affected the case that she could nurse the next child. This remedy also has loathing of the breast in infants, due to the fact that the milk tastes bad and not due to any defect on the part of the child. You might think of prescribing for the infant, but if you examine into the case you will find that the child will not take the milk because it is loathsome. The mother needs a .dose of Borax, which will cure the child of its diarrhoea and loathing of milk. “The infant becomes pale, nearly earth-coloured.” “The child throws up its hands when an attempt is made to put it clown.” If the mother was a Borax mother, the child very likely is a Borax child; it is not an uncommon thing for the mother and baby to need the same remedy; many times I have medicated the child through the mother’s milk if both needed the same remedy. Another peculiar feature is that when the child is nursing, there is pain in the opposite breast. Borax is not necessarily limited to the state of confinement; there is a practical use for Borax among nervous women in all states of life.
Borax has cured pleurisy that very much resembled Bryonia, especially on the right side like Bryonia; stitching or darting pains -from without inward’ as if through the upper right lung posteriorly; the stitching pains might make you think of Bryonia.
“Wilted, wrinkled skin.” “Skin pale or livid.” Emaciated; flabby child becomes emaciated. Children become marasmic along with the aphthous condition; they cannot digest. They vomit or have diarrhoea; aphthous condition that extends the whole length of the intestines; involving all mucous membranes. Oversensitive child, screams from downward motion. The aphthae involve a good many. other symptoms; crying before urination, because the bladder is involved. The aphthous condition and worse from downward motion; the oversensitiveness to noise, easily startled, anxious feeling, etc., are the most striking and characterizing features.
Written by James Tyler Kent (1849–1916) and published first in his book "Materia Medica" (1905) James Tyler Kent was an American physician best remembered as a forefather of modern homeopathy.