Excerpted from Materia Medica Viva (12 Volumes) by George Vithoukas.
Borax veneta – Nahum biboracicum -Sodium biborate. Na2B4O7 10H2O.
Trituration and Solution
THE ESSENTIAL FEATURES OF BORAX
Borax primarily affects the nervous system and the mucous membranes, both to an equal degree. The typical Borax patient is a very excitable, anxious, and oversensitive individual whose mucous membranes exhibit an aphthous condition; the membranes ulcerate and deteriorate, forming white patches or ulcers. Moreover, these cases suffer from an aggravation from downward movement.
The mucous membranes of the mouth, tongue and cheek are often affected by aphthous formations, accompanied by offensive breath, hot mouth and salivation. The irritation goes right through the alimentary canal but strangely enough affects mostly the beginning (mouth) and the end (anus/rectum) of the digestive tract. The area surrounding the anus has an aphthous appearance, and the thickening of the mucous membranes of the rectum creates a stricture. The stool is slimy, of a greenish or yellowish colour, and frequent both day and night. This evidence of an irritation of the alimentary canal suggests that some kind of ulceration is going on inside the intestines as well. Great quantities of fluid, like boiled starch, are passed through the anus.
The action of Borax includes all mucous membranes, and you may expect to see this aphthous appearance in all areas where such a membrane is present. The labia may be affected by white patches. Membranous dysmenorrhoea (cham., Lac-c.) comes under the action of Borax, and indeed this remedy is one of the best in the materia medica for this condition, which is typically accompanied by very strong pain as if in labour, while the woman feels as though the uterus were about to come out through the vagina. Such pain starts before the flow but also continue during the flow.
The Nervous System
The effect on the nervous system is equally pronounced. Borax patients are highly excitable individuals with a great intensity in both their emotions and thoughts. Their thoughts and feelings can be so confused that they cannot be separated one from the other. They are people who do not understand what it is to be cool and phlegmatic.
There is a resemblance to phosphorus in the vulnerability to external impressions and stimulus. However Borax patients are not as receptive and sympathetic as Phosphorus.
You may dub the Borax state hysteria, although it does not fulfil the hysterical touchstone of consciously dissociated extrojected complexes. What we see here is an oversensitivity and a weakness on the surface of the nervous system, and not a profound trouble at a deeper level of the mind. This condition is not a true psychoneurosis, it is simply annoying, and it hinders the individual from serious thought and concentration.
An analogy may be drawn between the irritation from pain felt by the patient suffering from an aphthous condition the moment he starts eating, and the excitability and restlessness which assail him the moment the thinking process starts. In the first case the patient is compelled to stop eating, causing him to starve, and in the second, he has to stop thinking, clear his mind, and generally abandon all attempts at serious thought, getting up and walking around the room and stretching his body backward in order to feel better. In the text we read: ‘While engaged in thinking at work, strong nausea. Every time he is engaged in 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’.
This nausea is produced by the intense feelings that arise while engaged in serious thought. It shows an oversensitive state of the mind and feelings, which does not allow the individual to do any continuous or deep thinking. As soon as he starts, intense feelings are produced by his reflections, and these bring about a state of over-excitement accompanied by a stomach upset or possibly nausea. He then has to get up and walk around to calm his thoughts and take his mind away from the subject he was engaged on. As soon as he tries to go back to work, the nausea returns.
Aggravation from Downward Movement
The great key-note of Borax is of course the aggravation from downward movement, a unique symptom that can serve as a sure pointer to this remedy. For a fuller comprehension of this symptom, it is useful to consider what may be termed a ‘loose connection’ between the etheric and the physical bodies, a paradigm described fully in my book, ‘A New Model for Health and Disease’. This loose connection can explain the tremendous anxiety felt by Borax patients when experiencing a downward motion. All mental complaints such as nervousness, anxiety and apprehension are aggravated from upward or downward motion. Whether the patients find themselves in a lift going down, on a rough sea, riding in a car on a slope, in an aeroplane that drops in an air pocket, on a swing or a rocking chair, the feeling is always unbearable. As well as experiencing fear and anxiety, they suffer from vertigo and confusion and tend to ‘go to pieces’, not knowing where or who they are. These patients will avoid lifts and boat-rides at all costs.
The slightest downward motion, as when putting an infant to bed, causes the child to scream in a great fright and to try to hold on to the mother as if trying to stop this terrifying downward motion. It seems as though the experience of the ‘etheric body’ moving upward while the physical body goes downward causes an experience of disconnection. The soul appears to be trying to escape through the stomach and mouth, causing a very frightening feeling. This feeling simulates the moment of death when the soul (or etheric body, or energy body), leaves the physical body.
Borax has the same reaction on waking suddenly during the night.The patient wakes up in a terrible fright, as if his end had arrived. The etheric body returns to the physical body with a jerk and produces this frightening experience. Similarly, hearing a sudden noise brings about this frightened reaction. The patient gives the impression of being absent minded at that moment and out of touch with the environment; this sudden noise brings him back to his body with a fright.
This reaction may be brought about by hearing a cry or an unexpected noise, such as something dropping from a chair or a door closing unexpectedly. Hearing, someone hawk or sneeze may provoke a fright, as may even very slight noises like the crumpling of paper, or the rustling of silk. Other fears to be found in Borax include fear of impending disease, fear of infection, and fear of falling.
The Mental-Emotional State
The Borax patient is typically prone to extreme inner restlessness, coupled with anxiety. He cannot remain concentrated on one project for long. The emotions are easily aroused, which then give way to an anxious, nervous and excitable state, followed by fear and apprehension. This condition typically becomes worse as the day progresses. The time of aggravation is at 4 p.m. At this time the patient is at his worst; he is fretful, irritable fault-finding and critical to those around him. The aggravation culminates at 11 p.m.; at around that time a sudden change takes place, allowing calmness and tranquillity to supervene.
‘It is in Borax that a great change may occur at 11 p.m.; this state of anxiety and nervous excitement may stop at that hour.’After that the patient grows lively again, with clearness of mind, tranquil and joyful. The same kind of tranquillity may also be experienced after stool, while previously there was discontent and annoyance. This remedy is characterised by strong discontent, indolence, dullness, pessimism and bad mood in general, but especially at around 4 p.m., and before stool. After passing stool there is liveliness, contentment and cheerfulness. Confusion of mind can prevail in the evening, while walking, but passing stool ameliorates this condition. Where the future looks grim, the evacuation of the bowel provides optimism with regard to the future.This calmness is not due to the stool being hard or difficult and finding relief, but it is the peculiarity of this remedy to have such a condition. In this it is equal to Calc-c. and Nat- s.
These changes of mood are frequent. The patient may feel weary of life and discontented for a number of hours; later the mood alternates with cheerfulness. Moroseness alternates with laughter, and weeping or irritability with cheer.
A feeling of liveliness in the morning, with an affectionate mood and desire for work may be replaced by indolence and aversion to work in the afternoon, especially after a siesta. Moreover, nosebleed ameliorates the psychological state.
Excitability and restlessness are aggravated by heat, and in a room kept hot at night sleep is difficult. You may also find restlessness ebullitions, especially after talking. On going to bed the patient starts getting excited, and if the room is heated, or he feels heat in the head he becomes so restless that he cannot sleep. The main hours of sleeplessness are after midnight. The patient usually finds that he cannot sleep from 1-4 a.m., from 2-5 a.m. or after 4 a.m. Sleeplessness from heat may last all night.
You will consider this remedy after having prescribed the different Natrum’s, like Natrum mur., Nat-s., Nat-p., or phos. Borax is not a social being like phosphorus. He is a serious individual who does not enjoy talking or joking. He is taciturn, timid and indisposed to talk, and in this respect resembles Natrum mur. He exhibits dullness in the morning, and excitement in the evening in bed. In general there is amelioration from walking in open air, and aggravation from mental exertion.
On being obliged to concentrate on some serious business the Borax patient becomes irritable, fretful, discontented and morose. He may want to leave or not go to an appointment, particularly if the business is to take place in the afternoon at around 4 p.m. He suffers from irritability after eating. The general bad mood that prevails often makes him quarrelsome, vehement and even violent and abusive. Violence, scolding and swearing take over with small cause, sometimes turning to malice. There may be a disposition to be critical of others and to slander. The mood may turn to weeping, particularly before coughing, before urination and during stool.
As the pathology progresses, Borax patients suffer from weakness of memory and delusions. In general the Borax memory is in a bad condition. You will find vanishing of thoughts; a patient will be obliged to reflect long and hard before being able to remember what he has done through the day, being uncertain for a long time whether he was at a particular place yesterday or today. Mistakes in both space and time may occur. The patient may moreover be suspicious, and have delusions that he is possessed by a devil or that he is going to be robbed.
In cases where the above mental state is present, the aphthous condition is not necessary in order to prescribe this remedy. You will often find, however, that the history of the patient reveals suppressed aphthae. After suppression of aphthae Borax should be seriously considered.
In this remedy the sexual sphere is characterised by great excitability. This state of sexual arousal can reach such extremes that a man may have an orgasm by merely touching a woman. Such a patient will in fact tell you that he is more interested in caressing a woman than in having normal intercourse with her. You will find strong desire, though not for coitus. This may be due to pain in the urethra after coitus. Burning pain in urethra when semen is discharged is characteristic of Borax. Sometimes the seminal discharge appears later than the pleasure. The patient has dreams of coitus with orgasms. There are strong erections in the morning on waking.
Women also experience an intense desire, but, eventually, due to grief and disappointment, they may exhibit indifference or even aversion to coitus. It is characteristic for this remedy that women become pregnant very easily. However, due to heavy leucorrhoea and membranous dysmenorrhoea, a decline in desire is experienced, replaced eventually by indifference and frigidity.
The Borax Child
Borax is a remedy that is used primarily in children in cases where they exhibit the grand key-note of this remedy: aggravation from downward motion. For example, when the mother is in the act of laying the child down onto the bed, it may rise up in its sleep and cry out in fright. Lifting up an infant’s feet to change a nappy will aggravate the child, who will start to shout. Borax children in general have a tendency to shout or scream rather than cry. An infant being laid down will start and throw up its hands as if afraid of falling, and some nights it may be impossible to put the child down at all. When laying the child down on the couch or in the cradle, it cries and clings to the mother. Children who are lifted or rocked may suffer from arrested respiration. They cannot bear a downward motion, even in sleep. When dandling a child up and down or when rocking it in the arms, you may find that it makes an anxious face during the downward motion.
Borax children also exhibit another important symptom, fright during sleep. They may scream and shout during sleep. Children wake up suddenly, screaming and grasping the sides of the cradle, without apparent cause. They start in sleep, as if frightened.
The infant frequently cries out in its sleep and anxiously grasps its mother, as if it had been frightened by a dream. There is frequent waking in the newborn, and screaming during fever when the head becomes hot.
Another interesting point in these children is that they cry and shriek with pain before urinating or passing a stool. You may find cases of colic in babies, after suppressed aphthae. They suddenly scream and kick and equally suddenly turn quiet for ten to twenty minutes, and then start again. They want to be carried about but the fits are not prevented. In cases of enteritis the child cries a great deal, its mouth is very sore, greenish stool passes every hour or two, a white coat covers the tongue and inside the cheeks, and a red eruption appears on the face.
Hot urine in the infant and burning urine in children are frequent. The infant urinates nearly every ten or twelve minutes, and frequently cries and screams before the urine passes. Children are so afraid to urinate, that they almost have convulsions when the desire to urinate comes on.
Excessively nervous, these children are especially affected by noise. A slight noise will wake them up. They are frightened on hearing a distant noise and start in every limb on hearing an anxious cry. They start at hawking or sneezing or paper rustling. The slamming of a door would cause the child to start and then scream with fright. The child is frightened during thunderstorms.
Borax children may be affected by aphthae. The infant’s palate is wrinkled and it cries frequently when nursing. The child has an aphthous sore mouth, the ulcers bleed on eating or on touch. The mouth is very tender in nursing children; it may be very hot, with thirst and vomiting. The child’s mouth feels hot to mother’s nipple; the child lets go of the nipple and cries with pain and vexation, or else refuses the breast altogether. Children become marasmic because of the aphthous condition; they cannot digest.
Further symptoms to be found in Borax children include: slowness in learning to talk; weeping tearful mood at night; prolonged sleep. The child at the breast sleeps more than usual, but wakes up frequently. Sleep is fitful in small children. Aversion to drinks. Carphology during fever. Finally, the child’s hair becomes entangled at the tips and sticks together so that it cannot be separated. If these bunches are cut off they form again.
The three main key-notes on which Borax is usually prescribed are:
- Aggravation from downward motion.
- Fretfulness, ill-humour, indolence and discontent before stool; but lively, contented, and cheerful after stool.
- Amelioration of mental and physical symptoms after 11 p.m.
Ingrowing of lashes, tangled hair that sticks together.
Exhilaration after coitus.
Mouth very hot in aphthae.
Greenish stool day and night.
Tip of nose shining red. Red noses of young women.
Waking as from fright.
Mother cannot nurse child due to thickened milk which tastes bad.
There is a morning aggravation that resembles Natrum mur.; 9-12 a.m., more precisely 10 a.m. Symptoms such as headaches, weakness or trembling of the whole body are aggravated at 10 a.m. We also find an evening aggravation of mental conditions at 4 p.m. that resembles Lycopodium, as well as an aggravation after midnight and around 3-5 a.m.
Faintness from noise, during stool, on walking in open air. Faintness in the afternoon, better in open air.
Flushes of heat.
Sensation of heat in single parts.
Sensation of a cobweb.
Increased mucous secretions: hot; with musty, mouldy, herby smell.
Stretching during fever.
Shuddering from nervous headache.
Trembling on slight exertion, from conversation, from mental exertion.
Weakness in the afternoon after sleep.
Lassitude during stool.
Weariness during menses.
Urination after morning.
Frequent pulse by night but slow by day.
Re-opening of old cicatrices.
Extreme seasickness has often been found to be relieved by Borax.
Symptoms are worse in warm weather, worse after menstruation.
Turning sideways aggravates.
Thought of food aggravates.
Aggravation from mutton, pears, apples, chocolate. Pears cause diarrhoea, indigestion, stomach pain.
Motion downward, walking downstairs, riding in a car downhill aggravate.
Stretching backward ameliorates.
Better in the open air at the seashore.
The infant becomes pale and nearly earth-coloured, flesh soft and flabby, cries much, refuses the breast and screams out anxiously in sleep.
Vertigo in the morning in bed; when ascending in lifts; ascending stairs; ascending an eminence; on descending; from rocking; before menses; while talking; on turning in bed to left side.
Vertigo followed by epistaxis, which relieves.
Vertigo with swaying towards the left on walking in open air.
Fullness of head during vertigo.
Headache in morning, at 10 a.m. [Natrum mur.].
Aching in the whole head, with nausea, and trembling in the whole body, in the morning at 10 a.m.
Reading and writing aggravate the headache.
There is a lot of pain in head which is usually ameliorated by walking outside in the open air, or after stool.
Headache appears usually before and during menses.
Headache mostly in the forehead and temples.
Sensation of a current of wind above the eyes.
Congestion before and after eating.
Constriction in forehead over the left eye.
Pain ameliorated after stool.
Pain extending to nose.
Pain in occiput as if suppurating.
Pain in spots of vertex.
Drawing pain in forehead when reading, when stooping, when writing.
Twitching of muscles of head in the afternoon.
Drawing pain in vertex extending to temple.
Intermittent, rhythmical, pressing and stitching pain in temples.
Fullness of head on ascending, on descending, after eating.
Heat of head when taking a deep breath, during chilliness, during diarrhoea.
Heat in head and in palms.
Hair tangled at the tips, so that it cannot be separated, as in plica polonica, and if these bunches are cut off they form again.
Inversion of lids. Entropium.
Inflammation of the edges of the eyelids, which turn inward towards the ball, so that the lids rub against the ball. The eyelashes turn inward toward the eye and inflame it, especially in the outer canthus, where the margins of the lid are very sore.
Inflammation of the right outer canthi, with irregularity of lashes, and at night agglutination of the eyes; inflammation of the left inner canthi with nightly agglutination.
Closing the eyes difficult in the evening.
Hair falling from eyebrows.
Ulceration of external canthi.
Swollen meibomian glands.
Sore pain on touch; sore pain in outer canthi; sore pain in margins of lids.
Stitching pain in the evening.
Tearing pain in the afternoon.
Dim vision of left eye.
Dim vision in the evening.
Flickering vision in the morning when writing so that he does not see
distinctly; there seem to be bright moving waves, now from the right to the left side, now from above downward.
Photophobia during chill.
Very sensitive to slightest noise. Acute hearing to noises of paper being crumpled.
Different sounds seem to appear mostly before and during menses. Patient seems to hear piped music; roaring before menses.
Itching in the evening while walking.
Cold applications aggravate pain.
Sore pain in the evening.
Stitching pain in ear while walking, in the morning on waking, in the morning, when washing in cold water. Stitches in the left ear.
Impaired hearing in left ear.
Sensation like a valve opening and closing.
Sudden redness of nose. Tip of nose shining red. Red noses of young women.
Red and shining swelling of the nose, with throbbing and tensive sensation.
In the upper and forepart of the left nostril, towards the tip of the nose, a small boil, with sore pain and swelling of the tip of the nose.
Many dry crusts in the nose, will constantly form again after being removed.
Dryness inside of nose in the night that prevents sleep. Obstruction, first right then left.
Obstruction with lachrymation.
Epistaxis before headache.
Pain in nose while strongly breathing.
Pin in nose worse lying down.
Pressing pain in nose as if brain were forcing its way out.
Itching nose; rubs it constantly.
Pale, earthy (in an infant), with suffering expression.
Anxious expression of face during downward motion.
Erysipelas in the face, on the left side, while nursing, during pregnancy.
Erysipelas of face, with feeling of cobwebs on it.
Eruptions on lower lips.
Eruption of boils under tip of nose.
Eczema on chin.
Herpes on forehead; around mouth.
Vesicles on forehead and around mouth.
Red discolouration of left side of face.
Heat of left side of face.
Heat of face during chilliness.
Pain in face when laughing.
Burning at corner of mouth.
Sore bruised pain of lower lip.
Formication of lips.
Twitching below right eye.
Twitching at corners of mouth.
Swelling of right side.
Hot red swelling.
Alveolitis, severe pain after extraction of tooth.
Sensitive and bleeding aphthae on tongue and on the inside of the cheek.
White aphthae in mouth.
Aphthae, bleeding easily.
Red blisters on the tongue, as if the skin were eroded; they pain on every motion of the tongue, or if anything salt or sour touches them.
Red vesicles on tongue.
Ulcers in mouth, forming rapidly.
The mucous membrane of the forepart of the palate is shrivelled as if burnt, and hurts, especially when chewing.
Blood oozes from mucous membrane, palate excoriated, shrivelled as if burnt.
The mouth of the infant is very hot.
Pain in palate while nursing.
Spasms of tongue.
Sensation of large and swollen teeth.
Intermittent, paroxysmal toothache.
Smoking tobacco ameliorates toothache.
Intermittent stitching, stinging in teeth.
Tearing pain in teeth on touch, extending to side of head.
Griping in the hollow of tooth in rainy weather.
Dark redness of gums.
Painful gum abcess on outer side, with pain in a hollow tooth and with swelling of the cheek and whole left side of face, as far as below the eye, where there was an oedematous swelling.
Heat in mouth.
The taste is flat and insipid.
Patient had no taste when she ate anything, for several weeks.
Bitter taste; if she eats anything or swallows saliva everything tastes bitter.
Musty taste in throat.
Tough whitish mucus in the fauces, which is loosened only after great exertion.
Mucus in throat: albuminous; bloody; greenish.
Roughness from hiccup.
Choking when clearing the throat.
Dryness of throat in the morning when waking.
Appetite diminished in the evening.
Aversion to food at noon.
After eating, which he relishes, great distension, discomfort, sick feeling and ill humour.
Thirst after sleep.
Thirst during and after perspiration.
Perspiration on pit of stomach.
Constriction extending to back and spine.
Contraction in the morning until noon.
Contraction of stomach extending to spine.
Emptiness in the afternoon.
Eructations during labour.
Eructations when pressing painful parts of stomach.
Heaviness ameliorated on walking in open air.
Indigestion and pressing pain after pears.
Nausea in the morning on waking.
Nausea at 10 a.m., nausea at 3 p.m. until evening.
Nausea at thought of food, after mental exertion, ‘while talking.
Thinking of nausea aggravates it.
Bitter vomiting after drinking.
Bitter vomiting in the morning.
Sour vomiting after breakfast.
Vomiting when hawking up mucus.
Vomiting after menses.
Pain in stomach before menses; after menses.
Pain in stomach ameliorated while walking.
Pain after fruit, after pears.
Pain after lifting.
Pain in the region of the stomach after lifting something heavy; the pain goes into the small of the back, where it becomes sticking, so that she cannot turn without pain the whole night; in the morning better.
Cramping pain from 4 a.m. till noon daily.
Cramping, pressing pain after menses.
Cramping pain while sitting bent.
Pressing pain, walking ameliorates.
Pressing pain in stomach after menses, after pears.
Pressing pain while sitting, while sitting bent.
Stitching pain in stomach extending to back.
A really peculiar symptom is a diarrhoea which starts after smoking tobacco or/and pain after tobacco.
Pain in the abdomen several times through the day, as if diarrhoea would result.
Pinching with diarrhoea.
Pain is as of hard sticks.
Cramping, griping pain in hypochondria and inguinal region after menses.
Dragging, bearing down pain in the evening during menses.
Lancinating, stitching and pressing pain in inguinal region during and after menses.
Stitching pain in hypogastrium during menses.
Pain in the afternoon, ameliorated by a short sleep.
Pain in the evening during stool.
Pain when rapidly walking.
Pain in inguinal region on coughing, when yawning, extending to right shoulder blade.
Drawing pain in the inguinal region in the evening.
Pain in left side extending to vagina.
Pain in spleen from a jar, during heat.
Burning pain in left hypochondrium on deep breathing.
Cutting pain after breakfast and distension after supper in hypochondria.
Cutting pain in hypochondria extending downward to umbilicus.
Pressing pain in left hypochondria when deep breathing, while riding, and extending to scapula.
Stitching pain in sides, aggravated by wine.
Rumbling before and after evening meal, ameliorated by eructations and passing flatus.
Flatulence after every meal.