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topic 15053, p2

Boric acid -- safe for humans?

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A discussion started in 2002 but continuing through 2018


I have been suffering from vaginal infection from the past 5 years. I went to a doctor who prescribed me to use boric acid powder diluted =>
I don't know what quantity of boric acid to be diluted in water to wash . please suggest

Preetha [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
Student - Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Boric Acid Powder
(2 @ 6 oz. ea.)


WOW! I didn't know that there were so many other people out there with the same questions and concerns regarding Boric Acid. My two year old has some symptoms of pink eye and has been waking up with her eyes shut with the mucus. My mom told me to go to the store and purchase some Boric Acid and put two tablespoons in some boiling water and let it cool and use it as an eye rinse. Because I love my mother I purchased the stuff;but I can't get past the word "ACID".

I think I am going to trust God and the doctor to take care of the eye issue. I know that someone out there has washed their eyes with Boric Acid and you can still see;BUT, I just don't feel right about it. I am going to throw it away or pour it outside around the grass to kill some ants.

Michelle K [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Detroit, Michigan



JUDIE T [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- BARDSTOWN , Kentucky

An Old Fashioned Recipe Book
from Abe Books


The Old Herb Doctor
from Abe Books


Folk Remedies That Work
from Abe Books


Oddball Ointments, Powerful Potions, ...
from Abe Books



Thanks for all of the info on Boric Acid. My mom used the eye wash on me and everyone who needed treatment for eye disorders. The treatment was always successful. She died a few years ago and I could not find her recipe. Thanks for the recipes. It amazes me how difficult it can be to find recipes for natural remedies. The drug companies really put a squeeze on all of us.

Cherie C [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Orangevale, California


A doctor told me to use it when I was about 11 (now 40+) I have used it since then. If I get an eye cold or pink eye that is the cure as it works every time. I had lost the measured amounts so thanks for your help. Off to cure my eye cold. It is safe for contact wearer too but I always pop in a new pair after I treat my eyes as the lenses can reinfect your eyes and so can your makeup.

Toni S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Northglenn, Colorado


I've used homemade boric acid eyewash most of my life, it's also used in some commercial eyewashes, but if not mistaken, it's only effective as a bug killer in the dry form; i.e. powder or granules.

One more note: you should use ONLY medicinal grade boric acid found at your pharmacy.

Tracy S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Tishomingo, Mississippi



*Get the powder form
*put 1/4 a teaspoon to 2 cups of boiling water
*let cool
*wash eye out....

My family doctor told us to do it when I had pink eye... It works for eye infections.

Melissa S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
waitress - Los Angeles, California


I am not familiar with boric acid being used as an eye wash. Luckily, in my childhood, I never got any pink eye or other eye infections. However, my mother used to make a solution of boric acid and water to use as a foot soak. I grew up on a farm and always went barefooted (indoors and outdoors) whenever the weather permitted. If I stepped on a nail, got cut by glass, punctured my skin with a twig or got cut or deeply scratched by rusty barbed wire, Mom would make me soak my foot in this solution. She told me it was drawing out any irritants and was also disinfecting at the same time. It always worked well It speeded the healing time.

I have not been able to buy it where I used to get it. The pharmacist at Wal-Mart told me that they pulled it from their shelves because it was toxic. I said, "for cri-di-i- sakes, I grew up with this and it works well. I'm 50 years young and healthy." No more need be said.

Rhonda E [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Whitehall, Wisconsin


I have been searching for a Boric acid and sterile water wash. Only things I am finding are the Bausch and Lomb products, etc. I have a friend in Italy that says boric acid a sterile water can be found in some stores. WHERE? And if I were to buy boric acid, do I buy that stuff that says it will kill bugs. Or that product posted above.

June Van P [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- San Pedro, California


When my son was born in 1959 I was instructed by my doctor to use boric acid to clean out his eyes. It worked just fine, and I have used it through the years. I had cataract surgery last year and used it recently because I had trouble seeing and the eye just bothered me. In the two days I've used it the eye has improved 100%. The instructions I have on an old bottle of boric acid states as follows:
Dissolve one tablespoonful in a pint of warm water. If intended as an eyewash, prepare solution by boiling in water and store in a sterile container. Prepare sufficient quantity for one day's use and discard unused portion.

WARNING: Do not use as a dusting powder. Do not use on infants or take internally. Use only as a solution. Do not apply to broken or raw skin or to large areas of the body. In case of accidental ingestion consult a physician or contact a poison control center immediately.

Jacqualine N [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
Retired - Carmichael, California

Thrush Buster


I have a question about an unrelated use for boric acid. If anyone has horses, they know about thrush in the horse's frogs (of the hoof). Thrush treatments for horses are all over the map as afar as caustic agents that people dump on their horse's hooves, not considering avenues into the hoof coriums and their affect on the internal structures. I'm searching for something more natural and am considering boric acid, possibly mixed with Gentian Violet [linked by editor to product info at Amazon]. If anyone has any experience on this, please let me know.


Pat W [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Rainier Washington


I just cured an eye infection that hadn't responded to commercial eye infection drops with the good old boric acid water. Saved me before when nothing else worked. The reason I checked here was because now on the label it says "May irritate eyes, skin and mucous membrane. " I guess they mean the dry powder.
I think boric acid will come in handy for external applications against some of these superbugs that do not respond to antibiotics anymore, but then again, you can't patent boric acid, so who will promote it? Certainly NOT the drug producers, eh drug companies or their dealers, eh doctors.
To the question about the horse hooves. I think the gentian is safer, if boric acid gets into the bloodstream, micro gram amounts are beneficial (anti fungal, bone health) but large amounts are toxic. ( If it was me, I would go heavy on the gentian, they use this for nursing moms! and easy on the boric acid)
Lastly, when I lived in a moldy environment, a calcium supplement with boron (present as boric acid, in micro gram amounts) always helped me.

Rebecca S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


A somewhat harder to obtain but infinitely more effective cure for eye infections is a drop of breast milk. When my child was an infant she kept getting "pink eye" from her day care. I was breast feeding at the time and the lactation nurse suggested using a drop of milk. I could not believe the results. If I put one drop in her eye at night all signs of the infection were completely gone by morning. Not only was it extremely effective but it was soothing instead of painful like prescription medications. BTW, it is just effective on adults. If you are fortunate enough to have a family member or close friend who will donate a teaspoon of breast milk, freeze the unused portion. The live antibodies (which is what makes it so effective) will keep in the freezer for up to a month. Talk about a simple and potent remedy from the past!

Ellen H [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Tallahassee, Florida


boric acid has helped my yeast infections for years. I went to the pharmacy and asked for size 00 dissolvable gelatin capsules that were safe for vaginal inserting. I then came home and used a douche mixture to get started of 1/8th cup boric acid and water I first douched 2nd I then packed the size double zero caps with boric acid and put one pill every night in vaginally for 7 nights straight(7 pills) and my yeast infections go away . warning wear a pad to bed and next day as it does drain out and that is what coats you and makes you feel better it's always worked for me. I was told by my doctor if it doesn't then I would need to come in for her to check me as there is different things out there that can act like yeast & boric acid (pharmacy grade) won't help. I'm only speaking for myself. ask your doctor what's best for you

Randi H [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
sedro woolley Washington


The postings were very helpful. I too have used boric acid solution for years but became concerned when I read on the label that you should avoid eye contact. These comments were a confirmation of what I know works. We are currently fighting off an eye infection with my youngest "Tween". Started at 4 pm and looking better already. There seems to be some controversy over actual amount used in the above comments. I read 1/4 tsp -1 tbsp. I personally use 1 tsp to 16 oz of water and has always worked great. Looking forward to get this one behind me.

Pam S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Weatherford, Texas

January 16, 2008

Thank you all for your comments and recipes for mixing boric acid solution for eyes. After fighting an eye infection for months and getting a prescription from my eye doctor that cost me $80 for just a tiny little bottle of medicine that does not work, I am going back the tried and true cure my mom and grandmother used. I'm tired of people asking me if I am crying when it is just a persistent infection.

Jo-Ann Noort
- Henderson, Nevada

January 31, 2008


I was born in 1960 in a desolated area of Ontario, Canada.
We did not run to the doctor for every ailment. I was raised on many "folk" treatments. The one that I have used for years and also use on my children is the boric acid eye wash. 1/2 tsp to 1 cup of boiled water. Let cool and wash eye out 3 times daily. It is funny how people will run out to a physician and happily use a prescription without even knowing what is in it. We have put our trust in antibiotics so much that they are now failing us. Go back to the old ways. They worked for generations of people. PS. Rinsing orally with boric acid wash will help with canker and mouth sores.

Good Luck All

Marlene Hantho
- Great Falls, Virginia

February 5, 2008

Just another country girl raised with the folk meds of yesterday...and returning to them more and more! My folks used the boric acid in sterile water solution in all our eyes for years at first sign of irritation or 'pink eye'. None of us have any eye problems today and actually have very GOOD eye health...only reading glasses for me at almost 60. I used it for my 4 kids on occasion too with only good results. To clarify: we also used it for pest control...but in the dry powdered form. I remember my folks spreading the pwd in cracks at the back of the closets to stop crickets and ants. And the men used it in the barn in hidden places also. It worked! Another old remedy I have returned to is Epsom salts and also use hydrogen peroxide [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] for many health issues.

Barb Davis
- Napa, California

April 12, 2008

My mother used to use boric acid to help form scabs on my skinned knees, elbows, or wherever I would scrape up.

Many times I would have a band aid on a wound, and upon waking up in the morning after sleeping under the covers, the wound would be "weepy". My mom would sprinkle boric acid on and the would would form a scab, which helped. Of course, I often picked at my wounds too, and she would put it on to re-grow the healing skin.

It worked, I'm not dead, and I am over 50.

I think the pharmacists, drug companies, all of them don't want us to have access to inexpensive, natural healing products that still, to this day work better, or just as good as the over priced products we have to buy now days.

- SAN JOSE, California

May 6, 2008

I considered looking for info on Boric Acid for months now & was very pleased to find this site. My mom & dad used boric acid solution made from the powder to cure eye colds, pink eye,& crusty eye infections. It always worked & did not sting. After reading all the above ideas what I remember is: First my mom boiled a cup of tap water. She let it cool a bit & then I believe added 1/2 tsp. boric acid to that cup of water. When completely cool @ room temperature she then used a glass eye cup whereby we would look into it & then tilt our head back so the solution would wash the infected eye. Clean the eye cup out & again do the same for the other eye. This always worked & since I saw this done many times I tried to find boric acid @ pharmacies only getting the same answer from the pharmacist on duty, "We don't carry it & that would be dangerous to put into the eye." My obvious conclusion was did the chemical change over the years, or do the drug companies not want us to use an inexpensive method that has been proven for years, as I am sure that my mom learned this from her mom. I too have tried eye drops that are ridiculously expensive & am glad that this site exists to prove that this is an old time solution that works. My only caution would be to dilute to the lessor amount as I feel that 1 T boric acid to 8 oz water is much too strong. And, yes, I do believe that some larger crystals will fall to the bottom that do not dissolve. Mom kept this solution in a sterile jar (boiled the mason jar in water first) & would keep it for only 3 days, usually the infection would go away by this time anyway. And by the way Jerry Baker has suggested the Borax [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] POWDER as a use to kill ants. We just bought on older condo & found the powder in all the inside outlets. Interesting! NOW---the question is where do I find the good grade stuff & not some cheap stuff that could be contaminated?

Claudia Swinteck
- W. Bloomfield, Michigan

May 22, 2008

I have to laugh when I see people that are so worried about boric acid. It is harmless. The bottle at the drug store has clear instructions on how to use it for cleaning cuts and clearing up eye infections. The only reason people are so afraid of it is because it is also used to kill insects. All it does is absorb moisture. Insects have an oily (moist) exoskeleton. It draws moisture out of the bug and it becomes dehydrated. It has no ill affects on humans at all. Stop letting alarmists scare you about every little thing.

This is a letter that I sent to people that were worried about using it for insect control.

Hello all! I like what you have going on here but, I have a bit of information that you may not be aware of. Because I work in the pest management industry, you may be tempted to shut me out. Don't run off so quick. I'm on your side! Just hear me out. You may be surprised about what I have to tell all of you. It's good news for those of you that care about your health and the environment. I can appreciate what you are trying to do in the way of environmentally friendly, health conscious, do it yourself pest management. What you may not know is that most, if not all, of the methods you are using, are the exact methods that have been used by the pest management industry for the last 12-14 years. In some cases, we have been practicing these methods even longer than 14 years. On the outside, my industry is perceived in a bad way. It's really sad too because, this has led to people over applying and misapplying pesticides, with the intention of reducing the negative effects associated with commercial pest management practices. We (the pest management industry) are thought of as rotten polluters and dullards, unconcerned with the health of animals and humans. This could not be farther from the truth.

There is no one person, or industry, more concerned with these issues than we are. To understand this you must realize the extreme liability that is involved with what we do. Every single day we are contracted to remove hazardous pest problems in schools, restaurants, homes, hospitals, day cares, office buildings and many other places that are concerned with, not only pests but also, they are concerned with pesticides. This is why we are the best qualified when it comes to controlling pests in a sensitive environment. Our customers don't want pests. Nor do they want to be exposed to hazardous materials. As a result, our industry has evolved into one that looks a lot like what you are all trying to do on your own. I read all about all of your, homemade, boric acid bait concoctions and other home remedies. We have been using boric acid baits for decades. (Only we apply ours into cracks and wall voids, not as big blobs that lay around for the dog to eat) I read about your use of organic pyrethrum and pyrethrins to control insects on plants. We use these things all day, every day. We have been using them for decades but we apply them at rates that are safe when applied according to the label.

Non-professionals double and triple doses until they finally fail and give up. You don't need to use more pesticides if you are trained where to put them and what to use. All of these "Green" or "Non-Toxic" products that you think are exclusive to environmentalists or specialized "Green" pest management firms are common coin throughout our industry. In fact, even if we had the desire to use a highly toxic pesticide (We don't have this desire. We don't like to get sued.), we couldn't find one simply because, the manufactures don't even make things like that anymore. Even if they did, our industry would have no use for them because we don't want a thing to do with the lawsuits that would be associated with the use of harmful products. I sit here and I read about all of these things that you are doing to safely control your own pest and I have to laugh because, you are not only using the wrong products but, you are using way too much of them and, you are putting them in the wrong locations. Your attempt to lower the environmental impact and expose yourself to fewer pesticides is resulting in the exact opposite. You talk about pouring boric acid all over the place, for roach control, when a tiny placement of a gel bait (many times boric acid based and placed in a crack) would do the trick. This is just one of many examples of over application. You should call a professional if you want less exposure to pesticides. We are just not the nasty kind folks that we are made out to be. We are way more concerned about this stuff than you are. We are concerned about it in ways that you will never understand. It is not about the environment for us. It's about that and more for us. Thanks for reading me.

Keith Gordon
- Grimes, Iowa

May 29, 2008

My cat has an eye infection so, remembering using Boric Acid on my kittens when I was little with my Mom, I began my search. I finally found Boric acid at Rite Aide. Hope this helps those in search of it.
Also, people are misinformed when they think that because it is called "acid" it's the corrosive battery acid type stuff. Acid is merely less than 7 on a pH scale. 1-14 (1-6 acid, 7 neutral, 8-14 basic)
The action of this product is that it inhibits protein synthesis in microorganisms.

Mikki Palum
- Newport, Michigan

August 8, 2008

Boric Acid eye wash has been an old remedy in my family for years. My grandparents used it and so did my parents. I also used it on my kids when they had eye infections as they were growing up. My father always used the crystals but I have been able to find only the powder for some time. My father always used a tablespoon Boric Acid to a quart of water. So one and a half teaspoons to a pint. Boil the water to sterilize it and put it in a sterilized glass container. Refrigerate and discard after a week and make more if needed.

We always used it in an eye cup to rinse out the eyes three or four times a day. I actually saved the old boric acid bottle that was in my fathers medicine cabinet when he died years ago. There is directions for making eyewash on the back of it. The bottle states a tablespoon of boric acid to a pint of boiled water. We have never used it in that strong a mixture however, I have always used my family's recipe. This stuff is poison so for crying out loud make sure nobody drinks it. Keep it out of the reach of children!

Cheryl Valentine
- Spokane, Washington

August 12, 2008

After leaving my Aug 9 response I decided to add a couple of things to clarify my thoughts a bit.

Boric Acid can be toxic if taken internally so you shouldn't drink it for any kind of internal problems, and should definitely keep it away from children. The new bottle I bought just recently reads "Poison keep out of the reach of children." The old bottle however does not claim that it is poison although it does say keep out of the reach of children. You should always buy pharmaceutical grade usually found at the first aid counter at a pharmacy. Many pharmacies no longer carry it, but I still find it at Rite Aid.

My grandmother treated canker sores and mouth sores caused by her dentures with it however, by dipping a cotton ball into the solution, squeezing out excess and holding it against the sore for a few minutes several times a day. She did that for years and didn't seem to suffer any negative side effects. Go figure.

Cheryl Valentine (returning)
- Spokane, Washington

Boric Acid Powder
(2 lbs.)

September 3, 2008

My sisters doctor told her about boric acid eye solution when my nephew was small. It clears conjunctivitis up quickly without the use of antibiotics. You use one teaspoon to one cup of water boil in glass measuring cup in a pan of water for 5 minutes. Let it cool well before ever using in the eye. Use a sterile cotton ball to drip in the eye. Do not dip cotton ball in solution again. Solution is good for 24 hours. Make New solution daily.

Boric Acid did have a recipe on the bottle just a few years ago. You could find it in most any pharmacy. When I asked about it at the pharmacy yesterday they had never heard of it.

I used it for my children for years. Works great.

Heather Sortore
- Kansas City, Missouri

September 10, 2008

I am currently using Boric acid eyewash to treat a horse at the riding stable where I volunteer. I found it at one drug store but the other seems to only carry the Boric Acid used for insect control and that is NOT the right kind for medicinal use. The label will tell you it contains "inert ingredients" -- BEWARE!

Ask the pharmacist if you can't find it. At my drug store it was in the "First Aid" section and we both had to hunt a bit to find the little brown bottle.

Don't let the word "acid" scare you. Vinegar and salt are both acids, too, and we use them -- even love them -- in food. :)

Anna Green
- Buffalo, New York

September 17, 2008

I have had red eyes for the past year and have gone to many eye doctors over this. So many different eye drops have been prescribed to me and nothing has worked- until boric acid. My grandmother used to make a boric acid eyewash for the cat when his eyes were runny (you know how pets get little eye infections). She'd just dip a cotton ball in it and rub it over the cat's eyelids and it would clear right up. I started to wonder if this may work for me. I did some research over the internet and talked to my pharmacist about making an eyewash for myself. I ordered it through the pharmacy (it was only $4.99) and it arrived the next day. I boiled one quart of water one tablespoon of boric acid for 10 minutes, then let it cool and poured it into a clean, never used plastic bottle. (Use distilled/spring water instead of tap because of all the chemicals in tap such as chlorine, mercury, soap ash, etc.) I pour the solution into an eyewash cup (which you can get at the drug store)and open my eyes wide and roll them around. It's so soothing and feels so nice. My eyes aren't red anymore. Thank god for this very common, house hold miracle drug!

Jessica Lambert
- Knoxville, Tennessee

October 3, 2008

I had good success with homemade boric acid eye wash but they say to make it fresh. I stored some in a covered container and used it later. Black stings formed in the solution. Smut color. Some companies have had trouble with old wash. Be careful. Red

Red Stendel
- Pk Ridge, Illinois

November 26, 2008

I found the site link below to be very helpful. My search was for use on a kitten with a yucky eye. I was not able to find medicinal boric acid at the pharmacy (on shelf), but asked the pharmacist and was able to order it in the next day ($4.74 at WalMart). The container is blasted with "Poison" warnings, but I think like many things it CAN be harmful yet still used correctly and in moderation for 'old school' nursing! I intend to use it carefully on my kittens eye and will just be sure to use the boric acid lightly with sterile water. If I don't make it strong enough, I guess it will just take longer to clear up his eye infection. Wish me luck and I hope this link -- -- helps those in need make a decision for them self!

Lynn Walton
- Canton, OHIO

December 19, 2008

The eye wash that used to be available stated "boric acid 3%" and the other ingredient was water. It always worked on eye infections. It worked much better and more quickly than current treatments which are ridiculously expensive. And nobody got poisoned.I don't know how many teaspoons of powder or how much water will make 3%. Haven't been able to get it and started to hear about it being dangerous in this usage ever since the big drug companies started publishing the textbooks used in medical schools, Draw your own conclusions.

Jeff Coles
- El Paso, Texas

December 19, 2008

Playing on the paranoia of the public, and enflamed by big media who profit from "Death in your medicine cabinet? News at 11 !" teasers, the government regulates everything for "safety" today, Jeff, while not actually doing any testing themselves. Instead they demand clinical trials that cost tens of millions of dollars. And who will pay for such tests on dirt cheap commodities like boric acid? Nobody, of course, which they are counting on. So, the revolving-door FDA, staffed and run by people on leave from pig pharm, has erected a perfect system that leaves the impression that boric acid and other traditional remedies aren't safe, and no one can authoritatively counter it. They've already outlawed many traditional folk remedies that were used for hundreds of years on the same basis (that nobody will front millions of dollars for clinical trials of commodities which offer no profit), and boric acid may be next.

I've used boric acid myself and feel that it is safe, and some popular books imply that it is safe. But we'll never know because the "regulators" (in quotes because it's such a laugh) have powerful incentive to outlaw anything that isn't insanely profitable to pig pharm, and we've given these heartless corporations the cockeyed government tools they need to outlaw competition from inexpensive traditional folk remedies. Yes, it's enough to make you sick, but the only medicine you can legally treat yourself with is the product of pig pharm and the regulators that they so completely own.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

December 29, 2008

Hi everyone! I am 68 and have been using boric acid in my eyes all my life with no ill effects! Granted, I don't use it often. I don't use any medications very often! Rarely even take aspirin. At 68 I'm still taking only one prescription, and that is thyroid hormone because they surgically removed my thyroid at age 21 (they'd already zapped it with radiation when I was a baby!).

Anyway, yes the "formula for boric acid eye wash" comes up when you search it. It is really good stuff. Kills - apparently - all kinds of fungus.

During the 70s, 80s, 90s the medical establishment tried to get it removed from the shelves of Walgreen's, etc., so we would not have access to it, just as they want to remove all access to vitamins and minerals, without a prescription from a doctor! It's all about money, not about safety!

Take care! Follow directions. But don't worry about boric acid.

Dody VerSluis
- Colorado Springs, Colorado

August 3, 2009

Eye solution is made with boric acid powder and either boiled or distilled water, NO alcohol.

Trac MacD
- Warren, New York

August 31, 2009

Hi, I am 67 and have used boric acid eye wash all my life and have had good results with home made and store bought both.
I'd like to respond to all those people who are so scared of boric acid because it is "acid". All carbonated drinks, even some bottled drinking water is acidic, coffee, tea and many foods are acidic, like fruit,and catchup, not to mention hot sauce . And what about your own stomach acid, do you think any of this stuff will kill you ! Doctors give rat poison as a blood thinner (very carefully adjusted doses) but still rat poison! IT'S THE DOSAGES THAT ARE IMPORTANT, too strong- not good, too weak - not good enough, need close enough dose to do what you need it to treat. And while I'm ranting, there is a whole body of old remedies that don't need to be tested because they have been proven over and over again for the last 100 years or more. What we need is for this information to be "guarded" to keep it from being altered/changed by the misinformed or malice and also should be easy to get hold of...

Sam Haviland
- Groves, Texas

September 16, 2009

I have seen several recipes across the net for boric acid eyewash ranging anywhere from 1/4 to 2 tsp for 2 cups water.
Personally, my mothers recipe (which I just used a few days ago) is:
1 tsp to 2 cups boiling water.
Feels just like water on the eye.
Yes, it does say eye irritant on the bottle but so is any antiseptic if the wrong dosage of the key ingredient is used. So be careful!

Ang Nav
- Portland, Oregon

October 19, 2009

I have been treated for trachoma twice in the last 15 ears.The greek doctor who treated me had worked for years in Egypt and had vast experience treating trachomas. Together with the antibiotics (chloramphenicol) he instilled in my eyes drops of borax solution and probably silver nitrate prepared by him.Three times a week he was installing one drop in each eye.My eyes they were turning red as a blood and the pain inside the eye was like having glass pieces.( probably the pH of the solution was acidic)The doctor told me not to be afraid because the borax is attacking only the infected mucosa of the eye leaving unaffected the healthy one.Recently I got again red eyes, visited younger doctors they prescribed antibiotics and artificial tears and ointments but still I have red eyes.
Is there anybody to tell me the right borax solution ?

dimitrios m [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]

September 1, 2010

Thanks for all the comments on Boric Acid...I believe my mother us it on me as an infant for some infection of the eye, doctor cat has an eye infection and I'm going to use the boric acid powder purchased from Rite Aid.

Thanks again for everyone's comments

Sarah Brooks
- Flushing, Michigan, USA

September 9, 2010

My mom used boric acid solution as an eye wash when I was a kid; I'm 62 years old now. I've been looking for a replication of her 'recipe' because I've just gotten a stye. My online search brought me first to this Wikipedia link: It's very thorough, with medical references attached, so appears reliable. I'm a veterinary technician, and can tell you the info listed there seems to coincide with the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) documents that are provided with any chemical, whether used for human, animal, and industrial purposes. You can request an MSDS from the manufacturer of any product or pharmaceutical. They must provide this to you by federal law.

Tomorrow, I'm off to [the drug store] to find the pharmaceutical form of this chemical, and I have no qualms about using it in my eye.

Hope this helps all of you who have doubts about 'home remedies' ~ we're losing a vast pharmacopia because of BigPharma's vested-interest influence on our government.

Jan Sloat
- Hopatcong, New Jersey, USA

Boric Acid Powder
(2 lbs.)

October 19, 2010

You need to get pure boric acid in powder form =>

You can buy it online, at e-bay or many online stores sell it.
Do not buy it in bottles used for bug killer.
Buy the bulk powder form, specifically and simply "boric acid powder". Google that and see what you find.

Also, some drug stores or pharmacies sell in in a bottle.
It is simply called Boric acid, not any product name like "bug kill" or anything like that.

You can use it to kill bugs....just search online for a recipe.
But it has many uses. If you buy the pure powder form, you know what you are getting...with nothing else mixed in.

Laura Lee
- Sebastopol, California, USA

November 6, 2010

My kitty has been suffering eye infections for a couple years. Tetracycline made her light sensitive. eurithromycin didn't help. I bought herbal drops for kitty eyes and tested them on myself first--YOWL! no way are they going in kitty's eyes! Mine burned for two weeks. Finally went to the vet at the cost of $85 bucks (that was the eurithromyycin attempt). Etc.

Today I have wised up and read up and am going to get boric acid tomorrow. I also tried a saline solution in my own eyes... nicely soothing, so we have that as a back up. Thank you everyone who has written here!

BUT TO ALL WHO PLAN TO USE BORIC ACID TO KILL ANTS--a pox on your houses (just kidding) and maybe a flea infestation! Do you realize fleas can live in the soil, waiting for furry animals to hitch a ride on? And WHO do you think holds the flea populations in check? ANTS! They are copious eaters of flea eggs and larvae and are the natural means of keeping them in check. If you ever get one of those nasty flea infestations in your house you're more likely to be a user of lawn chemicals killing off ants, but in any case, its the LACK of ants inside the house that that lets the fleas flourish in your rugs. Invite the ants in! Make friends with ants, don't kill them. We should have such civil societies as they have.

My chemical and flea-free but eye infected cat and I thank you for all the eye wash advice. We offer our perspective on ants in trade.

Joanne Baek
- Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico USA

May 23, 2011

My mother used Boric Acid and water for us kids when we got any kind of eye infection including sties. I even took her old bottle when I got married in 1967. Years later I purchased a bottle when mine was getting low. No need for an expiration date. I always used a half teaspoon of boric acid to a half cup of boiled water. I would used it for three days. By that time, the eyes were clean and clear.

Recently my cousin sent me a very old baby book because it was my mother's who was born in 1920. It has all kinds of amazing advice (such as roll some cotton on the end of a toothpick HA!) Right there in the book was the recipe for Boric Acid water to be used for eye discharges, only its recipe was for 1 tsp boric acid to 1 cup water. I never needed that much, so I continue to half it. When I bought a second bottle, there were NO instructions on it, only that it is a poison. I imagine the drug companies wanted to make their own kinds of eye care products that cost 100 times as much! I bought all the bottles I could find ten years ago and gave them to my oldest six marrieds. I gave more for the younger ones as they got married. Now I can't even find it at the stores at all. But no worries, it seems to last almost forever.

It works better than commercial eye preps/meds. Three days is all that's needed at the max.

Maybe you can find it online.

Kandy Zierenberg
- Thousand Oaks, California, USA

July 6, 2011

I bought boric acid powder at [my drug store] recently. They didn't stock it on the shelves. They just order it and it came in in a couple of days.

Caty Tsilds
- Wilmette, Illinois USA

February 5, 2012

I haven't been to a doctor my whole life.

Doctors believe something I don't believe in... that a huge pharmaceutical company cares about any of us.

They only care about profits. Somehow they came up with the thought that 'side effects' are normal. Then the 'side effects' get worse and worse until some of the 'side effects' are 'vomiting', 'psychosis' and 'death'.

And you people are squabbling about a method which has been tried-and-true for a hundred years? which has never been shown to have any side effects at ALL?

My father used to say, "Quit yer bellyachin'", which meant "whinin' isn't accepted in this house".

When you have a tried-and-true method, and it works, you use it. When you have chemical companies cleverly disguised as caring people and they have 'side effects' or their product reads like a plastic factory - you gobble them right down.

It has been forever that people have been putting boric acid into capsules and putting them up their vagina for yeast infections. Once-per-day for 14 days... your yeast infection is generally gone. Keep going for another 14 days if it isn't.

For eyes, 1/4 teaspoon per 2 cups of distilled water if it's a normal infection or you just have red bloodshot eyes. 1/2 teaspoon per 2 cups only if it's a really bad red-eye infection and the eye is a solid-red color.

Boil everything for ten minutes. Use an old eyedropper bottle from something and use a Q-tip dipped in isopropyl alcohol to swab out the inside of the glass and inside of the rubber stopper. Then pour boiling water over everything and let it sit. 10 minutes under boiling water kills what the alcohol didn't.

'Acid' doesn't mean it's sulfuric acid.

Also, Borax is NOT Boric Acid. Do not use 20 Mule Team Borax as being synonymous with Boric Acid; the two are quite different compounds. Look them up on Wikipedia. One is the salt of the other.

Yes, you can kill cockroaches with boric acid. So what? You can kill almost anything with Iodine, too; but I wouldn't think anything of putting a couple drops of iodine in water and drinking that water. I did it all the time when I would go camping.

Stop having such a strange dichotomy of emotions that make no sense. If something has been used for a hundred years and it's been safe: then it's safe.

If something was just invented that has 25 'side effects' including insanity and death; don't take it.

Garlic in oil in proper levels for ear drops... safe. Boric Acid in proper levels for eye drops... safe. Iodine painted on skin sores or warts multiple times to get rid of them... safe.

It's really not rocket science.

Mother Nature cures first. Tried-and-true cures second. If those don't work, and ONLY if those don't work go to the idiot doctors who have been brainwashed by the evil chemical companies.

We all know they're evil.

Gary Creighton
- Mesa, Arizona

March 12, 2012

I have used Boric acid for an eyewash, as my grandmother did, for the last 65 years with no ill effects. You can buy Boric acid, also known as Boracic acid, from a Pharmacy. It is very cheap. Make a 2% solution in water. That is 2 grams in 100 grams or about 10 grams in one pint of boiling water. A rounded teaspoon is about 10 grams. Allow it to cool and put it into a sterilised bottle. Since it is a mild antiseptic, it will keep safely for ages. No need to buy stupidly expensive commercial eye lotion, and no need to refrigerate or throw it away after a week or two. Pour some into an eye bath or you can use an egg cup if you don't have a proper eye bath. Bathe inflamed or itchy eyes frequently for rapid results.
DO NOT USE BORAX for eyes. Borax is different and is excellent for washing and disinfecting clothes or floors, but much too strong for eyes.

Jane Forrester
Designer craftsperson - Enniskeane, Cork, Ireland

May 9, 2014

Q. My mother used boric acid eye wash for all of us growing up for 40 years. It always worked. When I got much older, got dry itchy eyes, tried to find it, went to doctors who prescribed all types of drops, none of which work, but boric acid still does. 1T to 2 cups of water works well. However, how does one know if Boric Acid NF is the same as Boric Acid NF of the past? I am about to run out of my McKesson boric acid from the 1980s and the Sunmark boric acid NF I bought says don't put in eyes. Are they the same?

Also, does anyone know where to buy icthamol ointment for draining stubborn sores or boils or sulfa powder for ticks and chiggers? Both of these products work very well but I can't find either anywhere in commercial drugstores.

Martha Smith
- Prov, Rhode Island, USA

May 2014

Hi Martha. You must pretend that the icthammol or sulfa powder is for your horse, of course, and keep it on the QT.

The FDA is OF the pharmaceutical companies, BY the pharmaceutical companies, FOR the pharmaceutical companies, and they came up with this really neat trick of declaring virtually all traditional remedies, which have been used for decades (including ichthammol and sulfa powder) "NEW drugs" which can't be sold until multi-million dollar clinical trials are run. They know full well that traditional remedies are not patentable, so substantial money can't be made from them, so nobody will sponsor the tests ... leaving fabulously expensive drugs offered by mega corporations as our only choice anymore.

Please see -- you just can't make this stuff up :-)

See how they couch it as if they were concerned for your safety? If they actually were concerned about your welfare, the FDA would simply sponsor the tests on traditional non-patentable remedies themselves -- they don't want to, they want affordable options outlawed! I'm not saying these traditional medicines are safe; I'm saying I don't know, and we'll never know ... because it doesn't suit the business model of big pharma and the regulatory apparatus, which they own, to find out. Our completely corrupted political system, where donations from megacorps elect our politicians, has very real consequences including health care having become non-affordable. Your corrupt government -- both parties -- is completely to blame.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

February 3, 2015

Q. I have previously used a Boric Acid solution for an eye wash with good results. However I have a product from Rite Aid that says Boric Acid Powder on the label with little other information except a warning to
avoid contact with skin and eyes. It label contains nothing about the strength or purity. Also, this was not found on the shelf at the drug store. I had to request it from the druggist. He went into his storeroom and came out with a 4 oz. bottle. I have no idea of its purity only the warning. I am desperate to use it on an adult cat with an eye injury, but do not feel very positive about this product. Does anyone know if all Boric Acid Powders available to the general public for home use are the same? I get so disgusted with modern medicine, the nanny state and greed.

melody mokres
- lancaster, California, US

August 5, 2015

thumbs up sign A dilute boric acid solution has been a trusted remedy for eye complaints in my family for decades. I picked it up from my grandmother in the 1950s. For a more complete treatment, first make a poultice of grated raw irish potato, preferably OLD potato. Put the poultice directly on the closed eyes and leave for at least half an hour. Then wash off with the boric acid solution. In my experience this is safe, effective, yet inexpensive. A boon!
We also use boric acid to fight roaches, but that is a newer trick. I dust full strength powder along the joint between floor and all cupboards, floor and major furniture, then either flip it under with a paintbrush or blow it under with compressed air. One treatment lasts better part of a year. US$2 buys 500 g, which lasts us a couple or 3 years, provided I don't give too much away to friends and neighbors.

Mike Miller
- Neihu, Taipei, TAIWAN

February 8, 2016

! I have used boric acid and boiled water for conjunctivitis for over 30 years for myself and my family. We don't get it often but maybe once or twice in a decade. I use 1/2 tsp in 1 cup of boiling water, then pour into sterile bottle and cool before using in a sterile eye cup. It is great for the eyes. Just a very mild disinfectant and it works if you use it consistently two or three times a day for several days until AFTER all symptoms are gone. It feels like water, except pure water stings the eyes slightly, this solution does not.

The problem is finding the USP grade of boric acid and the glass eye cups which you have to sterilize each time. Best to have at least 2 so you use one sterile glass eye cup for each eye, then boil them to sterilize for the next use. Make sure they are cool before pouring cold solution in them or they may crack. It used to be easy to buy glass eye cups and now they only seem to have plastic ones which I am not sure you can boil! I have only one left now and am searching for somewhere to buy cheap glass eye cups again!

Does anyone know where you can buy them? I am kicking myself because years ago I saw a few for about $2.50 each in a pharmacy and I was running low, but I had always bought them for $1 each before and so passed. I have never found them for sale again since then (at 20 years ago now).

Leslirae Rotor
- Clayton, Ontario

March 2, 2016

thumbs up sign Great information overall on this thread! All's well that ends well. But the early confusion also shows why the drug stores worry about liability and don't carry many simple concentrated or bulk ingredients anymore like oxalic acid, boric acid. Someone will misuse the stuff and sue.
The commercial product eyewashes like Collyrium or generic equivalents come with a plastic cup. Read the label carefully to be sure they have boric acid and typically sodium borate, borax also plus a bunch or other ingredients, primarily preservatives. Again, because someone might open the bottle then leave it on a shelf for ten years.
Borax is good fungicide, sprinkle the powder in corners or along a wall or even where the roof has been leaking (caution as mentioned earlier, not where pets might get into it) or make a solution and spray where water is entering through a wall or ceiling, the borax in solution will follow the water trail upstream to the source.
An old herbal remedy for eye problems was goldenseal root infusion.

Tim White
- - Grand Marais, Minnesota, USA

May 31, 2016

! I'm 54 years old now and when I was a little boy my mom had a glass jar of Boric Acid in the kitchen cabinet. I always wondered what it was for. One day our cat had kittens and their eyes were stuck shut way after the time for them to open them. She got that bottle from the cabinet and mixed a couple of spoons in some warm water until it all dissolved. She had me get a wash cloth and wet it good and rub it on their eyes. Some of them started opening their eyes right away. The others took a couple hours.

My father also had a real old first aid kit. When I went fishing with my uncle I took it with me. I had stepped on a Catfish top fin and it went all the way into my foot. I pulled it out and knew that the barb had poison on it and it was fixing to start hurting real bad. I went to that old first aid kit and found a small tube of that Boric Acid and put it on the puncture and the pain stopped instantly. I've been looking for some more ever since.

Timothy Nelson
- PEARLAND, Texas, United states

May 17, 2016

A. I'm 54 years old and I've used a homemade boric acid solution for my eyes all my life. I would rather use it than anything I've ever tried from a store. It is wonderfully soothing and refreshing. It is great for minor infections and irritated eyes. 1 tsp to a pint of boiling water, let cool. (as was stated previously)

Karen Perkins
- Elizabethton, Tennessee

(empty vintage bottle available on e-bay)

Collyrium eyewash

September 7, 2016

A. My grandmother used an eyewash in a cobalt blue bottle called Collyrium. It contains boric acid and a couple of other ingredients. Google "Collyrium"...can still get it at some retail drug stores and online.

Nancy Brandau
- Beaufort South Carolina US

simultaneous January 9, 2017

A. A safe boric acid eye wash solution::
Some have said 1 tsp/pint of water which is 3.125 %solution
Some have said a 1.5 % solution
some have said a 2 % solution
I have calculated that a level 1/2 tsp of boric acid in 1 pint of boiled water would give a 1.5625% solution, which is just a tad more than 1.5 %. So I shall try my calculation. It certainly is weak enough.

Don Schimpff
- Redding, California USA

January 9, 2017

A. For those of you who wish to use a boric acid eye wash. Don't let the term 'acid' throw you. You are massively comprised of weak and strong acids - acetic acid (vinegar, which is used extensively for home use) and hydrochloric acid (stomach juices necessary for hydrolysis of food - the first step in breaking it down to its elemental molecules for the body's use); and many other acids in numerous physiological processes. You don't hear the drama around 'bases', but these go in the opposite direction on the pH scale and can also do much harm if presented in the wrong form. Acid vs base simply refers to the pH of a substance - your body functions somewhere around 7.41.

Boric acid NF (National Formulary) grade should be fine to mix with sterile water (can also buy a rinse for the sterile water in the eye section of the store - 8oz or more - most say 99% water ). To make a therapeutic eye wash to work against infection:

Add 1 to 1 1/2 capful of the NF grade boric acid to the purchased eye rinse and just swirl till it dissolves (may need to gently MW till goes into solution). I don't bother to buy the eye rinse ($10 at most stores) as I take a glass measuring cup and MW about a cup of water for 2 to 3 min (be careful it doesn't explode - may have to MW less time or twice with less time). Then 1 to 1 1/2 capful of boric acid NF grade (depending on the degree of your eye infection). Let it cool to room temp. Then use this prep copiously. (drug stores should have that eye cup for these flushes or you can use a dropper but not as good.) Keep the unused portion in its MW'd container draped with a new sheet each time of clean wax paper or plastic wrap in the fridge. Only keep for 3 to 5 days max. if you are treating an infection, will need to use 2 to 3 times per day for a few days. Practice clean technique - do not cross contaminate or you will re-inoculate yourself with your pathogen. Cleanse eye cup in DW (has to be glass, ceramic or stainless) and if you do not have a sterilization setting then before each use (always precleaned in DW)-- place the cup in a bowl of water and MW for 2 to 3 min. Will have to let cool completely. Remove prep from fridge for next use and let warm to room temp.

A little hassle but worth the results. Boric acid is a natural antimicrobial. I make such preps for my dogs too. One, in particular manages to keep getting a gram neg bacterial eye infection. Like children they have a high fecal veneer and rub crap into their eyes, despite our best efforts to scoop up immediately.

ps -- The cap on the Sunmark NF grade boric acid is rather wide. Each ref to 'capful' should read "1/2 to one capful for 2 cups water volume. Adjust accordingly for smaller volumes."

Kudos to the poster who laid out the truth, regarding use of compounds and therapies outside of the heavy FDA regulatory gorilla. The thousands of man-hours of historic successful use is more than sufficient to any FDA approved phase IV clinical trial. The House of Medicine in ideology embraces all effective (non harmful) avenues of therapy - even though the status quo would seem to belie this notion.

Alex Hathaway
JDBioEdge - Scottsdale, Arizona USA

May 17, 2017

A. Use distilled water with boric acid eye wash.
Boil water and rinse eye cup to sterilize it before & after. If you use contact lenses, do not reuse it if you have disposables. Sterilize contact lenses too or you re-infect your eyes. Thanks.

Doris Chu
- Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

February 9, 2018

A. When I was a child, I developed severe eczema on my legs, a little above my ankles. It turned out that the eczema I had was from an allergy to Bermuda grass, a fact that was not discovered until later. At any rate, the eczema was so very bad and very itchy, that I would scratch it until it bled, a lot. My parents, who were NOT wealthy were a bit older than the usual parents - almost grandparent ages, so they knew about the old home remedies. Long story short, they made a solution of Boric acid and water, dipped a very clean rag into the solution, and put it on and left it on the affected area for about 15 minutes or so, every day for about a week. Well, let me tell you, that eczema totally, I mean TOTALLY disappeared.

opinion! Boric acid is great stuff. Use it - in the correct amounts, of course. Do not be scared by the bad hype against it. That kind of negative rubbish is probably coming from big health and drug companies, so one will have to visit not only the expensive dermatologist, but then also visit the pharmacy to buy the extremely expensive drugs, which do not always work.

Deleon Roper
- Phoenix, Arizona, USA

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