James Tyler Kent describes the symptoms of the homeopathic medicine Borax in great detail and compares it with other homeopathy remedies. …

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.

Mind: 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 every one 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 down hill 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 down hill 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 down hill.”

“Anxiety increased until 11 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 11 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 11 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 bearing 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 be 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 be must sit still, and do nothing.

It has many congestive headaches, pressive headaches and much beat in the head.

Eyes: 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”

Nose: 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; Natr. 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.

Face: The face of the infant is pale, and clay-colored.

“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. mur. 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.

Acid Sulphuricum is more frequently indicated.

“Red blisters on tongue.”

“Vomiting after drinking.”

This leads one to expect that this aphthous state has traveled 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.”

Anus and stools: 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.

Urines: 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.

James Tyler Kent
James Tyler Kent (1849–1916) was an American physician. Prior to his involvement with homeopathy, Kent had practiced conventional medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He discovered and "converted" to homeopathy as a result of his wife's recovery from a serious ailment using homeopathic methods.
In 1881, Kent accepted a position as professor of anatomy at the Homeopathic College of Missouri, an institution with which he remained affiliated until 1888. In 1890, Kent moved to Pennsylvania to take a position as Dean of Professors at the Post-Graduate Homeopathic Medical School of Philadelphia. In 1897 Kent published his magnum opus, Repertory of the Homœopathic Materia Medica. Kent moved to Chicago in 1903, where he taught at Hahnemann Medical College.