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Suhaga: Uses, Benefits, Precautions & More!

By Dr Ashok Pal +2 more

Introduction  

Suhaga is known as Borax in English and Tankana in Ayurveda. It comes in crystalline form and has several characteristics that may help in the improvement of one’s health.1 It is also known as sodium tetraborate decahydrate and is made up of boric acid and sodium.

It is found as a natural deposit on the banks of dried-up lakes in India, Nepal, and Tibet in the form of tough crystalline masses created by the evaporation of water. It is purified to make Tankana Bhashma.

Suhaga crystals

There is 11.3% boron in borax. Boron is chemically linked to oxygen at all times, generating borates (borax or boric acid). Boron is an element that occurs naturally and can be found in abundance in nature. Boron is primarily found in fruits and vegetables. It is a necessary component of both human and animal diets.2 

Did you know?

  • Suhaga (Borax) has been used in some traditional Chinese medicine practices for its potential anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. source: pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • Borax has been used as a natural remedy for various conditions, including arthritis and skin infections. source: PubChem
  • Borax has been used as a natural remedy for digestive issues such as acid reflux and heartburn. source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • Borax has been used in the treatment of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • Borax has been used as an effective treatment for vaginal infections. source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Properties of Suhaga  

Suhaga is also known to have many have beneficial properties. These include:  

  • It may have antioxidant activity  
  • It may digestive property  
  • It may be antimicrobial activity1  
  • It may show wound healing activity  
  • It may anti-inflammatory property  
  • It may show anticancer benefits2  
  • It may have some antiseptic activity3  

Potential Uses of Suhaga  

Suhaga is a salt that can help to manage a variety of diseases.  Suddh suhaga bhasma with honey, according to Ayurveda, relieves cough and cold symptoms by loosening mucus due to its Ushna and Kapha balancing characteristics. The hot potency of suhaga may also helps decrease bloating by improving the digestive fire.1,2  

Potential Uses of Suhaga for Arthritis:

Borax may have long been used as an effective therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. According to studies, people with arthritis had decreased boron levels in their blood. Hence, borax powder has therapeutic potential as an adjuvant in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.4,5  However since insufficient studies are available, for conditions like arthritis it is important to consult your medical practitioner for advice as the herb may have different effects on individuals.

Potential Uses of Suhaga for Vaginal Infections:

Vaginal inflammation is referred to as vaginitis. A bacterial infection can cause it, but candida, a form of yeast, is the most prevalent cause of vaginitis. According to studies, suhaga suppositories may treat vaginitis. Intravaginal boric acid (suhaga) powder capsules may be helpful for vulvovaginal candidiasis, according to clinical research.6,7  However, this information is insufficient and more studies are required to suggest the benefits of suhaga. People should never use any herbal preparations to self-medicate themselves.

Also Read: Benefits of Gargling Salt Water: A Research-Backed Oral Health Guide

Potential Uses of Suhaga for Wounds:

Ayurvedic borax (suhaga) mixture is beneficial in healing wounds. According to clinical research, a three per cent suhaga solution is particularly effective in treating wounds. It may have antiseptics benefits. According to a recent study, wound dressings consisting of silver, borax, gellan, and polyvinyl alcohol were effective in preventing infections and healing wounds quickly.8,9,10  All these properties of suhaga need further studies to understand its potential use in humans.

Potential Uses of Suhaga for Acne:

Acne is usually caused due to infection by bacteria such as Propionibacterium acne. According to laboratory research, boric acid is antimicrobial, which means it helps prevent skin breakouts by limiting the growth of acne-causing bacteria.11  Consult a dermatologist for advice before using suhaga on skin.

Also Read: 7 Home Remedies for Acne

Potential Uses of Suhaga for Cancer:

Boric acid has also been proven to affect the metabolism of a variety of enzymes and minerals in studies. It may enhance immunity.12 Suhaga may inhibit tumour cell proliferation, invasion, migration, and colony formation while also causing apoptosis of tumour cells. Borates are also becoming more appealing as a result of new research papers revealing that they may have anti-cancer activity in different types of cancers.13-17  Cancers are to be diagnosed and treated by a qualified doctor, hence, kindly consult a doctor.

Potential Uses of Suhaga for Osteoporosis:

Suhaga inclusion in the diet by postmenopausal women may promote optimal calcium metabolism and, as a result, good bone metabolism. According to research, boron has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-osteoporotic properties.12,18  However, more studies are required to prove such claims. Moreover, such conditions must be diagnosed and treated by a doctor.

Also Read: Kulthi Dal – Benefits, Nutritional Value & Side Effects

Although studies show the benefits of suhaga powder in different health conditions, this information is insufficient. Hence, there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the suhaga benefits on human health. Furthermore, every person may respond differently to these herbs. Therefore, it is important to consult a doctor before using suhaga for any medical condition.

Did you know that suhaga, also known as borax, has some surprising uses? Suhaga has been used in traditional medicine for managing cases of food poisoning. That’s right, this little ingredient might help you recover from an upset stomach caused by contaminated food.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

How to Use Suhaga? 

Suhaga is available in seven different forms: 

  • Suhaga powder 
  • Suhaga solution 
  • Tankana bhasma2 

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.  

Suhaga might be your ally while dealing with some uncomfortable oral conditions. Applying suhaga topically may come to the rescue when you have mouth ulcers, cracks, or fissures on your tongue!

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Also Read: Stone Flower – Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & Precautions

Side Effects of Suhaga:  

Suhaga is safe to eat and has no side effects, according to the majority of studies. However, consult a doctor before using suhaga regularly. Some of the side effects associated with excessive exposure to boron are as follows: 

  • Nausea, vomiting  
  • Lethargy    
  • Diarrhoea2  

However, if any reaction is noticed on using it, seek immediate medical attention. Consult your Ayurvedic physician who has prescribed it to you; they will be able to identify the cause and treat it effectively.

Did you know that gargling with suhaga dissolved in water might be a game-changer for relieving tonsillitis? It may provide significant relief from the symptoms of tonsillitis, including throat discomfort and inflammation.

Dr. Smita barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Precautions to Take With Suhaga 

Suhaga should be avoided if your skin is allergic to it.2  General precautions, as followed on taking any medication, should be followed. Care should be taken, especially by pregnant women and lactating mothers while taking it. It must be taken only if prescribed by your doctor. Extra caution should be taken while giving it to children and elderly individuals. Please do not self-medicate, alter, replace or discontinue any ongoing treatment by yourself. Kindly consult a doctor for advice.

Did you know suhaga combined with other ingredients is used to make eye drops that can soothe red and swollen eyes? Yes, the boron in suhaga might help protect the eyes from parasitic attacks and fungal infections, providing a natural defence.

Dr. Anuja Bodhare, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Also Read: Masoor Dal – Uses, Benefits & Nutritional Value

Interactions With Other Drugs:

Adverse drug reactions of suhaga with any other drug have not been reported. There is not enough evidence to state that it doesn’t react with any other drug and is completely safe for use; more research is required in this field. Therefore, your Ayurvedic physician’s advice is to be followed thoroughly, as their prescription is based on keeping your health condition in mind. Please ensure to disclose all medications prescribed and currently being used to your doctor at the time of consultation.

Did you know that suhaga might be a helpful remedy for certain women’s health issues? Women suffering from womb inflammation or experiencing symptoms like excessive discharge, painful intercourse, or abdominal discomfort may find relief by sitting in lukewarm bathwater with suhaga. It’s like a soothing spa treatment that might alleviate discomfort and address these specific symptoms.

Dr. Ashok Pal, BAMS

Also Read: Does Honey Expire? Unveiling The Truth About Honey’s Shelf Life

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is suhaga?

It is a natural mineral deposit found on the shores of dried-up lakes. It is also known as sodium tetraborate decahydrate and is made up of boric acid and sodium.2 

What is the use of suhaga powder?

Suhaga powder helps to control cough, cold, abdominal bloating, and dandruff. It also has diuretic, wound healing, antiseptic and antimicrobial activity.1

How to use suhaga for cough?

Take a pinch of suhaga bhasma, mix it with honey and take it preferably in the morning for cough and sore throat treatment.1  Consult your doctor before using suhaga for its benefits.

How to use suhaga for dandruff? 

Mix suhaga with coconut oil and apply it to the scalp for dandruff problems.1  Your dermatologist may be able to advice you better on using suhaga.

How to use suhaga for weight loss? 

According to some laboratory analyses, suhaga decreases bodyweight by accelerating the breakdown of lipids, proteins, and glucose.20  Consult your dermatologist for weight management benefits.

What is Suhaga called in English?

“Suhaga” is called “Borax” in English. Borax is a mineral and a common household product used for various purposes, such as cleaning and laundry, and as an ingredient in some medicinal applications. It is essential to handle borax with care and follow safety guidelines, as it can be harmful if ingested or mishandled.

Also Read: Karisalankanni – Uses, Benefits & Side effects

References: 

  1. Reddy PS. Tankana Kshara (Borax). A Text book of Rasashastra.2017:396. 
  1. Chandla A, Guleria P. Tankana (Borax): It’s Therapeutic Value in Gynecology. Int J Ayu. 2017; 2(8): 1-5. 
  1. Iavazzo C, Gkegkes ID, Zarkada IM, Falagas ME. Boric acid for recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis: the clinical evidence. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2011; 20 (8): 1245-1255. Available from:  

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21774671/

  1. Hussain SA et al. The adjuvant use of calcium fructoborate and borax with etanercept in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: Pilot study. J Intercult Ethnopharmacol. 2017; 6(1): 58–64.  

Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5289089/ 

  1. Travers RL, Rennie GC, and Newnham RE. Boron and arthritis: the results of a double-blind pilot study. J Nutritional Med 1990; 1: 127-132. Available from: 

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/13590849009003147

  1. Shinohara YT, Tasker SA. Successful use of boric acid to control azole-refractory Candida vaginitis in a woman with AIDS. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retrovirol. 11-1-1997; 16(3): 219-220. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9390576/ 
  1. Van Slyke KK, Michel VP, Rein MF. Treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis with boric acid powder. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1981; 141(2): 145-148. Available from: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7282789

  1. Blech MF, Martin C, Borrelly J, Hartemann P. Treatment of deep wounds with loss of tissue. Value of a 3 percent boric acid solution. Presse Med. 1990; 19(22): 1050-1052. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2141160 
  1. Ganary Dabiri, Elizabeth Damstetter, Tania Phillips. Choosing a Wound Dressing Based on Common Wound Characteristics. Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle). 2016; 5(1): 32–41. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4717498/ 
  1. Cencetti C et al. Preparation and characterization of antimicrobial wound dressings based on silver, gellan, PVA and borax. Carbohydr Polym. 2012; 90(3): 1362-1370. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22939352 
  1. Sandeep Varma R et al. Yashada bhasma (Zinc calx) and Tankana (Borax) inhibit Propionibacterium acne and suppresses acne induced inflammation in vitro. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2014; 36(4): 361-368. Available from: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24750048

  1. Khaliq H, Juming Z, Ke-Mei P. The physiological role of boron on health. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2018; 186(1): 31-51. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29546541/ 
  1. Cui Y, Winton MI, Zhang ZF, et al. Dietary boron intake and prostate cancer risk. Oncology reports. 2004; 11(4): 887-892. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15010890/ 
  1. Korkmaz M, Uzgören E, Bakırdere S, et al. Effects of dietary boron on cervical cytopathology and on micronucleus frequency in exfoliated buccal cells. Environmental Toxicology: An International Journal. 2007; 22(1): 17-25. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17295277/ 
  1. Mahabir S, Spitz MR, Barrera SL, et al. Dietary boron and hormone replacement therapy as risk factors for lung cancer in women. Am J Epidemiol. 2008; 167(9): 1070-1080. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3390773/pdf/nihms381579.pdf 
  1. Scorei R, Ciubar R, Ciofrangeanu CM, et al. Comparative effects of boric acid and calcium fructoborate on breast cancer cells. Biological Trace Element Research. 2008; 122(3): 197-205. Available from:  

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18176783/

  1. Acerbo AS, Miller LM. Assessment of the chemical changes induced in human melanoma cells by boric acid treatment using infrared imaging. Analyst. 2009; 134(8): 1669-1674. Available from: 

https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2009/an/b823234b

  1. Nielsen FH, Penland JG. Boron supplementation of peri-menopausal women affects boron metabolism and indices associated with macromineral metabolism, hormonal status and immune function. J Trace Elements Experimental Med 1999; 12(3): 251-261. Available from: 

https://sci-hub.st/10.1002/(sici)1520-670x(1999)12:3%3C251::aid-jtra8%3E3.0.co;2-i

  1. Naghii MR, Mofid M, Asgari AR, et al, Daneshpour MS. Comparative effects of daily and weekly boron supplementation on plasma steroid hormones and proinflammatory cytokines. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2011; 25(1): 54-58. Available from: 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21129941/

  1. Aysan E, Sahin F, Telci D, et al. Body weight reducing effect of oral boric acid intake. Int J Med Sci. 2011; 8(8): 653. 

Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3204434/ 

Also Read: Kalmegh – Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & Precautions

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The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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