What is Boric Acid? – Benefits and Side Effects


The chemical formula for boric acid is H3BO3. Boric acid is a combination of compounds like oxygen, boron and hydrogen. The other names of boric acid include hydrogen borate, acidum boricum, orthoboric acid and boracic acid.

Structure of Boric acid

The boric acid will be a colourless crystal or white powder. Boric acid is a weak acid that dissolves easily in water. It does not have any odour and occurs as a crystal or powder in physical form.

Boric acid contains antiviral, antiseptic and antifungal properties. Boric acid is used widely in various fields like medical, insecticidal, industrial, nuclear power and pyrotechnics.

Some of the common uses of boric acid are as a preservative, antiseptic agent, fireproofing for wood, glass manufacturing industry, enamels, pottery, cement, cosmetics, carpets, leather, porcelain, soaps, printing and dyeing industry, painting and photography.

Benefits of boric acid

Boric acid has many benefits. It is used in acne treatment, to prevent athlete’s foot, treat ear infections and as a medical dressing to treat burns or cuts.

Vaginal discharge

Boric acid promotes vaginal health. It helps bring a balance in the pH of the vagina and is used to treat yeast infections. It also reduces the severity of the symptoms like itching and burning sensation.

It helps restore the vaginal flora, reduces vaginal discharge, and treats infections in the vagina. It also helps to reduce vaginal odour and combats intimate unpleasant smells.

Boric acid is also used to treat trichomoniasis and bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis is an infection that occurs in the vagina due to excessive bacterial growth in intimate areas. Bacterial vaginosis is caused by bacteria like gardnerella, fusobacterium, and bacteroides.

The infection is mainly caused due to imbalance in the good and bad bacterial groups. It causes white or grey vaginal discharge with a bad odour. Women experience symptoms like painful urination and vaginal discomfort, whereas some do not experience any symptoms.

Bacterial vaginosis does not spread through sexual contact, but it may affect if a person has multiple sexual partners.

Trichomoniasis is a parasitic infection that usually spreads through sexual contact. It causes foul-smelling vaginal discharge, severe vaginal itching, inflammation and pain during urination in women. Most of the time, men have no symptoms.

Women affected with trichomoniasis are at a higher risk of delivering premature babies. The symptoms of trichomoniasis are painful urination, pain during sex, discomfort in the pelvic area and white or grey vaginal discharge with a foul smell. Women experience such symptoms.

In men, symptoms like itching or irritation in the genitals, burning and painful sensation during urination, pain during ejaculation and discharge from the penis.

Trichomoniasis is caused by an parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. The incubation period of the parasite is unknown, but the estimated range is from 4–28 days. Sometimes, a person may be asymptomatic and can spread the infection.


Boric acid helps to reduce itching and burning sensations. The boric acid available as powder should be used externally and not swallowed.

Vitamin E

In combination with vitamin E, boric acid can effectively treat vaginal discharge and intimate area itching.

Diaper rash and insect bites

Boric acid is used in most homoeopathic treatments. Boric acid in diluted form can be used to treat diaper rash and insect bites. It can also reduce the pain of insect stings and sunburns.

Effective pesticide for cockroaches, rats and flies

Boric acid acts as an effective pesticide. Boric acid can be spread throughout the area where the cockroach is more. When the cockroaches walk over the boric acid, they get stuck to the legs and later get ingested. This will kill the cockroaches.

Boric acid can be mixed with the food that the rats eat often. They can be mixed with some peanut butter or a piece of coconut. When rats consume these foods mixed with boric acid, they die. Although, be cautious about the food and keep it away from children. It can be fatal if children consume it.

Treating various types of ear infections in both humans and pets

Boric acid can be used to treat various ear infections in both humans and pets. When a person swims in a swimming pool, there is a possibility of getting affected with infection if the water is contaminated. It can be applied externally to treat such infections.

Private swimming pools can be effectively maintained with boric acid powder. It is also called as swimming pool chemical. Boric acid powder can be directly mixed with the swimming pool water.

Boric acid helps to get rid of tough stains on clothes

Boric acid can be used as a stain-removing agent, deodoriser, disinfectant and an effective cleanser. It can effectively remove sweat stains in white clothes. Mix one tablespoon of boric acid with the usual detergent and soak the cloth for 15–20 minutes, and then wash the cloth.

It can also bleach the clothes. Mix the same amount of boric acid and detergent. Use this powder in the washing machine with all clothes. Boric acid removes stains and any odour in the clothes.

Side effects

Boric acid has many benefits at the same time but has side effects if not used at minimal concentration. The side effects of boric acid are discussed below.

New or worsening symptoms (itch, vaginal discharge, etc.)

When boric acid is used in high concentration, it can cause vaginal discomfort. At times, they can increase the itching accompanied by a burning sensation.

A person should not use boric acid in any form if they have symptoms like

  • Fever
  • Heart disease
  • Blood vessel disorder
  • Vaginal bleeding and
  • Blood vessel disorder.

Vaginal burning sensation

Boric acid can treat vaginal infection, but it can sometimes have side effects like vaginal burning and itching. It can also cause increased white discharge, redness and burning sensation.

If you experience any such symptoms, stop the usage immediately and consult your doctor.

High fever

Infection caused in the intimate area can cause a high fever. Stop the usage immediately and take some antibiotics.

Symptoms that go away and come back

Symptoms like vaginal burning and white discharge may go away and come back after some time. In such cases, stop the usage and consult your doctor.


Boric acid should not be used for children; it can be toxic to children. The chemical should be kept in a dry place at a temperature of 15–30 degrees C and away from sunlight. It should not be used after the expiration date.

Boric acid is used to treat any inflammation or itching in intimate areas. If any side effects are caused, the symptoms should be immediately treated.


What is boric acid good for?

Boric acid helps to treat yeast infections and brings a balance to vaginal pH. It also reduces the symptoms of itching and burning sensation.

Can you take boric acid every day?

No, boric acid should not be taken every day. According to CDC, boric acid in the capsule form with a net weight of 600 mg can be taken once for two weeks.

What are the side effects of using boric acid?

The common side effects of boric acid include
1. Vaginal bleeding and white discharge
2. Vaginal irritation.

Is boric acid healthy?

Boric acid is toxic to health and should be used only externally. When ingested, it can lead to boric acid poisoning.

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