Do not ever use TSP as a laxative. It can burn the mouth and esophagus and stomach due to the extreme alkalinity!
The laxative is made up of Disodium Hydrogen Phosphate and Sodium Dihydrogen Phosphate. This is a nearly neutral buffer mix and will not burn. It is sold under several brand names in the proper mix to prevent burns.
Another laxative phosphate is the famous magnesium phosphate. It is also nearly neutral in pH.
Last edited by Photo Engineer; 12-12-2007 at 02:06 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Added Magnesium Phosphate
Speaking of antiquated remedies that one would be a bit foolish to take, my Merck Index mentions that metallic mercury has been used as a laxative. (You all thought I was going to talk about homeopathy - well that's a whole 'nother foolish notion. Ask a chemist why sometime.)
It's sometimes called a "blue mass" or "blue pill", but the consituents are about 33% metallic mercury, honey, licorice, althea, glycerol and some mercury oleate. They do say it was used for vetrinary treatment of cats and that it can cause systemic poisoning but it also mentions that occasional ingestion of metallic mercury "is without harm"...
I can only imagine the sensation of all that metallic mercury rolling about in your gut. And then it comes out - look out! So if anyone is interested in a most certainly dangerous medical treament, they might want to try that out.
from Richard Morris "The Last Sorcerers..." page 77:
"Phosphorus soon acquired a reputation as a medication that could cure almost anything and was reputed to be an aphrodisiac as well. In reality it is poisonous. But in those days the physicians were always looking for new ways to kill their patients, and they began using the substance with enthusiasm."
Now I see the ambiguity. I should have said I was referring to borax.
Originally Posted by gainer
Again, in error.
Borax and borate salts are quite poisonous especially to small children. They are not for internal use, but can be used externally and on mucous tissue in very dilute solutions. Borate salts are often used as pesticides.
Do NOT take borate salts internally!
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I was hoping that this was NOT going to turn into a BORAX thread!
BTW, with a few exceptions (Vit. C, coffee, red wine) anything that has the power to reduce silver, stays out of my mouth!
Not that far in error. 1/8 tsp in a liter of water to be drunk over the day is nowhere lethal, and many apparently are doing that with beneficial results. I'm not promoting it, just reporting what I read. Remember, there is more boron in the world's atmosphere than there is in the 100,000,000 ton reserve of Dial Corp. The lethal one time dose is about 4 grams IIRC, or about a teaspoonful. At 1/8 teaspoon/day, it is supposed to clean you out. From what iI have read, the biggest problem at that dose is staying away from the john. I will check up on that, however.
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
Borate salts are lethal in children at less than 5 grams and in adults at less than 20 grams by injestion. Chronic use (as you describe using low levels) will cause a rather nasty condition called Borism. This is a rather unpleasant condition which would make the most devoted user happy to stop taking your advice.
Details can be found in E. Browning, Toxicity of Industrial Metals, (Appleton-Century-Crofts, NY. 2nd ed. 1969) pp 90-97.
I repeat to all. Do not injest borate salts of any sort. The results can be death or a debilitating chronic illness. Patricks advice is incorrect!
Patrick, remember in the other thread where I said that I prefer to go to doctors, not engineers, for medical advise...
Originally Posted by gainer
That's a link to a really informative analysis of boron in the human diet by the German Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung, written as Germany was preparing to conform to EU standards. In this case, Germany had banned the use of boron in dietary uses due to it's toxicity. Now to comply with the EU, Germany was reviewing the data on boron.
Here are some excerps from this paper:
The boron concentration in the air is <0.5 up to 80 ng/m^3.
According to the current WHO Guidelines for Drinking-Water Quality, the "Provisional Guideline
Value” for boron levels in drinking water is 0.5 mg B/L. The provisional nature of this
value is due to the fact that in areas with naturally high boron levels there are difficulties in
complying with the value using the technologically available treatment methods. The boron
levels in drinking water around the world are normally between 0.1 mg and 0.3 mg B/L.
According to the Drinking Water Ordinance of 21 May 2001 Annex 2, Part 1, No. 3 which
transposes Directive 98/83/EC, the limit value of 1 mg/l for boron in water for human consumption
must be complied with in Germany.
No consistent data are available on the lethal dose of boric acid and borax in man (7). The
pharmaceutical literature indicates 0.8 to 3.0 g for infants, 5-6 g for small children, 12 to 30 g
for adults as the lethal doses after oral intoxication (4, 5).
ECETOC (European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals) a TDI (Tolerable Daily Intake) of 19.2
mg B/day (7) for an adult weighing 60 kg
They show that most of the orally ingested boron is excreted relatively quickly in urine
(8, 22). For instance, 60-75% of 750 mg boric acid, equivalent to 131 mg boron, administered
orally to test persons, was excreted within the first 24 hours and 93% within the first 96 hours
of ingestion in urine (8).
The tolerable upper intake level (UL) established by the European Food Safety
Authority (EFSA) from all sources that does not lead to any health risks in conjunction with
ongoing ingestion, is 10 mg for an adult per day.
Given the uncertainty caused by the sparse data situation, the Institute recommends that boric acid or borax should not be used in food supplements.
OK - enough excerpts. I hope you get the point that while what you suggest could be done, it greatly exceeds recommended dosages for borate compounds.
Anyway, I bet it does "clean" you out!!
"Patrick, remember in the other thread where I said that I prefer to go to doctors, not engineers, for medical advise..."
RE: Engineers vs Scientists:
my eye Doctor always tests my Inter Ocular Pressure to make sure I'm not at risk for Glaucoma.....he gives me eye drops, then uses a gadget that gently presses against my eye to estimate the pressure inside my eye. Since the eye drops keep me from feeling anything press against me..I had no clue how this test worked. SO I ask the Dr "hey, how does that thing work??" The DR looks at me for a second and asks "are you an engineer?"...I say Nooooooooo...and he explains that engineers always just ask him how the test works, but physicists always stay quiet for 10-15 minutes then announce they've figured it out and come up with some crackpot theory that's always wrong