Boils • Natural home remedies
A boil is a skin infection, most often caused by staphylococcal bacteria, that begins in a hair follicle or oil gland. A boil appears first as a red spot and then develops a lump which eventually turns white with pus. On the eyelid, it is called a sty. A group of several boils is called a carbuncle.
If you have a weak immune system, diabetes, a poor diet or inadequate hygiene, you are more likely to develop a boil. Chemical irritants can also cause a boil. If you have a compromised immune system, diabetes or a heart murmur and you develop a boil, seek medical attention. If you run a fever, with or without those conditions, seek medical attention.
MEDICAL FIRST AID
- Apply warm compresses on the area for 20-30 minutes at a time several times a day until the boil breaks. This can take up to a week.
- Continue warm compresses after the boil breaks.
- Instead of the warm compress, you can try using a paste made of water and edible diatomaceous earth; as it dries, it may bring the boil to a head.
- It rarely causes a problem to break the boil with a sterilized needle but some worry that it can increase the area of infection. Once opened, keep it draining, using bandages only if you are trying to protect clothing.
- Keep your hands washed to avoid spread of the staph.
- Shower to avoid spreading the infection through bath water.
FOOD OR DRINKS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING
- Drink a glass of warm milk or water with a spoonful of turmeric a few times a day
- Nutmeg mixed in hot milk; drink
- A black tea bag (the tea is black, not the bag)
- A heated slice of tomato
- Apply a paste of cumin seeds and water and apply directly.
- Apply an egg membrane to the boil, or the shell with wet membrane side down. Secure and leave on overnight. An alternative is to whip some egg whites and apply to the boil, spreading evenly over the affected area. Rinse off in half an hour and do it a few times each day.
- Apply tea tree oil on the boil as an antiseptic
- Boil parsley leaves in water; wrap the leaves in a clean cloth and use it as a bandage.
- Boiled egg white dampened and applied directly to the boil and covered with a clean cloth
- Bread poultice (bread soaked in warm water or milk)
- Cabbage leaves
- Castor oil on a cotton ball applied directly to the boil to draw out the infection
- Charcoal capsules, opened and sprinkled on a wet bandage a couple times a day. There may be side effects of using charcoal.
- Corn meal added to water to make a paste and apply directly to the boil and cover with a clean cloth; repeat often.
- Eucalyptus oil and Slippery Elm; make a thick paste of a few drops of eucalyptus oi, 3/4 ounce of slippery elm powder, and boiling water. Apply topically to the boil to draw out the pus. Repeat often.
- Mashed garlic
- Milk mixed with salt and bread crumbs thick enough to apply directly to the boil. Repeat often
- Mix raw, organic honey with soap and apply to a boil. It is reported to bring the boil rapidly to a head and draw out all pus and moisture.
- Neem leaves
- Slice of raw onion
- Tea tree oil
- White bread moistened with milk, applied directly and held in place with a bandage. Replace every day.
HERBS AND SPICES
- Turmeric powder, 1 tsp in 4 ounces of warm water 3x a day for several days. You can find turmeric powder at Indian stores. Look for products with nothing added—just pure turmeric. Turmeric can cause constipation.
- Roman Chamomile
- Tea tree oil poultice
OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS
- Chinese Medicine
It’s easy to mistake a staph infection for a boil, so check with your doctor.