Last Modified on Feb 17, 2015
As painful and frustrating as boils can be, many individuals dealing with them bypass any other remedy and head straight to the doctor for a prescription. However, boils can be treated effectively at home using a number of natural cures. A few of the remedies we have found to be most effective are colloidal silver, tea tree oil, and turmeric.
What Causes Boils?
Boils appear as round, pus-filled bumps and are actually the manifestation of skin infections. The bumps or lumps you see (and feel) on your skin are actually mechanisms for toxin release, making them extremely contagious.
The majority of cases of boils are caused by a single germ – staphylococcal bacteria. This germ penetrates the skin’s surface via tiny nicks or lesions in the skin and can even enter the body through the hair follicles. A number of factors contribute to an individual’s susceptibility to skin infection including diabetes, immune system issues, poor nutrition, poor hygiene, and exposure to chemicals or irritants.
What’s Wrong with Antibiotics?
When boils form, the skin around the boil becomes infected and is typically red, painful, hot, and swollen. As such, many individuals think the only, or at least the best, way to treat this skin issue is antibiotics. However, this treatment often only makes things worse. While antibiotics may appear to treat the issue, these medications make the boils dormant, as the infection is often resistant to this type of treatment. As such, once the antibiotic is discontinued, the infection reoccurs. Additionally, antibiotics change the natural balance of bacteria in the body, which can lead to additional issues.
How Can I Treat Boils Naturally?
Of course, being mindful of one’s hygiene is one of the most important considerations regarding treatment; however, several natural remedies can also be applied to remove infection and soothe the skin. Colloidal silver, tea tree oil, and turmeric are a few of our favorite remedies.
A spice common to Indian cuisine and mustards, this warm, orange spice is actually the best remedy for boils. It is a natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent. When paired with dietary fat and black pepper, it is even more effective. You can buy turmeric in bulk at a local international grocery store, or locate bottles of organic turmeric powder and turmeric concentrate supplements called curcumin online.
2. Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver is considered a natural drawing agent. When used in the system, it helps pull out infection and rebalance the good bacteria in your body.
3. Tea Tree Oil
This oil is a natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent. Applied to the boils, it helps calm the swelling and also draws the infection out of your skin and body.
Treating boils can be difficult; however, you can successfully treat boils at home without antibiotics. Try one of these natural options and let us know how it works for you! Continue reading below for feedback from our readers dating back over a decade who have tried a variety of natural cures to heal boils.
If you decide to buy turmeric capsules, please read all the ingredients on the packaging! We bought a bottle Turmeric Curcumin at the chain GNC for $21.99 (gulp!) because so many of our readers mentioned buying capsules instead of powder in the spice section of a grocery store for $3-$4. Turns out many of those posts detailing the use of capsules from health food stores were fake. We deleted them. At any rate, when we got home and inspected the new bottle of Curcumin, we were quite dismayed to see Dicalcium Phosphate and Maltodextrin listed as "Other Ingredients".
Reported side effects of Malodextrin are bloating and headaches. The caveats and side effects of Dicalcium Phosphate are reported here: http://www.superglisodin.com/dcp.html.
Wikipedia's official opinion is the same:
"Our position appears to be contrary to the majority of manufacturers and distributors of nutritional products. our decision is based on research and years of experience watching results of dietary supplement intake on hair mineral analysis reports. The Origin of DCP Mined from deposits within the earth's crust, calcium phosphate is known by many synonyms such as "lime," "hardware lime," "calcium lime" or "dolomite." Mixed samples of the substance may have a high percentage of impurities imbedded in them which may be harmful."
03/23/2009: Dianna from Austin, Tx replies: "Check out this link. there are tainted turmeric supplements killing people in scandanavia. http://www.nutraingredients.com/Regulation/Tainted-turmeric-supplements-linked-to-Scandinavian-deaths/"
EC: Thanks so much, Dianna! Another good reason why we prefer the powder you find at an Indian grocery store for $3.00!
Here's the article Dianna is referring to:
Tainted turmeric supplements linked to Scandinavian deaths
By Shane Starling, 23-Mar-2009
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has warned the UK public to avoid a brand of turmeric food supplements containing a drug called nimesulide after it was linked to two deaths and several liver damage cases in Scandinavia.
The product in question, branded as Fortodol or Leppin Miradin, drew the attention of medical agencies after 11 liver-related adverse event reports in Sweden and a further five in Norway, including the deaths.
Nimesulide is not authorised as a medicine in the UK.
In response, the FSA said in a statement on Friday: "There have been no reports of liver failure or illness linked with these products in the UK. As a precautionary measure, however, these products have been voluntarily withdrawn from sale by the two main importers and recall notices will be placed in the shops selling these supplements."
Fortodol and Miradin are usually sold in the UK via the internet as food supplements, often accompanied by unsubstantiated claims to relieve arthritis, muscle pains and headaches.
The products are made by a Californian company called Donsbach, which typically exports the products to Sweden before they are shipped throughout Europe. [Bold our emphasis]
One of the Swedish cases involved a fatal liver failure which is under investigation by the Swedish Medical Products Agency. The Norwegian Medical Products Agency is conducting investigations of its own.
The FSA warning has been backed by the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which, as its name suggests, governs medicines in the UK.
Nimesulide is an anti-inflammatory drug known to cause liver problems.
"Consumption of products that may contain undeclared and uncontrolled amounts of nimesulide represents a significant risk," the MHRA said.
A similar scare in Hungary was given the all-clear by the regulator there after investigations revealed a lack of nimesulide at hazardous levels."
01/11/2010: Anonymous from Springfield, Ohiyamaude replies: "It seems that the Wikipedia page for Dicalcium Phosphate no longer has any information reguarding it's reported side effects. Perhaps someone doesn't want us to know of it's potential danger? It always, and I mean always causes problems for me. No more vitamins in pill form for me thank you very much.
I would love to see someone put some credible, cited information about it's safety for human consumption on Wikipedia..and see how long it lasts up there. In fact, I urge all of you to contribute. Let's take back our right to free, open information!"
EC: Wow! Thank you for letting us know. Glad we have the old text from Wikipedia in our boils section... We should also be able to find it in internet archives like the Way Back Machine (if Wikipedia is indeed indexed) as proof that it was once there.
01/11/2010: Anon from Brazil replies: "Be VERY suspicious of Wikipedia! It's a great starting point for research, but it's already tainted.
One example: natural treatments for AIDS or anything that questions the role of HIV in AIDS. If you look at the edit history, you can see that anything that is not mainstream is immediately removed. You can also see that AIDS articles uses tactics such as name calling and personal attacks, which is typical of people that cannot hold up an open discussion free of bias, and can only defend non-sense dogma. After all, you can't attack the issue, then you have to attack the person.
Replied by Anonymous