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Natural Cures

Natural Cures for Boils

Last Modified on May 04, 2016

Dietary Recommendations  

5 star (7) 

Posted by Lisa Marie (Morrisville, PA) on 02/15/2006
5 out of 5 stars

I tried a lot of 70% alcohol, neosporin, and hot water packs. I occasionally take a one a day. Out of all of this I usually resort to going to the doctors and getting the prescription drug SPECTRACEF cefditoren pivoxil 200mg tablets, and take them twice a day. After about a week it kinda clears it up. The only thing that really cleared up the boils were the SPECTRACEF. All the other items were just methods of keeping the infection down and helping with the pain. Without the prescription I usually just resort to popping them with my hands, alcohol, and alot of band aids. But one thing that I notice is that when I squeeze and the blood comes out, there's somewhat of an oily substance in my blood. Kind of like when you cook a pot of soup and you can see little oil drops floating on the surface. This made me think that maybe I was consuming too much oil in my diet, so I cut out a considerable amount of oil and fried products out of my daily meals. I did notice that the number of boils went down after trying that. Now at this point I'm leaning towards trying aloe vera juice daily along with the reduced oil/fat diet. I've heard that aloe vera juice is good for cleansing the blood. I'll be sure to keep you posted on the results.

Distilled Vinegar and Colloidal Silver  

5 star (1) 

Posted by Augustine (MA) on 09/02/2006
5 out of 5 stars

I tried the turmeric for four days, hoping for a miracle, and my boil began to rapidly enlarge. Since one of your readers had mentioned that, like anything in life, sometimes it will get worse before better I did stick with it as long as I could. Finally I was in a desperate situation. The boil was huge and very painful. On another site I read about soaking approx. 5 layers of paper bag, cut to the correct size for your boil, in distilled vinegar and covering the boil overnight. Long strips of medical tape should be used so the wet paper will stick. The next morning there was a small scab at the top so I took a shower to moisten it, lifted the top of the scalp and the whole boil drained. It did feel better, but of course the lump was still close to the same size and very tender. From there I made sure to keep the area very clean and I bought colloidal silver and Curad silver bandages. (For those who don't know of the healing powers of silver, you should do some research.) I put 1 drop of silver under my tongue 3x p/day and one on the boil 5x the first day and kept it covered at all times with the silver bandage. By that evening the boil was 1/4 of its size, and the next morning it was gone. The skin is still slightly damaged, but the silver is supposed to prevent scarring as well. (It has prevented scarring on patients with 3rd degree burns.) The best part is that all of the pain disappeared with the first silver drop.

Draining a Boil  

5 star (2) 

Posted by Ebby (Toronto, Ontario) on 07/01/2010
5 out of 5 stars

Just a quick note. This may sound strange but after not having much success draining a boil with wet heated cloth I decided to try a heavy duty paper towel and presto, the boil began to drain for over an hour. Change towel regularly and rest. hope this helps. Also, i too have found the turmeric cure helpful and use oregano oil as an antibactial.

Posted by Lewis (Thomasville, NC) on 02/09/2008
5 out of 5 stars

My wife had a large boil in her armpit. I really don't think you should do this unless you try some other treatments first. We tried some other treatments, but they didn't work. The boil had increased in size and become more painfull. I took alcohol and rubbed the area. I took a very, very sharp pointed knife and cut into the boil (had gloves on) and drained it. It was about the size of a quarter. There was lots of drainage. But in about a week it healed a lot. Another week and it was gone.

Drawing Salve  

5 star (7) 

Posted by Eaglez (Waldwick, Nj) on 09/09/2012
5 out of 5 stars

Here is a home-made remedy that I have used for many years to draw out foreign objects from a body including the spores from poison ivy, metal and glass shards, splinters of all kinds and even infectionous erruptions on the skin. It works. Its simple to make and easy to apply without a mess.

Get yourself a bar of 'brown soap' from Walmart, Walgreens or your supermarket. I have two brands that I have stocked up on: Octagen and Felsnappa. Either will work just fine. Now, place a small plastic bag flat and un-opened on a table. Place the bar of soap on the plastic. Take a butter knife and begin to shave off thin slices of the soap onto the plastic. If the bar of soap you are using has been around for awhile it may be a little dry and will slice off harder than a freshly unwrapped bar of soap. Either will work just fine. Okay, when you have an amount that will cover the intended area of concern remove the bar of soap and then, using your fingers, mush the scrapped pieces of soap together making something that resembles an upside cone or pyramid. Now get some household white sugar and, using a spoon, make a pile of sugar next to the shaved soap. Add enough white sugar so that it is about the same size as the soap. When done simply mush together the soap and the sugar with your fingers. Now you need to add water, a drop or two at a time to make a paste that is not runny or too think and lumpy. Be careful not to add too much water as it will render the paste to a watery mass and become difficult to work with when applying it. When the paste is tacky to the touch, or close to it, apply it to the area(s) of your concern. I use the plastic bag that I mixed the soap and sugar on as a cover to which I also apply some thin padding such as a piece of inexpensize gauze. If you are out in the woods or away from civilization use your best guess as to what to use that would cover the mixture and hold it in place for about twelve hours. About twelve hours after applying this mixture you can take it off and make another application if needed. I've used this to draw out pieces of rust from a terribly corroded nail, pieces of glass, snips of wire and gravel (sliding on a road surface after a fall from a bike). It works well. Someimes a second or even a third application will be needed to do the job - it definitely works. Hope this helps someone.

Replied by Lisainphilly
Correction. The soap is called "Fels-Naptha, " not felsnappa!

Posted by Drea (San Antonio, Usa) on 05/02/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Didnt read through all the listed stuff, but I really wanted to add in something, sorry if someone else may have mentioned it, but both my father and I have suffered from reoccuring boils/staph infections.

As soon as one would form, both of us would use something called Ichthammol. The one we used was a thick black ointment, not sure on the clear ones cause we didnt use it. It smells a bit like roofing tar but the smell isnt so bad to where you cant stand it, and believe me this stuff works miracles. We would apply it, and put a thick cloth over it cause it can stain clothing, and would tape the area with medical tape for the skin. By the next day the head would form, we would them clean our hands, take tissue and wrap it around both pointer fingers, and pop the head. You want to push out as much of the infection as possible till nothing but blood is coming out, then you would wipe the area good, apply more of the Ichthammol with new wrapping and repeat the process the next day of removing whatever pus was there.

To best describe what it seems to do, is make it easy for the puss to be drawn out do that draining it is easier, and the pain or the infection doesnt last for days or weeks. I use to go to the Hospital for mine and they would numb the area with shots which was extremely painful because the skin was already tender to the max, and then they would slit the skin with a blade, and remove what they could, they I would have to stuff it with guaze over and over for about a week, everyday and it would leave a nasty scar that at times either would heal over 6months to a yr, and some have not seemed to heal at all.

With the Ichthammol, and all the easy removal of the fluid, there isnt as much pain compared to having to stuff the open sore wound with guaze, and it seems to heal more rapidly with no scars left after.

Also I make sure to apply something called Hibiclens over my skin when I take a shower. But I only do this about once a month. It helps to clean the skin and kill bacteria, now it doesnt get rid of the boils coming back permanantly but it does help bring down the reoccurance of them, cause I use to get them every 2-4months, and I made sure to wash/bleach my sheets and clothes, also went around the house with bleach and hot water, wiping down things that are touched often but forgotten about like light switches and door knobs. Now I might get a boil/staff infection once every 6-8 months.

Hope this helps anyone dealing with these horrible things, I wouldnt wish these on anyone and hope everyone has found some kind of remedy that works.

Replied by Marie
5 out of 5 stars

I am amazed how many people get these horrific boils! I'm diabetic and 4 months ago I had actual an surgery because the antibiotics were not working. They put me in the hospital and gave me antibiotics through it, was the size 6 center meters. After 4 days they decided to perform surgery in the operating room. It was horrible. It was 4 inches wide and long.

Well, I just got another one @its been 4 months. Now I have a huge boil in the panty line horrible unrelenting pain. i started using ichtoma,l bad smell, but it's been three day and it's forming a head. I also have been putting warm compresses on it.

i wish they found a cure but ichtomal does work

Replied by Robert Henry
Ten Mile , Tn
HI U MARIE, , , , , , , , , Lordy you must be as old as me to know about Ichthmmol. These young whipper snappers have no clue what this ointment can do.

In my day every household had a tube because as you say, boils were common, as were splinters. A few years ago a grandson got a splinter under his toe nail from our lake dock. He's a crybaby and was going nuts. We took him to a doctor which charged us $400 to remove it. Are you sheeting me?

Anyways, you probably know that in addition this ointment brings boils to a head, this ointment will form a pus pocket around a splinter and within a few days it almost comes out on it's own.

A few years ago our 40 year old tube played out and I went to Walmart to buy another tube. They had no clue and had to look it up and make a special order. Yep, Big Pharma and the medical folks had rather you spend $400 than a few bucks for a tube of Ichthammol.

Last Wed. I had a heart spell. It felt like someone had put a sack of concrete on my chest. I moved from my easy chair to the couch. No help and I was getting nervous. Took my blood pressure and it was good , the problem was that my pulse rate was at 170. My heart was in Fibrillation, I went to the internet to Mayo, etc and their advice was to call 911 and go to the emergency room. I then went to EC and read what others had done in this situation. Here's what I did:

Drank a glass of Power Ade

Drank 2 Tbsp of ACV

Drank water containing 5 drops of Iodine

Took 3 capsules of Magnesium

Sprayed my body down with MgCl

Soon my pulse rate went back to normal.

What I have learned is that if you in deep sheet then go to EC instead of Mayo's. That statement should get EC in trouble for certain. I have been to Mayo's twice for my company's physical and I was not impressed. They talk the walk.

To cut to the chase, listen to what Marie has told you because, undoubtably, she has been down a lot of dusty trails.

YO BUDDY ========ORH===========

Replied by Susan
Ct, Usa
Dear Marie,

I am so sorry you are going through this. If I were you, I would immediately begin taking a teaspoon of turmeric powder in water twice a day. Boils in the groin area and armpits are usually called hidradenitis suppurativa, so please look up that condition for more tips. Certain foods can trigger HS boils. Hope this helps! Let us know how you are doing.

Posted by L on 01/04/2008
0 out of 5 stars

Hi Ted- I've been reading on earth clinic about the boils and I took the survey. Here's the deal- about three weeks ago I took my board exam for nursing- i was really stressed and it rained the same day. About a week later I got 2 bumps on my forehead that took turns going up and down, but remained there. Then last week i got 3 more, 2 about an inch below my eyes on each side of my nose, one on my chin. I avoid sugar and anything white, I immediately started turmeric,mag and zinc. I went to my acupuncturist. She gave me herbs for my liver. The boils started growing and got soo painful and hideous. So i put the black drawing salve on them on the 31st. I kept them covered until last night. My head was pounding and i began to have flu-like symptoms-fever,bodyaches, extreme headache. I could feel it drawing up all the toxins. But now it looks like i have thes big craters on my face. Did it eat away alll of my skin. The skin doesnt feel raw, its covered with a brownish grayish crust. The instructions say to put rubbing alcohol on the spots till the crust comes out.. but then i got worried about scarring so i just applied some rosehip seed oil. but i notice the edges around the crater are a little pink so now im concerned with infection. should i cont with alcohol or tea tree or what? i am scared now. Thank you soo much Ted. sincerely L."

Replied by Ted Donate

Bangkok, Thailand
388 Posts
The big problem about black salve is it causes scars, while it removes the toxins. There a mixture of aloe vera oil and some tea tree helps with the healing or regeneration of skin cells.

The other issue is the body was not properly alkalized enough to stop the boils so the boils will recur even if all the other supplements were taken. Hence 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, in 1/2 glass of water, taken twice a day should prevent recurring boils. Also proper alkalization helps the healing.


Replied by Peggy
Independence, MO
Can you tell me what happened when you used the bloodroot paste?. my sister is dealing with this also and has scarring and some lumps that won't go away.
Replied by Rosy
Orlando, Fl
Try H2O2 for your crusty spots. That is what I use on my face and it only leaves a red mark after wards, which will go away soon. If the H202 burns then there is still a slight infection, you may want to try one more application of the paste.
Replied by Joyce
Joelton, Tn

529 Posts
Question for L who writes Ted about boils on face:

Hello L, I have a question after reading your request for help. This "black drawing salve" you used, was it blood root black salve or was it ichthymol, a totally unrelated ointment? Blood root black salve is not usually indicated for boils.
Replied by Vanessa
London, Uk
The Distinction Between Black Salve and Black Drawing Salve:

Before purchasing black drawing salve, it is important not to confuse it with another herbal product with a very similar name: black salve. Black salve contains a powerful herb called bloodroot (Sanguinaria candensis). Bloodroot can burn skin tags and tumors off the surface of the skin, and has only limited value in treating topical skin disorders.
If used improperly, black salve can burn healthy tissue along with the affected tissue.

Many websites make a common mistake and use the two names interchangeably. To be certain that you're buying the topical ointment form used to treat splinters, look for the active ingredient, ichthammol or ichthyol, in the ointment.

I found this info on

Replied by Cb
Shelter Island Heights, Ny
L, what you describe sounds like something my mother had. It turned out to be a shingles outbreak on her face... it even took traditional doctors a while to diagnose since shingles usually appears on the torso.

Posted by Jennifer (Raleigh, NC) on 12/21/2006
5 out of 5 stars

The drawing salve was hard to find, but the pharmacist pointed me to it. Just put some on a gauze pad & tape it on the boil. It is pretty messy stuff, so don't wear anything light or use sheets that you love. Of course use new towels every time you wash, make sure you wash your hands after you change your dressings. Also dabbing some camphophenqiue was not only soothing but helped it drain as well. Hot compresses or a heating pad are most important. I also took a hot bath with Dead Sea Salts & Epsom salts (this last bout I had was pretty horrendous, hence all my remedies).

Posted by Tanya (New Mexico) on 07/21/2006
5 out of 5 stars

Baking soda, parsley and ichalomol cures boils. i was in such pain and desperate tried all three mixed together and it is almost completely gone within 24 hours. all i did was make a paste of the three ingredients and poof.

Replied by Gladyola
Toronto, On
what is itchimol, another name that we can find it in canada?
Replied by Jamie
Lake Worth, Fl
Itchthammol is also know as black drawing slave. I asked my pharmacist for it, it was behind the counter. Itchthammol is the name of the product. I do not think it is a product commonly used anymore, by traditional medicine. It is an old fashioned remedy.

Try an online search if you have no luck finding it.

The address of the company is as follows

Po Box 8250

Ft Lauderdale Fl


Replied by Watergirl
Destin, Fl
"PRID" is a great, cheap homeopathic "drawing salve" I found in the USA at Walmart, Drug and Health Stores for @$3.50 (it contains Itchthammmol, Arnica, Calendula, Echinacea, Sulfur, etc); works great to draw out boils in 2-5 days or so.

It comes in a small, round, flat, dark orange tin (the size of a half dollar coin) with tiny instructions on the back (clean area well, smear ointment on boil/bandage; change bandage and reapply 2-3 times a day until boil is drained; continue for a few days afterwards to suck up any remnant germs). The ointment is dark brown and stains dark yellow, so use a bandaid somewhat larger than the application.

BEWARE: Boils should never be squeezed; doing so breaks the protective encasement which causes the infection to spread locally, and worse, into the bloodstream (and across the brain barrier if on/near the head/face)! The body encases boils in 'sacs' because they are so poisionous, so take great care not to damage the sac!

If you cannot wait to treat/drain a boil, it's best to insert a sterile needle down into the center of the boil, remove the needle, then gently PULL the surrounding skin OUTWARDS, while gently pressing DOWN on the surrounding area (the exact opposite of squeezing! ). The downward/outward pressure will push the infection up and out through the drainage hole! If it does not drain (too hard or pus is thick), clean the area and use a drawing salve. Lancing should only be done by doctors/nurses!

Posted by Renee (Pepperell Ma) on 05/05/2006
5 out of 5 stars

Treat boils right away (don't let the sun set on a boil) The longer you wait, the longer it takes.
2. Wash boil, dry, apply ointment
3. Cover with a cloth band-aid
4. do this twice daily This is a "drawing salve". Also good for splinters with pus. What it does is thin the skin above the boil and let the boil naturally drain. It is mildly antiseptic too.

Replied by Ashley Rae
Kansas City, Missouri
Did the ointment leave a scar? I have heard that drawing salves can cause scarring?
Replied by Valkyrie
Denver, Co
5 out of 5 stars

I thought I'd provide details of my experience, mainly because this wasn't available when I got MRSA and this resulted in several trips to the emergency room when I got an infection instead of an occasional inconveinece that sucks but I can handle myself.

Going to a Dr. Can be a valuable step in dealing with MRSA, but even if you do this, you may still get boils. It's an anti-biotic resitstant bactiria the medical establishment doesn't know how to treat. They have had some luck with sulfa antibiotics with some strains, go ahead and try - I'm allergic to sulfates, so I have had to find prevention and maintenence regimes.

Other pieces of advise my Dr's have recommended are: scrub with Hibiclense in bath and apply around nose frequently (bacteria can live a long time inside your nose and if you have face infections this is a sign this will especially help), bathe with bleach if you have an infection. I've tried tea-tree oil too, and have found little difference with the effectiveness of Hibiclense, but I think you do need something stronger - unfortunatly Bleach is the best I found - if you have active infections to prevent spreading.

As far as how to handle existing infections, I've really had to do this on my own. Here's what I found:

Immediantly bandage any suspected infection with a fabric bandage and ichthammol ointment - about 20% streath usually petroliam jelly or lanolin filler, often labled drawing cream, sometimes with some other sulfates added, at rite-aid, online, or can be ordered from most pharmacies. This drawing cream was used on staff infections and boils prior to the advent of antibiotics, and is still effective after the use of antibiotics stopped working with MRSA.

It's immportant infections are constintly covered, as soon as you notice a pimple that starts to feel sore - if it was just a pimple it will go away quicker too. It does stain fabric and is messy and somewhat musty smelling. But this treatment will allow boils to swell to a head and drain much quicker, so they do not get as large and painful and risk infecting lymph nodes, etc.

Once an infection has started to drain, you should squeeze the infection. In the emergency room this is done by placing one hand in a circle around infection while squeezing from the outside to the inside with the other hand. This is gross, but will eliminate the infection quicker. Usually a hard pus 'seed' needs removed or the sore will reinfect. Sometimes tweezers are neccessary for this. Occasionally, if a infection grows too large - lets say 2 inches of swelling- , or is close to a lymph node or other sensitive area, like a spine or throat - this should probably be done by a Doctor in the emergency room. They will have to treat you even with no insurance, mention MRSA you will get a room very quick, say you're homeless and have no ID if you have to but do go to the emergency room. Although how to lance is somewhat self-explanitory, sterilization is nearly impossible and it's extremly painfull and would be really hard for a person to do to themselves. If you are able to drain your own infection, immediantly wash with a lot of bleach. Now wash the sink, floor around you and entire area with bleach. Now go shower and scrub wth bleach. This will help prevent other infection on yoruself - or worse, infecting your family.

After you think your infection has drained, it still needs to stay under a ichthammol fabric bandage. Otherwise reinfection of the sore is common. Leave a bandage on for one more week, change daily and squeze opening for any remaining discharge, if you get more pus restart your week.

I have started taking Tumeric in addition to my other suppliments after looking through this site which has further decreaded infection frequncy I think.

Eliminate Nightshade Vegetables  

5 star (1) 

Posted by Mississippi (Hernando, Mississippi) on 01/18/2013
5 out of 5 stars

My husband had boils for over a year-along with very severe psoriasis-we treated the boils with all of the remedies we read on this site with some relief-some of the remedies would help the boils open up and drain but he kept getting boils and some were very large and painful. While treating his psoriasis-we found a book by John Pegano called Healing Psoriasis-one of Pegano's recommendations was to stop eating nightshade vegetables-my husband stopped the nightshades hoping to help his psoriasis-which it did-but an added bonus-the boils healed completely-and right away-and he has not had any since stopping these vegetables. Also, his psoriasis dried up besides two patches on the insides of both legs near his ankles and we believe with a little more time on his new diet that he will be psoriasis free-he is boil free for over 6 months now. Nightshades include-potatoes-tomatoes-spicey peppers-tobacco.

Epsom Salts  

5 star (3) 

Posted by Ace (Vancouver, Bc, Canada) on 06/27/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Epsom salts have proved to be very useful for me in healing boils/follicle infections:

Can do while you shower:

1. Get a handfull of epsom salts - and dissolve in a bit of water so that it gets wet (but not so much water so that it doesn't dissolve into being too thin/watery either).... and scrub it into effected areas - and scrub really good.

2. Keep it on for at least 5 minutes without washing it, and then you can wash it off after 5 minutes.

It expedites the healing process of boils/severe acne - has worked wonders for me!!

You can buy epsom salts from a local pharmacy, ex- shoppers drug mart

Posted by Teddy Spence (Exmore, Virginia) on 05/10/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Epsom salts help to pull toxins out of the sore ... It saved my dad's hand back in 1960 when he got bit by a crab ... He nearly lost his arm but this "old fashioned" West Va mountain MD told him to soak it in Epsom salts ... and it healed .. nicely ... We don't have dr like that today .... PS- My first comment on this great site.

Posted by Tammi (Montgomery, Alabama) on 07/12/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I am on my third boil within the past 7 days. Seems like as soon as I drain one another one comes in that place. This is the most painful and uncomfortable illness I have ever experienced. I am 36 years old and my labor pains from my two children didn't last this long. I do believe mine were staph infections. I soaked in hot hot water. I applied on my hand towel hot water and epsom salt and apllied it directly on the boil for about 15 minutes. The next morning most of the soreness and swelling disappeared. I am on day ten now and the boil has not drained yet!! I have been on antibiotics for 5 days so far. Boils are definitely a delicate and serious situation!!!

Replied by Alib
Swansea, Wales, Uk
A boil can also be the body's way of trying to get toxins out. Changing the diet to remove much of the sugars and processed foods and drinks can also help to prevent the boils forming in the first place. There are lots of people who have posted on here that removing the junk, sugars and refined carbs has made a big difference.
Replied by Merryanne
Orange City, Florida, Usa
I do agree with the advice of clearing out the junk form Your diet. All refined processed food with and without any SOY in them, soy is a VERY major health problem, worse than sugar I think. But not consuming processed food is extremely important if you already have boils on your body. If they are there you may need to do an immediate diet change for your health. To eliminate chemicals and preservatives you must cook all food fresh, and try to eat grass fed beef and free range eggs, that is a beginning.

Epsom Salts, Homeopathic Remedies, Compress, Toning  

5 star (1) 

Posted by Lisa (New Zealand) on 01/01/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Epsom salts, homeopathic hepar sulph 30c, hot baths , hot compresses and toning. Combination sorted out a huge and exceptionally painful abscess on my butt near my bumhole.