Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies for Boils

Posted by M (Victoria, Bc, Canada) on 11/04/2012
5 out of 5 stars

FWIW, I had recurrent boils for much of my life, rarely being entirely free of them. When I was in my forties, someone told me about raisins. I tried them (eating perhaps a couple of tablespoons full in muesli/granola, since I dislike the taste of raisins by themselves), and that prevented further boils almost entirely.

After my hysterectomy, the boils pretty much went away on their own, so there is apparently a hormonal component too. That is supported also by the fact that the boils were usually worse around the time of my period.

Drawing Salve
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.

Aloe Vera
Posted by Grace (London, Uk) on 05/28/2012
5 out of 5 stars

Fresh aloe vera works for drying out many things, spots, cold sores and also boils. I have posted about it in the cold sores section too.

Boils are nasty things and I do find linked to diet. A good probiotic helps to minimize them as does cutting out sugars and hard trans and saturated fats as I detail below.

I am sorry so many of us suffer from these nasty things but I have managed to minimize them by being careful with my diet and when they do come up, acting fast with fresh aloe vera from the plant only.

If a boil develops I do find taking turmeric helps to bring it to a head however once it is oozing you need something to dry it out as soon as possible.

I do find to avoid boils avoid sugar, avoid eating hard fats (eggs, lots of red meat or porc, I keep cheese consumption down and try to mostly eat soft cheeses).

I do find that despite the warning on this page that you want to pop the boil as soon as you can with a sterile needle or other implement and get all the gunk out. Until you have done this it just cannot heal properly.

Once you have gotten all the yucky stuff out I find Fresh Aloe Vera straight from the plant is the most amazing thing for drying it up. The yellow ick should start to dry out and form a brown coloured scab which gets darker and drier by the day. If it is still very swollen and painful after a day it may be because not all the gunk has been extracted in which case lightly press on either side of the boil either with Q-tips or fingers wrapped in tissue paper and see whether more thick white stuff comes out, usually it does if the boil is very swollen. Keep taking the turmeric in water as suggested in other posts here.

Once the thick white stuff is all out of the boil, the boil is usually gross and oozing with that see through pus so you want to dry it up as fast as possible, avoid wetting the sore or taking long showers and baths. Holding a tissue to it for about 30 mins to stop the flow of pus will help, then you start applying aloe vera like crazy!

You should apply fresh aloe vera- the juicy part- straight from the plant every half an hour or so until the boil gradually turns into a scab and then keep on applying as often as you can. Only fresh aloe vera from the plant works, I have tried the bottle stuff and it just does not work the same. I always have an aloe vera plant in the house for these needs and have been known when travelling to bring parts of leaves with me in a ziplock bag!

The best thing is to slice a small amount off the plant and keep it in the bathroom and just keep on applying the juicy liquid as often as you can. Eventually you'll need a fresh piece as the juicy part will dry out.

I have found I can 'cure' a boil in 3 days if I am lucky, with only a minor red mark at the end that is easy to cover with concealer. Usually on the 3rd or 4th day of applying the aloe vera the scab is so tight and dry it easily falls off or peels off, do NOT pull it off if it is still stuck on too tight or you will have a scar and the sore may not be healed properly underneath yet.

If you are sure the boil is really dead and dried out and all scabbed up, another thing that helps the healing is to apply -only when you are 100% sure it is all dried up! Or else you will reactive it- some neosporin. This will help humidify the skin underneath so it heals nicely without leaving a big scar.

Aloe vera, straight from mother nature, from the fresh plant is heaven sent and I thank beautiful nature and mother earth for giving us this wonderful miracle!

Posted by Gavin (Manganui, Northland, New Zealand) on 05/21/2012

I started with Tumeric for this persistant boil, but improvement was slow untill I added Cream of Tartar, It seems to make the pus more fluid. The last boil of this type that I had lasted for a few years I suppose it was more of an abcess. It grew and shrank untill I tried to lance it myself, needless to say I then had to go to the Doc. and get some amoxicillan. Which incidently cleared it up fast. But Cream of tartar does something to the bacteria the infection was over within a couple of teaspoonfulls, but as it was large it took a couple of weeks to completly drain. If you feel one coming on start with a teaspoon of cream of Tartar morning and evening in some milk, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Posted by Da Mith (Brisbane, Qld, Australia) on 02/05/2012
5 out of 5 stars

Out of desperation tried a piece of bacon fat on my boil. Had trouble getting bandaid to hold because of location of boil. Did manage to have bacon in place for a couple of hours. Awoke next morning and boil had started to discharge small and scab began to form. Pain almost completely gone. Next day boil incredibily itchy. Put some betadine ointment on and this eased itching. Day 4 and boil is healing well. Still a little redness and swelling but definately... this boil has been defeated.

Posted by Zee (New Orleans, Louisiana, United States) on 11/21/2012
5 out of 5 stars

Turmeric is AMAZING for treating boils. I felt one coming on my inner thigh and read about turmeric treatments for boils on this site and decided to try it. I mixed a teaspoon of turmeric in 8 oz of water and drank it. I also made a paste of turmeric, olive oil and tea tree oil and applied it to the area where the boil was coming in. In about 12 hours the boil started going away! The pain went away as well. I drank the turmeric and water mixture again the next morning and applied the paste again and in 24 hours the boil is virtually gone! This is INCREDIBLE!

I am also bathing with antibacterial/antimicrobial soap for the next few weeks as well. I will probably start drinking turmeric and water regularly because I can feel that it is purifying me from the inside somehow. I don't know exactly how but it's cleansing me and it feels WONDERFUL!

I am so amazed by this experience that I am thinking about studying Herbal Medicine!!!

Activated Charcoal
Posted by Phyllis (Norwood, Nc) on 12/25/2011
5 out of 5 stars

A paste made of charcoal powder and water will draw the fever out of a boil very quickly. Cover the boil with the paste and then with a damp, flat cotton pad covered in plastic to keep from drying out and wetting clothing. Can tape in place.

Posted by Gaeaellen (Lismore, Nsw, Australia) on 03/24/2012
5 out of 5 stars

Tumeric! Tumeric! Tumeric! Couldn't recommend more! Yes drink it with pepper in warm water/milk and apply it to the area in a poultice making a very warm paste out of turmeric powder, ginger powder - sometimes onion grated in as well. When using onion make sure there is a cloth between your skin and the paste as it will burn! And then to speed up the drawing out process my Aunty had read in a children's book the story of an African Bush Healer - pretty cute but the method worked a treat!! Step 1: Find a small glass jar or bottle and fill it with boiling water just a centimetre or two below the lip of the jar or bottle Step 2: With the boil exposed, pick up the jar with a cloth or towel as the glass is VERY HOT, pour out the water and then gently place over the boil. Step3: Release immediately if too hot and wait a second or two till it's cooler and leave for a couple of minutes over the boil. Step:4 Watch and wait! You will see the pus and blood being drawn to the surface at the head of the boil as the heat sucks everything in towards the jar! Quite fascinating!! Step 5: To release when you are happy with how much has come out press down on the skin around the jar to break the seal and allow air into the jar making it easier to pull off.

I did this once in the morning and once at night with poultices in between.

Good Luck!!

Posted by Sara (The Beach, Canada) on 10/21/2011

Do yourself a favor and don't stop the treatment. Do a maintenance treatment from here on to avoid getting another one. 1 tsp of turmeric in warm milk and a little honey to taste or in the water like you did if you prefer. 5 days on 2 days off for me but at least 3 days a week and you won't likely see another one. Cheers and best wishes

Posted by Frida K (San Jose) on 02/24/2016

Turmeric is an Indian spice...the ground root of the turmeric plant. You can find it in any grocery store like Safeway or Trader Joe's, but I'd recommend buying it from your local Indian grocery store, if you have one close by. Much much cheaper. You can get about 150gms for $1-2 here, instead of paying $6-8 at Safeway etc.

(I know this answer is really late but I thought this info might help someone else).

Colloidal Silver
Posted by Enchanting123 (Los Lunas, Nm) on 10/15/2011
5 out of 5 stars

First I have to say I love earthclinic website. So many natural cures to look up.

My husband had another boil on his behind. After one week he finally told me, he had put on rubbing alcohol. I immediately looked at the website to see what can be done. I had colloidal siver and I put it on a little cotton cloth and covered it with a bandage. Overnight it drew out the head and looked a lot better, redness and a lot of the swelling was gone. Put on some more and covered it. Thank you earthclinic and all the wonderful people who share their natural remedies.

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Sally (Melbourne) on 08/04/2016

Hair is actually helpful, it helps keep pores open and helps sebum leave the pore... pores with hair in them depend on the hair to help the pore function. This is why shaving leads to clogged pores, and folicilitis. I would encourage you to research issues that have resulted from permanent hair removal before you take this step, to make sure it is right for you.

Posted by Rob (Manhattan, Ny) on 09/02/2011

as others have posted here many times... take turmeric and olive leaf extract internally in addition to your other remedies..

Flaxseed Poultice
Posted by Cj (Elk Grove, Ca, Usa) on 05/25/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Another remedy for boils if bacon does not work is to make a poultice out of ground flaxseed. Add enough hot water (as hot as you can stand it) to make a slightly soupy paste. Apply to skin and cover with a clean cloth. Allow to dry and then soak it off. The flaxseed causes it to come to a head. We used this when I was a child and suffered from carbuncle outbreaks.

Flaxseed Poultice
Posted by Trawhe (Glenwood, Md) on 10/22/2012
5 out of 5 stars

The flaxseed option worked within hours. I mixed flaxseed powder with very warm water and put mixture onto a clean cloth then put against the boil, then placed a heating pad underneath and the boil started to go away and took the pain away. This was after I tried the bacon for eight hours that did not work for me. Thanks a bunch for this method. I can get some sleep tonight.

Boil Treatment Warnings
Posted by Maymuse (St Louis, Mo) on 09/08/2011

Dmontg: I too have had recurring boils (which eventually led to a 5-day stint in a hospital), after I allowed a golfball sized boil grow in my neck - turns out, it was in my gland!

The hospital pumped me full of antibiotics and fluids; and warned me that it was MRSA. Ever since, I have had many boils which seem impossible to relieve - most of them have been on my face and neck, with the occasional buttock boil (awful, you can imagine).

I've found that I'm prone to getting these after eating certain foods: just like Elle from Austin TX, cheap chocolate pudding seems to provoke an attack. Also certain nuts, like almonds, seem to be a cause. My menstrual cycle may be an indicator. However, I don't get boils every month...?

Not sure of any other commonalities amongst us with recurring boils, but I have O-negative blood. I had a bad outbreak of shingles, followed by a severe case of mononucleosis a few years later, and was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about 5 years ago, after suffering years of widespread pain.

I really prefer natural home remedies, and avoid taking prescription medication - especially since my body seems to be resistent to most antibiotics at this point.

Thanks to the generous people shared comments on this site, I've discovered that ACV (apple cider vinegar) and tumeric are essential parts of the diet in order to keep these at bay. I also use tea tree oil, and lavender oil on the site of any boil.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Vivian (Cedar Rapids, Ia) on 08/19/2010
5 out of 5 stars

I soak a cotton ball in ACV and apply it to the boil with a bandaid. I replace it with a new one 2-3 times a day. It always brings the boil to a head and drains within a couple of days. It is a lifesaver! No more antibiotics and lancing!

Draining a Boil
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.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Posted by Ron (Emporia, Kansas) on 05/04/2010
5 out of 5 stars

5-04-10, Ben, down at the health food store, was in pain last Tuesday at work and had difficulty walking...he had developed a large boil on the top of his big toe (about the diameter of a mans thumb)...he asked me what I would do...I suggested soaking in H2O2 might help...use the cheap 3% HP...I saw him today and he said he had gotten the 3% HP and soaked his toe in it full strength for about 5 minutes in the evening about 10pm...the next morning he was at work and felt wetness in his shoe...the boil was draining...his pain was relieved and he said now it was all gone (about 4 days later), the HP appears to have caused drainage in about 12 hours...he said he hadn't squeezed the boil or anything at all because he didn't want to aggravate it...the only thing he had done was the HP....I was surprised it worked so well...I know that HP will kill Staph if enough HP is used...the study I saw was a ratio of 500 HP to 1 Staph...I reasoned the only way HP might help him was if he soaked the boil in the HP so enough HP might be absorbed into the boil to have an effect...don't know if it would work for others, but sure did for him...he was very pleased...he now has an internet connection, so I suggested he study up on Turmeric at Earth Clinic so he could keep the staph under control, because, although the HP worked on his toe, he might get boils in areas of the body where it would be difficult to soak the boil for 5 minutes or so (like in an armpit or on the face)...but, topical application might work in those areas by putting on a thick gauze soaked in HP on it and covering with plastic to keep it wet overnight...don't know for sure...might be worth a try.

Posted by Mmsg (Somewhere, Europe) on 12/30/2018

Moonlight58, your posts are from long ago but I had to comment:

1. You are hilarious!

2. A pinch of good salt (Celtic, Himalayan) with each glass of water might help the water get into the cells and hydrate better.

Posted by Emily (Huntsville, Al) on 04/12/2010
5 out of 5 stars

After having an abcess surgically drained about 8 months ago, a new boil started to surface recently. I had taken so many antibiotics during my first go around with this sort of thing that I had to find a different way to treat it. The antibiotics made me feel terrible, to say the least. I found your site and thought I would give turmeric a try. I went to the grocery store, bought some in the spice section and took my first dose in a bottle of water on my way home! I mixed a teaspoon with water 2 times that day and 1 time the next morning and after just 3 times I had absolutely no pain in the boil!!! It took about a total of 4 days for the boil to completely disappear. I was so amazed!! Glory to God for giving us nature to heal our bodies...if only the media and government would recognize it. Thank you for your site!

Activated Charcoal
Posted by Michiko B (Florida) on 10/07/2016

Quick note about charcoal: if charcoal is used on open skin, it will be effective, HOWEVER, it will also leave a permanent mark wherever it touches open skin. It's just like a tattoo and it is NOT removable unless you see a doctor. There are no bad side effects that I know of, it just leaves a black mark. It would be wise to check the area carefully for broken skin in areas where you don't want permanent marks.

Activated Charcoal
Posted by Charity (Faithville, Usa) on 10/08/2016

My daughter went camping and came back with over 50 itchy mosquito bites red and raw and I put charcoal and a bandage over each one and they all healed. No black marks. 13 yrs ago.

Salt Pork
Posted by Kathleen (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma , Usa) on 02/07/2010
5 out of 5 stars

For boils/staph, & I'm pretty sure it should work on spider bites, ect. PORK SALT!! Or bacon,which I have used personally on mild staph boils. Sliced & put against skin (boil)with bandage over it. Change out 3-4 times a day,& you should see an incredible improvement within 36 to 48hrs. The fat (or oils) sure seem to be the DRAWING ticket.The bandage thing was much easier for on the job working conditions, & on the kids, it's almost a must.

Boil Cores
Posted by Jaqueda P (Joliet, Illinois) on 01/27/2010

How do I know when the core is out of the boil? What does the core look like?

Posted by Fabat50 (Sb, Ca) on 11/16/2009
5 out of 5 stars

YES! it works 1/4 to 1/2 tsp tumeric buried in a tablespoon of yougurt 2-3 times a day, slides right down,no taste,just gulp,chase with water, My boil drained within hours, gone the next day, Im going to take for a week,to make sure. THANKYOU for the web-sight I tell everyone, My Mom lost 35 lbs now with acv and lowered BP

Boil Treatment Warnings
Posted by Nickie (Ruislip, Middlesex Uk) on 07/06/2010

If a boil comes to a head it can be lanced with a sterile needle. Don't squeeze. Dress the open wound with Boracic Ointment on gauze. This will draw out the infected matter; it's also good for splinters you can't reach with tweezers but the skin must be broken.

EC: From our internet research, boracic ointment was used to treat wounds in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Here's a recipe we found:

Boracic Ointment

I ounce vaseline or lard (if not for facial use), 2 dessertspoonsful of finely powdered borax or boracic acid. If lard is used it should be freed from salt, but if this is the basis the ointment will not keep good for long, as lard quickly becomes rancid. Mix the powder and the fat until the borax is thoroughly incorporated. Place in a jar, using a knife dipped into boiling water to render the surface smooth and even.

Question About Boracic Acid for Boils
Posted by Elizabeth (Nashville, Tn) on 07/12/2010

Boric Acid and Borax are two different things. Boric Acid is the acidic part of boron and Borax is the alkaline. Boric Acid can be very toxic if not handled with care. Borax is way more gentle, you can even wash clothes in it. Never ingest Boric Acid.

Boil Treatment Warnings
Posted by Om (Hope, Bc Canada) on 12/10/2014

Beth0210 --- yes, according to Ayurveda statements, they both work. But they work in different ways. Here in the West, the dry form is mostly easier to procure. If you juice the root, your juicer could be orange forever. In India, people even hang the root from the neck for protection. Turmeric has special subtle powers which I have experienced myself. So it is not superstition.

After an illness, spray your body with a solution of water and turmeric to cleanse the subtle body of residues of unhealthy energies. This is widely used in India for that purpose. That is when I had an experience indicating it does work on subtle levels.

Namaste, Om

Posted by Twila (Alexandria, Virginia Usa) on 09/29/2009
5 out of 5 stars

My father had boils, i.e., cysts, appear on his arms for years. I found that Goldenseal Root is a GREAT herb with 'drawing' powers. I convinced him to try my paste, let it dry, then wash it off. Not only did the cyst go away fast, but has not returned! I have used Goldenseal Root to 'draw' infection out of cuts, sores, etc., and even cure athletes foot. You only need a small amount of the powder and a tiny amount of water. Stir into a paste quickly and spread it on the affected area. Let it dry. Rinse off. You have to be quick as it begins to work as soon as water hits it. Be careful, a tiny amount of water goes a long way! My mom had a rash on the back of her hand - all the prescription creams made it go away but as soon as she stopped using, the rash would reappear. Used the Goldenseal Root past method on the rash. It went away in 2 days and never returned.

Boil Triggers: Almonds
Posted by Brygivrob (Escondido, Ca) on 09/19/2009

i have read that the FDA required almonds to be pasteurized about a year ago, and one of the methods is to use a chemical that is an ingredient in jet fuel (yes, really); so i would do some internet research on almonds if u eat them a lot because maybe that chemical is giving you a reaction

Boil Tips: Prick the Boil
Posted by Mcneillmama3 (Asheboro, NC) on 06/06/2009
1 out of 5 stars


I would be cautious about picking or pricking any boil. Most instruments that you would use in your home are not sterile, no matter how much cleaning or heating you do to the instruments. Furthermore, sticking a pin in a boil will just drive the bacteria further down in to the hair follicle and cause a wide spread systemic infection that could be worse than the boil itself.

The best thing to do for a boil is to use topical heat, topical broad spectrum antibiotic ointments, the turmeric paste works well, and mixing Epsom Salts in warm water and soaking a gauze pad that you apply to the boil several times a day. Keep the boil covered with a band aid, and eventually it will resolve itself with minimal scarring. These pesky little things take about 10-14 days to run their course and completely heal.

I am a nurse and I caught the bacteria that causes boils probably in a nursing home that I worked in and I think I picked it up from the telephone at the nurses desk that never gets sanitized (also the most used piece of equipment) I break out on my face with them, so I wouldn't recommend picking or pricking a pimple or a boil

I was also reading a Western Civilization text book and it mentioned King Hezekiah of ancient Judah. So I incientally got my Bible out to verify the account in the history book, and as I was reading the Bible, there was an account of King Hezekiah having a painful boil, he was sick almost "unto death" and the priests applied a "fig" to the boil and the Bible says that Hezekiah was cured. So I am, today, looking up the fig/boil connection. Has anyone else heard anything regarding this natural remedy for boils?