Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies for Boils

Cream of Tartar

Posted by Thomas (Chehalis, WA) on 06/08/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Here's a folk remedy for boils. I get boils all the time, always around my belt buckle. They seemed to last a week or two, and even after they burst, the area remained tender for a few days. My Grandmother gave me a teaspoon of Cream of Tarter mixed with about 6 oz. of water when I had a boil the size of a golf ball. Within about 4 hours it had burst, and the next day, it was gone. Now I use it all the time, with great results. She says "It cleans your blood", but I'm sure there is a scientific reason for it. You may want to use warm water, as it doesn't dissolve well in cold water. Also, it tastes very acidic, so I usually dissolve it in an ounce of warm water and mix it with cold orange juice, and you can't taste it at all.

Posted by Mortie (Las Vegas, NV) on 04/25/2008
5 out of 5 stars

A cure for boils that I have used since the 1960's: one teaspoon of cream of tarter, 3 doses, eight hours apart for the first day; then one teaspoon per day for 5 days. Other people have tried it and it seems to work universally. My father called it Canadian Folk Medicine. It works by correcting a potassium deficiency.

Replied by Healingmama
San Diego, Ca
5 out of 5 stars

I had my first boil (CA-MRSA) in February of this year. Took doxycycline for 6 weeks. In May I developed another boil, this time in my nose... An undesirable location thanks to its close proximity to the brain. For another 6 weeks I used Bactroban (Mupirocin) cream 3x per day as per doctor's orders. No change in the boil. Finally in desparation I tried hot compresses in my nose combined with this cream of tartar remedy. I started with 1/2 tsp in a glass of warm water but that gave me a wicked headache for 24 hours on the second dose... So I backed off to 1/4 tsp 2x per day. Within 24 hours the boil suddenly came to a head and now, three days later, has opened on its own and is slowly draining away.

I am a true convert to the cream of tartar. I do believe it is at least in part responsible for the sudden and rapid healing from a boil that has plagued me for 6 weeks. Very impressed - plan to use cream of tartar in small doses from now on for maintenance and healing. Thank you!

Replied by Gavin
Manganui, Northland, New Zealand

It seems that its the Cream of Tartar and not the cream of Tartar and Sulpher tablets. The boil on my hip has completly cleared up. The sting was out of it quite fast. But I felt a bit iffy while taking the Cream of tartar, but you generally feel yucky with a boil anyway. It seems to do the trick.

Replied by Pam
Villa Parl, Il

Cream of Tartar seems like the one to try first, but, do you make a paste and apply to the boil or do you mix with water and take orally? Please advise


Posted by Chris (Paris, TX) on 08/11/2007

i used to get horrible boils (golf ball to baseball size) under my arm pits. i had a doctor suggest that i may have a condition known as ( Hidradenitis Suppurativa, he said this was incurable. i do not believe in incurable conditions. After lots of research and a trip to a local allergy specialist i found that was actually allergic to aluminum zirconium, a very common ingredient in antiperspirants (see for more information) i switched to an antiperspirant withouts actually allergic to aluminum zirconium and the boils stopped.
My allergy Dr. told me that alot of people actually get misdiagnosed with Hidradenitis Suppurativa because of boils in the armpit when all that is wrong with them is their choice of antiperspirant. i also want to point out that i have seen this ingredient listed on several feminine hygiene products for moisture control.

Replied by Alib
Swansea, Wales, Uk
5 out of 5 stars

I now won't put anything on my body that I can't eat. I use coconut oil as a deodorant. It works very well and lasts all day. Some people use bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) too mixed to a paste and rubbed under the armpits. You can mix coconut oil and Baking Soda together and that will work too. Mind you, since following a very healthy low-carbohydrate diet the last three years with only occasional sugar or fruit, my body has been detoxing so well that I rarely if ever actually get any odour any more. How strong you pong very much depends on what you put in your mouth....


Posted by Jacob (Upper Marlboro, Md) on 01/24/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I have experienced boils for years and I realized for me... The reason I get boils is because of the toxicity levels in my blood, due to smoking and/or drinking. Tumeric is the best solution for boils but it doesn't cure it, if your immune system is unique, reducing those levels can reduce outbreaks significantly. I haven't had a boil or any signs of one since I started reducing toxins within myself.

Dietary Recommendations

Posted by Keisha (Atlanta, GA) on 06/26/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I cured my boils by avoiding all foods with high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup! That was practically my whole condiment section of my refrigerator, and my cereals (read all labels it's practically in everything!) but you can replace them with organic products=) Also I stopped eating peanuts and chocolate together as one reader suggested! So that's practically all the good candy! However these food changes should keep you boil free! In the meantime Tumeric capsules work great to heal existing boils I bought them in Walmart and took 2 a day and applied tea tree oil on them all day before I discovered the cause of the boils . However since changing my eating I have been boil free! Good luck!

Posted by Joan (Gloucester, United States) on 04/12/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I have a problem with recurring boils also. Believe it or not, white vinegar, applied topically, helps them to go away. I read about it and tried it. I have noticed that my diet may affect getting boils. When I eat a clean diet, adding fruits and vegetables, not too much fat, a little olive oil OK. a LITTLE ... cut out the junk foods, high sugar treats, eat whole grains in moderation, flesh foods in a diminished capacity, and I am also drinking alkaline water, the ph issue is correct. It makes a world of difference. Since I have been trying to eat more high alkaline foods my boils, have disappeared without any topical treatment. Drink lots of water with ph drops to heal your body from the inside out. All fruits and veggies, some fish, especially fatty fish is good for you. Find online information about ph drops and you will open a world of information that will help you find out how to improve your alkaline levels. Most of the foods we enjoy cause us to overdo acids in our bodies causing acidosis, which causes disease. Fish need a proper ph to survive, we won't go into a pool before it is a proper ph because we know we could get sick. Our bodies also need to stay in a healthy ph range in order to stay health. Check it out. Be very blessed. Oh, and of course what you think and how you live causes health or disease. Exercise, of course, stimulates the blood, which is also necessary for health... and I also believe prayer helps everything! Joan

Replied by Kelly
5 out of 5 stars

My son has been living with boils for 5 years. He has been on every antibiotic, essential oil, silver water, and bleach baths. I am definitely going to look into alkaline water and watching for high corn syrup.

Posted by Mark (Nashville, Tennessee) on 04/07/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I have had a staph infection on my face for two years (folliculitis). I first went to an internist doctor who gave me two weeks of dioxcycline (100mg once a day). It did not work. Then I went to a dermatologist who told me that I had roseaca. However, it was on my forehead - not a common site for roseacea. I was given 100 mg of minocycline once a day, which caused the infected follicles to produce pus which spread the infection all over my face and onto my chest. From searching the internet, I discovered that puting 1/2 bottle of Lysol Concentrate (which kills staph) into my washing machine when washing the items (pillow cases) that touched my infection drascically cut down on the constant spread of the infection. I returned to the Dr to try to get her to start treating me for what I actually had, staph, but she would not back down from her roseacea diagnosis. Realizing that she was misdiagnosing me, I went to a second dermatologist. He said I indeed had staph, and that I needed 100mg of antibiotics twice a day, a sulfur wash twice a day to kill the staph on my skin, and to take the antibiotics for a month after the spreading stopped. He tried three different antibiotics in succession for one month each, but none worked to his satisfaction. Not having insurance to pay for more intensive efforts, I gave up. When I got a job a year later with insurance, I returned to the last Dr. I had figured out that one of the antibiotics he had tried the year before - minocycline - had been working. I told him and so he tried it again. It only got the infection down to a certain point and then stopped working. I figured out that my diet coke addiction was keeping me so dehydrated that the minocycline wasn't wroking. I stopped drinking caffeine beverages and my staph infection was almost cured. But it still would not totally heal. Then I discovered to wait three hours instead of two after taking the medicine to eat. Eating two hours after taking the medicine wasn't letting the full dose absorb into my body. Then the infection began to totally heal. In the mean time, the Dr told me that I had been on the antibiotic too long and started trying to reduce my doseage and take me of of the minocycline. I had to beg to be allowed to continue taking it till I was cured. It finally cured. I wish I had known about tumeric because of all the emotional turmoil I had to go though over two years. The first two traditional medicine doctors weren't competent in treating staph, and the third was so uncommunicative that I had to struggle for months to figure out how to make the prescribed antibiotic work. The papers that came with the antibiotic just said not to drink alcohol and to wait 2 to 3 hours before and after taking the medicine to eat. I had to endure eight months of having to wait hours to eat because of all this. I hope this saves someone from going through two years of treatment when they should have been cured in two or three months.

Replied by Casey
Gainesville, Fl

where would I find lysol concentrate?

Replied by Cathy
Georgia, US
5 out of 5 stars

Walmart has lysol concentrate in cleaning supplies.

Replied by Kelli

I am a 58 year old female and have suffered with boils for as long as I can remember 30-40 years. About 3 years ago I complained about them to my doctor and she said they are caused by a staph infection in the nose. I was given a prescription for Mupirocin 2% Ointment with instructions to use a q-tip and swab it in my nose and to also apply it to the affected area 4 times works. I also bought Boil Ease over the counter which comes in a tube, this is used to help relieve the pain and that worked wonders because the pain of a boil is severe. I hope this helps someone.

Posted by Eileen (Northwest US) on 04/08/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I've experienced extremely painful boils/ acne-like, very hard but with no pus starting about 2 yrs ago. I am of average weight and have a healthy diet. I spent many, many months trying to pinpoint the source, doing lots of research. I did finally go to an allopathic nurse pracitioner who said it was impetigo (because they use yes/no answers on a computerized diagnosis program. WRONG! I believe that it's dermatitis herpetiformus, but I didn't want to go through a biopsy to confirm it. It only occurs when gluten is consumed (which is in just about everything packaged). It is exacerbated by hormonal cycles and low thyroid. I think that perimenopause has thrown off my hormone balance and has led to gluten intolerance. Here's what helps: stop consuming all grains and follow a diet for candida/yeast. This takes a long time, and it was really hard to do, but it is the only real solution I've found. (After finally healing and staying off flour for a year and a half, I had one slice of pizza, and it's deja-vu all over again). Topically, use niacinamide gel (Metazine from Life Link) very frequently (really helps reduce inflammation), salicylic acid gel, and yes, I use cortisone too. I think the niacinamide works best. Vit E is ok if not sourced from wheat. Taking massive supplements hasn't helped (like high doses of A, D, E, selenium, zinc, even up to 400mg CoQ10 -no response. I do use curcumin, wobenzym, niacinimide, colloidal silver. Thyroid supplementation has been a significant help. I have used real low doses of doxycycline for a very limited time and it did seem to help a bit but I stopped due to a reaction beginning. I used activated charcoal and it's possible that considering the link between wheat sensitivity, leaky gut or IgA deficiency, and the breakout a few days later, that it's the charcoal's work not the doxycycline that really helped at that time. Of course, maybe it's really from chemtrail fallout. Who knows? Whatever it is, it is HELL and the Metazine works wonders. Good luck.

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

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

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

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 (USA) 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
Bangkok, Thailand
384 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
512 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.