A boil (furuncle) is a tiny, hard, and painful red lump on your skin which gradually becomes softer, larger, and even more painful with the development of pus its. Skin infection of the hair follicles, commonly caused by bacterium Staphylococcus aureus leads to boils mostly on your face, neck, armpits, shoulders, and buttocks. A boil that appears on your eyelid is called a sty. And a a carbuncle is a group of boils that appear together on your skin. Poor nutrition and hygiene as well as exposure to chemicals are some of the causes of boils. If you have a compromised immune system or such disease as diabetes then also you may frequently suffer from boils. Most of the times, these boils are almost harmless (apart from being unsightly and painful) that go away in a couple of weeks. Unless you don’t run fever or the pain becomes severe or the boil doesn’t drain, you need not worry about paying a visit to your doctor. These home remedies for boils will help you get rid of them.
Herbal Remedies for Boils
1. Warm Compress for Boils
When you place a warm compress over your boil, you speed up the process of softening and bursting of the boil. When you add some salt to your warm water compresses, this will bring the boil to a head faster. It also decreases the pain and helps draw the pus to the surface. Soaking in warm water also helps. As soon as the boil comes to a head, it bursts with repeated soakings. When you take these measures, you can get rid of boil within ten days of its appearance.
- Warm water- 3-4 liters (about 15-16 cups)
- Salt (optional)- 1 tsp
- Wash cloth
- Mild soap and some warm water to wash
- Wash your boil and surrounding area with mild soap and warm water.
- Add salt (if using) to the warm water.
- Place the wash cloth in this salty warm water.
- After soaking it properly, take the washcloth out of the water and wring out to drain excessive water.
- Your warm compress is ready. Place this compress on your boil.
- Leave it there for 10-15 minutes.
- After removing the wash cloth, put it in the laundry and don’t use it again after washing it properly.
- Repeat warm compress regime 3-4 times a day.
2. Tea Tree Oil for Boils
Tea tree oil, derived from the tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), a native to Australia has got excellent antifungal, antibiotic and antimicrobial properties. It has been traditionally used for many skin diseases such as psoriasis and ringworm. This oil is equally beneficial for boils.
- Wash your boil and the skin around it with warm water.
- Take few drops of tea tree oil and rub this onto your boil and the surrounding area.
- You may use undiluted tea tree oil with full strength on your boils.
- If you find it irritating, you may also dilute it with some water.
- Use an elastic bandage to cover the boil.
- Wash your hands properly after applying the oil.
- Repeat 2-3 times a day.
3. Neem (Margosa) for Boils
Neem (Azadirachta indica) is known by many names, the popular ones being Margosa and Indian Lilac. Neem has been used since ancient times by Ayurveda, Unani and Homoeopathic medicine for its variety of medicinal properties. While all the parts of neem tree are medicinally beneficial, its leaves possess anti-inflammatory, antihyperglycaemic, antiulcer, antimalarial, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, antimutagenic, anticarcinogenic and immunomodulatory properties. Traditionally, margosa has been used for curing inflammation, infections, fever, dental and skin diseases. It is also beneficial for boils and is one of the best natural remedies to treat them.
- Neem leaves- handful
- Using a little water, grind the neem leaves to make a paste.
- Apply this neem paste on your boil.
- You may also like to boil 1-2 glasses of water with neem leaves in it.
- Boil this till the water remains half of its original quantity.
- Let it cool down till it becomes warm.
- Rinse the boils affected area with this water.
- Repeat 3-4 times a day.
4. Onion for Boils
Onions has twenty five active compounds within it. Among these, the potassium salts and the flavonoids have anti-inflammatory properties. The essential oil within onion has expectorant, antiseptic, antifungal, anticoagulant, and analgesic properties among others. Therefore, onions, especially red onions, help in eliminating toxins out of your body and relieve skin inflammation along with disinfecting wounds. Onion is also good remedy for boils. It helps in blood circulation and when applied on boils, brings blood flow towards boils and help draw pus out of it.
Ways to Use Onions on Boils
- Cut slices of onion and place them on boils. Use bandage or cloth to hold them in place. Change this onion poultice every 3-4 hours to bring the boil to head faster.
- Boil some onions in water till it reduces to half of its quantity. Strain the water,cool it till warm and use it to rinse your boil affected area.
5. Garlic for Boils
Garlic belongs to the Allium family, same as that of onion. It has rich deposits of sulfur-containing compounds like allicin, alliin and ajoene. Garlic has excellent anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties. Thus, it is one of the best remedies for boils.
Ways to Use Garlic for Boils
- Take 2-3 fresh garlic cloves. Using some water, crush them to get a paste. Apply this to boil.
- Heat a clove of garlic and place it on your boil. Use a cloth to wrap the area. Take care that garlic is not too hot. Leave it there for 10-15 minutes. Repeat 3-4 times a day.
- Include garlic in your daily diet. Crush garlic cloves and add them to your salads, soups and gravies.
6. Onion-Garlic Juice for Boils
You now know the benefits of both, onion and garlic, in alleviating boils. So, why not use them together for faster healing. This is also an Ayurvedic remedy for boils where you use onion and garlic juice to cure boil.
- Onion (chopped)- 1
- Garlic cloves (chopped)- 2-3
- Sieve or cheesecloth
- Crush the onion and garlic pieces.
- Place them on sieve or in the cheesecloth.
- Press to extract their juice.
- Apply this juice to your boils.
- Repeat 4-5 times a day.
7. Potatoes for Boils
Potatoes are rich in vitamin C, B-complex vitamins and they have considerable amounts of iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus and therefore folk medicine uses this very common vegetable to treat many health conditions, especially skin related conditions. Potatoes also have tannins, flavonoids, and alkaloids that make them beneficial for skin and overall health. The alkaline properties of potato carries antiseptic value and thus it is also a good remedy for boils. It also has some anti-inflammatory properties that relieve you of pain associated with boils.
Ways to Use Potato for Boils
- Cut thin slices of potato and place them on your boils. Keep replacing these slices with fresh ones.
- Grate a raw potato and squeeze out its juice. Using a cotton ball, dab this juice on your boil. Repeat 4-5 times a day.
- Cut thick slice of potato. Place it on your boil before going to bed. Use a cloth or bandage to hold it in place. Leave it on your boil overnight. Discard in the morning.
8. Epsom Salt for Boils
Epsom salt is the common name of Magnesium Sulfate. Epsom salt bath and compresses can treat boils fast. The heat of the warm compress helps bring your boil to a head so that it opens up and allow the pus drain out. Epsom salt, on the other hand, draws all toxins out of it and thus reduces swelling and relieves pain in your infected area.
1st Way of Using Epsom Salt for Boils: Epsom Salt Bath
If your boil appears on a body part that can be immersed in the water, you can try giving it an Epsom salt bath.
- Epsom salt- 2 cups
- Warm water
- Fill the basin halfway with warm water.
- Add Epsom salt to this.
- Soak your boil affected area in this water.
- Do this daily till you get rid of boils.
2nd Way of Using Epsom Salt for Boils: Epsom Salt Compress
- Epsom salt- 1 tsp
- Warm water- 1-2 cups
- Wash cloth or cotton ball
- Add Epsom salt to the warm water.
- Soak wash cloth or cotton ball in this.
- Take out the cloth or cotton and place it on your boil after wringing to drain out excess water.
- Leave it there for 10-15 minutes.
- Repeat 3-4 times a day.
9. Black Seed Oil for Boils
Black seeds are the product of Nigella Sativa plant. Nigella Sativa is commonly known as black cumin. The oil extracted from the seeds of Nigella Sativa have many nutrients and has been used in the Middle Eastern and South Asian countries for medicinal purposes. Black seed oil has anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties and as such can combat infections apart from strengthening your immune system. Many studies have established the anti-fungal properties of black seed oil due to its active component Thymoquinone. Not only does Thymoquinone helps strengthen immune system and but also treats skin infections like boils and carbuncles.
How to Use Black Seed Oil for Boils?
Black seed oil is taken internally to treat even the boils.
- Take ½ tsp of black seed oil.
- Mix it with any hot or cold beverage such as some herbal tea or juice etc.
- Have this twice a day till your boils do not go away.
10. Echinacea Herbal Remedy for Boils
Many studies have found echinacea to be antitumor, antiviral, antibacterial, and immunostimulant. It is also an established remedy against herpes and is very useful for wound healing including boils. It can, actually, directly inhibit Staphylococcus aureus, the bacterium which is responsible for boils. The compound echinacoside in it actively works against Streptococcus and Staphylococcus aureus and gets you rid of boils. Echinacea, in fact, is effective against any infection in your body. Echinacea is available in the form of tea, extract, powder, capsules and ointment. You may use it orally as well as topically. If you want to have it orally, you should consult a medical herbalist who would be able to guide you on appropriate dose. You may also have it in form of tea.
How to Make Echinacea Tea?
- Echinacea herb- 1 tsp
- Hot water- 1 cup
- Place the herb in a pot.
- Pour hot water over it.
- Let it steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain and drink the tea.
- Have this tea twice a day.
Precaution: If you are allergic to such plants as ragweed, marigolds, chrysanthemums, or daisies, avoid taking this herb. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also avoid having it.
11. Japanese Honeysuckle for Boils
This is yet another very effective herbal remedy for boils. Although named Japanese, this herb has been used by Chinese medicine since long for treating colds, fever, inflammation, swelling, boils, sores, and viral and bacterial infections. Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) called Jin Yin Hua in Chinese, is a proven natural antibiotic, in fact, a broad spectrum antibiotic for bacteria including staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus B-hemolytic, Escherichia coli, bacillus dysenteriae and many others. Chlorogenic acid in this herb makes it an effective antibiotic. Luteolin is another component of Japanese honeysuckle that is anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Flowers, leaves and stems of Japanese honeysuckle are used in different forms including tea, decoction, tincture, infusion etc. For boils, stems of honeysuckle are more useful and you may like to make a decoction or infusion with stems and apply this to your affected skin.
- Dried honeysuckle stems- 15-30 g
- Water- 600 ml
- Place the dried stems in a jar.
- Pour water over this.
- Cover and let it steep for several hours, even overnight will do.
- Now strain using a sieve, cheesecloth or coffee filter.
- Apply this on your boils. You may rinse the area with this infusion multiple times a day.
This herb can be taken internally as well. However, you should consult a herbalist before doing so.
12. Burdock Root for Boils
The blood purifying properties of burdock root (Arctium lapa) are thought to cure boils and other skin conditions like canker sores, acne etc. It purifies blood by flushing out toxins from your body and thus keeping infections at bay. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that makes it further beneficial for curing skin infections that involve swelling of skin. Most importantly, its antibiotic properties are what makes you get rid of boils or other skin conditions. You can have burdock root tea and also use it as a rinse for your boil affected area.
How to Make Burdock Root Tea
- Fresh burdock root (coarsely chopped)- 2 tbsp Or dried root- 1 tbsp
- Water- 3 cups
- If using fresh burdock root, clean it by scraping using the rough edge of a knife. You need to do this only for older roots. The fresh younger roots need to be cleaned simply with a clean cloth.
- Place your fresh or dried burdock root in a pot.
- Pour water over it.
- Bring this to a boil.
- Now lower the heat and let it simmer for about half an hour.
- Put off the flame and allow this to steep for another 15-20 minutes.
- Strain the tea.
- You may have this tea or wash your boils with it when it is warm (not hot).
- Wash 3-4 times a day.
- If having the tea, don’t have more than 1-2 times as burdock root has diuretic effects too.
Precaution: Do not take burdock root if you are a pregnant or breast-feeding woman or if you suffer from diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
13. Turmeric for Boils
Whether you call it a spice or a herb, turmeric is one of the best herbal remedies for boils. Obtained from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, turmeric has long been used by Chinese as well as Indian systems of medicine for various ailments including those of skin. The volatile oil in turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties. The pigment curcumin in turmeric has even stronger anti-inflammatory properties. You can take turmeric internally and apply it externally too. When you have turmeric internally, it helps heal boils within about 3 days of time. Applying topically too dries out the boils and also prevent them from coming back.
Ways to Use Turmeric for Boils
- Add ½ – 1 tsp of turmeric powder in a cup of warm water and have it thrice a day.
- Use some water to make a paste with turmeric powder and apply this to your boils. Cover this with a gauze or bandage. Take care as turmeric leaves stains wherever it comes in contact.
- Take a turmeric root and soak it in some hot water for few minutes. Now rub this turmeric root on a coarse stone to get a paste. Use some water while rubbing on stone. Apply this paste on your boils.
- To prevent boils from recurring, mix some turmeric paste with curd and apply this on areas prone to boils after taking bath. Wait for few minutes and wash off with mild soap and water.
14. Castor Oil for Boils
Castor oil is extracted from the seeds of castor plant (Ricinus Communis). It has been used by Indian medicine system Ayurveda for various ailments including skin diseases. Ricinoleic acid present in castor oil makes it an anti-inflammatory agent. In fact, this oil is used extensively to provide relief from such sever pains as are caused by rheumatoid arthritis, back pain and abdominal pain. Not only does castor oil has anti-inflammatory properties but it also has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties that make it an effective remedy for skin infections like boils. When taken internally, it also boosts your immune system so that you get rid of these infections permanently. When applied topically, it draws out the pus from boils in as little as two days.
- Castor oil- few drops
- Cotton ball
- Gauze or bandage
- Pour some drops of castor oil on the cotton ball.
- Place this cotton ball on your boil.
- Secure it with gauze or bandage.
15. Betel Leaves for Boils
Betel leaves are used as sacred herb in Indian rituals. It is also used by Ayurveda for its fine medicinal properties. There are tannins and essential oil in these leaves. Betel leaves also have a phenol known as chavicol which gives this herb its strong antiseptic properties. The essential oil in betel leaves have anti protozoan, antibacterial and anti fungal properties. Considerable amounts of vitamins and minerals in these leaves also make it a nutritive herb.
Ways to Use Betel Leaves for Boils
- take one betel leaf and castor oil. Warm the leaf a little. Now apply a layer of castor oil over the warm betel leaf. Place the leaf over your boil with oiled part touching the boil. Secure it with a cloth or bandage. Replace the leaf every few hours. This will speed up the process of healing boils and drain it soon.
- Take 2-3 betel leaves and tear them in tiny pieces. Add half a cup of water to this and boil it for about 10 minutes. Keep the flame at low heat. Let it cool down. Mash or grind to make a paste. Apply this paste on your boil and secure with gauze or bandage. Reapply after a few hours. Do this twice a day till you get rid of the boils.