A boil is a skin abscess or localized skin infection that matures over time from a tiny red tender pimple to a much larger pus filled cyst. Pus usually collects in the head or a core of a boil which after running its course will burst to release the pus and subsequently heal. However not all boils are as simple as that. As a staphylococcus infection boils can progress to larger carbuncles in which case medical intervention is necessary.
Boils usually form as an infected hair follicle, a hair break or cystic acne caused by blocked oil ducts. There are various types of boils ranging from regular boils in the groin, armpits and various part of the body to more severe multiple infections. Although an extremely painful condition, in most cases boils do respond to treatment. While the mentioned factors could be the reasons for a boil, there are several underlying factors that need diagnosis by a doctor such as skin infection, low immunity, anemia and even diabetes. These ten natural remedies for boils can do much to control the pain, discomfort and facilitate the healing process.
Cornmeal doesn’t exactly have medicinal properties but it is an excellent absorbent. The Aztecs and Cherokee Indians frequently used dried powdered cornflour as a remedy for boils. Boil ½ cup of water and make a paste with cornmeal. Apply the cornmeal as a poultice over the affected area and cover with a clean cotton cloth. Repeat every two hours till the boil drains.
2 Indian Lilac (Indian Neem)
The medicinal properties of Indian lilac are well known in treating skin infections. Neem belongs to the genus Azarichta Indicus and its leaves are frequently used in manufacturing medicinal oils and creams. Neem is a proven antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and antidiabetic agent which detoxifies blood, regulates sugar levels and treats condtions of eczema and psoriasis. Make a paste of crushed neem leaves and apply on the affected area. Wash off after an hour or simply leave it on overnight. Due to its antibacterial, anti allergen and anti inflammatory properties, neem also reduces itching and discomfort.
3 Sandalwood and Turmeric
Both sandalwood and turmeric are well known for their skin rejuvenation properties. In fact both are important ingredients in Indian Ayurveda and have been used for centuries as an anti-inflammatory and beautification remedy for skin. While sandalwood has a cooling and drying effect, turmeric with its active ingredient curcurmin is an antiseptic and a natural blood purifier. Both ingredients have been used effectively in natural treatments for acne, pimples, skin allergies, psoriasis and eczema.
Make a paste of sandalwood and turmeric and apply to the affected area. Keep covered with a clean cloth. Repeat at least thrice a day. While sandalwood controls oil secretion, turmeric will intitate the healing and skin rejuvenation process. To enhance the remedy you can even add crushed ginger to the paste. Alternately you can even dissolve 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder in warm water and drink it thrice a day.
4 Turmeric and tee tree oil poultice
Take 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder, half teaspoon of tea tree oil, 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Mix together to make a paste. Apply the paste to the affected boil and keep covered with gauze or a clean cotton cloth. Apply every six hours. Always test a little tea tree oil on your skin to see if you aren’t sensitive to it. Besides Turemeric, both tea tree oil and coconut oil have anti inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Lauric acid and healthy fats in coconut oil has been found to have strong anti bacterial properties against skin infections.
5 Hot water compress
Boil water with 1 tablespoon of salt. With a cottonball apply the saltwater on the boil. Do this for 10-15 minutes thrice daily. After a few days the core will widen and drain out the pus.
In the journal of Microbiological methods, basil has been found to be an effective natural remedy for boils and staph infections,. It is also used in natural treatments of eczema and psoriasis Apply basil essential oil directly on the boil. Alternately you can crush the leaves of fresh basil and apply the paste on the infection. For inner healing you can either brew a tea from basil leaves or boil basil leaves in water, strain and drink a cup of it every night.
Garlic has extremely strong anti microbial and anti bacterial properties. Crush a few cloves of garlic and apply the paste on the boil and leave on for 30 minutes. Repeat thrice a day. Besides the active ingredient allicin, garlic contains several compounds beneficial for health. You can also consume two or three cloves of garlic every day. If raw garlic is too strong for you, add it to your food to neutralize its pungency. Garlic pills are also available for consumption but before doing so consult a doctor. Avoid consumption of garlic if you are suffering from stomach ulcers, liver problems, on HIV treatment, if pregnant, suffering from hemophilia, on blood thinners, low blood pressure and various conditions that interact negatively with garlic.
8 Black cumin seeds
Black seeds or Nigella seeds are an excellent remedy for boils. Grind some black seeds into a paste and apply on the affected area for 30 minutes. Do this three times a day till the infection clears.
9 Castor oil
Put a teaspoon of castor oil on a piece of cotton and dab it on the boil. Secure it in place with guaze or a band aid. Castor oil draws out the infection in as little as two to three days.
10 Apple cider vinegar and warm compress
Apple cider vinegar is one of the strongest natural remedies for boils. First wash your boil properly with a solution of potassium permanganate which is excellent as a disinfectant in skin conditions. Apply a cap full of apple cider vinegar directly on the boil and hold in place with a guaze bandage. Then make a warm compress and apply over the bandage for 30 minutes. Repeat every day till infection clears.
- Do’s and don’ts when suffering from boils
- Keep the affected area clean and wash your hands after handling boils
- Use an antibacterial soap to bathe
- Add a few drops of potassium permanganate crystals to your bath water
- Do not squeeze a boil
- Boils do not itch when they heal; it is a sign of inflammation
- Exfoliate your skin and keep it clean regular to prevent blocked oil ducts
- Avoid processed food, excess sugar. caffeine and alcohol
- Spike your diet with foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, Vitamin A and Zinc
- If your boil persists and progresses to carbuncles consult a doctor immediately