Home Remedies for Boils

An In-House Solution to an Embarrassing Problem

Home remedies for boils have been around for a long time, and thank goodness we have an abundance of boil home remedies to choose from!

Having a boil is a sore, sensitive subject-literally-and you don't want to have to involve another person, such as a doctor, unless you really, really have to.

Of course, some circumstances demand professional help, but if you have a run-of-the-mill, uncomplicated boil, you can probably find a boil home remedy that works for you and save yourself a lot of grief. As a bonus, you may have enough “treatment" left over to cook a delicious dinner!

Boil Home Remedies - An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

Of course, it's impossible to predict who will get a boil and when, but there are things you can do to lower your chances of getting a boil in the first place.

By adopting a healthy lifestyle, building a strong immune system, and following good hygiene practices, you will significantly reduce your chances of developing a boil, and maybe you won't even need to know about boil home remedies!

Home Remedies for Boils

Your diet, exercise, and sleep habits have a significant impact on your overall health, and improving your lifestyle will put you well on the road to improving your chances of avoiding boils.

Your diet should be nutritious, fresh, and, as much as possible, natural. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water and avoiding sugar, fried foods, or processed foods will keep your body healthy enough to fight off the infections that cause boils.

Gentle exercise is also a great home treatment which helps your body defend itself against the intrusion of boils. By stimulating your circulation, you're not only moving toxins out of your body, you're also delivering oxygen to your skin's cells so that they can become stronger against the bacteria that cause boils.

Just make sure you wash off the perspiration after you work out-creating a breeding ground for those very bacteria defeats the whole purpose of building up your defenses against boils.

And don't forget the two S-words for boil home treatment: Sleep and Soap. Our bodies require a sufficient amount of sleep to regenerate and renew, and our immune system suffers if we don't get enough quality sleep.

As for soap, just washing our hands and our skin frequently, will do a lot to hold down the number of staphylococcus bacteria that tend to just hang around on many people, waiting for their chance to wreak havoc.

Besides these elementary practices, there are several other measures you can take to build up your resistance to boils. Supplementing your daily diet with B complex vitamins and/or vitamin C with bioflavonoids has been shown to strengthen the body's immune system. Other immunity enhancers are garlic, which you can take in capsule form, and the Chinese herb astralagus, which you can brew into a tea.

When a Boil Gets the Upper Hand, In Spite of Everything

Even when you take every preventive measure, sometimes a boil will surprise you after all. This is when knowing about a few home remedies for boils will serve you well. From the simple to the complicated, the internal to the topical, there are lots of options you can choose from for home treatment of boils.

Internal treatments are based on the same concept as a healthy lifestyle; they just take your nutrition efforts up a notch to fight the infection. Zinc, Vitamin A, and beta carotene which is related to vitamin A can give your immune system the extra punch it needs to knock out that unwanted boil. Be careful, though; Vitamin A can be toxic if taken excessively, and should only be taken as a supplement for about two weeks.

Beta carotene doesn't have the same level of toxicity as Vitamin A, so most people can take about 25,000 international units of Beta carotene every day for two weeks to help get that boil completely out of their system.

There are some exceptions, however; pregnant women or breast-feeding mothers, smokers, and patients who have undergone angioplasty should avoid taking Beta carotene supplements.

If you are sensitive to supplements, you can get natural beta carotene with fresh vegetable juices that include kale and carrot and other leafy greens. See our Juicing for Beautiful Skin section.

Zinc is another one of the popular internal home remedies for boils. Again, this mineral gives the immune system a boost, helping your body to fight against boils. You can take 50 mg of zinc daily for 2 weeks without any harmful side effects.

If you are sensitive to supplements, try eating high zinc foods such as spinach, liver, shitake mushrooms or venison. If these aren't appetizing, or if you are a vegetarian, try a food based whole foods supplement, which will not cause the same reaction as artificially created supplements.

I've had a lot of trouble finding supplements that don't give me a headache or other reaction, and I have found the only type of zinc supplement I can tolerate is Innate Response Zinc .

Aside from nutritional supplements, there are quite a few natural approaches to creating home remedies for boils. A word of caution here-just because something is labeled "natural" doesn't necessarily mean it's also harmless. If you have allergies or sensitivities, make sure to read labels carefully or test for sensitivity before you try any boil home remedies.

To find natural ingredients for your home remedies, the best place to look is your natural foods store or, if you're lucky enough to have one in your area, an organic specialty store. To make a healing tea, combine two parts wild indigo with one part Echinacea, one part pasque flower, and one part poke root and drink the concoction three times a day.

If three times a day seems a bit much, you can mix one cup of bitter gourd juice with one teaspoon of fresh lime juice and drink it once a day. This treatment works best when taken on an empty stomach. It's also a good idea to continue the regimen for at least a week after the boil seems to have vanished, so that any super-sneaky bacteria will be completely obliterated.

A daily dose of turmeric will also speed up the boil-healing process. You can take a 450 mg turmeric capsule, or you can mix one teaspoon of the powder with warm water and drink the solution three times a day. Be sure to follow the solution by drinking two glasses of plain water to counteract turmeric's diuretic effect.

A Sensitive Issue

Before we look at the different topical home remedies for boils, it's important to take a minute to address the issue of skin allergies and sensitivities. There are so many irritants in the natural world, you may not realize that you have a sensitivity to something until it's too late. To avoid any adverse reactions, you need to test your skin for sensitivity to unfamiliar substances.

While many people can apply a drop of something inside their elbow to find out if sensitivity exists, the Skin Patch Test is the most effective method. The process is simple: apply a few drops of the substance in question to the pad of an adhesive bandage, and place on the inner forearm. If you begin to sense itching or burning in the area, take the bandage off immediately, wash the area with cold water, and don't use that particular ingredient ever!

Sometimes a reaction takes a while to occur, so keep the bandage on for a period of 24 hours, trying to avoid getting it wet. After that time, inspect the site for signs of irritation or sensitivity. If your skin is blistered, red, or sore, follow the procedure described above. If your skin is clear, you may have found your new home treatment for boils.

The Topical Approach - Boil Home Remedies for Fast Relief

For most people, the topical application of home remedies for boils gives the greatest feeling of satisfaction. It's a hands-on, concrete way of addressing a problem directly. The ingredients run the gamut from natural herbs to salad fixings, and they have proven very effective when used as poultices and salves to relieve pain and draw out pus.

  • Goldenseal - Mix a little of the powdered form of goldenseal-root with boiling water to make a paste, and apply it to the boil.
  • Slippery elm and eucalyptus oil - add 3 drops of eucalyptus oil to 2 tablespoons of powdered slippery elm, mix with boiling water until it's the consistency of a thick paste, and apply to the boil. Reapply paste as it cools, repeating until boil begins draining.
  • Marshmallow leaf or figwort - these herbs can be used in the same way as Goldenseal and Slippery elm
  • Tea tree oil - this is applied topically, as long as the boil is not broken. Tea tree oil is strong and can be irritating, so anyone with very sensitive skin should look for other options. Otherwise, it can be made less irritating by diluting it with vegetable oil.
  • Turmeric - turmeric is the go-to spice for many ayurvedic remedies, and it's been used since ancient times to treat boils and other health disorders. For topical use, make a paste and apply it to the boil in the same manner as described for other herbs, but cover with gauze to prevent staining your clothes.
  • Betel leaves - soften a betel leaf by soaking it in boiling water for a few minutes. Add 2-3 drops of castor oil to coat the leaf, and apply it to the boil. Reapply every few hours.
  • Parsley - both fresh and dried parsley have been shown to be effective in the treatment of boils. Dried flakes applied to the boil and covered with a bandage will help to draw out the pus. Fresh parsley can be steamed until tender, then wrapped in gauze and applied to the boil.
  • Wild indigo - you can use the same tea you make for drinking and apply it to the boil for a double-whammy

If you are sensitive to herbs, a gentle homeopathic remedy such as Boil Rx can provide relief without the potential side effects.

These are just a few of the many natural herbal boil home remedies recommended by people who have actually tried them.

Besides herbs and spices, everyday foods from your pantry or refrigerator can also be used in the treatment of boils. Milk, tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, garlic, and vinegar, when used topically, have all proven to be very effective in clearing up boils.

Once again, be sure to check for allergy or sensitivity before you apply any of these remedies, and always wash your hands before and after treating a boil. It's also highly recommended that you check with your doctor before you try a new home remedy; after all, he/she may know something you don't!

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