Boils are localized, tender, inflamed, pus-filled swellings in the
skin surrounded by large red areas. They are infections of the
hair follicles of the skin. They are quite painful, particularly in
areas where the skin is closely attached to the underlying
tissues, such as the nose, ears, or fingers. They usually occur
in teenagers and young adults. The common sites for boils are
the face, neck, buttocks, and thighs.
At first, a painful red nodule appears on the skin. This grows
bigger and then breaks down in the middle where the pus
collects. The patient experiences a great deal of irritation and
itching. There may be a single boil, or several boils in the same
area or in different areas at or about the same time, or they
may come in successive crops. The swelling may not be limited
to one hair follicle but may extend to several follicles. When
the boils ripen, they give out a discharge. Fever may sometimes
accompany the boils.
Boils are caused mainly by staphylococcus germs which enter
the sweat glands or hair follicles. The essential cause of this
disorder is thus bacterial. However, several factors predispose
the growth of bacteria in hair follicles. Of these, the chief
factor is a toxic condition in the blood stream, which is due to
a faulty diet and a frenetic pace of living. Boils generally
appear when a person is in a run-down and devitalized
Garlic and Onion:
Garlic and onions have
proved most effective among
the several home remedies
found beneficial in the
treatment of boils. The juice
of garlic or onion may be
applied externally on boils to
help ripen them, break
them, and evacuate the pus.
An equal quantity of the
juices of these two
vegetables can also be
applied with beneficial
results. Eating of two to
three pods of garlic during
meals will also bring good
Bitter gourd is another
effective home remedy for
blood-filled boils. A cupful of
fresh juice of this vegetable,
mixed with a teaspoon of
lime juice, should be taken,
sip by sip, on an empty
stomach daily for a few
months to treat this
Milk cream is beneficial in
the treatment of boils. One
teaspoon of milk cream,
mixed with half a teaspoon
of vinegar, and a pinch of
turmeric powder, makes an
excellent poultice. It helps
in ripening the blood boils
and in their healing without
allowing them to become
Cumin seeds are beneficial in
the treatment of boils. The
seeds should be ground in
water and made into a paste.
This paste can be applied to
boils with beneficial results.
Bring a Boil to a Head
To bring a boil to a head, place a small piece of fatty bacon
over the boil and bandage it. Leave on overnight. The head
should be ready to remove by the next morning.
Heartsease Boil Treatment
Native Americans used wild heartsease (pansy) to draw boils. It
was ground up and placed on the boil, bandaged and left on
Application of turmeric
powder on boils speeds up
the healing process. In the
case of fresh boils, a few dry
roots of turmeric are
roasted, the ashes dissolved
in a cupful of water, and
then applied over the
affected portion. This
solution enables the boils to
ripen and burst.
Lemon Juice Boil Treatment
Soak a piece of bread in lemon juice and apply to the boil.
Cover with a loose bandage and try to leave on overnight.
Parsley Boil Treatment
Take a handful of crushed parsley and wrap in cheesecloth.
Apply to the boil and wrap a hot cloth around the area.
Repeat, covering the area with the hot cloth for about 15
Apply linseed oil to the boil to soften and aid in healing