Home Remedies - Boils - McDowell's Herbal Treatments

A boil starts out suddenly as an itchy, red, painful lump. They are sore to the touch. Usually within 24 hours, the lump fills with pus and takes on a round appearance with a yellow-white tip. There may be swelling around the boil as well as swelling of any lymph node near the boil. Lymph nodes are located in the neck, armpit, and groin area.

A carbuncle is larger and has several visible heads. A milder version of boils is folliculitis. This is an infection of hair follicles, these often itch more than hurt. The appearance is similar to acne pustules.

Boils and carbuncles are more likely to develop in those with underactive liver, lowered immunity, diabetes, especially when treated by injected insulin, alcoholism or drug abuse, poor personal hygiene, crowded living arrangements, jobs or hobbies that expose them to greasy or oily substances, especially petroleum products. Boils may take from 10 to 25 days to heal. In most cases, a boil will not heal until it bursts and drains. This can take as long as 5 to 7 days. Since releasing the pus in a boil can lead to more infection, puncturing it at home is not usually advised. If you do lance it, or if it bursts, make sure to sterilize the surrounding area carefully, washing hands after touching the area.

They do not require emergency medical help and can be dealt with at home. 

Image source: WebMD

Topical treatments:

  1. McDowell's Golden S Ointment - The herbal extracts in this preparation have been traditionally used to assist in fighting skin infections. Ingredients include Golden Seal, Thuja, Thyme, Yarrow and Dr Bach™ Flowers remedies.
  2. Moist heat - soak the area in Epsom Salt baths or compresses for at least 1 hour. A compress could be left on overnight. Use it at least twice a day or more. This can help the boil drain and improve the blood flow to the area.
  3. Castor Oil or Clay Poultice - Apply castor oil soaked pad or make a paste of powdered Bentonite or green clay by mixing a few teaspoons of the powder with some warm water. Apply to the affected area and let it dry. Remove it from the skin with warm water. This will help draw out the infection. Only use this treatment if the boil is not too large.

Internal Treatments:

  1. Blood Poisoning/Boil formula
  2. Good bowel movement habits are important. Constipation or irregular bowel movements can aggravate skin problems because more waste must then be eliminated through the skin. Drink at least 8 cups of fluids a day, and eat plenty of fibre.
  3. Diet - A good nutritious diet can help the immune system fight the infection. Maintain an overall healthy diet. This includes using fresh and unprocessed foods as close to the natural state as possible. Eat daily servings of leafy green vegetables, whole grains, fruit, and proteins with a minimum of animal fat. Keep the intake of sugar foods and refined carbohydrates (such as white bread and white rice) to a minimum.
  4. Make a tea by mixing 3 cups of boiling water with 1 teaspoon each of Burdock and Echinacea and 1/2 teaspoon of Golden Seal. Simmer 5 minutes and steep 15 minutes. Drink 1 cup 3 times per day


  1. Hepar Sulph 6C: To facilitate the suppurative process and, to a great extent, prevent its subsequent extension.
  2. Silica 6C: This is the main homeopathic remedy for persistent boils. Dissolve 3 pillules under the tongue 3 times a day.

NB: Seek medical help if you are running a fever, have swollen lymph nodes, the skin around the boil turns red or red streaks appear, the pain becomes severe, the boil does not drain, a second boil appears. You have a heart murmur, diabetes, any problem with your immune system, or use immune suppressing drugs (for example, corticosteroids or chemotherapy) and you develop a boil you should contact your health care provider. 

Have a question? Contact McDowell's Herbal Treatments

Get in Touch

We are open Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm. AEST. You can also contact us by phone or email.

02 6331 3937
+61 2 6331 3937(Int)


McDowell's staff Herbalists can not diagnose your disease or illness. What they can do is offer a herbal program to assist with healing, after you have had advice from your doctor or specialist. If you have unexplained pain or symptoms, seek medical advice.

EMAIL info@mcdowellsherbal.com  |  PHONE 02 6331 3937  |  INTERNATIONAL +61 2 6331 3937