Boils hurt, they are ugly and they may leave scars. Boils are so bad, in fact, that they were one of the 10 plagues inflicted on the Egyptians, according to the Old Testament.
Long ago, folk medicine practitioners had patients drink herbal teas to purify the blood. It’s questionable how effective that treatment really was, but along with the tea, hot poultices made of herbs were usually applied directly to the boils and that definitely helped.
1 Parsley, comfrey, chickweed, and peach leaves remedy
Parsley, comfrey, chickweed, peach leaves or plantain can all be steeped in boiling water to make a poultice. After the mixture has cooled just enough to be handled, spread some over the boil and wrap with clean muslin.
2 Milk, bread, and honey
There are other effective poultices. One can be made from warm milk, bread, and honey. Cabbage leaves, crushed raw potato or garlic, a raw onion slice, a slice of heated tomato, or tea bags are among the other remedies as handy as your kitchen
3 Wasp nest’s mud
For the real adventure, some try the mud from a wasp’s nest – without the wasps! There are even over the counter products based on this ancient treatment that works like synthetic mud.
4 Warm and wet compress
Warm, wet compresses will help bring a boil to a head, although it may take several days. Apply the compress three or four times a day for about 30 minutes at a time.
Even after the boil opens, continue with the wet compresses for a few more days to make sure all the nasty pus and infection drain out. Medicated salves also soften the skin around the spot and make the infection drain faster and more efficiently.
5 Drain the boil if needed
Most physicians say that unless the boil is a real whopper, you can safely lance it yourself. Wait until it comes to a head. Sterilize a needle, let it cool, and then lightly prick the head of the boil. A gentle squeeze usually starts the drainage. Apply over the counter antibiotic ointment and use warm, wet compresses to keep it draining.
When to seek Doctor’s Help
Some boils, however, need medical attention. See your Doctor if the boil is under the thick skin, for example, or if there are red lines radiating from it.
Fever, chills and swollen lymph glands may indicate that poison from the boil has spread throughout your body. And persistent boils may be a symptom of serious illness.