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A boil is an inflamed, hard, tender,
infected lump or pocket that forms in the skin or underlying tissue.
Bacteria that are present on healthy skin are usually
involved—which means a person with boils has low resistance to
infection. Homeopathic remedies can be useful for reducing the
discomfort and promoting healing. If infection is severe or spreads,
the person should seek a doctor’s care.
For dosage information, please read the information at the end of
this section. See also “Using Homeopathy With Professional
Guidance” in What
Arsenicum album: This remedy is
useful for deeply infected boils with intensely burning pain and
offensive discharge. Warmth and hot applications usually are
soothing. The person may feel exhausted and ill, yet anxiety and
discomfort also make them restless.
Belladonna: This remedy is often
indicated in early stages of inflammation, before much pus has
formed. The area is red, hot, throbbing, and tender, often with
intense or stabbing pains. Jarring or touch may increase discomfort.
The person may also feel excitable or feverish.
Calendula: This remedy is often
helpful as a topical application for boils and infected sores. It
can be used in herbal form or in low dilution as a tincture,
ointment, or compress. Taken internally, Calendula can help
the body overcome infection.
Echinacea angustifolia: This
well-known herb is often used to help the immune system overcome
infection. In homeopathic form, it sometimes helps a person with
recurring boils. People who need this remedy typically feel sickly,
lethargic, achy, and chilly.
Hepar sulphuris calcareum: When a
boil is extremely tender and sensitive to touch, this remedy can be
helpful. A splinter-like sticking pain is often felt. The boil may
produce deep pockets of offensive pus or be slow to heal. This
remedy is also indicated when boils seem to be spreading. A person
who needs this remedy usually is vulnerable and touchy, with extreme
sensitivity to cold.
Mercurius solubilis: This remedy is
indicated when boils are very sensitive with advanced development of
pus. The person may have moist or greasy-looking skin, with swollen
lymph nodes and offensive breath, and be very sensitive to changes
in temperature. Warmth may aggravate the pain.
Silicea (also called Silica): Boils
that form hard lumps and are slow to come to a head and slow to heal
suggest a need for this remedy. If many boils form at once, or boils
frequently recur, it is often very useful. People who need this
remedy are sensitive and nervous, inclined toward colds and swollen
glands, and easily fatigued.
Tarentula cubensis: This remedy may
be indicated when a boil is sore and swollen with stinging, burning
pain, and purplish or bluish discoloration of surrounding tissues. A
person who needs this remedy may also have restless feet and
Select the remedy that
most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where
self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a
physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C)
should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually
printed on the label.
physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one
dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue
to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags
significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be
taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and
the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times
an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a
day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be
If no response is seen
within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.
For more information, including references, see What
is Homeopathy? and Understanding
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individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment
with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also
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