QUESTION: I would like to know if there is anythng that can be taken for boils, I get these awful things, and they always appear in the same areas, around the bra line under the breasts and armpits and in one spot on the panty line (groin area). I have had them looked at by the GYN. and the family physician and they have both told me that it is an infection in the blood and that some people have it and they have had me on some very strong antibiotics for it but they soon reappear. Is there anything that I can take to cure this?

ANSWER: It is interesting that the doctors feel the boils are an infection in the blood because blood and liver purifying herbs are the natural traditional approach to skin problems. There are many popular and pleasant herbs in this category. In herb books containing mainly anecdotal evidence, Red Clover Blossoms, Burdock Root, Yellow Dock Root, Nettle Leaf are some of the best herbs recommended for blood and liver purifying. I have not yet found any modern research supporting this concept of using blood and liver purifying herbs internally for skin conditions except for popular immune stimulants likeEchinacea and Lapacho (Pau D’Arco). A great amount of study has been conducted on these two famous herbs.

American Indians introduced early European settlers to Echinacea and physicians rapidly became skillful in its use. At the beginning of the 20th century the concept of an immune system was still being considered. The microscope was in use at this time period and researchers were eager to studyEchinacea because of its impressive record in treating typhoid, meningitis, malaria, diphtheria, severe boils, carbuncles, abscesses of all kinds, reptile and insect bites, cholera, cancer, syphilis, tetanus, impetigo and even rabies. They first determined it’s ability to keep the ratio of red to white blood cells in proper balance and observed Echinacea could improve waste elimination and increase destruction of foreign substances in the blood. After abundant modern research, this herb has proved its value in being antitumor, antiviral, antibacterial, immunostimulant, effective against herpes, and used for wound healing.

If it were me, I would definitely use Echinacea for treating and preventing boils. What works well for many people including myself is to use larger doses more frequently when the condition is acute and to use smaller doses only once or twice a day as prevention. When I say prevention, I don’t mean absolutely every day. Some authorities feel Echinacea is not effective or just not a good idea when taken daily for long periods as prevention when there is no condition to treat. For myself, prevention for a condition like boils would be taking Echinacea when I feel I might be getting run down. Increased emotional stress, increased work load, poorer quality nutrition and less sleep and relaxation are signs of increased risk of infection and illness. This herb has helped many people to either prevent a problem or greatly lessen its severity. Common sense breaks are always a good idea from anything you take on a daily basis. Perhaps if you have taken the same herb for a month or so you should take a break from it for a few days or a week. After a break you can always change to a different herb as well. Variety can sometimes boost effectiveness.

Lapacho (Tabebuia avelleneda) aka Pau D’Arco, is another herb famous for boosting the immune system and fighting infections. Lapacho is native to South America and has been used for medicine by native cultures for thousands of years. Its use has been much the same as the North AmericanEchinacea except that its cancer treatment effectiveness is even more impressive.

When used externally, many herbs have been recently researched and found to be effective for skin conditions including boils. Recent scientific findings, only confirming historical use, have recognized the high mucilage content of Mullein leaves and flowers as beneficial when applied externally to piles, itching complaints, burns, scalds and boils.

Recent reports on Heartsease or Wild Pansy which contains saponins, describe its benefits for skin conditions when taken internally a tea and when used externally as a compress. This herb, also highly mucilaginous, has historically been used for boils and for swellings.

Plantain, the common, lowly weed found in almost everybody’s yard, has historical use for boils, sores, wounds but I have not yet found any current studies reconfirming this. I have found this herb to be remarkable and powerful and personally don’t need scientific confirmation but I usually like to reference scientific material when speaking to others.

Lavender, Tea Tree and Lemon Essential Oils have been recommended by many aromatherapy authors for treating boils. The use of essential oils is called Aromatherapy. These essential oils are used in compresses as well as diluted and applied to the area. If it were me, I would use these, especially theLavender, diluted into aloe gel or another herbal carrier like Mullein Infused Oil or extracts of Plantain, Echinacea or Lapacho. Combining aromatherapy and herbalism can be very effective.

During an outbreak, if it were me, I would definitely drink teas or extracts of herbs like Red Clover Blossom, Burdock Root, Yellow Dock Root and Nettle Leaf in addition to the use of those two immune stimulants, Echinacea and Lapacho.

I really cannot give you health advice but I can share with you what authorities have reported as well as what other people and myself have successfully used. I hope this helps you.

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