onions for boils

How to Use Onions to Treat Boils

A boil is a red, hard and painful nodule formation of bacterial infection in the hair follicles deep inside the skin. This type of skin abscesses are also known as furuncles. Boil is really an expression of the body throwing toxins through the skin.

The bacterial formation inside the boils is contagious, but the boil itself is not. People with low immunity and other skin problems such as acne and eczema are more prone to develop boils.

They are not any serious threats to your health and most of them can be easily treated with simple home remedies like onions.

Why Onions Heal Boils?

Onions have following amazing healing properties that help to treat skin abscesses

  • Quercetin - a flavonoid in onions possess excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial capabilities
  • More than two dozen other compounds in onions including minerals like potassium have excellent pain relief capabilities.
  • Essential oils in it act as antiseptic and antibacterial agents to deal with bacteria
  • Onions helps to draw out the pus fast from the abscess. You can get rid of boils overnight whose heads are already formed.
  • It stops the infection from spreading in the surrounding area
  • Onions improves the blood circulation around the affected area by heating up to move the pus out to the surface faster
  • Red onions are more potent and efficient in dealing with boils

How to Use Onions for Boils

onions for boils infographic

1. Onion Poultice

Onion poultice is one of the most effective remedies to get rid of boils fast.

  • Cut a thick slice of onion and apply it on the boil
  • Secure it with bandage or cloth to ensure that the onion remains on its place
  • Leave it overnight
  • Change the onions slice and apply a new bandage again
  • Continue to do it until the boil comes to the head and the pus drains


Sometimes thick slices do not stay properly in the place. In that case, you can cut thin onion slices and place one over the others to make it thick.

2. Onion Paste

Sometimes a boil may be formed in an area of the body where applying onion slices may not be possible, use thick onion paste for the same impact.

  • Chop onion in fine pieces
  • Grind them to make a thick paste
  • Apply on the boil
  • Secure it with bandage
  • Leave it overnight
  • Change the paste, poultice and bandage
  • Do it until the pus comes out of the boil head.

3. Onion and Garlic Paste

You can use onion and garlic together to heal the boil fast. Garlic has strong antibiotic capabilities.

  • Chop garlic and onion in small pieces
  • Grind them together in equal quantities to make sufficient enough paste for the boil.
  • Apply on the boil and secure with bandage
  • Remove the bandage and clean the area with antiseptic liquid or soap
  • Apply it 2-3 times a day until the boil head punctures and pus comes out.

4. Onion Juice

If you don't like your boil to be enclosed in a bandage then use onion juice. This is a slow process of treating a boil but it does a good job.

  • Grate an onion fine
  • Put the grated onion in a cheesecloth and extract juice.
  • Wash the boil area with antiseptic soap
  • Apply onion juice with a cotton ball on the boil
  • Let it dry and leave it
  • Do it 3-4 times a day

5. Onion and Garlic Juice

You can add garlic juice to make this remedy for boil even more potent.


  • Extract juice of both onion and garlic in your preferred manner
  • Mix them in equal quantities
  • Apply on the boil with a cotton ball after cleaning the area with antiseptic soap or liquid.
  • Apply it 3-4 times daily on the boil

6. Onion and Honey

Onion juice and honey are also very effective on the boils. Honey is antibacterial and helps to stop boils from spreading

  • Add 1 teaspoon of onion juice in 1/2 teaspoon of honey to make a thin solution
  • Apply the onion honey solution on the boil after cleaning the area with antiseptic liquid or soap
  • Let it dry and leave it there
  • Apply it 2-3 times everyday

7. Boiled Onion

You can apply warm boiled onion water on the boil to improve blood circulation and heal the boil fast

  • Chop onion in small pieces
  • Add them to a pot of boiling water.
  • Let it simmer for 5 minutes
  • Remove the pot from the burner and let it cool a bit
  • Strain the water. You will be left with warm onion pulp
  • Extract juice of onion with the help of a cheesecloth in the strain the water
  • Dip a gauze/ cotton cloth in the warm onion water and apply it on the boil
  • Keep it for a minute and dip another pieces of cloth in the warm onion water and apply
  • Repeat it until the water is no more warm
  • Do it 5-6 times a day

Precautions and Other Tips

Whichever method you use to treat boils, you should observe the following precautions to avoid further spreading in the surrounding area and to prevent it from causing a scar.

  • Do not squeeze or pic the boil unnecessarily. It might spread the infection.
  • Always use fresh onion or onion juice on the boil. Stale cut onions attract bacteria from the atmosphere losing its potency
  • Use red onions If you can get access to as they are more powerful and effective compared to the white and yellow onions
  • Small onions have been proven to be better than large size onions
  • Consuming onions also helps internally heal the boils fast.
  • Consume fresh cut onions or boiled onion. Don't fry them as they lose their medicinal value by frying.
  • Do not consume too many onions if you are taking blood thinning medicines
  • Consult your doctor if the boil grows larger and is not healed with onions or any other home remedy.
  • Seek medical help if you get chills or fever
  • Refrain from experimenting with home remedies if you have diabetes. Always use them under medical supervision in that case.
  • Maintain good overall hygiene, eat nutritious diet and regularly monitor progress of healing to ensure fast healing and prevent spreading of infection to other skin area.