A sign of local infection, or a means of the body ridding itself of toxic wastes, an abscess must be encouraged to come to a head, to burst and to discharge its contents completely. This may be done by covering with a herbal poultice which will be changed at regular intervals, and by bathing with hot water when the poultice is changed.
Nettles boiled in just enough water to cover, applied hot and changed every eight hours, bathing with the hot liquid, are effective. Crushed or powdered fenugreek seeds mixed to a paste with hot milk, spread on cotton fabric and fixed firmly over the abscess will also draw it to a head, as will a poultice of castor oil.
Powdered slippery elm, with a pinch of powdered capsicum added (a pinch to 1oz (25g» and mixed well, should be made into a paste with boiling water, quickly spread on the smooth side of lint and fastened firmly in place.
This poultice should be changed every twenty four hours. As a poultice, Abbott’s No.1 paste can hardly be bettered. When the abscess is ‘pointing’ (coming to a head) bathe frequently with hot water and apply gentle pressure. Do not squeeze the abscess until it is ready to burst. Continue to apply slippery elm, as it will clear the abscess and also promote healing.
If abscesses or boils are recurrent, attention must be given to the general health by following a good diet rich in fresh raw salads, vegetables and fruits, poor in sugars, fats and starches. Herbal teas such as burdock root, fumitory, clivers and yellow dock root will be beneficial. An equal quantity of these, mixed well, is prepared by adding 1oz (25g) to 1 1/2 pints (0.75 litre) of boiling water and simmering gently for fifteen minutes.
Cool, strain and take a wine glassful three or four times daily. Echinacea herb is a good blood-purifier, and may be taken in wineglass full doses (the normal infusion), or is available in tablet form.