does garlic work?

Hi. I am new to the site but unfortunately not new to the wonderful world of pilonidal cysts. I was diagnosed with crohns disease about 5 years ago. I have a very mild case, thank God, however, along with Crohns disease came fistulas and not long after I developed polindal cysts. Whether they are connected or not, they all came around the same time.

I get pilonidal cysts about twice a year and each time I have to have them lanced and drained. It has popped once on it's own after an extremely hot shower. This past week I have had lower back pain but didn't think anything of it because I work in a preschool and am constantly picking children up and bending over but last night, out of nowhere, I noticed a small lump right above my buttocks. Of course, I knew what it was right away. I immeditely ran a hot bath and hopped in. Today, I have been researching homeopathic remedies to help pop it on it's own. I just recently started a new job and cannot afford to miss work to have it lanced and drained. So anyways, I found many articles stating that garlic has worked with people with pilonidal cysts. I was just wondering if anyone else has had experience and luck. I have been using the garlic on and off all day along with hot water bottles and baths. The swelling appears to be getting smaller but I want the sucker gone! ha Thanks for reading.
First of all, I'm sorry to hear that. I just suffered with my very first pilonidal cyst which then abscessed, but not my first cyst or abscess. I got my huge (5 inches across) abscess to drain on it's own using home remedies only in just under 5 days. Let me just start out by saying I am NOT a doctor and I do NOT recommend that anyone try what I am about to suggest unless you absolutely refuse to go to a doctor. Even then keep in mind that once your cyst abscesses there is a good chance of sepsis if it ruptures inside of your body instead of outside!!! If you start to experience a high fever, dizziness, nausea or vomiting or a terrible headache that is sensitive to light, GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM! You could die.

Here's what I did:

I started to immediately take hot sitz baths as hot as I could stand it with about a cup of epsom salt added to the water once a day. Usually afternoon or towards the end of the day. I also smashed a clove of garlic and placed it directly over the infected area and covered with gauze once a day for about 15-20 minutes, any more than that and the garlic will eat right through your skin and really hurts the already inflamed tissue. *Make sure it is garlic that has not been irradiated! If the bulb doesn't have the little hairy roots at the bottom it has been irradiated and won't be as powerful.* IF you can handle it, I also smashed and swallowed whole with water, 3 garlic cloves a day with a full glass of water. Water is very important during this time also. Garlic raw, when smashed releases a powerful blood cleaning agent. It is just as powerful as the most powerful antibiotic out there. Trust me, I have cured many abscesses with this alone!

I also used castor oil packs off and on throughout the day. Buy yourself some castor oil at the local pharmacy in the laxative aisle and also 3X3 in. sterile gauze pads. Pour a little castor oil onto the gauze taking care not to spill it. You want to use just enough to saturate but not soak the gauze. Place it over affected area and then you can cover it with a small piece of plastic wrap and apply DRY heat, like a hot water bottle or a heating pad. Don't use moist heat. Edgar Cayce was a huge supported of using these to not only completely cure pilonidal cysts, but also tumors of any kind and also kidney and gall stones. One of my sister's is an herbalist and I called her to confirm this and she said absolutely! Apparently castor oil works on the lymphatic system and has the ability to pull infection out of the body down to three inches!! I also put one drop of tea tree oil onto the gauze pad with the castor oil as tea tree will kill bacteria. You can apply the castor oil packs at least 3 times a day for up to an hour or for as long as you like. I did it pretty much as often as I could with no ill effects. This is also why I took the hot bath with epsom salt toward the end of the day, whatever poison the castor oil is pulling out you want to wash off of your skin. Edgar Cayce recommends continuing to do the castor oil packs for up to a month after your abscess has drained and it will go away completely.

The most important part of all of this is lifestyle. Lots and lots of water with lemon juice and raw honey was drank by me all day long to help clean my liver and kidneys out. I also drank a cup of liver and kidney detox tea by Yogi teas once a day to help them along. Your liver and kidneys filter waste from your blood and if you have a terrible infection, ensuring they can do their job is vital. No sugar whatsoever! No dairy! Cut back on starches and especially no processed foods. Abscesses set in when we have a low immune system. Doing all you can to fight back with healthy food is wise. Stress is another major immune system killer. Try to unwind and get help from people if you need it, maybe get a foot rub or massage. I am a mother of three and never take time for myself. I will keep you posted as to my progress, but so far I am feeling wonderful and plan on staying that way.
Thanks so much for the info. I tried garlic today but it burned so badly. Is that normal? The burning was so bad, I only lasted a few minutes with it on. I plan on trying the castor oil, along with everything else you said. It won't hurt to try it, right? I just really can't imagine going through another lancing.
Yes, the burning when applying garlic to the skin is common and if that's the case, don't use it topically. Instead see if you can handle swallowing the crushed cloves with a full glass of water. Just one clove 3 times a day should do the trick. Keep in mind that some people are highly sensitive to raw garlic and can't handle it. If that happens to be the case with you, go to a healthfood store and find the highest quality aged garlic capsules you can. If you can't find aged garlic, regular garlic capsules will work, but they aren't anywhere near as potent as raw garlic. Turmeric is another potent herb that has the ability to clear up infection's. Sprinkle half a teaspoon a day onto your food.

Everyone's body type is different and it's important to keep that in mind when trying home remedies. If something doesn't work for you another might. I have been a "self healer" for over a decade now and it takes trial and error and a lot of patience. Like I mentioned before, if you get a high fever, dizziness, nausea or vomiting or a headache that is sensitive to light, go to an emergency room right away. Sepsis is a reality of abscesses and one to be wary of.

There are a whole slew of herbal medicines which can fight off infection. I will list a few.
Manuka honey UMF 16+
GSE: Grapefruit seed extract (not to be confused with grapeseed oil)
Oregano oil
Astragalus root
raw white onion
Tea tree oil
Golden seal

Keep me posted and I will do the same for you :) Good luck! Xx
Here is a great article on using different herbal remedies:
Oh my gosh! I cannot believe how the swelling has gone down. I am still sore and there is still a small lump but I can definitely see a difference already. I have been using castor oil packs, as well as tea tree oil several times a day. I have been using a lot of heat and eating garlic gloves and drinking water with lemon juice. I am going to keep this up until it is gone! Thank you so much for the information. I will keep you updated!
Glad to see the above comment! How are you doing now? Any progress/regression? Mine is almost completely healed now with just a bit of hardness left over~ I am assuming it is scar tissue from the amount of infection which was present. It is a line of hardness about an inch to an inch and a half long. It isn't painful at all, this is why I believe it is scar tissue. My sister said that her husband had the same after his surgery to lance his pilonidal and it took a few months to go away. I am still using the castor oil packs and will continue to do so until I no longer see/feel any signs of the infection which was present. Oh, I forgot to mention something. Not to be gross, but when I have a bowel movement I use baby wipes now, all natural ones to wipe and make absolutely sure there is nothing left back there~ toilet paper just doesn't work as well. I also bought hydrogen peroxide which has a spray nozzle on it instead of just a pour spout. I spray the pilonidal area once a day with it just to be sure that any germs that may be lingering are killed off. Here's to our continuing good health! May it continue indefinitely ;) Xx
I am completely fine! No pain whatsoever anymore and I don't feel a lump anymore either! I still use heat at the end of the day and also take garlic capsules a few times a day. I could not thank you enough for the information! However, after a few days of using the castor oil packs and tea tree oil, the skin where the cyst was became scabby and flakey. I assume it was just because I was using these products and it dried out my skin, but after a few days, it was gone. And not gross at all. I also have to be careful to make sure I am 100% clean back there after BM. I had fistulas several years ago and my muscles had to be glued back together where the fissures were so I do sometimes "leak" after BM. I find myself constantly re-cleaning myself. It's good to know I'm not the only one! Thanks again for the info and get better soon!
I had the exact same thing happen, where the skin all around the area got flaky and peeled off. I asked my sister and she said it's due to the tea tree oil, but isn't harmful in any way, in fact it's a good thing because it causes new skin cells to generate. I am so happy to hear that you are doing well. Thankfully I am too and hopefully it will stay this way. I plan on continuing to post my progress here in your thread once a month to let people know if I have any further flare up's etc. Good luck to you!! Xx
Have you ever considered a pit-picking procedure? With this method they will get rid of the folicals that cause the pilonidals in the first place, clean it out of all the hair and recovery is literally hours. I had my second procedure on Monday and I was at work all day Tuesday and had my 3+ hr exam at school at night. No problems at all!

It will NOT go away on it's own, ever. It needs to be removed, not just lanced either. Your body will keep producing more and more hair inside of your body causing these flare ups. My surgeon removed the sinuses, cleaned out the tracts and healed up very quickly.

With this method though, you won't miss much work. If you can find a doctor who can be flexible, you can get it done after work one day and be back the next. I had no stiches, just shoe-string type packing which I pull out after two days. Body heals itself. I am in/out of the office in under an hour.

Generally people will not need more then one procedure with pit-picking, but mine was a bit unique. I had "duel" cysts, and at the time of my first treatment the one side was healed up. Only afterward did it flare up. So he did not touch it the first time. This past Monday (two days ago) he did both, and the tract connecting them. Really cleaned it out well. I think I will be done for good, finally!

Good luck with your pilonidal!
Thanks for the information. I know that I totally need to get it taken out for good (hopefully) but it's so hard to find time to do so. I heard that the procedure will leave me out of commission for a week or so and it takes about 6 weeks to fully recover. I've never heard of this "pit-picking" but it's something to look into. Thanks!


New Member
Hello i found this site by accident and i saw your posting cystsuffer and i was wondering if you could help me. i only looked at this posting because my husband is getting into herbology (kinda not progressing right now life stuff) and he mentioned garlic is great for infections. Ive also read somewhere during my last flare up that mentioned castor oil. i looked at your profile hoping to see an email because I'm not too comfortable talking on a forum but i need help. i saw the info you gave to sfeichtinger and it sounded like it worked but i still need the support you get from talking to someone else who's affected i know that sounds weird. like my name on here (tears) i am a crier and my hubbys doing the best he can to help me and so is my mom but neither of them are suffers and have never heard of this until i noticed the "holes" when i was about 15ish but back then i was way active and skinnier.

My first-ish flare up happened when i was about 20, (college was stressful as it was my last semester and my hardest so i gained about 40 pounds), but at the time i was always working at a job where i stood and walked a lot so was was not affected by it until i gained the weight, so it hurt and my mom suggested taking some ibuprofen for the inflammation ( i don't like taking anything not natural but i didn't know what to do) the pain wasn't noticeable after a lil while probably because of all the running around i did at that job, but after a few hours i had to go to the bathroom i had forgotten all about my cyst until i pulled down my underwear and saw a blood like coloured substance on the back of my underwear of course i started crying and got scared (and those undies were destroyed *sad face) but i didn't have another problem with it until i stopped working there now i sit a whole lot more.

My next flare up happened around June last year. it got really inflamed on the side of my buttock, but i already knew what it was and had found out by then that a friend of my mom used to get em twice a year since she was a teen before she had the surgery when she was in her twenties now she told me it has never happened again and she is in her late forties. Her daughter also was affected by this and had the surgery as well and has had no problems since. Also I found out during my first flare up that my aunt had only one flareup in her life, while she was pregnant with her first child and have not had one since. (that was 38 years ago) (she said there was a little scaring after it drained then it healed after about a year) anyway the inflammation was on my buttock near my coccyx, but not on it and after a few days it drained out the holes, but then right after one on my tailbone appeared it hurt a lot more then the other one I'm guessing cause of pressure on my tailbone, but like the other one it ended up draining from the holes. my mother's friend had told me to take the Epsom salt baths to keep the skin soft and clean which i did so i think that helped she also said to make sure all the pus is out, push gently around where the pus pocket is once it started to drain, my god it smelled so bad. anyway after that it hurt at random times but didn't do anything else cause id go for a long walk and then take a bath.

The next total flare up was it the beginning of last December it was only on my coccyx and it took five days before it drained from the actual pus pocket which left me with a dimpley looking scar and it still there now. It hurt so much and I was at the point where I wanted to just cut it open. I was so scared and crying all the time I almost gave in to cutting it with a razor. I took Epsom salt baths twice a day and laid on my belly alot with a warm rag on it. after about two days the skin started to leak clear fluid which my mom's friend said was a good thing (I put a feminine pad in the back of my undies to keep then and it clean) (my mom's friend also mentioned a heating pad at that time I didn't have one, but I did buy one about three weeks ago). I was also taking ibuprofen again which seemed to help a lot with the redness. Then on the fifth day I was at the point where I could barley move without it hurting, I felt an odd pinch that hurt and I went to the bathroom to look. On the pad was a lil red fluid, I looked in the mirror and I could see the pus started to leak out of a hole in the pus pocket, again I pushed around the pus pocket till no more of it came out and showered I changed the feminine pad and checked it even few hours. After about a day I started taping a gauze pad and gauze over it. Then two days later when the gauze pad showed no more signs of weeping I started putting neosporin on it after a few days I left it uncovered and it was fine.

About two days ago (Feb. 1st) another one started. I tried to prevent it by walking and soaking, but it looks like its going happen. I will try what you mentioned if I can find castor oil. just a question does the castor oil hurt? How hot should the heating pad be? I like the heating pad it does help with the pain and redness. I'm also going to eat cloves of garlic and when its not flared I will take garlic capsules. I'm very scared cause of all the "horror" stories I've read on the web even when my moms friend said hers always drained. Also what are your thoughts on the tush cushion idea? And its been a few months since your last post I was wondering if you've had any success with other natural remedies and preventions please help. (I miss laying on my back so much)
I feel like this really needs to be bumped to the top again. This information is so helpful to me. I've done 3 castor oil packs so far and the inflammation has definitely begun to go down. I actually managed a 2.5hr drive today with only minimal discomfort.
Just wondering if it is alright to use the castro oil packs when you have an open sinus? Several websites on castor oil packs suggest not to use on broken skin.


New Member
yea garlic is awesome I eat raw garlic 1 clove a day and when/if my cyst starts to inflame I eat like three, i just prevented it from getting bigger this time (and it even shrunk) and now the redness has reduced a lot also using a heating pad helps. I bought a book called The Healing Power of Garlic, the ancient Egyptians used to eat it all the time they even gave a clove a day to their slaves to prevent sickness. The Egyptians would think we are crazy for not eating it everyday. The taste of raw garlic takes a while to get used to, I just drink water to help it go down.
Usually I take 6-8 turmeric capsules a day when I have a flare up and it disappears within 4-5 days. However I recently had a flare up a couple of days ago and you know when it's going to be either a mild or a bad one... this one I felt would be a bad one.

Thank you so much for the advice in this thread. Not only am I on co-amociclav antibiotics, but I'm pumping myself with turmeric and garlic capsules, and I'm about the try castor oil packs tonight to see if it will make the swelling go down.

I too hate the lancing procedure, and last time the abcess got so bad I had to go under general anaesthetic to have it drained. Urgh and the recovery time wasn't fun either!! Since then it has been antibiotics and turmeric that have helped me and the good thing is I target it early on in the flare up before it starts to get worse. Whenever I feel something funny, I just pop 2 turmeric capsules after every meal for a day or two until I have no pain or strange feeling there anymore.

Fingers crossed on this one though... I'm hoping I can avoid having to go to A & E again for this! :(
I'm new here but i want to say a few things. I use garlic too - one - two times per week - compress, eating everyday with water. I eat spinach, grapefruit, orange, apple and lemon. When the hair grows i burn in for a sec with candle. I drink tea of - horsetail, thyme, chamomile, nettle, peppermint, calendula and lavender. When i get wound on my chicks from infection I do compress with ointment calendula, lavender and chamomile.
I had the exact same thing happen, where the skin all around the area got flaky and peeled off. I asked my sister and she said it's due to the tea tree oil, but isn't harmful in any way, in fact it's a good thing because it causes new skin cells to generate. I am so happy to hear that you are doing well. Thankfully I am too and hopefully it will stay this way. I plan on continuing to post my progress here in your thread once a month to let people know if I have any further flare up's etc. Good luck to you!! Xx
Like a herbelist and family of ones - the tea tree is good but you need to be sure all infections are gone. If even a little stay in the system you may get blood poisoning or worst. That's why it's good to make "system cleaning" with teas or the old think with Epsom salts and resupplying.