does garlic work?

Hi again,
I have been swallowing garlic from past 3 days and applied garlic today. Its helping me out. All I can't understand is what should I do to get rid of the hole.


Very Helpful
Hi. I have watched this thread for quite awhile but have never said anything because I don't have anything to contribute in the way of alternative treatment. I felt that I should say what I know about how invasive and downright sneaky pilonidals can be though. In my son's case what was seen at the surface really was just the tip of the iceburg. His treatment in the beginning dealt with what we could see at the surface. Though he never had any pain from it we found out through MRI that he had a very large, very deep cyst near the sacrum. There was concern that because it was so near the bone it could cause a bone infection. I guess what I'm trying to say is even if you have had success managing the surface there still is some chance that the true source is very deep, and may continue to cause problems. Sneaky!
Last edited:
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.
Hi i finally signed up to this so i can get more info about it because quite frankly I'm fed up of this rubbish
Quick life story, i got my first ever flare up a year and 3months ago when I was 18 and in the last month or so left of college, the pain was started of in my tailbone as a little spot sorta feeling so i thought nothing of it as I've had these sort off minor pains before in the past that go away after a day or two, 3 days past and the pain was getting worse rather than decreasing, i soon realised a lump forming right at the top of my butt crack in a horse shoe shape it was red tender to touch itchy and extremely painful after 6 days of suffering my mum eventually took me to a&e which is where i first heard of this pinodial abcess phrase. The nurse said it hadn't come to a head so there was nothing she could do at that time and prescribed me with antibiotics and told me to take hot baths with Epsom salt and apply hot compresses, i started doing that twice a day however the pain was agonising to the point i just started crying which made my mum cry coz she couldn't do anything to help me anyways about 8days into this i went back to the a&e (my gp is absolutely useless) and the doctor had a look and poked the lump very hard leaving me in more pain and said the same about it not forming a head. That same evening is when I saw the tiniest yellow head from on the left side of the lump i was so excited to get this popped and drain out the infection finally, obviously i was being to optimistic :( , the head didnt pop even after taking several hot baths and hot compresses i started applying tiger balm and got a little relief however the head was still to small 12 days into this i just couldn't take it anymore i had given up just lay in bed and cried, my mum persuaded me to have another hot bath and it finally popped! Well only a little hole but it was draining a bit hardly thoe, went to the walk in clinic that same day to get to cleaned up properly even though i couldn't walk properly walking bent over like a hunch back, my bad luck continues as the surgery was packed and 2hour waiting time which i couldn't do as i couldn't even sit which made me cry again (you must be thinking ima cry baby sorry), so my mum ended bringing me back home after not being seen in the surgery and decided she will try drain it herself she used dettol etc etc and squeezed the lump with cotton pads and brown yellowy pus just pourrrreeeed out with the most disgusting stench ever, she tried to get as much of the infection out then cleaned it the best she could and bandaged it, i took an shower and felt instant relief! I was soo happy, however the lumps was still there, the next morning the lump has filled up again and with my mum being at work i couldn't even have it drained, i waited till she got back that night and showed her and she took me to the a&e again i saw the same nurse i did the first time i went there so she knew what I had come for she have me some sort of gas to ease the pain and started squeezing out the infection, after getting out what she could she said the hole needed to be made bigger in order drain it properly. I was admitted to hospital -_-. I stayed the night there and got told the surgery will be carried out in the morning. The next day i was prepared for the surgery when the doctor came and had a look and said he was gonna make a tiny cut now at the bedside so he numbed the area and drained until it was to painful to handle so the nurse bandaged me up and the surgery was going ahead as planned now in the evening. Evening came and went and i was told the surgery will now happen tomorrow. I didn't kick up a fuss as I wasn't in severe pain now as before. The next afternoon as i was waiting for the surgery as the doctor came round asked me if i was in severe pain and when i said no told the nurse to discharge me -_- which then took all day and i was finally discharged late evening i was starved for nothing .. However the pain was now gone and jus had little discomfort of the healing abcess. I was able to sit and finally sleep properly again i had the wound clean and bandaged daily by my mum and i was on the road to recovery i returned to college 3 days later.
This was literally the worst time of my life my education suffered a lot due to this as i ended up rushing to finish my cw and scrape the minimum grades in order to make it to university when i was aiming for a lot higher :(

A year and 3months passed and no flare ups just some discomfort if sitting for to long or doing sit ups.
Now last week i felt it coming back and my heart sank, i was due back at uni to start my second year and i had to stop it from reoccurring, thats when i found this life saving forum and you as the most helpful person ever!
I read about using garlic as you said so i ate 3 cloves of raw crushed garlic a day and crushed some onto a cotton pad and stuck it onto where i felt the lump and took a hot soak in Epsom salt straight after. I did this for three days and i was gone! I then noticed that the garlic had burned my skin :( i didn't mind this aslong the infection didn't come back so i cleaned it with dettol and put aloe vera gel on it, i did this for 3days and majority of the dead burnt skin had come off and healed, no major pain.
yesterday as i went to clean it with dettol after a long day sitting in lectures i noticed a hole in my butt crack quite small surrounded by a fresh wound which surprisingly wasn't hurting at all i cleaned it and showed my mum later that night where she said there was hairs and pus coming out of it, hesitant to weather to pull them out or not we went to the a&e that very night, after waiting for 3hours the doctor said i should have surgery on it and go to my gp, prescribed me with antibiotics and sent me to the nurse to get it bandaged, when the nurse went to clean it there was a lot of blood and my mum said the hole had opened up a bit more and more hair were showing, i asked the nurse if she could pull them out and she said no it would cause me discomfort so she left it much to my disappointment and bandaged it up and told me to go to my gp in 3 days to get it changed. Today i took off the bandage and there was some pus on it, had a shower, cleaned the area with dettol and bandaged it up again (well my mum did). She said the hole was closing up a bit and couldn't really see the hairs but was sure they were there.
My appointment is on tuesday (4 days) with the gp nurse to either get it bandaged again which i don't think i need to as there isn't much pus or leave it open to heal. And try see my gp whist being there
Now the major concern of mine are these damn hairs
Should i have pulled them out?
Will the hole close up on top of the hairs leaving them to get infected again should i tweeze them out now or after the hole as closed
Please could someone offer some advice, I'm in the my first week of my second year at uni and already missed a day i dont want to miss more and have it affect my education again also i have my driving test next week so i don't want any problems with this to worry me
Someone please help i will be sooo grateful ! :D
Ps I'm sorry that the 'quick life story' wasn't that quick, don't know if anyones gona bother reading all that
YoungSurfer.. you may want to try work on your formatting for the next long post... it's hard to read.

The gist I got..
  • At 15 months ago you had your first PA
  • Hospital/Clinic was overcroweded so your mother lanced and drained it.
  • Came back a few days later, went back to Hospital, they lanced it and admitted you!
  • Surgery was rescheduled for the next day, they lanced again, and had you stay a second night
  • When the pain went away, you were discharged on Day 2
  • PA came back last week. You tried garlic to get it to rupture.
  • It ruptured and your mom found pus and hair in a hole. (normal)
  • Went back to the clinic, they bandaged it and didn't remove the hairs
  • The wound has closed a bit and you can't see the hairs.
  • GP appointment is in a few days to change the dressings
First, as to your question on if the hair should have been removed, I would guess yes but probably by a doctor (not a nurse) after applying a local anesthetic, expanding the wound, and removing as much pus and the cyst as they could. I'm not sure how much difference removing the hairs would have made as the infection would probably come back anyway.

Where are you located? Can you find a specialist in PA? Once you post your location, someone may be able to send you to a place more familiar with treatments. 2 nights in a hospital for a PA is crazy.

I just noticed you set your location in your profile to the UK.

You should go to the NHS centre of excellence - The Pilonidal Centre - in Portsmouth. This is the link:

They know what they're doing there, unlike the place you've been going.

Thanks Linda2 for the link!
Hi firstly thank you for taking time to read my story and replying, i was typing on my iphone at 3 in the morning thats why its not written properly, sorry about that.

I no the hairs wouldn't have made a difference as reoccurrence is possible, but now that the hole is closing up I'm worried there won't be anyway to get them out and more of a chance of them getting infected
If the hole is still slightly open when i go to the gp will they be able to expand it there and then and if so will i be in pain and able to sit?
And if the hole closes up will i just be stuck with them inside me ?:|
I'm located in west london in the uk so Portsmouth is quite far for me to travel at the moment with Uni and work so i will consider this near my holidays in Xmas
Thank you robert Eden and linda2 it is much appreciated !
Your GP could cut the wound open and remove the hair, but honestly, I wouldn't worry about it. Your body may take care of the hair itself. The sooner you can at least start to work with the folks in Portsmouth, the better. The place you went before was a joke!

I no the hairs wouldn't have made a difference as reoccurrence is possible, but now that the hole is closing up I'm worried there won't be anyway to get them out and more of a chance of them getting infected
I'm sorry to hear about your troubles. I have heard of some people having laser hair removal in that area, or using depilatory creams etc to keep hair from growing. Laser hair removal is expensive, and I can't imagine that putting those chemicals (depilatory creams & lotions) on your buttock/sacral/cocyx area is healthy, but that's my opinion. I highly recommend doing the castor oil packs. I have had incredibly remarkable success with them. Keep in mind that I am anti surgery for the time being. Many people have cleft lifts and pit picking procedures and still do end up having recurrences of a pilonidal flare up. A draining & lancing procedure is very rarely a cure as many of us know, just a temporary "band-aid" of sorts. I don't believe there's an easy answer when it comes to the affliction of pilonidal cyst, it seems to be a complicated sort of issue. I do wish you the very best Youngsufferer & if you do get the opportunity to go to the NHS centre of excellence - The Pilonidal Centre - in Portsmouth (as Robert Eden suggested) you should. Especially if you're seeking medical care for this, it sounds like THAT would be the place to go! :D
Keep in mind that I am anti surgery for the time being. Many people have cleft lifts and pit picking procedures and still do end up having recurrences of a pilonidal flare up.
Cystsufferer, I remember only one or two posts of recurrence after a cleft lift. At least one of those was questionable if it was the Bascom procedure. (The doc called it a "modified" procedure... again IIRC) Recurrence after a cleft lift is probably very rare. (unlike excisions). I suspect recurrence after a pitt picking to possible, but since it's only performed in mild cases, it may be less common than after excisions.

Hi everybody
This was very interesting thread to read.I do bealive in homeopatic and alternative medications.
Garlic has got very paverfull natural antebacterial could be equal to most poverfull antibiotic when is used properly.The downside of untibioticks we know..lowering imune sistem, nausea,feeling tired,killing good bacteria in the stomac extr. Antibiotic work very hard and quicly kils bacteria ( when we really desperatly need it works great and quick). whille natural remedies take long time...
Homeopatic remedies are given each person individualy taking in account all diferent things ( personalities,habits,
your age, and so meny things...So, using randomly on its own you have to be carefull..specialy with certain remedies
Custor oil could couse early labor if used anedequatly...All naturall remedies are SAFE if used properly,they do not couse side efect as modern medications but they have to be used Properly and idealy with a guidance of profesional naturopath ,homeopatic doc extr.
I have used homeopatic tretment myself and fully healed problem I had ( non alergic rihinitis-sinus problem)so I had avoid operation wich I supose to do.
That was great! I have sean homeopath regarding my pilonidal ..( there is not 100% cure- treatman for this afortunately does not exist) The aim of my homeopath and me was to strenghten my imune sistem .
( detoxifaing liver..and so on) I had every day Narayany war mix35 ..its litle tablet wich you take before a meal ( not touchin tablet by hand) The purpose of it was to protect me against infections( I acctualy did not have problem while on that)...
Now getting to the point..All this remedies are great....garlic,castor oil,tumeric,manuka honey, warm lemon water in the morning ,epsom salt...They would work in mild cases and it would Hold off condition, but would NOT bring the cure.

If you have to do this occasionaly( puting custor oil for an hour every day,for a month, sitz baths and what not..
well our life end in front of mirror looking at our bum:) Sory , but it is too much!
I am doing sitz bath every day ,washing and cleaning, but there is a point where you say, this is not a cure but I am just managing my ilnes.Which I am doing at the moment whille I am waiting for my Doc. appoitment.

At the moment I have 2 pits wich are I guess 1.5 mm in diameter.If that closes then I know I am ok.While they are there there is a problem as well.I had small inflamation (1 cm)next to it and that is gone down by half..but I know eventualy I will see that Doc in actions.
To finish..I am personaly great beliver in natural healing and would be first to tray that "thread thing" but is bit to far
( India). So ,if you traying and going that way by traying to cure pilonidal by natural remedies my advice is seek
profesional homeopat doc or naturopath.
We are all different and if something works for somebody it does not mean will work for everybody.Perhaps its worth to tray and if you would like to tray without profesional help ...keep in minde..always test it with small amounts and see how your body reacts first.
Wish you all good helth and pilo free life:)

Cystsufferer, I remember only one or two posts of recurrence after a cleft lift. At least one of those was questionable if it was the Bascom procedure. (The doc called it a "modified" procedure... again IIRC) Recurrence after a cleft lift is probably very rare. (unlike excisions). I suspect recurrence after a pitt picking to possible, but since it's only performed in mild cases, it may be less common than after excisions.

yes, this is true....

please don't quote incorrect facts Cystsufferer....the cleft lift moves the skin out of the problem area therefore it has a very tinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnny chance of coming back.....
First of all, I didn't quote anything, I was going based on the countless threads created here on this site (which I LOVE) of people complaining of issues following surgery (pitpicking or otherwise!). Second of all, not everyone who suffers with a pilonidal cyst is willing to have surgery. Third of all, I have stated repeatedly that I am NOT a doctor, and any advice I give is purely my own OPINION. I've suffered with cysts (various throughout the body) since I was 14 yrs old. My first pilo flare and subsequent abscess was back in 2011. I'm updating this thread because I want to give people another run down of what I did/do and what helped the most and what didn't....for ME. Everyone is DIFFERENT.

With my initial flare and subsequent abscess I tried:
smashed clove of raw garlic 3xday with tall glass of water
teaspoon of turmeric 1xday
teaspoon of raw honey 1-2x day
epsom salt baths as hot as I could stand at least once a day
oil of oregano tincture 2xday
heating pad off and on throughout the day
tea tree oil applied to area 2xday
hydrogen peroxide on area after bowel movements (they sell them in a spray bottle or as wipes now too)
*after approx five days the abscess drained, but I was left with hard tissue and scarring, and of course the sinus

With my second flare and subsequent abscess I tried:
smashed clove of raw garlic 2-3xday with tall glass of water
liver/kidney detox tea
lots of water intake
lots of fresh veggies (raw) and no meat or sugar at all while it was abscessed
castor oil packs (soak a piece of wool flannel or a clean face cloth in castor oil, apply to affected area, place heating pad over and sit/lay for one hour) I only used the castor oil packs until it drained, which was just about five days in if I remember correctly. You can store the flannel or cloth in a plastic bag for future use and reapply the oil as needed.
hydrogen peroxide on area after bowel movements
sitz baths with epsom salt
GSE (grapefruit seed extract) 10-15 drops in at least 8oz of water or juice at least 2xday

With my third flare and subsequent abscess I tried:
all of the above, except I also started using thc/cbd oil on affected area up to 3xday
it drained in about 4-5 days, except this time I continued with the castor oil packs and also added another step. You make a mixture of water and baking soda, for one gallon of water you place approx a 1/4 cup of baking soda. After you're done with your castor oil pack you thoroughly clean the area with the baking soda water. It cleans the oil off nicely and removes an impurities which may have come to the surface through the sinus. Castor oil has the ability to pull infection from as deep as three inches. If you prefer to take a bath after you can simply add a cup of baking soda to your bath water. Also, I continued to do the castor oil packs for over one month after it drained, using the baking soda water to clean after. Any time I would start to flare I would apply the thc/cbd oil during the day and when I had a chance to do the castor oil pack, I did. My last abscess was last summer. I haven't even had a flare. I do still have a sinus, and when it gets close to my time of the month, it SOMETIMES will drain a small amount of clear fluid, but it never flares.

I also neutrogena T gel shampoo on my tailbone area every time I take a shower. I believe the charcoal in it helps. There is a soap by LUSH made from charcoal that I also use. I want to get my hands on some drawing salve (which also has charcoal in it) and try that. The amish invented it and it was originally used to pull splinters out or help boils pop quickly. I've heard that it can work for pilo cysts!

*I said it before and I'll say it again: pregnant women cannot use castor oil packs~ it can induce early labor. Also, if you're trying to get pregnant, no castor oil pack. Everyone is different, what works for me might not work for you! If you are at all uncomfortable with naturopathy/homeopathy, PLEASE SEEK A DOCTOR! Once more: I AM NOT A DOCTOR, I AM SIMPLY GIVING MY OWN ADVICE AND OPINIONS BASED ON MY OWN EXPERIENCES. If anyone would like to contact me directly, my email is

Thank you for existing, and for giving us sufferers a place to feel safe and find information and share information and our stories/struggles!!
Last edited:


Very Helpful
Im all about natural remedies and year ago I was in the same boat looking for a home "cure" however everything I tried with this cyst did not work and waiting hoping it would "go away" (which will NEVER truly happen without surgery) only made it worse. with every flare up you risk it digging deeper and and making more tracks. and every time the cyst fills up the hard shell of the cyst as my surgeon described it, gets bigger resulting in more tissue needing to be removed to get rid of it. over the years my flare ups became more and more frequent until it was just a constant taking over my life making it to where I couldn't work walk or sit and was looking at having to have it lanced every other month. I have now spent 10 months out of commission unable to work or even sit and have had 2 surgeries to get all the nasty out and it went deep, If I would of had the surgery years ago I feel I could have avoided all this happening and avoided going in major debt to have a surgery that I had to have in order to get my life back, loosing my job because of it. yes its nice to avoid surgery and just deal with each flare up as it comes but the truth is you have no idea what its doing in there how bad it could be getting not that everyone will have the same experience as me but if you have regular flare ups I highly recommend actually taking care of it with surgery instead of prolonging the inevitable and giving it a chance to just get worse, thats just my opinion. I just want sufferers out there to know even though this is all great advice and information, and can help alleviate the pain and discomfort, this is NOT a "cure"
I don't have insurance. Is this going to break the bank?

I saw a doctor yesterday and put me on antibiotics (duraceff) and painkillers and told me to take hit baths with Epsom salt. Said if it doesn't improve by tomorrow that he will set me up with a surgeon.

I'm very scared of the costs.
Rsperdew... where are you? If you're in the U.S., the affordable care act may make things much less expensive than you think. (If your income is low enough to be concerned about the costs, it may not cost you very much with subsides)
Good news! The antibiotics worked overnight. I was completely immobile from pain and the next day the swelling had reduced probably 90%. Then the following days, after Epsom salt bath soaks, the puss started discharging on it own. Two days after drugs my pain and swelling is completely gone. For what it's worth, relevant to this thread I did also take two cloves of garlic chopped into quarters down like a pill. Whether or not that helped I do not know. But it's certainly worth doing bc it's harmless and takes 1 second
This is my first bout with these kind of cyst. I have gotten cyst on my face, back and bikini line before, but never ever have I experienced a cyst as big and causes such excrusheating pain in my life!!!! This thing has its own area code!!!! Its probably 5 in round on my butt. I can't do anything I can't sit, walk, lay on my back or left side, its nearly impossible to sit on a toilet seat and if I run out of Ibuprofen its unbearable to the point of wanting to die!!! I have had a child and this pain by millions of miles is way worse than my very hard pregnancy where I was in and out of the hospital more than 7 times starting at 12 weeks along the birth was about 3 to 4 hours from my very first contraction to his delivery so at least that was not so bad but all 10 mths plus the birth all wrapped into one still doesn't even come close to the level of pain that I have been enduring for the last 6 days!!!!!!
My hubby is a hard core millatary man and he is trying his best to deal w me during this but he doesn't do well w Whinning and crying. I am terrified to go to the hospital because everyone I have ever know who had a boil or cyst and went to the ER ended up with MERSA!!!!!! So I am freaking out I can barely touch the thing much
Less a doctor poking and prodding at it will absolutely kill me, and possibly the doctor too after I get done freaking out on them for hurting me so bad!!! It was a small bump on Thursday April 3rd,2014 and today it is Wednesday April 9,2014 and its the soize of a mcdonalds hotcake!!!! I just found this site today can anyone PLEASE HELP ME?
You're going to need a doctor to lance it. Most of us end up going to the ER. The lancing is very painful, but after that the pain subsides. There's a chance antibiotics will knock it down, but that also requires a doc visit!

You can also look for a surgeon who does cleft lifts (you'll need one eventually anyway!).. He/She may be able to do the lancing in their office, but I think they're usually just done in the ER.

Unless you get on antibiotics immediately and put up with the pain for a few more days, I think a lancing is in your cards.

I had MRSA once.. it's not that bad.. just more antibiotics.

Hi. I just thought I share my experience with everyone on how I dealt with my pilonidal cyst. As a disclaimer, I am not a doctor and what I am sharing is what had worked for me.

I was 12 years old when I first noticed that I had a small bump about the size of a pimple just above the cleft of my bum. At the point of time I did not think anything about it as it was painless and did not bother me. This continued on until I was 21 years old where the bump had gradually grown to the size of a small grape. It also happens that one day I fell down on my bum which probably caused the bump to start getting painful. It was only at this point that I started treating the bump seriously. After some researching online, I finally found out that the bump was actually pilonidal cyst.

After my self-diagnosis(not recommended), I decided to self-treat myself (once again not recommended). Initially, after much suggestion online, I wanted to treat the cyst with castor oil but it was so difficult to get it at where I'm living now so I decided to go ahead with the next best thing: turmeric powder and garlic clove. I used the turmeric powder as a paste by adding water to it and applied it to the cyst while at the same time I ate one garlic clove everyday. I chopped the garlic clove and mixed it raw with my food to make consumption easier. In about a week or so, the cyst came to a head and it eventually popped on its own after which I washed it with diluted dettol. For a few days pus kept draining from the cyst. It was quite bad the first day. I noticed bits of hair and white stuff going into the drain as I washed the popped cyst. Disgusting I know.

As of now after two years I have yet to have another episode of pilonidal cyst. I try to maintain good personal hygiene by washing the area daily with my acne facial wash as I perspire a lot. So far so good and I am grateful for it. I hope by sharing my experience it will give people suffering from pilonidal cyst some hope that there is still possibility of getting better. On a side note, please consult a doctor. By no means am I recommending anyone to self-diagnose and self-treat themselves. What worked for me may not worked for others. I could have just gotten lucky. Please seek professional help.