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Boils & Carbuncles


Pathophysiology of boils and carbuncle with their homeopathic treatment from anatomy and physiology of the skin and its relationship to the general health by Wilhelm Karo


THESE two terms are frequently mixed up by laymen and by physicians as well. Indeed both conditions are almost the same regarding their pathological significance. They differ only in their size.

What is the meaning of these conditions?

Allopathy teaches us that boils are due to an inflammations of the hair follicles, especially of their sebaceous glands. The inflammation is, according to this tenet, the consequence of an infection by bacterias either staphylococci or streptococci. That means the condition is an external infection. This tenet doses not consider the bloody-quality of the patient. Nevertheless there is a vague idea that the constitution of the patient might have a certain influence on the development, for the allopath at least concedes that patients suffering from diabetes and, generally speaking, cachectic patients i.e., patients extremely weakened by any serious diseases, are especially liable to get boils or carbuncles.

According to my own experience, extending over more than forty years, the local infection, that means the external influence of any bacterias, does not mean anything essential for the origin of boils or carbuncles. Referring to my statement in the first chapter, I underline once more the decisive importance of general intoxication of the whole body by the accumulated poisonous slags. Again and again I could observe that people, whenever the accumulation of poisonous slags in their system had reached a critical point, suffered most suddenly from boils or large carbuncles.

Such a carbuncle is, then, almost an explosion of the excessively accumulated poisons. It is the safety-valve for the poisonous matter, thus preventing the poisoning of the organism.

Regarding the nature of these poisons I refer to my statements in the first chapter. My opinion that boils and carbuncles are not due to an external infection is further more based on the fact that the patients, suffering from them, get at certain times many boils, one after the other. The reason is that nature does not give way, before all poisonous slags have been eliminated from the system. It is only the large carbuncle, which appears singly, because the carbuncle means such a large safety- valve, that a single one is sufficient for the cleansing of the whole body.

Bearing in mind these facts there can be no doubt regarding the treatment of boils and carbuncles. Our first task must to be accelerate the development and suppuration of the carbuncle or boil in order to bring about the elimination of the utmost possible quantity of poisonous slags from the body. Mercurius solubilis, Hepar sulphuris and Silica (* Regarding special indications I refer to the last chapter (Materia Medica). To avoid repetitions I restrict myself to the names of drugs throughout the whole booklet *) are the most reliable drugs for this task.

For the treatment of the sometimes serious crises connected with the development of the carbuncle, we make use of Aconite, Arnica, Arsenicum, Belladonna, Lachesis, Anthracinum or Calcarea carbonica. Hot compresses and the application of 3-4 leeches around the carbuncle or boil will be very helpful. Surgical interference can thus be prevented. I object to the operative treatment because morbid as well as healthy tissue are cut by the operation. We endanger the patient by spreading the poisonous slags, having been before retained in the carbuncle, into healthy tissues and into the blood-vessels, opened by the operation. A general sepsis may follow, sometimes ending fatally.

I am happy to state that biological and homoeopathic treatment was always successful.

As soon as the boil or carbuncle had broken open and suppuration ensues, the ulcer must be daily bathed with hot chamomile tea, during the baths and the matter may be carefully expressed from all sides. During this period Hepar sulphuris is the best drug. The wound must be dressed with sterile gauze, soaked with Arnica or Calendula.

In cases of a large carbuncle I usually apply twice a week 2-3 leeches around the ulcer. This method accelerates the healing process.

The dietetic and hygienic treatment of these patients is of the greatest importance. Uncooked food or least a lacto- vegetarian diet is necessary. The bowels, especially the colon, must be kept clean, by enemas, regular sweating and physical exercise, in the open air. All condiments are forbidden; so are strong coffee and tea. It regulates the action of the bowels and the kidneys as well as it purifies the blood from the poisonous slags; but such drinks as lemonade and barley water should always be freely taken for the same reason.