Herbal Treatments for Cysts

by Susan DeFeo ; Updated August 14, 2017

Acne cysts first present themselves as painful red bumps on the skin. They then become inflamed with swollen, painful, pus-filled boils which eventually pop and drain. Consult a dermatologist if you have an extreme case of cystic acne, but mild cases can be effectively treated with natural herbal remedies.


Commonly called purple coneflower, echinacea is often used for its external wound-healing and anti-inflammatory properties. Not only does the plant offer antiseptic qualities that produce a numbing sensation, but it helps rid the body of microbial infections, including herpes, cystic acne and boils, according to Dr. C. Norman Shealy, author of "Healing Remedies." Studies indicate that echinacea contains ingredients that enhance the immune system by surrounding and killing the impurities that cause cysts, says HealingDaily.com.

Start using echinacea as soon as an acne cyst first appears, and continue for two weeks. A typical dosage is 300 to 400 mg taken up to nine times a day.


Cultivated goldenseal is one of the most widely used medicinal American herbs. Also known as orangeroot, goldenseal contains berberine, an alkaloid with marked antimicrobial activity. It also provides antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agents that combat acne cysts, states Dr. Linda B. White, author of "The Herbal Drugstore."

Goldenseal may be taken as a tea or used externally. Simmer 1 tsp. finely chopped goldenseal root in 1 cup hot water for 15 minutes. After straining, drink the tea before eating. You can use the identical preparation topically: saturate a washcloth in the cooled tea and place it over your affected areas as a compress to draw out pus.

Tea Tree Oil

MayoClinic.com recommends tea tree oil as a safe and effective acne cyst remedy. The herb contains antiviral, antifungal, antibiotic and antiseptic agents that work to battle acne-causing bacteria. Used for centuries by Australian aborigines, tea tree oil not only helps relieve the discomfort associated with boils and cysts, but it also accelerates healing.

Purchase a 5 to 15 percent dilution of the oil at a health food store. Thoroughly clean problem areas with soap and water, then apply the oil directly to your cysts. MayoClinic.com suggests applying the oil two to three times daily.


In Ayurveda, an ancient alternative medicinal system from India, boils and acne cysts are considered as a "pitta" problem, or a disorder of heat or fire. Turmeric, a cooling herb, inhibits inflammation and prevents cysts from reoccurring, according to Dr. Virender Sodhi, a Washington-based naturopathic physician, as reported in the book "Alternative Cures."

Sodhi recommends preparing a skin paste that will bring an acne cyst to a quick head and evacuation of pus. Combine 1 tsp. turmeric powder, 1 tsp. Epsom salts, 2 tbsp. water and 1 baked onion in a blender. Spread the thick paste on a piece of cheesecloth and place the cloth over the cyst before bedtime. Cover the cheesecloth with plastic wrap to protect your bedding. Then secure the poultice with a bandage. Repeat for two consecutive nights.



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About the Author

Susan DeFeo has been a professional writer since 1997. She served as a community events columnist for New Jersey's "Cape May County Herald" for more than a decade and currently covers the family and pet beat for CBS Philadelphia. Her health, fitness, beauty and travel articles have appeared in various online publications. DeFeo studied visual communications at SUNY Farmingdale.