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Parts of this were taken with permission from Essential Oils Overview and Reference Guide, published by: The Family Tree, 2008


see also Skin Lesions (Boils) and Toothache

An abscess is the result of an infection, bacterial, parasitical, or some type of object (sliver, etc) that causes white blood cells to accumulate as the body tries to protect itself.  The accumulation of white blood cells and other material forms the milky white substance pus. This accumulation of pus with the associated surrounding redness forms the abscess.

An abscess can form in any part of the body but the most common types are skin abscesses and tooth abscesses.  Boils and carbuncles are types of skin abscesses.  Other locations such as the brain, liver, rectum can be more difficult to diagnose and to treat.  Those with weakened immune systems may be more susceptible to having an abscess develop.


Abscess, cancer, cyst, polyp or tumor?

Here are some differences between terms used to describe “masses” or “lumps” that may form in the body.  Common terms are abscess, cancer, cyst, polyp and tumor. 

  Tumor – a mass of tissue or abnormal cellular growth. They may be cancerous (malignant), or not (benign).

  Cancer – a rapid cellular growth that may spread from one part of the body to another.

  Cyst – a closed sac filled with gas, liquid, or a semi solid. They are usually not cancerous. 

  Lipoma – a benign growth filled with apidose (fat) cells usually just beneath the skin.

  Abscess – similar to a cyst but is filled with pus.

  Polyp – a tissue growth that protrudes from a mucous membrane (nasal passage, cervix, colon) usually benign.

Oils, blends & products recommended:

Oils & Blends:  Clove, Frankincense, LavenderC, MelaleucaC, Protective BlendC, Oregano, Roman Chamomile

Essential oils based products: 

Also consider: Helichrysum, Lemon, Cleansing Blend

Note: to understand the E and C superscript go to Home and scroll to New Helps.

Suggested protocols:

Tooth abscess

Use the Oil pulling technique 2 - 3 times daily with Protective Blend or 2 drops each Clove and Oregano (some may find Oregano too "hot") and 2 tablespoons of FCO. Use Protective Blend toothpaste 2 times per day. Continue until pain subsides plus a few days. Consider 2 - 4 drops Oregano and Protective Blend in a capsule daily for additional infection management.


Throat abscess

3 drops each Lemon, Protective Blend and Oregano in mouthful of water. Gargle for 15 - 20 seconds and swallow. This will be hot and not tasty so it will not be satisfactory for younger children. With younger children add 2 drops each Lemon and Protective Blend to a spoonful of applesauce and have the swallow slowly.


Skin Abscess

Topical application to the affected area with Melaleuca, Protective Blend, Oregano, or other antibacterial oils as often as every 1/2 to 1 hour.  Oregano and other oils may need to be diluted to lessen burning.  Some also suggest mixing Lemon with Oregano to reduce burning.

Experiences and Testimonials of others

Tooth abscess

Amelia – A friend wrote me today with this experience, "Had pain 2 weeks ago. I was up all night. Next morning an X-ray showed an abscess in molar. This tooth is more filling than tooth. Cold really hurt! I was sent to endodontist, his X-ray showed same. They said root canal too. It was so expensive we waited for 2 weeks.

Meantime I was following the Lyme protocol so I had larger amounts of oils than usual. After the two weeks went back, abscess is gone. Yay (...). Doctor cannot see the problem anymore! Maybe oils took care of it?"

I asked her, "So does this mean no surgery/root canal?" Her response, " U got it!! He was baffled!" Another reason why I love (...) eos! The oils helped her body heal itself and not only that but they also saved her family $2500 because they don't have dental insurance.  

Forgot to add that I did ask her if she used. Both Lyme protocol as well as protocol for abscess, here's her response: "I did both. So I did Protective Blend, oregano, myrrh, frank. For 1 week. 2nd week I added rosemary when I was able to get some. I also used Protective Blend toothpaste."


Wendy - Has anyone had any luck with helping a tooth abscess? Thanks!

Amelia - Apply clove topically to the abscess...it takes care of the pain and normally the infection as well. If no clove try Protective Blend because it has clove in it.

Janice - In addition to the clove, I would suggest 4 drops Oregano in a capsules 4 times a day, as a natural antibiotic

Pat - I have never had anyone who used this and did not get amazing results.

2 tbsp Fractionated Coconut Oil

2 drop Oregano

2 drop Clove

Put in mouth and gentle hold over affected area for 10 minutes, when time is up spit out (do not swallow) repeat at needed.


Naomi (editorial note: shortened) - I'm at that point where I need to determine whether to proceed with a root canal/tooth pull or continue to try to use the oils to heal and avoid either of those things. I'd like to share where I'm at and I love to hear any thoughts you have to share. I've been oil pulling with oregano/Protective Blend (didn't have plain clove) and that has helped manage my pain a lot over the last few weeks. Pain is intermittent and can feel just fine or really really bad at times. … I finally went in to the dentist on Saturday and we determined that I had a cracked tooth and that I have been grinding my teeth a lot.  … Dentist was hoping to avoid a root canal, based on the pain that I'm feeling/not feeling when he puts some pressure on my teeth. However, after the temporary crown was done on Monday, and the numbing wore off, it hurt really really really bad. I had him look at it again on Wednesday and he reseated the crown. I told him I'd been oil pulling with clove and oregano (Protective Blend) He was glad that was helping and he actually used temporary cement that included clove in it when he reseated the temporary crown! … So -- I am currently trying things like Marjoram, Soothing Blend, and Tension Blend on my jaw to ease the tension and I believe that is helping. I am using a cheap mouth guard at night for now and that seems to be helping. I'm oil pulling and that seems to be helping.

I really need to be able to function and be more productive during the day, but I sure would like to avoid a root canal or extraction if possible (avoiding more trauma in my mouth and the expense!!). I've been hoping that if it's a hairline crack I have a better chance of healing it/fighting the infection. I have been taking 1/2 to a full dose of LLV the last couple of months. I'm going to start taking an Protective Blend/oregano(clove?) capsule every few hours and keep up with the oil pulling. I'm going to take a full dose of the Mito@Max as well.  What I'm trying to decide is -- is it time for me to suck it up and get a dental procedure done, or is there reasonable hope for me to manage the pain better and heal the underlying problem over the next 10 days or so? Right now I'm finally caught up on rest and I'm having no pain. Is there anything else I can be doing to try to heal the actual crack in my tooth?   

Lisa - Are you using the Protective Blend toothpaste? That has an ingredient that is beneficial in restoring enamel. It may help with the cracked tooth, though I do feel it would take about a year of regular use (2-3xs a day brushing). Enamel and tooth repair doesn't happen quickly, unfortunately. 

Amelia - I can tell you about a friend of mine who went through a very similar situation about 2 or 3 months ago...she used Clove extensively for the pain, she did the protocol for an abscess and she avoided having a root canal completely. She also had a cracked tooth and she saw 3 different dentists all doing independent x-rays because there was gas trapped inside her thus another reason she was going to need a root canal. I just found out this week that when the 2nd endodentist took her x-ray there was no gas there and upon examination he could find no crack in her tooth. (She used Protective Blend toothpaste exclusively). She happened to have her other x-rays with her and he asked if he could look at them. When he compared her most current x-ray with the 10 day old x-ray there was so much change (he couldn't explain) that he actually called the 1st endodentist and began asking questions to be sure there was indeed a crack in her tooth...they even faxed over the detailed report about the cracked tooth. All that to say it took approximately 10 days-2 weeks total for her tooth to heal but miraculously it did. The endodentist sent her on her way because she didn't need him. She did take oils internally, applied them topically and used Protective Blend toothpaste and saved her family about $2500 (they don't have dental insurance)...her story is powerful and the oils helped her body do its job. I will say that at the same time she was been battling Lyme (successfully w/oils) and was also taking the antibiotic blend/protocol for that for a few days of this.

The funniest thing about it is all the time she was doing this protocol she really didn't believe it would work but she did it because I had encouraged her to and she hoped it might make a difference and save her some $...so her story also included a statement saying "you may not believe the oils work but they do and I am proof of that because I really didn't believe they would work for my tooth but to my surprise they did". She went on to say something like some people believe you have to believe in the oils for them to work but you don’t because even though I did what I needed to do I really didn't do it believing it would work, I doubted all along and still do but the oils prove me wrong every time.

Naomi - Amelia, thank  you so much for your encouraging story. I wanted to post a quick update. After giving my mouth time to heal and oil pulling for a few days, the aches and pain have been 90-95% gone. I'm proceeding with having the permanent crown placed on Friday without the root canal, and I'm hoping for the best. Again, the x-ray did not show a clear need for the root canal, except the pain I was experiencing indicated a hairline crack had reached a nerve and if the pain continued it meant that I would need a root canal to relieve that pain. I have also worked hard on using Soothing Blend/marjoram/Tension Blend on my jaw and it feels much more relaxed than a week ago.  …

Time for another exciting dental update!  I had my dentist appointment a couple of days ago, on Friday morning. Bottom line: No root canal! For the last 2 weeks I have been oil pulling and applying oils -- I had a little myrrh and some frankincense. While I was doing that I was also trying to address the fact that I had been grinding my teeth badly, and I really took this as a sign I needed to prioritize some rest. I needed to relax my mind, body, and jaw. I rubbed things like Soothing Blend into my jaw up near the ears, and also Calming Blend. I would do that before bed, and add some heat with a rice bag. I massaged my jaw, and I also ran my fingers from in front/behind my ears, down my jaw line all the way down toward my chin. I also did this 2-3 times a day for awhile. ...  In summary, I feel quite certain that my efforts with the oils -- and getting some extra rest, helped me avoid a root canal. I am sooo happy about that.


Skin abcess

Belinda - My friend's son has an abscess on his leg. Her husband is an anesthesiologist so with a medical background he's going to drain it tonight. If anyone has any recommendations on this type of an abscess I'd love to pass them along. Thanks!

DQ - Try Cleansing Blend! Even after it's drained it should continue to pull out any toxins. If there's a big hole afterwards use Anti-Aging Blend, Frankincense or Helichrysum.  Any should help.


Monica - I'm wondering if anyone has oils advice for my cousin who is suffering from hydradenitis suppurativa? Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic disease of a type of sweat gland. It can occur in one or multiple areas of your body. HS usually develops in your armpits, groin and anal area. It causes long-term skin inflammation and can be painful. Symptoms include: Blackheads and red, tender bumps, called abscesses. The abscesses get bigger, break open and leak pus. Tunnels that form under the skin between abscesses and scarring.

Pat - I would start the LLV and Essential Oil Cellular Complex , I would also cleanse with the Detoxifying Blend and apply Melaleuca to the areas, even could add Lavender to that.


Throat abscess

Jessica - Does anyone have any ideas for a throat abscess for a 9 year old? Apparently, it is a localized accumulation of pus that may occur around the tonsils or in the back of the pharynx.  It's basically an acute form of tonsillitis.  I am thinking Oregano and Lemon.  But after the first swallow I don't think he'll do it because of Oregano's caustic taste.  Has anyone had success in this with kids?

Rob - Get him to gargle it for as long as possible, then spit or swallow.  Have him set a goal like 15 seconds.  Follow up with some juice or milk and a cracker with peanut butter. The Oregano will not be too bad to swallow, but if even a micro drop gets on his lips, it is very hot... and water will not help.  That's why swallowing is sometimes better, when you spit - it has a good chance of getting on the lips.   It doesn't taste great, but that doesn't last long.

We have our kids use a shot glass with the drops in a couple tablespoons of water. 4-5 drops of Protective Blend is the next best or 2 drops Oregano with 3 drops Lemon.  The Clove suggestion is good too.  Clove will help the pain a lot. The Lemon added to Oregano takes away some of the caustic edge to the Oregano. Frequency is the key.  IF he will do this every 1/2 hour or hour 6 -8 times... There is a fair chance it will be gone. (in my experience.)

Pat - Yes, I helped a nine-year-old girl, we put three drops of Oregano in a spoonful of applesauce and she took it every hour for 1/2 a day. It made a huge difference. You can even use Lemon with the protocol and it will lessen the burn, in case they get some on their lips.

Kirsten - My son (19) came home with a severely infected throat recently and on the eve of an important event, which he didn't want to miss.  He could barely swallow - he felt like he had a throat full of razor blades! He gargled every 30 minutes with 5 drops of Protective Blend dropped into water with one drop of Oregano and one drop of Rosemary (rugged, but effective).  Plus we diffused Protective Blend and gently massaged Protective Blended with fractionated coconut oil all over his throat and up to the jaw line in between gargling because I was concerned the infection might spread up to the ears.  He slept well that night and woke up raring to go.  You know something good has happened when your previously sick child gets up in the morning and heads straight to the pantry....

Protocols folks recommend for children



Diet and Nutritional complements to essential oils

Help from Julia's Natural Kitchen

Abscesses are nature's way of purifying the body, by bringing toxins and waste materials all to one place, so that it can easily be drawn out. Pus is formed by the loss of organic sulfur from the cells, therefore herbs that contain organic sulfur, such a garlic, can be used to rebuild and prevent this condition.

In general, the brighter and tighter the redness, the smaller the abscess; the softer feeling and darker colored, the larger the abscess. A thick yellow pus is considered healthy, where a thin watery greenish pus is considered infected and unhealthy.


Abscesses heal when the discharge stops and the cavity of the abscess begins to close.

According to Dr. J. Christopher “The basic cause of all abscesses, tumors, cysts, etc., stems back to an impure bloodstream, with its major cause being improper food intake. This condition causes poor action of liver and bowels, a faulty digestion, or disturbances in the lymphatic glands are generally responsible for the accumulation of impurities in the blood.”

Poultices will bring the abscess to a head and clean it out.

A poultice made of 1 part Lobelia and 3 parts Mullein is very effective in drawing out the toxins as well as relieving pain

· A poultice made of hot onions put directly over the abscessed area

Add a few drops of an essential oil of choice to the poultice for added effect.


How to make a poultice:

Dried Herb Poultice

Grind dried herbs into a powder with a mortar and pestle,and add enough warm water to make a paste. The paste should be thick enough to be applied to the affected area, but it shouldn't be stiff.

Spread the herbal mixture over a piece of gauze, cotton or muslin that is large enough for the affected area. Clean the affected area before placing the poultice on it, and wrap the poultice with a towel or plastic wrap and secure it into place. Keep the poultice on for anywhere from 1 to 24 hours depending applying a fresh poultice as needed.


Fresh Herb Poultice

Chop up about 1/2 cup of the fresh herb and mix with 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Simmer herbs and water for about 2 minutes. Squeeze out excess moisture, but don't drain. Spread the herbal mixture over a piece of gauze, cotton or muslin that is large enough for the affected area. Clean the affected area before placing the poultice on it. Wrap the poultice with a towel or plastic wrap and secure it into place.

Keep the poultice on for anywhere from 1 to 24 hours depending applying a fresh poultice as needed.

Once the abscess has burst and pus has drained off, apply a poultice of comfrey leaves or root.


Dr. Mom the Kitchen:

Garlic Tea

1 small garlic Clove minced and mashed with a ½ tablespoon of honey

Juice of ¼ Lemon with 2-3 drops of (xxx) Lemon Essential Oil

1 teaspoon of mint or sage

½ teaspoons minced parsely

Let steep for at least 10 minutes and strain. Drink the same day if using mint, however, if using sage it can be kept in the refrigerator and will be good for two days.

What Science & Research are saying



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NOTE: The advice shared in this site has not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical help. As members offer or look for answers, kindly understand that essential oils work to help to bring the body into balance - thus helping the body's natural defenses to restore homeostasis. Essential oils are not used to "treat" medical problems.