How I Healed My Son's Skin Infection (Without Antibiotics) 3

How I Healed My Son’s Skin Infection (Without Antibiotics)

This is a tale of how a mom can take charge of her family’s health.

It isn’t necessarily meant to read like a “how-to” (although you may find what I share useful), nor is it meant to make some sort of definitive statement about doctors and home remedies and antibiotics (although some may read that into it).

Rather, it is meant to be a descriptive story of one situation where I used a simple remedy to deal with a health concern that supposedly required medication.

Here's how one mom was able to naturally heal infection without antibiotics – and how you can too!

Here’s the story

For a little while, I had noticed some small bumps on the back of my son’s leg. They were unlike anything I had seen before, but didn’t seem particularly alarming. As a couple of them grew slightly, I began to be mildly concerned. Baffled, I wondered if they were similar to a pimple or even a manifestation of some sort of inward toxicity, because my son is particularly sensitive to toxins and doesn’t handle them well. I tried looking on the internet to figure it out, but finally realized that I just had no idea and it was time to see a doctor when one became infected.

The doctor diagnosed the little bumps as something fairly benign, a type of wart-like virus common to children (passed around in swimming pools, on towels or soft toys, etc.) that is known as “mollescum contagium“. He also confirmed that the redness and pain he was experiencing around one bump was a deep infection— you could feel that it was a bit hard under the skin, which the doctor said was a pocket filling with infected pus.

The doctor recommended a round of oral antibiotics (which I wanted to avoid if at all possible, as they have very negative effects on digestion and gut flora). When I specifically asked about topical treatment instead, he told me that it was too deep to treat topically.

Oh, really?

Doctors everywhere, please don’t tell me things like that. I take it as a direct challenge. I set out to prove him wrong as soon as I got home.

Here's how one mom was able to naturally heal infection without antibiotics – and how you can too!
You can see two of the molluscum in this picture, with the one on the right clearly infected

How I treated the infection

I chose to treat it with a poultice of raw honey, activated charcoal and a few drops of tea tree oil.

Why I chose my particular arsenal of ingredients from my natural medicine cabinet:

  • Activated charcoal powder. It draws out toxins extremely well and can eliminate harmful bacteria as well. This video that I watched last year came to mind as I considered whether I would use charcoal and how I would do it.
  • Raw honey. I needed something to make the charcoal into a paste with (otherwise it was just a powdery mess), and I chose raw honey because it also has antibacterial qualities and has been known to help heal other types of infections.
  • Tea tree essential oil. For its antiseptic and antiviral qualities. I had also found a helpful blog post sharing how one women (and many others in the comments) had used tea tree oil for treating mollescum contagium.

This mixture was a bit goopy and gross looking, and he didn’t love the feel of it on his skin, but then again, he didn’t like having a painful infection either. I made it clear that I knew he didn’t like it, but I really wanted to help the owie on his skin, and he consented, because I guess the owie felt worse than the goopy poultice.

Here's how one mom was able to naturally heal infection without antibiotics – and how you can too!

At first, I used gauze pads so that I could cover a larger area, because the infection was spread out beyond the initial site where it began (it was about an inch in diameter). Gradually, I switched over to bandaids, once the infected area started to shrink.

Within a day or two, I could see that it was slightly less red and inflamed looking.

Within a few more days, it was definitely smaller in size, and the hard area under the skin was also much smaller. It wasn’t causing as much pain anymore (though it was still somewhat painful).

The second week, it continued to decrease in pain, redness and size. At this point, I wasn’t being quite as on-the-ball with the poultices. I began changing them less often and I moved to just a band-aid with a bit of the mixture, and occasionally, just with a herbal healing salve instead of the black sticky mess that the charcoal made.

We definitely missed a few days days, and sometimes he took the bandaids or poultice off because they were bugging him (although he was a very good sport overall).

At the 2-3 week point, it looked as though the infection was entirely gone and just a small mark remained where it had been. Now, at the 4 week mark, you can’t even tell he had it at all. The skin looks completely healed. (And I’m sorry I don’t have a picture to show you- I forgot to take one until today and found my camera battery dead).

Here's how one mom was able to naturally heal infection without antibiotics – and how you can too!

What I am (and am not) saying in this post

I can already hear some of the comments, so I’m going to address them proactively:

1. I am not saying that we should avoid doctors or that their suggestions should necessarily be ignored. There are times when conventional medical treatment is the right course of action, but I think it can be helpful to ask ourselves some good questions before making a decision for either natural OR conventional treatment. As a matter of fact, I thoroughly appreciated the quick and accurate diagnosis the doctor provided, which I had not been able to figure out on my own.

2. Antibiotics are not the enemy. They are overused, abused, and are causing problems as a result of reckless prescription. Much of the time, infections could be treated more naturally or simply be allowed to run their course for a full recovery in a similar period of time. And yet sometimes, antibiotics are invaluable and even life-saving. I’m not opposed to antibiotics. I’m grateful to live in a time and place when they are available for us when we need them. But that’s the key word… need.

3. Home remedies can, and often do, work as well or better than many prescription/allopathic medications. They’re not something to mess around with, though, particularly if you’re not sure what you’re doing. I’ve been studying alternative health and natural remedies for years, and as a result, I feel comfortable treating many of our family’s ailments. It’s worth noting, though, that before I took this infection on, I had it diagnosed so that I knew clearly what I was dealing with. My husband and I also had a conversation where we agreed that if it didn’t show signs of improving within a couple of days (we set a specific date) then we would reconsider filling the prescription for the antibiotics.

Here's how one mom was able to naturally heal infection without antibiotics – and how you can too!

Do you have a story of healing with a home remedy? I hope you’ll share it.


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  1. Our daughter came home from India with this rash when she was adopted. In fact the whole orphanage had contracted the moluscum contagium and the staff doctor was trying to figure out how to minimize the spread. I was told it tends to go away after a few months on it own and only speads to people with compromised immune systems. They gave us a topical prescriptiuon and sent us on our way. We could not find a pharmacy that could fill the prescription in our Indian city and tried 3 places. Finally we found a pharmacy in Delhi after completing our embassy paperwork. Our daughter did not like the medicine at all. When we arrived back in the US I got a bump on my face and was afraid that I was going to get this horrible rash. So I immediately put on the medicine, dabbing a Q-Tip on the spot. It was an excrutiating sting. What a way to build a relationship with my new daughter. In the end the rash went away with no more treatment. And I think mine was a big zit, probably from all the stress.

  2. I’m so glad you wrote about this. My daughter has a bump that appeared on the back of her neck at around 6 months old. We finally got her into a dermatologist and she was diagnosed with molloscum contagiosum. After the medication options were presented, the doctor recommended letting it run it’s course since she was so young, as it would likely go away on its own in a few months. She’s almost 16 months now, and it’s still there, though it has decreased in size a bit. I’ve used tea tree oil on it, but never saw any change after several weeks. This story gives me encouragement to try again. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Melissa- all four of my kids had several bumps of the molloscum contagiosum. Since they were not infected, I waited, like you, and applied the tea tree oil when I thought of it. Finally I got tired of them because they were there for so many months. I poked each one with a sterilized needle, pulled the lumpy cyst thing out, and THEN applied the tea tree oil. Every bump that I treated in this way went away completely and immediately and they have never come back. I just wanted to share my experience since it worked so well on all four of my test cases. 🙂 I know that “popping things” is not always the best choice, but in this case it seemed to be productive.

      1. Thanks, Betsy! If I thought I could get my 16 month-od to BE STILL long enough, I would definitely do it! Hers has decreased so much that it’s almost flat now, so I feel like it’s in the process of going away. No one else in our house “caught” it, so I have no one else to experiment on. Ha!

  3. This is very encouraging. I am now in a difficult and frustrating situation with my daughter’s chronic, severe eczema. She has been itching, peeling and rashing, head to toe since spring. We’ve been to four doctors this summer. A natural chiropractor is treating her through nutritional therapy and supplements, but it’s a slower process. The allergist has me rubbing all manner of topical steroids and immunosuppresants on her. It’s SO hard to know what to do when your child is ill and isn’t getting any better. Skin infections are a definite problem right now, so I might give this a try soon.

    1. Jessica- stumbled on your post and thought I’d mention that I also suffer from eczema, and I have been using Apple Cider Vinegar/Water mixture. (Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar with ‘The Mother’ in it) I dilute 1:4 ratio and blot my skin with a cotton ball, or you can also use in a sprayer and spray painful areas. It will sting if applied to open skin, but instantly takes the itch away- I have had the best experience with it. Just thought I would share. 🙂

      1. Jessica, I am so sorry to hear about your daughter’s struggle with eczema! I have a friend whose daughter had it so bad that they barely took her out of the house because of how uncomfortable she was. She took a nutritional supplement called Reliv and is 100% clear!!!! If you’d like to
        talk with her, I’d be happy to set you up! Feel free to
        email me at: Carl.Alyssa@gmail if you want to learn more! Reliv has certainly proved positive results fast!

    2. We have a friend whose daughter suffered from the most severe eczema any of her doctors have ever seen. After years of internal and topical medication and nutritional intervetion (all to no avail) and a referral to the top eczema specialists in the country they began using hydro-therapy and it works for them. You can read about it at the links I have listed
      Jason Int. Co. is located here in AR, so our friends were able to deal with the folks directly and have had an extremely positive experience all the way around. This is obviously not an inexpensive option but our friends daughter is living a normal life now after years of suffering. I will pray for your little girl. FYI: I am in no way affiliated with or reimbursed by this company.

    3. Hi, read my post higher up about how we cured my baby’s eczema. I can’t even remember the entire name of the product, but it was called something like Glacier Cream and I bought it at Lifestyle Markets in Victoria, BC. – it was really inexpensive – around $10. It worked sooo amazing!! My son was covered in eczema to the point where I was embarassed to take him out because he was so red and his face was all scabby. He was 12mths old and would scratch at it. Within just a few days of using it his skin cleared up and hasn’t been much of a problem since then. His cheeks do get a little red if he has dairy, so we try to avoid that all the time. If you’re interested in the cream I don’t mind going to that store and finding out the actual name of it – just let me know. I understand how frustrating it can be dealing with eczema
      so I always like to tell people about that cream since I found it so helpful. My dad even started using it for eczema/infection behind his ears and it worked with him as well.

    4. Eczema usually is related to internal digestion issues. Especially severe eczema. Try introducing probiotics into her daily menu(plain whole organic yogurt or one of the refrigerated acidophilus powders in water). I would immediately cut out all sugars, refined carbs and anything processed. Skin eruptions in most cases are because the body is trying to detox, and the bowels aren’t working as they should. Introduce bone broths as well for the healing effect of the gelatin. Stephanie has tons of resources on here for healthy eating, and the healthy home economist blog is also a wonderful resource.

      I’ve dealt with eczema with my daughters(15mos), and as soon as we introduced acidophilus into their diet(we already eat weston price type diet), they were golden. They were born by c-section which has really messed with their gut flora. Anyways, I know how frustrating eczema is and I hope you’re able to find a way to heal your daughter completely!

      1. What is the name of the refrigerated acidophilus powders in water) please?
        And where to buy it. Thanks.

    5. Stop vaccinating. I did, and my daughter’s eczema went away. She used to have horrible eczema and diaper rashes. Also cut back or eliminate dairy and processed sugar, which feed the eczema, which is said to be a result of yeast overload.

  4. Thank you for this post. I have been looking into getting some activated charcoal since reading about Crunchy Betty’s adventures with it 🙂

    On the recommendation of Stephanie here at KOTH, I got some Redmond clay directly from the company. It is a great tool in our natural first aid kit. It really helps reduce itchiness from bug bites, poison ivy and eczema. Actually, my husband used it several times IN HIS EYE when his eye was irritated and it worked! In short, the clay has a charge that is opposite of toxins and it attracts the toxins to itself and out of your body — how cool!

    1. Thanks for mentioning the Redmond clay, Elissa. It also works excellently for this type of thing. In fact, I probably could have substituted clay in place of the charcoal and had the same results. I use both clay and charcoal frequently and they are among my favorite products for natural healing.

  5. Thank you for sharing this. Often times conventional medicine fails us and it’s nice to have alternatives to try. A few months ago, two of my three children developed warts on their hands and feet. The dermatologist tried topical treatments, freezing, injections, and cutting only to have the darn warts grow back within a few weeks. We were so frustrated. I scoured the internet for home remedies and noticed that many people had great success treating warts with banana peal and duct tape!!!! After spending hundreds of dollars and putting my kids through painful procedures, I was willing to try anything. So we started covering the warts with a small piece of banana peal and duct tape. We kept them covered 24/7 – within a week they were significantly smaller and by three weeks they were gone without a trace! It’s been several months now and the warts have not returned! BTW, the same dermatologist told my daughter to NEVER put raw honey on her pimples because it could cause infection! Dah, We use raw honey to TREAT infections all the time and it works great on pimples!

  6. AMEN! I wholeheratedly concur with the 3 assesments you made and I applaud you for using the treatment you did. We ALWAYS attempt natural remedies before pharmaceutical ones. We use Honey and Tee Tree a lot because they each have numerous, effective medicinal properties. Activated Charcoal is a wonderful drawing agent as well. Our most recent treatments were used on our rabbits; we were given two with extreme ear mites and then one of our herd developed Weepy Eye (rabbit pink eye). Here are the links to each of our blog posts discussing those situations respectively
    Thanks for sharing what you’ve learned. God bless.

    1. It healed the infection, but it also did help with the molluscum. They weren’t completely gone at the end of the 4 weeks, but almost, and they have since gone away completely (I wrote this a few weeks ago). The only thing is, I was only active about this poultice treatment on the two that were near the infection, but not on the other two he had on a different part of his leg. I’ve treated those ones on and off with tea tree oil and hydrated clay, and it has definitely helped to minimize them, but I haven’t being consistent enough to finish the job completely. He still has those two remaining, and I need to get back to regularly treating them so that we can be done with the molluscum completely.

  7. That’s wonderful! Thanks for sharing. We were able to cure our then 2 year old of molloscum with the inside of banana peels taped or band-aided on to the infection. Never had an infected spot though. Now our current 2 year old is getting rid of his the same way. I cured my warts the same way, which I had had for about ten years and multiple atempted freezings and topical treatments only made it bigger and worse. Go banana power!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this tip! I, too, have spent way too much trying to get rid of my son’s warts only to have them return. I’m going to try this method!

      Does the duct tape irritate the ‘healthy’ skin, though??

  8. Thank you for this post! I am in the same boat as far as how to approach homeopathy and dr.’s! I am new to charcoal but have used it for my sons ear infections. Works better and FASTER than antibiotics! @ Jessica and Laura: So sorry to hear of these awful skin conditions but I have to share that I am an ItWorks! Distributor and we have seen great success and improvement using our Greens and Defining Gel in particular. My website is listed above and you can contact me via the website. I hate to solicit this way but I really think i could give you some great, natural, alternatives!

  9. I love using home remedies when appropriate. We went on a trip recently and I made sure there was charcoal in the first aid kit. I would just caution people not to put charcoal mixtures on broken skin as they may leave a tattoo.
    Last spring I got a couple of large splinters lodged in my ankle. It swelled up and became infected. It was a staph infection. After seeing the doctor I decided to take colloidal silver instead of the oral antibiotic. I had the filled prescription on hand just in case. After a few days the nurse called me to tell me that the culture had revealed a second “bug” in there that the prescription wouldn’t have been able to kill. I was supposed to pick up a second antibiotic and not take the first. Since there was already much improvement I didn’t need it anyway. A day or two later a splinter over and inch long came out followed by a smaller one the next day. Healing was rapid after that!

  10. I had mollescum in college and the dr froze them and cut out the worst few which scarred. Wish I would have known about this option back then!

  11. Thanks! My son had eczema very badly on his face, diaper area, inner arms, behind ears, etc and the doctor prescribed a $90 cream, which only made it worse. I stopped putting it on, because it seemed like when we put it on he simply broke out in a different spot. I went to the health food store and bought a $10 container of Glacier Cream made with calendula, and it cleared all his eczema up in a few days!! If your child has eczema I highly recommend going the natural route – check the health food store and try something there before going the overpriced, ineffective pharmaceutical route.

  12. I like this! My special needs son got a strange bug bite last year, which he obsessively scratched, so he ended up with cellulitis. We ended up treating it with Neosporin, because I just did not have any better ideas. I will tuck this into my medicine cabinet of ideas! Thanks for sharing. Blessings~Kim

  13. I am new to home remedies, but love learning more about them. My daughter also has mollescum contagium on the back of her knee, and it has been there about 6 months. Fortunately, it has not become infected. The doctor told me just to wait it out for 3-6 months, but I wonder if your home remedy would help it to go away altogether. Thank you for sharing this, and I would love to see a post on how to build your own home remedy first aid kit. As winter approaches, I don’t want to give my kids all the cough & cold medicine with sugar and food dyes, either. Thakns so much!!

  14. This is kind of gross… But for years and years (and years), I had a bump on my hip that seemed like it was some type of calcium deposit. One weekend, (fool that I am) I set out to “drain” it. Bad idea. It got completely infected and red, swollen and very painful. It was right where the waist of my pants sat, too, which made it even worse. We were out of town at the time, and as soon as I got home, I started researching. Almost everything I found said I’d have to go to the doctor and have it lanced. It was truly the thought of that pain that drove me to find an alternative. I found a “recipe” for a paste to draw out the infection: raw honey, sea salt, garlic and turmeric. I layered it thickly over the entire area and covered it well right before bed. By morning, the entire thing had drained! It still hurt, but only because the skin was now raw. I kept it covered for another couple weeks, then I felt like the skin had healed enough to leave it uncovered. It’s been over a year now and the skin is still growing back together (the original bump was about the size of a marble, so it was a large area). But it doesn’t hurt at all and obviously the skin is no longer raw. I am so glad I took matters into my own hands, rather than enduring a painful lancing!

  15. I also have had great success with using activated charcoal to get rid of skin infections! My skin seems very sensitive to toxins AND fungal infections. So I use an activated charcoal mixed with water and flax seed to make a paste (instead of honey which would only help feed my fungal infections). The activated charcoal has also seemed to help the itchy-ness.

  16. If there were a “love” button I would have selected that one for this post. I fully intend on trying this out on my husband’s face (he recently was prescribed antibiotics for a potential cyst on his face that is just not going away). I love to learn about new home remedies!

  17. I developed a strange constellation of symptoms over my 20s and in the end they were too much to take while being pregnant and the doctors wanted to treat a handful of them with aggressive antibiotics- raging sinus infection, double ear infections, 3 abcessed teeth, and my first/last bout with poison oak. My immune system was very compromised by this time and I didn’t want that, so I used oil pulling on my teeth, apple cider vinegar internally for the sinus and ear infections, as well as topically for the piston oak nearly in my eyes.
    There were many, MANY more symptoms I was told were due to a variety of problems and everyone suggested medication. I kept searching for the root of the problem and one day i stumbled on it. In thinking my weight might be an issue, I decided to go on a diet with a friend. She said b6 was a daily requirement for it, so I looked it up to be sure of the possible side effects and benefits…. And was floored. There was a list of severe b complex deficiency and I had everything but extreme weight loss and death. I’ve been taking if for about 5 months and it’s making a huge difference, I feel healthy and human again and a little angry. Not one doctor even hinted that it might be B vitamins.

    1. Thanks for all the natural health recipes. I am treating my husband’s boil today with scrapped Irish potato to pull out the pus.

      1. Also zinc is very good for all infections. The boils will not come back if zinc is taken on a daily basis. He takes 1, 50 milligram a day. Thanks again! Katherine

  18. Thank you for sharing and for expressing yourself so well regarding traditional treatment and alternative treatment. I am of the same mind.

  19. When my oldest daughter was about 3, she developed molluscum spots under her arm. It was during the summer so when we took her to her doctor, he told us not to worry about it because it is common and that they would go away on their own. However, months later, they were still there. I did some research and found that putting Apple Cider Vinegar on the spots helped it go away. It did sting her a bit, but within a week, the spots that had spread into a large area were almost all gone! This is very interesting to read too, so thank you for sharing! 🙂

    1. When my daughters had molluscum spots, our pediatrician told us that if one of the spots was “damaged”, it would signal to the rest of them (since they were all interconnected) that it was being fought against, and they would all die off/disappear. She told me to squeeze one of them between two fingernails, like popping a pimple, and they would disappear within a few days. We did this, and sure enough, they disappeared within a week, even though they’d been there for a couple of months by this time. That was the quickest and simplest fix I’ve ever done at home!

  20. My daughter just had the same thing. Having been on antibiotics for a tooth abscess that blew her face up and had to be surgically drained because there was no fistula, I knew her immune system was really low. Anyway, I used castor oil on the “boil”, then used ozonated oil at night and had her take colloidal silver each day. The castor oil brought out a bunch of yucky stuff then the granulation tissue was seen coming up in the deep hole where the boil was. I was told by another mom that her daughter had it tested and it was MRSA in the sore! I don’t know what kind of bug was in there but it was ugly and several smaller ones came up around the original on the back of her leg. I am a beekeeper and did use coconut oil with honey for a bit. The castor oil works like the charcoal so it was needing to get have the toxins out before healing with the honey. You did good. Yes it did take about almost a month and at the end no bandage. But very weird this is happening I think……The DDS’s couldn’t figure out why her abscess either, no reason for such a huge reaction and I treated that so she will not have to have a root canal. Using ozone subluxation and injection.

    1. I am fighting a tooth infection and really need to know what brand of colloidal silver is best to treat that. If you could tell some information about the ppm would be really great!

      Thanks in advance!

  21. My husband had hernia surgery 5 years ago. Shortly afterwards, he started having discomfort in that area, which gradually increased to the point of quite a bit of off-and-on pain. We visited the doctor and he told us that it was scar tissue and that the only way to get rid of it was with another surgery. That was NOT an option! Like you, Stephanie, my first thought was “oh, really?” 🙂 Now that we had a diagnosis, I just had to start my research. We used castor oil directly on the site of the surgical cut, on 4 days, off 3 days every week – and four months later, he is completely pain free and the scar can’t be felt anymore! Castor oil is a powerful thing – another great thing to have in your medicine cabinet!!

  22. Awesome! I totally agree with you! I love that we live in a place where medical treatment is readily available, BUT I very much prefer trying things naturally first. For me, conventional medicine is the last resort. (Except in the case of a dire emergency, of course!)

    My 4 yr old is just getting over a cough that has lasted over a month. She never had a fever or anything else, so I suspected allergies. But after 3 weeks, I finally called her Dr. to see if it could be something serious. They just told me to give her mucinex and call back if that didn’t help after a week! Maybe mucinex isn’t all that bad, but I decided to continue with the herbal tinctures I had made. Within a few days she improved greatly, and now only coughs occasionaly. Now my 3 yr old is coughing, so he’s taking the herbs, too! ( The herbs are lobelia, fenugreek & thyme, and astragalus & marshmallow.) My sister has used those two combos for her seasonal allergies with great success, and I used lobelia since it’s good for coughs. Plus I’ve given them garlic, too.

    Once, my daughter had red and goopy eyes that everyone told me was pinkeye. But it never itched, so I wasn’t real concerned, and didn’t rush to the Dr. One friend said she always uses castor oil for pinkeye, so I put that in her eye and it cleared it up! Everyone else told me it wouldn’t go away without antibiotic drops. Sorry, proved them wrong! Perhaps if she had been crying in pain, I would have taken her to the Dr., but I’m glad the castor oil worked instead. : )

  23. Thank you for sharing this important information. I highly recommend the book by Dr. Walt Stoll, MD entitled, ‘Saving Yourself from the Disease-Care Crisis’ to better understand the ideas between the atomists and vitalists approach to health care. The new term for blending the benefits of traditional (atomist) medicine and alternative (vitalist) healing is ‘complementary medicine.’ Both sides have their strong points and we can use each to our advantage. Every mother should have knowledge of home remedies, combined with a healthy lifestyle, in order to benefit her family. Keep up the good work you are doing Stephanie.

  24. I cured a cluster of warts on my feet soaking them in Tahitian Noni Juice for 2 weeks for a little while before bed. I actually had the warts removed by my doctor- they were burned off- talk about painful! Then months later they still came back and were getting bigger and bigger. Probably two years later the cluster went from the size of a dime to a quarter. Then thats when we tried the noni and i looked at my feet about a month later- to realize the warts were gone and the skin healed over. That was 10 years ago and they never came back. How I wish I would have known about noni before having underwent having them burned off!

  25. My daughter went through two rounds of antibiotics a couple of summers ago because of a really bad, infected bump in her diaper area. Antibiotics do some pretty bad things with her tummy, so when a bump showed up again several months later, I just started keeping coconut oil on it. It went away within a few days. We also use the oil as a diaper cream at night, so it’s kept all infections at bay.

  26. I’m pinning this because I am so adept in this area! I’ve never used activated charcoal for anything! So glad you were able to cure your son’s infection without meds!!

  27. Oh, thanks for sharing all of your experiences, everyone! I love learning new ways to treat yucky stuff without conventional medications and all their side effects!

    My (then) 4-year-old son and I got strep throat from the family I used to work for, and we successfully treated it with raw garlic with breakfast and dinner. I would mince a whole clove each time for myself, and about a half a clove for my son. I took mine in a bite of hummus, but he preferred taking his in yogurt (YUCK)! He did cry the first couple times I made him take it, but he got used to it, and we were symptom free after about a week of taking it. Just to be sure, I think we stayed on the garlic for about 10 days, though. My husband could barely stand the smell of us for those 10 days, but it worked! Haha!

  28. I have two accounts of healing infections at home, one bacterial, and one viral.

    Two years ago, my cat started losing fur on her back in patches, and soon it got infected. The vet treated it, but it came back even worse. It was a very aggressive bacteria, and my poor kitty was miserable, always trying to run away from whatever was bothering her back.

    Anyway, one night my kitty was growling in the window, and I, half asleep, grabbed her tail. She freaked out and dug into my arm with all her claws and teeth. My punctured arm was burning like nothing I’ve ever felt before… and I’ve had cat bites and scratches plenty of times. It was the middle of the night, so all I could do was wash it in the sink and treat it with hydrogen peroxide.

    On Monday I showed it to my nutritionist and she could tell it was getting infected because the redness was trailing up my arm. She knows I don’t like taking antibiotics, so she told me to make a poultice out of Bragg apple cider vinegar. Listening to her advice, I soaked some folded paper towel in the vinegar and wrapped it around my wound with elastic bandage. I changed out the paper towel every few hours, and boy did it sting!!! And stink!

    The deep holes from the bites began to close after a week, the infection died off, and everything healed up nicely except for tiny scars.

    I made it out alive without internal medicine. Unfortunately, kitty was put down. 🙁

    More recently, I discovered I contracted Herpes simplex 1 (common oral herpes). I stay healthy, so when the fever blister appeared, I thought it was a zit at first, but the very tip of it tingled. My nutritionist suggested to ingest AND topically apply Menuka honey. So I ate the honey every day and dabbed it on the blister 5 times a day. The blister never broke open and only mildly scabbed; the menuka honey kept it very moisturized.

    Two weeks later, the fever blister had practically disappeared. Menuka honey is extremely anti-viral and anti-microbial, and it tastes so divine!

    Thanks to my nutritionist!

  29. What an awesome learning experience! I’m starting to use activated charcoal more and more these days. After reading a post on, I’ve been using it to whiten my teeth. It totally works!
    I’ve started drinking a quart of red raspberry leaf tea every day. My PMS symptoms have almost completely disappeared. So much that I’m surprised every month when I get my period! I’m continually amazed at how effective natural remedies can be.

  30. About a year ago, for the first time in my life as far as I know, I developed a painful infection in my left ear. I made garlic oil by gently heating several crushed cloves in olive oil, and letting it sit for about 30 minutes, before removing the garlic. My wonderful husband helped put the oil in my ear twice a day. It helped, but after a week, the infection wasn’t gone. Then I saw a post on The Healthy Home Economist about emptying a capsule of Biokult probiotics into the back of your mouth before bed, “swishing” it around and swallowing. The probiotic bacteria should migrate through your sinuses while you sleep, to help fight sinus infections. Since the ear canal is connected to the sinuses, I figured this might help. After 3 nights of doing this, the ear infection finally cleared. All in all, it was gone in about the same amount of time as if I had taken a course of antibiotics.

    After my son was born, at 29 weeks by emergency C-section, I had a lot of trouble with the incision site. At my 6 week follow up, the doctor instructed me to clean it every day, and apply an antifungal powder. I had been very ill, and was struggling to recover from my son’s birth, and it just didn’t occur to me to try anything natural at the time. So, I began using the antifungal powder every day. After several days the incision was better. But about 2 days after I stopped using the powder, it got worse again. This continued for months! I had visions of being dependent on antifungal powder for the rest of my life. Finally, about 6 months after the birth I was determined to find a way to clear it up once and for all. I didn’t even research, because I knew coconut oil had powerful antifungal properties, and so did garlic. So, I set out to make a pretty potent concoction. 🙂 I steeped about 10 crushed garlic cloves in 1/2 cup of gently warmed coconut oil for about 45 minutes, removed the garlic, and bottled it up. It didn’t smell pretty, but the infection was gone, never to return again, after 3 days of use. I was amazed! If I knew it would take so little, I would have made a lot less. My husband used it on a fever blister, and said it was the fasted he’d ever had one clear up before. It is a little messy, and when I make my next antifungal concoction, I’m going to add some beeswax, to make it more of a salve.

    Those are my 2 major examples of how natural treatments have helped me just as well, or better than conventional medicine.

  31. Thank you for this great information! I have had lots of experiences with skin conditions and I always try and go the natural / herbal route. My husband recently has a problem spot on some scar tissue that just won’t go away, and I finally was thinking a charcoal poltice may be of some good. Now, I am surely getting one on his ankle tonight with your recommendation of raw honey and tea tree oil. It is great to come across wonderful information like this!

  32. Thanks for your article! We visit doctors – they are not the enemy – and I’ve found it helpful these past few moves to search out a D.O. instead of an M.D. D.O.s are “hiding” in most every doctor’s office. Our experience is that they are more preventive oriented AND less likely to prescribe drugs. We had a wonderful doctor in western Colorado (a D.O.) who had never given his own kids antibiotics for ear infections. Now, he had the luxury of being able to look in his kid’s ears everyday to monitor them. BUT, when my son had an ear infection (happened pretty frequently when he was a toddler) my doc would have the first office visit and then offer a “quick check” (free) whenever we stopped by during the week. He would monitor the infection and only ONCE did he say “OK, you need to get antibiotics in this kid or his eardrum is going to burst”. We appreciated this SO much and have tried to find doctor’s with similar approaches since then! After my son had the antibiotics, he had suggestions on how to help heal his gut.

  33. I love reading about natural remedies too. The only one I have used so far has been to use onion juice and garlic oil to treat my daughter’s ear infections. She has had quite a few of them in her life so I got tired of putting her on antibiotics for them and happened to read about these natural remedies. Well, I even converted my totally anti-home remedy husband with this one! He was amazed how quickly the pain went (within an hour) and how quickly the infection cleared up. I have to say I was hopeful they would work and so relieved when they worked even better than I anticipated.

  34. I had mollescum contagium as well. I popped each of the bumps with a sterilized needle and then put tea tree oil on them. Within a week they were all gone and did not return. My doctor told me I was basically screwed and it’d “run its course” in a few months or years. Pft; hurrah for tea tree oil!

  35. I have a 4 month old baby, so I am still breastfeeding. I regularly use breastmilk to heal his little scratches and eye infections. My crowning moment of thoughtfulness was when I was starting to get an ear infections….put a few drops of breastmilk in my ear and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Later that night it got a little worse, but in the morning…NO MORE EAR INFECTION. I was pretty thrilled.

  36. Saturated pads with Braggs ACV held in place with bandaids for 18 hours took care of my molluscum contagiosum. Not a pretty smell, for sure…but they turned brown, dried up and went away.

  37. My dad had a stroke and also developed Diabetes as a consequence. He had always been hypoglycemic in his life. At any rate, he was in a skilled setting in the hospital to rehab and my mother and I brought his dog in to see him. She accidently scratched his anterior lower leg leaving a 4 inch long area over the shin that simply wouldn’t heal. I am a nurse by profession and know of which I speak when I tell you we tried everything internal and topical to heal this. Bacitracin, Triple Antibiotic ointment, Garamycin…etc. without success. When we took him home he was just finished with oral antibiotics and still no improvement. my mother says what do you think about using a bread and milk poultice? I said that considering we’d been through everything else “Why not?” Bread and milk poultice applied and dressing over that just to contain the mess. Within two days the area which had originally been red, inflammed and draining yellow purulent material was dry, redness nearly gone and drying up and healing. People laugh about these “old fashioned” remedies but this one proved to me that treating some things with the so called “old fashioned” treatment isn’t so far off the mark!

  38. I was a dermatology nurse for 12 years. We use to treat molluscum contagiousum all the time. The stuff we used was sooo harsh and cause so much irritation to the skin. I love finding this remedy! I have 4 kids and I’m sure it will come in very useful one day. 🙂

  39. I also have tried similar ideas for skin irritations and such….three things I found very useful….: Wart Wonder which has thuja: (The natives of Canada used the needles of Thuja occidentalis (Eastern White Cedar) to make a tea that has been shown to contain 50 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams; this helped prevent and treat scurvy.

    In the 19th century Thuja was commonly used as an externally applied tincture or ointment for the treatment of warts, ringworm and thrush,[14] and a local injection of the tincture was used for treating venereal warts.[15], it also contains apple cider vinegar, super-infused extracts of creosote leaf, bloodroot, and pure essential oils of tea tree and lemon. The second is called Miracle Oil: it contains the following oils; hemp, tea tree, avacado, soybean,apricot, vitamin E., eucalyptus, rosemary and jojoba. All of the following have their own healing properties. And the third is my own: in a base of sweet almond and jojoba oil because jojoba penetrates the deepest and is most similar to the skin’s natural ph and viscosity….and to this base I add the following essential oils; eucalyptus, cedarwood, pine, lemon eucalyptus, tea tree, rosemary, geranium, cayenne pepper juice ( to help it reach the blood stream) and garlic….yes garlic…sounds funny….but I assure you we use this on ourselves and our dog…no mosquitos, no ticks, no fleas….and I use it to heal cuts, fungal infections, bacterial infections…as well as heal sprains, strains, and bruises for the last idea I apply it to the skin and add Arnica gel….just helps penetrate deeper with the oil. Hope you have as much success with this as I have…..:)

  40. Wish I had known about how to treat molluscum when my grandkids had it. We went to the Dermo three times and their bug juice did not work. These kids suffered with this stuff on and off for over 3 years and we were washing all clothes and towels and washclothes after one use and never letting them go to bed without baths. There are even a few scars left from dealing with this nasty disease. Thanks for the info. I will have it ready if anyone else in the family is diagnosed with molluscum again.

  41. I wish more people relied on natural remedies, or at least knew of them as am alternative choice to the over prescribed antibiotics, and prescription remedies. My children never suffered colic and other common childhood problems, because I used such things, the way my grandmother told me to. i passed this knowledge on to friends that were amazed that they worked, and on to my children when they began having children of their own. I only wish I had known more remedies to use and pass on. I am going to buy both of your books, to have access to more knowledge. Thank you.

  42. I haaaaaaaate molluscum contagiosum. My middle one had it for over a year (2?), my you gets has had it for over 3. They’ve recently begun to get infected deep like that. I didn’t take her to the dr about it (yet) bc I’ve managed to treat them with charcoal & warm compresses. Using an ace bandage to hold on gauze pads helps a lot if the are in uncomfortable places for bandaids (upper inner thigh skin is sensitive!). 🙂

  43. Um, hey — you are awesome. You fixed your boy without drugs. AMEN! I think that is the coolest thing I’ve read all week. I’m all about letting our food be our medicine and doing it all “pioneer style” . Way to go, Mama!

  44. Do you think this would work on acne? My girls have such a problem with this and we are very healthy minded in our diet and mental wellness initiatives…but I am not going to go the route of birth control for the hormonal imbalances….trying this with herbs..etc. and while I love this for oral health and skin conditions, it might be more systemic and too wide spread to cover the entire back, chest, and face areas….any ideas??? Just started a homeopathic (thuja) internally….has only been a few days though…any thoughts?? Michelle 🙂

    1. witch hazel helps to cleanse the face and tea tree essential oil can be applied directly to pimples to help dry them up…it might also be worth while to check the hardness of your water. My brother has sensitive skin and had very bad break outs all over his back and chest. This went away after using cleaner water to wash with, so a water filter for your entire house may be worth looking into.

  45. you are such a great Mother and thinker. There ARE usually alternatives, however a burn of mine got infected with streaks coming out of the wound site, antibiotics………..cdiff. I have a family of my own, so far I have missed my birthday,Halloween with my 4 year old and Thanksgiving. I knew it was wrong to take the medicine, but the thought of having it get into my blood scared me . Now, i have lost 25 lbs, i will probably weigh 80 lbs or lose my life thanks to antibiotics. i am scheduled for a fecal transplant on Friday, I have a bad feeling. Just wanted to tell you I wish I was stronger and said no as well. Dr’s don’t care, they forgot how, but they have to make money. Pray for me and I will save your article my daughter has the same thing, but my Dr, recommended a suave. Charcoal gets out splinters as well. thanks again

  46. Did this cure the molluscum as well as the infection? My 4 year old daughter has molluscum that is not infected. I’m wondering if this would help her as well.

    1. You know, at first, I didn’t think that it had because the molluscum hung around for a while past the healing of the infection. But after a little while, the molluscum actually went away, too, and have not returned. I had been treating them either as I described in this post, or sometimes by putting just a small amount of straight tea tree essential oil on them.

  47. Hi Stephanie,
    I read your blog after I self diagnosed a cyst below my skin on my chest. I made an appointment to see my doctor, but she can’t see me for a few more days. She is a naturalpathic doctor and always has looked for the natural way to heal things, before antibiotics. However, this thing is getting bigger and I thought that I would try what you used on your son. It is on right now and I can feel the tea tree oil working. I, like you, feel the way about doctors. I am a yoga instructor and always try to find the natural way of healing. I will keep you posted on my progress and even what my doctor says, if you would like. Thank you,

  48. This last year I healed my husband of a very bad brown recluse bite. It was the second one he has had. The first he went to the doctor and had anti botics and they cut on it and it left a nasty scar… so when he found the last one I ask him if he wanted me to treat it and so we decided to try something an old country doctor told us to use on our son’s recluse bite a few years ago… We started with a clean white rag soaked in Hot water( as hot as you can stand it) with a cup of Epson salts dissolved in it and keep reapplying it until it soaked the cover and the pus was drawn out…then I applied a poultice of charcoal powder mixed with ground flax seed. we did this everyday and left the poultice on for 2 hours at a time. 2 weeks later it was healed. He has a tiny scar compared to the one the doctor treated. I am very lucky as I am not allergic to recluse bites. I have always tried to use common sense when it came to Antibiotics and doctors. I can count the times my kids (3) have been on antibiotics as I have always tried to treat them naturally and I let a lot of things just run its course and just supported the immune system so that the body can learn to heal its self. because thats what it is meant to do!! We need more of this because our immune systems are so weak in this day and age from all the crap we are told we MUST use… this is simply not true. You can heal most things your self. Really. I have seen it over and over in my life.

  49. Not too long after starting my son @ a new daycare he developed a rash that looked very similar to your child’s. It took 5 doctors and 1 nurse practitioner to figure out what he had. Coxsackie (Foot, mouth disease) very common for kids potty training as they’re little legs hang on the side of the toilet. They can sometimes get a fever and lesions in the back of the throat. The bumps itch and get very red. They prescribed a cortizone which i seriously did not appreciate using as we all know they contain steroids. I tried calomine, even pure vitamin e cream.
    The rash has now turned into Ezxema and the only thing that keeps it away is daily rubbings of vaselin. He doesnt seem to mind now but im sure he will come summer.
    The dermatologist said he will likely grow out of it.

  50. I was skeptical when I clicked on this link via Pinterest, but pleasantly surprised.
    I was braced for a rant on the evils of modern medicine and antibiotics ruining our bodies etc etc etc
    What I found was a well written, well thought out, logical and rational treatment plan with a great attitude towards conventional medicine and doctoring.

    I plan to follow more of your work now I have seen this. Well done!

  51. Would this work for eczema infection as well?? Trying to figure out what to use on my sons cheek. It is infected. They prescribed a steroid and antibioitcs which I want to avoid if possible.

  52. My son has molluscum and the doctors told me that there is nothing that they can do for him and just let the virus take its course. I asked how long that could be and he said anywhere from 3months to years. I’ve also read that tea tree oil helps so I have been doing that I have noticed a difference but he complains that it hurts. Maybe I will use the charcoal/honey once a day to see if that will help as well.

    Thank you for posting this. This came at a perfect time for me. Thank you!

  53. I had a horrible skin infection on my shin that, over a period of months, came to erode the flesh in my leg (leaving deep golfball-sized indentations) and was often warm to the touch. After some failed Dr. visits I did some research on-line, ordered the best raw Manuka honey I could find from New Zealand, an and applied it as a poultice.

    Within one week all that remained was a discoloration, and now (after about 3 years) even that has vanished.

    Needless to say, I’m sold on Manuka honey!

  54. My youngest son was diagnosed with this about a year ago I was told by my DR not to worry eventually they go away on there own and to just wait. Luckily we haven’t one become infected but my question would be did this clear them up all the way or just draw out the infection? I am getting the stuff so I have it on hand in case of infection but it cleared it up I want to start treating it asap! Thanks so much!!

  55. Hello! I’ve stumbled upon this post and have started to try making a poultice as described here; so far, I’ve been having good results (I haven’t been doing it for long; just a few days). I had a quick question…do you leave the solution on or do you rinse it out eventually (how long would you keep it on)? The answer should be obvious, but I was trying to get a rough estimate of the maximum time required to keep the solution on the skin for maximum effectiveness. I’ve been rinsing it off after about three hours or so (though I left it on overnight one day). Any information you have would be really helpful. Thanks!

  56. I realize this is an older post but if any natural minded moms see this, I could use some advice. My son seems to get recurrent infections in his diaper area. We’re fairly certain that it is bacteria rather than yeast because of the swelling. He has a tendency to pull the skin off his penis during diaper changes and especially first thing in the morning when the skin may be more soft and moist. It really don’t want to do another course of antibiotics. Any tips for treating the infection topically?

    1. Bethany, I had this same problem with my baby boy and my solution was a warm bath and lots of fresh air to the penis. Also, frequent changes of diapers to keep the penis as dry as possible. I bathed him twice a day and let him run around ( read crawl ) butt naked and this also helped. My doctor wanted some strange cream put on his penis and it was difficult to wash off and created more problems than it was worth. I chucked it and went natural. But having said that please don’t hesitate to see your doctor, especially if things don’t improve. I hope this helps.

    2. Bethany, I know that initially you will think this is too weird to do but my family has been using it for years and years. Corona. It’s a very thick salve that farmers put on the teets of their cows when they have had a calf and the calf suckling makes the teets raw/chapped and sore. Happens mostly in the winter time. The active ingredient is lanolin. You can use it on boys and girls in the diaper area. No worries about it getting too close to openings. Just slather it on. You can buy it in places like farm and ranch places that sell farm animal feeds and tractor supply stores or a large animal vet. Yes, I grew up as an Oklahoma country girl 🙂 Like I said though, it isn’t going to hurt a thing. I still use it all the time on my grand babies, myself, anyone with a skin ailment of some kind.

    3. cloth diapers, change every time damp during the day, every six hours at night. corn starch helps sprinkled on the diaper or, if dr allows wet use otc rash cream. plenty of fluids to dilute urine. remove damp diapers as often as needed. a decade ago we went through a load of cloth diapers a day. Use Dreft for baby diapers. Vinegar in rinse water no other softener in case you are looking at possible allergy reactions also. Cool water liberally to rinse to remove urine when changing diapers. Talk to your pharmacy for suggestions.

  57. Bravo & Good for you !! My father always tried the Old Italian remedies first, and they most often worked. We overuse antibiotics and they have become less effective as the infections mutate and become resistant . Antibiotics are incredible and have saved many lives, but we should really weigh all the options first ! Thanks for sharing !

  58. Thank you so much for this post. I have tired everything amd the only think I have found that works is apple cider vinegar. Problem is it stings! I have used tea tree oil with not much of a outcome but never tired charcoal. My sons chest and belly are covered amd I have been fighting this for a long time now.

  59. You are lucky the infection was not systemic, because treating topically would not have helped and you may have made the situation worse by not treating rapidly.

  60. I have a chronic disease called Hidradenitis Suppurativa and have been put through the ringer with different medications. I am now only taking a pain medication since none of the traditional methods helped. It is an incurable disease but there are things I’ve done to relieve some of the pain. I use Acedic Acid (white vinegar) several times a day on the abscesses, I use epson salts with baking soda in a paste, I soak in a sitz bath with peroxide and hot water, etc…all of these things have done more for more than any antibiotic. I am going to try the charcoal paste you described above. I have tried a pulling salve called Prid, it seems similar to yours, but it’s so thick and hard that it’s difficult to cover the areas. Thank you for posting this. Keep the natural ideas coming. 😀

  61. I think you did a great job. I totally agree with your philosophy, my grandson has a horrible time with his skin. He has been told it is eczema, but we think it might be psoriasis. I used Melaluca bath oil on him when he was little and it seemed to help. It has tea tree oil in it. He definitely need some kind of safe skin cream. Do you have any ideas?

  62. Are you saying you got rid of the original bumps completely? My son has this and I’ve been through the same doctor visit. They have spread a bit (more bumps cropping up on his foot and back of leg on same side) and I’d really like to get rid of them, benign or not. They haven’t been infected. So you’re saying I could possibly get rid of them completely by trying this poultice? I have everything but the charcoal, so I’ll probably try it. Thanks!

  63. Now if only the upper part of the infection has healed over and treatment has not driven the infection even deeper all is good. Drs only recommend antibiotics when necessary any more and since he suggested oral he was trying to stop it before it could go septic. There are natural things, yogurt and such to help with adverse effects of antibiotics. Having had a natural treatment as you suggested, given to my son by his grandmother instead of keeping the drs apt I had made, 2 months later I was taking him daily to have the site where the dr had to open a half inch deep drain site and stuff it will treated antibiotic tape so that it wouldn’t heal over again and continue to spread the infection wo any outward signs of infection. Pretending I know what I am doing on myself is one thing, endangering my child is quite another. Look up septicemia pray it doesn’t go that far. Your first clue should have been the surrounding area of redness, swelling and some pain. Your second that the doctor didn’t open it and use a triantibiotic ointment and three is not returning him to the doctor for a check-up and telling exactly what you did and for how long.

  64. I have used essential oils and other homeopathic remedies many times, my favorite was clearing up poison ivy on my godchild. He calls me the “witch doctor” but when he is getting sick or needs help he will call or text me and tell me he needs my voodoo mixes. I usually send him off to college with a variety of oils that he can use for different minor things. However, I myself still need antibiotics to fight some things. I believe all medicines can work together for the betterment of our health.

  65. You were lucky that deep infection didn’t get into his entire system. I’m a fan of home remedies as well but 3 weeks with a deep infection is risking turning septic or into cellulitis, (serious as mrsa) or mrsa. I’m glad it all worked out so well for him. Honey and charcoal makes sense for the paste,thanks for sharing that one.

  66. I often use turmeric powder (the same one we use in our curries) if I get a wound.

    Some years ago, in Bombay, I slipped on the mossy cement entrance of our building (it was the monsoon season). A glass soda bottle I was carrying, hit the ground, and I got a gash on the palm of my hand. Since I was almost home, I was able to flush out the wound under running tap water. I used turmeric powder generously to cover the wound, bandaged it securely, and re-bandaged it after two days. The bleeding had stopped almost within seconds, the wound was still raw after two days. For safety, I repeated the turmeric powder treatment, and after that only used “Merbromine” on the wound. It gradually healed. I did not go to a doctor. I knew it was a risk, but I had faith in what I was doing. No stitches, and now you can never tell I had such a big gash on my hand.

    I have similar stories about flax seed (for extracting pus, ginger for my heart-burn caused by my blood pressure medication. I also use flax seed powder with oat-meal every morning to help control cholesterol. But I still take my doctor prescribed medication for blood pressure.

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