A milk and bread compress is an old folk remedy that is used for curing boils. A slice of bread is soaked in hot milk. This slice is then placed over the boil as hot as one can tolerate and tied with gauze. The compress may cool down within 20 minutes or so after which it has to be replaced with a hot one. This treatment is done several times in a day. Within a matter of a few days the boil becomes ready to suppurate or ooze out its pus through a tiny opening or head.
This pus contains the white blood cells that form a part of the body’s defense system. It also contains the staph bacteria that trigger the infection and the skin tissues that get destroyed due to the combat between the white blood cells and the bacteria.
Once the boil forms a head the healing process gets accelerated.
Warm compress is a common treatment for the boil that speeds up its ripening or forming a head. The heat that is applied through the warm compress helps in drawing more blood towards the boil. The blood brings along with it more white blood cells. With a large supply of troops or the white blood cells the body is able to fight off the bacterial invasion easily.
In case of a bread and milk poultice, it has a healing effect on the boils in two ways. Whereas the heat from the poultice helps the infection to reach a climax quickly the bread also produces a therapeutic effect on the boil. This is mainly because the bread mold is a natural source of penicillin. Penicillin is a widely used antibiotic drug that is used to control bacterial infections. The bread that is used in a poultice is usually stale and moldy. Even if the bread is not moldy it can develop molds if it is left overnight over the boil. Such moldy breads have green splotches on them. When this type of bread is used to cure boils the penicillin from the bread helps the body to fight off the bacteria.
Thus, we find that bread and milk that are usually considered to be a food also possess healing properties by which they can cure boils.