Everything from garlic poultices to banana peels and… brace yourself… even urine have been recommended as remedies for warts. This post covers some of the most frequently used natural remedies to help stop warts for good.
For those who are familiar with the story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the name Veruca Salt may ring a bell. This selfish little girl was irritating, troublesome, and got her just desserts in the end. “Veruca” also just so happens to be the Latin or medical term for a wart.
What’s in a Wart?
These unsightly bumps can be just as irritating and troublesome as the infamous Ms. Salt. Warts are unsightly, but more importantly they also indicate a deeper health issue. These little bumps are caused by the human papilloma virus, or HPV, and can spread to other areas of the body or to other people if not careful.
There are over 120 different known types of HPV, and many of these strains can remain dormant in the body for years. It isn’t until the immune system becomes weakened that warts can rear their ugly heads.
Warts can be treated topically to get rid of the obvious blemishes, but strengthening the overall immune system is also helpful. When the body is strong and able to fight off the virus, developing warts is no longer such an issue. Fermented foods, healthy probiotics, and a generally healthy diet and lifestyle go a long way towards boosting the immune system.
Why Warts Happen
Certain habits can cause warts to spread over the body or from person to person. Hands should be thoroughly washed with soap and water after contact with warts to avoid their spread.
Warts also like to set up house on damaged areas of the skin. Nail-biting, nicking skin while shaving, and everyday cuts can all be breeding grounds for warts.
Since warts stem from a viral infection, it’s important to treat one as soon as it’s visible. This helps to prevent them from spreading and getting out of hand.
How to Get Rid of Warts, Naturally, of Course!
A doctor or dermatologist can cut, burn, or freeze a wart out, but some find that the warts still come back with these methods. Natural remedies for warts can be just as (if not more) effective when used properly. The key to treating warts is consistency. Many methods will take 1-3 months before the wart is completely gone.
Homeopathy is based off of each individual person’s constitution and health history. Ideally one would work with an experienced homeopathic doctor who could match a remedy for each person’s condition. However, there are a few homeopathic remedies for warts that are commonly used and can be found online or in local health food stores.
Antimonium crudum – Useful against rough, smooth, or plantar warts. Also useful for indigestion.
Causticum – Can be used for filiform warts, which are flesh-colored, long and cone-shaped. These can be anywhere on the body, but especially appear near the fingertips, lips or face.
Dulcamara – Typically indicated for large, smooth, and flat warts on the face, fingers, or back of the hand.
Thuja – Used for common warts on any location, except plantar warts.
Certain essential oils contain antiviral properties that can help stave off warts. Oregano, tea tree, and lemongrass essential oil are frequently used on warts.
- Tea tree is commonly used at a 50% dilution since it’s a more mild oil.
- Oregano and lemongrass however are much more potent and need to be properly diluted to avoid skin sensitivity or burns. The diluted essential oils can be applied to the wart and then wrapped in a bandage that’s replaced daily.
My favorite brand of essential oils, Plant Therapy, carries a Kid-Safe “Warts Be Gone” essential oil. It has a roll-on applicator and we apply it as soon as we notice a wart.
Basil contains volatile oils that are high in antibacterial and antiviral properties. When the fresh leaves are chewed and placed on a sting or bite, it helps to draw out the toxins from the area. Some people have seen success with applying fresh crushed basil to warts, then wrapping in a cloth or bandage. The leaves need to be changed out daily. Diluted basil essential oil could also be substituted.
Milky Sap From Plants
Not everyone has access to wild plant medicines, but they are cheap and effective remedies for warts. The milky sap from specific plants can be applied to warts several times a day until improvement is seen. Pussy willow, milkweed, and dandelion stems can all be broken and used. I haven’t tried this one personally, so let me know if it works!
Garlic is a potent remedy for many ailments due to its wide array of antimicrobial benefits. Raw garlic slices can be used to get rid of warts. A small piece of garlic can be rubbed on a wart several times a day, until the wart is gone.
A warning: garlic juice can easily burn the healthy skin surrounding the wart, so it’s important to make sure the it only touches the wart. Alternatively, a small piece of raw garlic can be taped onto the wart.
Bananas and Potatoes
No one really knows why, but banana peels and potato slices have been successfully used for many years as folk remedies for warts. As improbable as it may sound, some people swear by these methods.
- A raw potato slice can be rubbed on the wart several times a day until the wart disappears.
- A piece of banana peel can be taped onto the wart and changed out daily. A drop of tea tree oil can be applied to the banana peel before taping it on to help amplify the effects.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Bug bites, heartburn, and foot fungus are just some of the many issues that apple cider vinegar can help relieve. It may not be surprising then to hear that it can also help remove warts.
To use vinegar on a wart:
- Soak a cotton ball in raw apple cider vinegar diluted in some water.
- Tape or bandage the cotton ball to the wart and leave it on overnight.
- Repeat until the wart is gone.
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Scott Soerries, MD, Family Physician and Medical Director of SteadyMD. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
What remedies for warts have you tried or found to be the most effective?