Most people think the surest way to get rid of warts is to have their dermatologist freeze or burn them off. Those who have tried that route usually know better. Even most dermatologists will admit that warts removed by electricity, freezing or burning have a tendency to return, whereas those removed naturally seldom do.
Here are some natural methods that might help get rid of even your most stubborn warts.
Most folk remedies involve using some type of oil. You’ve probably read that daily application of vitamin E, A, castor oil, or cod liver oil will get rid of warts. I know these oils work for a lot of people, but personally I haven’t had too much success with any of them. One thing that has worked consistently for me and my patients is aspirin.
I don’t guess you could call the use of aspirin a truly natural method, but it works.
Just slightly wet a regular aspirin and place it directly on the wart, then cover it with a Band-Aid to hold it in place. You will need to keep an aspirin (moist) in contact with the wart for two or three days. Remove the aspirin and within the next few days to a week you will notice the wart change to a dark color and fall off. It’s really simple. The tough part is trying to moisten the aspirin without it falling apart. It may take a little practice, but it’s worth the effort.
Another tried and true method to get rid of warts involves putting a fresh drop of milkweed sap directly on the elevated part of the wart two or three times a day. Sometimes this causes a slight burning or swelling. Don’t pick at the wart or scab if one forms. The wart will fall off on its own and leave a nice smooth surface.
Just a short note of caution here. Moles are not warts, and they shouldn’t be treated as such. Also, both of the methods I mentioned might cause a little more irritation to the skin than simply using one of the oils; if that’s a problem, check with you doctor.
Plantar warts, which grow on the bottoms of one’s feet (the plantar surface or sole), can be extremely bothersome and painful. You may not believe the following remedy, but we have found it to be quite effective. We first learned of the technique from Dr. Matthew Midcap of Morgantown, WV, who claims to have successfully treated more than150 patients using this method.
It involves the use of banana peels. Use the peels of bananas that have turned brown. The white inner side of the peel is placed against the wart and taped to the foot. The peel is changed daily and the dead portion of the wart is trimmed away weekly. The time necessary to totally get rid of the warts usually varies depending on their size. In most cases, a couple of weeks are necessary; however, extremely large warts may require a few months. Some patients who had unsuccessfully tried all of the conventional removal processes (burning, freezing, electrocution, etc.), in addition to radiation, had permanent relief with the banana peels.
Not only will the “peel patches” provide a nice cushion while walking, but you can use the ripened bananas to make some healthy banana nut bread.
Citricidal Grapefruit Seed Extract
Citricidal grapefruit seed extract (also known as NutriBiotics’ Traveler’s Friend) comes in a bottle with an eyedropper top, so all you need to do is put a drop directly on the wart. Ideally, you’ll want to avoid the surrounding tissue, but the extract will naturally spread a bit. Cover the wart with a Band-Aid or adhesive skin patch (the extract will likely seep into the cloth part, which is fine). If you reapply the Citricidal and change the bandage twice a day, the wart should turn white and fall off after a week or so.
The Citricidal method tends to be gentler and take longer to work than the aspirin method I mentioned above, but both have been known to cause minor irritation to the skin surrounding the wart. If that’s the case, try ‘painting’ Vaseline around the wart (not on the wart itself) with a Q-Tip. The Vaseline will keep the Citricidal or the aspirin from absorbing into the skin.
While we’re on the subject of Citricidal, several readers have asked me the difference between Citricidal and tree pitch, another natural remedy I’ve recommended. Both substances have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, but pitch is my first choice for minor topical cuts and scrapes. Unlike Citricidal, which can drip and run off of the flesh, most pitch preparations adhere nicely to the skin. Pitch can be used to get rid of warts, but it will take substantially longer than either Citricidal or aspirin.
The best pitch preparation I’ve found over the years is an ointment called PAV (Pitch and Vaseline, plus olive oil). It is available from North American Tree Resin.
Here’s a tip I received from one of my readers, Janet, a few years ago. She swears by oil of cinnamon to get rid of plantar warts after she successfully treated a large wart on the bottom of her foot. Here’s her story:
“My dear mother shared a remedy with me for a plantar’s wart on the sole of my foot. I told her about my problem because I was starting to limp when it reached about the size of a quarter. She looked at me in disbelief and said, ‘Don’t you know you use oil of cloves for toothaches and oil of cinnamon for warts?’
“Well, being about ready to try anything, I went to my drugstore, where I was lucky. They had one old bottle on a back shelf for $1.98. I went home that evening and, after bathing, covered the wart with the cinnamon oil. The next evening I did the same procedure. After about three days, I carefully removed the top layer of dead tissue with a new sterile single-edge razor blade, then applied the oil of cinnamon again.
“I followed this procedure for about two weeks and the plantar’s wart was gone. There was no scar and it did not return. The oil must be the natural cinnamon oil, not the artificial kind that is used to scent candles.
“Recently, my mailman was limping and shared that he had a plantar’s wart on his foot that was driving him crazy. I told him about my mother’s remedy and now his wart is gone. He said he had tried every kind of over-the-counter application and none of them had worked. I know that my general practitioner would think that I was crazy but I thought maybe this information would be able to help others who suffer.”
The following method for getting rid of warts was actually written up in the American Journal of Acupuncture by Gregory Chen, Ph.D decades ago. Dr. Chen describes a technique he has used successfully on himself, his family and several patients. It has worked for warts on the hands, feet, back, genitals, etc. He has even used it to remove large clusters of warts on the back and face. This technique he describes is very simple and effective and all you need is a lit incense stick. (These can usually be purchased at craft stores or shops that sell fragrance-type candles.) Here are the instructions:
Incense can be used to burn or heat the warts directly. Apply heat to the wart until a small blister forms at the base of the wart, or on or around the wart. Cover this blister with a bandage to prevent bursting of the blister. Allow the blister to dry out by itself (absorbed by the body).
Dr. Chen advocates using incense to get rid of warts as “a very safe and economical procedure. Patients and even children can be taught to use the incense themselves in the treatment of their warts if they so desire.”