There are almost as many traditional and alternative treatments for warts as there are types of viruses causing the warts. Alternative treatment methods are directed not only against the virus, but also toward strengthening the immune system through proper diet and supplements.
Warts can be very resistant to treatment, however, and take one to two months of conscientious therapy to resolve. Genital warts require immediate treatment, as they can be a precursor to cervical cancer.
Warts vary in size from about two to ten millimeters (approximately one-sixteenth to three-eighths inch), usually have clear borders, and are generally firm and flesh-colored. Contrary to popular belief, they do not have “roots” or “seeds!’ However, capillaries (tiny blood vessels) can appear as tiny black dots within the wart. Warts can be flat, cauliflower-like, or needle-shaped. They most frequently appear as hard, flesh-colored, round common warts on the fingers, hands, and knees. A variant that occurs on the soles of the feet are called plantar warts. These are usually painful. Flat warts, flesh-colored and flat-topped, most frequently appear on the face, wrists, and backs of the hands. Filiform warts are long and slender and develop on the eyelids, armpits, and necks of overweight, middle-aged people. Digitate warts have finger-like projections and are dark-colored. Genital warts are pink and cauliflower-shaped.
12 Natural Ways to Remove Warts
- Alfalfa tea can be helpful. Steep 1 tablespoon of the seed or 2 ounces of the dried leaf in 1 quart of boiling water. Drink a cup three times a day.
- Thuja, also known as arbor vitae, can be made into a lotion or ointment and applied directly to the wart on a daily basis.
- The inner side of a fresh banana skin can be placed against the wart and held in place with a tight dressing. Replace with a new piece of banana skin every day until the wart dissolves.
- Basil contains many antiviral compounds. Apply some fresh crushed basil leaves to the wart, and cover with a bandage. Repeat this daily for one week.
- Bloodroot ointment, which contains skin-irritating compounds and protein-dissolving enzymes, may be applied to the wart several times a day iv The juice of buttercup flowers and leaves can be applied directly to the warts several times a day.
- Celandine is thought to contain a chemical that inhibits the replication of the wart virus, as well as skin irritants and enzymes that destroy the wart proteins. Squeeze the latex from the fresh stems of celandine plants and apply the gel directly to the wart once or twice a day until the wart has resolved. Or, if the fresh plant is not available, you can apply a strong tea made from the herb to the wart twice a day.
- The sap from the stem or root of the dandelion is corrosive, and can be used to destroy the wart if it is applied locally every day.
- Garlic oil, fresh grated garlic, and crushed garlic are very toxic to warts. Apply any of these forms of garlic directly to the warts and cover with a tight dressing, taking care not to get any of the garlic on the surrounding normal skin. Do this twice a day until the warts have disappeared.
- Pineapple is rich in proteolytic enzymes that can destroy warts. Cut a square of pineapple peel and tape the inner side to plantar warts overnight. Remove the peel and soak your foot in hot water in the morning. Filedown any peeling skin. Repeat this treatment nightly as necessary.
- If you live near a willow tree, tape a piece of the moistened inner bark from the willow tree to the wart. Change it daily. Willow contains a large amount of salicylic acid, a chemical traditionally used to treat warts.
- The following topical regimen using vitamin A can be used until the wart dissolves: In the morning, crush a vitamin-A capsule in enough water to make a paste and apply the paste to each wart. Cover with a bandage. In the afternoon, put a drop of castor oil on each wart, and in the evening apply a drop of lemon juice to each wart. Repeat this daily. This is especially helpful for plantar warts.
- Vitamin E, used topically, is a slower treatment, often taking several months. You can apply the oil from a 400-international-unit capsule to the warts three times a day and cover with an adhesive bandage. Better yet, combine the vitamin-E oil with the vitamin-A paste described above.