Warts – what they are and how to treat them naturally
The Well Loved Wart
Three out of four of us will have a wart at sometime during our lives and never have come into contact with a witch or toad! Despite what legend says, warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Over 100 types of HPV exist effecting different areas of the body, however the warts I am talking about today are those you most commonly find on your hands, knees, ankles, elbows or feet.
Aside from their appearance and the pain that sometimes comes from knocking these warts, they are completely unharmful, though can be quite contagious. The HPV virus is spread through contact with other people and or infected objects. Don’t panic though, usually infection will not occur unless there is an easy route into the body such as a small cut or graze.
So, what we can do about these warts once they have moved in?
First is to boost our overall health and increase immune function. As with any other form of infection, our immune system plays a significant role in helping to restore balance. Good sleep, a health diverse diet, exercise, mental and emotional well-being bolstered by immune supporting herbs and vitamins should provide a solid foundation.
The second is specific topical applications. There is many a home remedy for removing warts, most involve the application of a substance to the wart and keeping it covered from one to two weeks (changing band-aids/coverings regularly). Those with a good history of success include applying apple cider vinegar on a cotton wool ball, banana skin (inside down), dandelion’s milky sap, raw potato juice, aloe vera or raw garlic. There is also a fantastic herb called Greater Celandine or Chelidonium majus of which the orangey yellow sap is applied to the wart regularly for success. Interestingly, the only researched and proven technique is the application of a small square of duct tape stuck over the wart and only removed when when you want to change dressings.
What will work for one, often will not work for another. Keep trying until you find what works for you. Consitency is the key. If all else fails, don’t panic. Most warts will resolve and disappear on their own within two years.
Article by Damian Harrison, Naturopath from Chamomile Naturopathy , Bellingen.