Better living through nature
Unsightly and occasionally painful, warts can be one of the trickiest ailments to treat. Caused by one of the more than 70 strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), warts are a type of contagious infection that spreads through direct contact with skin where the outer protective layer is compromised, either by moisture or injury. Children, whose immune systems are still developing, typically experience more warts than adults, but any age group is susceptible.
Given enough time, most warts will disappear on their own. The waiting period, however, can be long. Only 25 percent of warts disappear within three to six months, while 65 percent of warts can take up to two years to vanish. Because warts are caused by viruses, the best way to dispel this unsightly skin condition is with antiviral, immune boosting remedies. For speedy healing, check out these natural remedies.
Warts are most common on hands, feet and knees. Children, whose immune systems are still developing, tend to experience more warts than adults. Photo By John Brian Silverio/Courtesy Flickr.
Garlic: Garlic has antiviral properties, making it a great natural treatment for warts. Apply one drop of garlic oil to the affected area twice a day for four weeks and cover with a bandage. If you don’t have garlic oil, you can also press a freshly cut garlic clove to the wart.
Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is used to treat a variety of skin conditions, including warts. Place a drop of this antiviral on the wart and cover with a bandage. Tea tree oil is powerful stuff, so unless you’re using the oil on the bottom of your feet (where skin is thicker), dilute with water or apply with a cotton ball.
Oregano: This plant has immune-boosting and virus-fighting powers that make it beneficial for combating warts. Place a drop of oregano oil on the wart and cover with a bandage, or take an oregano oil supplement twice daily. Combine both methods for extra support!
One home remedy for treating warts calls for securing a piece of banana peel over the affected area. Photo By Dan Foy/Courtesy Flickr.
Apple cider vinegar: This handy household product works for more than natural cleaning. Dip a cotton ball in a small capful of vinegar, place it on the wart and cover with a bandage. Some variations of this treatment involve moisturizing the skin around the wart to protect it from the vinegar’s acidity.
Although vinegar is not antiviral, the acid in the vinegar will eat away at the wart. Keeping that in mind, it’s important to continue this form of treatment until the core of the wart has been killed off, or the wart may grow back.
Banana peel: Although this remedy sounds hokey, many will attest to its effectiveness! Place a small piece of a ripe banana peel, pulp side down, over the wart and secure with a bandage. Replace the banana peel once or twice daily.
Echinacea and elderberry: These two immune-boosting herbs will help your body fight the infection causing the wart. Take capsules twice daily.
Vitamin E: Among this vitamin’s long list of health benefits is boosting immune function and improving skin, two important factors concerning warts. Take 400 IU (international units) daily.