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?
Discussion (26 Comments)
Castor Oil for Genital Warts…
Recently, I visited my doctor as well as a Certified Nurse Practitioner for a second opinion to verify that I am currently experiencing genital warts on both sides of my inner labia caused by HPV which I was not aware I had until the genital warts appeared. I discovered them about 2 months ago and it saddened me to find the warts because I felt it meant I had contracted an STD. I did not understand how this was possible since I had tested for a variety of STDs less than a year ago, after my last sexual experience, and the tests showed nothing to be concerned about. Well, I now know that only the high risk HPV strains can be tested for which I do not have according to the most recent test I had. The doctor and CNP both recommended the topical drug Imiquimod but I have decided to not use it because I prefer going natural routes first if any are available. At first, I was not sure I’d be able to use anything since the labia is such a sensitive area but I remembered that I had used Castor Oil many years ago to get rid of plantar warts I had on the bottoms of my feet so I decided to try it. Thankfully, the castor oil seems to be getting rid of the genital warts. I have been applying a small amount daily for about 3 weeks and they are almost gone. The CNP I recently saw also told me her opinion that it looks like the warts are going away. It was awesome to hear her say that because I felt it validated the power of the castor oil. When I first began applying it I noticed some slight aching feelings in my vaginal area that I had never felt before. I no longer feel the aches though. I can’t help wondering if this was a sign that the castor oil was killing the virus or not. I am sharing all of this in order to possibly help someone on their own health journey that may involve genital warts or other warts. When I first thought I had genital warts I scoured the internet for others’ stories/ experiences and really didn’t find much. I know I am hardly alone since HPV is the most common STD which I was not aware of until recently. It is not talked about very often and I felt so ashamed at first since I am now dealing with it. However, I don’t feel the shame anymore and am so grateful to Mother Nature and her castor oil for helping a sister out.
I’m new to Wellness Mama and have a question. Not sure if this is the place to ask, but was interested to know if you have ever addressed a skin condition that is similar to warts, but since I have ask my dermatologist about it yet, I’d like your take on it. I am in my 60’s and have developed rough patches in places that generally develop skin tags. These a flat and dry rough patches that are painless, but often itch. Almost crusty. Do you have a name for them or a suggestion? Thank you so much. Enjoying your blog.
My kids swam and had warts on their feet. Colloidal silver mixed with a little DMSO did the trick. They all went away.
I have successfully used milk from dandelions on myself and my daughter with huge success! You just have to apply it multiple times until it turns black and just falls off. Absolutely pain free. She had a huge one on the bottom of her foot she was going to have to have cut out because it was hurting her. Thankfully it was summer and Everytime we were outside she would just grab a dandelion and break the stem and rub the milk on it. It eventually just killed it and it fell off!
Hi Willow, What is DMSO? My 7 yo daughter’s hands are covered in warts! I feel so bad for her 🙁
Hydrogen peroxide (the 3% stuff) works miracles! Especially if you cut or file the warts… TRY IT!
I just discovered a small wart on my son’s toe this morning so I immediately searched Google for “Wellness Mama Wart Remedy” and found that you had just posted this article. Thanks for all the helpful information, this is fantastic stuff!!
Love your post. I didn’t see you mention L-Lysine it works wonders. My mother first learned about it after having surgeries to remove her worts. They all grew back. It works wonders for worts and cold sores!
Do you take it internally or topically?
She took it internally to get rid of them, and for me I someone crush it and apply locally for the cold sores on my nose and take it internally.
Do you know of anything to help reduce or get rid of angiomas?
I’ve been taking l-lysine for about 10 weeks but so far mine are continuing to grow and spread. Do you know how many milligrams she took and how long it took to see results? Thank you!
Ginny to cover bases… The information I write is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
That being said… She took 2000mg 2x a day. Make sure it’s a good quality. Please ask your doctor and do your research.
I’ve been fighting a nasty case of warts for years now. It started with one tiny wart between my thumb and index finger. Apple Cider Vinegar took care of it I thought but as it crusted off I must have picked at it exposing the virus which caused it to spread all over my hand and now I have them scattered all over my body here and there! The Dermatologist froze them a few times only making them spread worse. “Fairy Rings” he called them. Bandages just won’t stay on my hands and I’m a Massage Therapist needing to wash them often. I’m so frustrated! Tried the B Powered Honey and Propolis Spray, Clove Oil, “No More Warts” oil, and Thuja Occidentals to no relief. I’m currently trying some ozone cream and they have crusted a few times so we shall see!
I have had good luck on plantar wart removal with a combo of tea tree oil then cover with duct tape.
For plantar warts I have found that putting a piece of Gorilla tape over the wart and leaving it on works for me. The tape blocks the light from the wart and when it starts to lose its adhesion and needs to be removed and replaced, pulling the tape off pulls off some of the wart without having to cut off the top layers. Repeat until the wart is gone. Gorilla tape stays on through showering so it doesn’t have to be replaced on a daily basis.
I had a case of warts all over my legs and hands. I tried many remedies all to no avail. I even gave in and went to the doctor which was the worst thing I could have done. I have scares on my hands where he barbarically removed warts that soon grew back. Finally, after my father urged me to try Unia de Gato or Cats Claws, that did the trick. Every single wart dried up within a few days and never came back. I dare say that the Cats Claws I used, was not the one we now find saturating the market and you may not have the same results but it’s still worth a try. Good Luck.
Is cats claw topical or taken internally? I’m so frustrated! Mine just keep spreading no matter what I try!
Can’t get comments to load so I don’t know if I already wrote about how colloidal silver made my grandson’s 2″-diameter mass of warts completely disappear from his knee – and a year later they’re still gone. His doubting mom was shocked because the pediatrician had tried a couple times to get them gone without success, but they persisted in putting colloidal silver on a big bandage at bedtime every night. Within a month they were gone. Need to be consistent, but it sure worked.
For the colloidal silver was it taken internally or applied topically?
I suspect different remedies work depending on the type of HPV involved. Sure is frustrating to try something for weeks and it doesn’t get rid of the warts. The other (twin) grandson has some huge bumpy warts on his hand – pediatrician tried freezing but of course they came right back. Hands and knuckles are really difficult to bandage, so I believe they gave up on silver for that reason. I might suggest they try the potato or banana peel rather than do nothing at all.