Q. I had a large plantar wart that persisted on my foot and toe for more than 20 years. It was treated with freezing, acids, injection and lasers as well as home remedies.
I read about turmeric in your column and decided to try it on my wart. A single application convinced my wife it was just too messy.
I decided to take turmeric by mouth for its other benefits. After a while my wart began to shrink. I took turmeric every day for months, and a year later there is no sign of the wart.
I did have some side effect: the bottoms of my feet dried out and so did my ears. Once the wart was gone, I stopped the turmeric and my feet and ears recovered. I no longer take turmeric regularly but do make it a point to consume it in food.
A. Turmeric is the yellow spice that gives curry and yellow mustard their brilliant color. We sympathize with your wife. Topical turmeric is likely to stain everything bright yellow.
Oral turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Yours is the first story we have heard of successfully using turmeric capsules to banish a wart. It is worth noting that turmeric may interact with warfarin (Coumadin) to increase the risk of bleeding, so we don’t recommend that anyone on that drug take turmeric capsules.
Here are a few stories from other readers: “I used essential oil of oregano and duct tape and removed my plantar wart. This was after suffering 2 painful liquid nitrogen treatments that didn’t work!”
“Years ago my daughter had eight plantar warts on the bottoms of her feet. She could hardly walk and I tried everything to no avail.
“A friend of mine suggested squeezing fresh lemon juice on them three or four times a day. We had nothing to lose so we tried it. Those warts turned black and fell off so fast she was completely healed within four weeks. I hope this will help others.”
“I’ve had a plantar wart on the sole of my foot that is painful indeed. I am an RN, so I had one of the orthopedic docs look at it. Here is his suggestion: Eat a banana and cut a piece of the peel the size of the wart. Place it against the wart, inside of peel to skin. He said the greener bananas work a little better than the ripe.
“I taped the peel on my foot and changed it twice a day. I wore it through the night as well.
“Bananas work slowly. I was skeptical, but in about three weeks that wart disappeared and has never returned.”
“When I was a Tenderfoot in the Boy Scouts (about 1948), we had to hold hands for the opening or closing ceremony every week. I had a big, fuzzy looking wart at the juncture of my ring and little finger and the other boys hated to hold hands with me. Somewhere, my mother heard that castor oil would remove warts.
“I was VERY motivated and applied it possibly 4 or 5 times a day (I kept the little bottle of castor oil in my pocket). After just a few weeks, as I applied the castor oil one day, the wart just “rolled” out of its socket. The little socket it left gradually completely healed so I had normal skin there. I can still see a little scar where it was.
“I have occasionally wondered if the oil or the toxic effects of the castor killed the virus.”