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!”
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“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.”

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“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.”

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“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.”

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  1. M.K. Welty
    Reply

    The best cure for the pain of inflamation is witch hazel. You can pick it up at any pharmacy near the rubbing alcohol. Use a witch hazel compress for about 20 minutes, a couple of times a day depending on the severity of the problem. This is an amazing cure for the pain. It works great on bruising, swelling, sprains, etc.

  2. Amy
    Reply

    After six procedures in just over two years to remove five warts from my foot, three remained. I tried the turmeric, mixed it with olive oil, applied to foot. It made a mess, got all over my socks, sheets, floor, but IT WORKED! I am thrilled, the podiatry clinic is amazed. It took about three weeks, and I could tell one was gone, but it took scraping the callus to see that the other two were gone too.

  3. JS
    Reply

    After reading your column on the benefits of turmeric on plantar warts and learning turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, I’m wondering if turmeric would be helpful to ward off some of the inflammation and pain of arthritis? I take ibuprofen every day for back pain but ibuprofen is very hard on my kidneys and digestive track. I would very much like to stop the ibuprofen but the pain can be debilitating without it. Any suggestions anyone?

  4. Al R.
    Reply

    I am a 86 year gent who has been in nutrition for about 32 years. About one year plus ago I had a constipation problem and started taking red mill oat products which seemed to work pretty well. But a couple of months ago the problem resurrected and I had to look elsewhere. I checked my herbal books and came up with quite a few suggestions of what might help. I saw a word that intrigued me considering that this lack of function should be considered by someone as old as me.
    The word was peristalsis. The suggested cayenne among some other herbs. I had a somewhat old bottle of cayenne, a very inexpensive substance, and lo and behold, within about 3 days I knew I had hit the proper cure. For less than six dollars for 300 capsules and only taking 2 caps each day, one at breakfast and one at supper-you can’t go wrong.

  5. EL
    Reply

    I once had a painful plantar wart and made an appointment with a USAF clinic to have it removed. Anyone who once was a military dependent knows that such appointments do not happen “soon”. By the date of the appointment, the wart had completely disappeared without treatment of any kind. It’s hard to know whether any treatments are effective, because warts tend to disappear as the body’s immune system battles the virus that causes them.

  6. Leo R. G., 11
    Reply

    After trying all otc meds for mom’s wart on her left middle finger, I asked if she would help me with experiment, siad ‘ok.’ Placed a one inch strip of banana peel and wrapped it, changed it every day in morning, after just one week, it disappeared
    btw, soap under sheets worked, too!

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