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Is Garlic a Treatment for Warts?



Garlic seems to work for warts.

More Info: Preliminary evidence has shown great promise that a particular fat-soluble garlic is effective for the removal of warts, but the National Institute of Health warns that there is still not enough evidence to list garlic as a wart remedy.

What Are Warts?

Warts are growths on the skin caused by the human papillomavirus, commonly known as HPV.  Common warts are small raised bumps on the skin that are generally painless and most often appear on the hands.  This is not always the case with all types of warts.  As an example, plantar warts are found on the soles of the feet and can be quite painful if aggravated by constant friction from walking or running.  Warts, even those responding to surface treatment often reappear, as they are symptoms of a virus.

Garlic Research for Warts

A study conducted by Farzaneh Dehghani PhD published in the July 2005 issue of the Journal of International Dermatology demonstrated the effectiveness of using garlic as a treatment for warts.  In the study, twenty-eight patients with 2-96 warts, nine patients with 1-2 corns, and a control group of five patients with warts were treated with fat-soluble garlic applied directly to the warts twice daily. The treatment effectively worked to remove warts within 1-2 weeks.  A water-soluble garlic solution removed warts but at a more modest rate of 30-40 days.

Though the National Institute of Health acknowledges this study as promising it rates it as insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness.

How to Use Garlic to Get Rid of Warts

The book Quick Access Patient Information on Conditions, Herbs & Supplements published by Integrative Medicine Communications offers this advice for the use of garlic as a wart treatment.  They suggest covering the surrounding skin and the wart with a thin layer of castor or olive oil and then apply a thin slice of fresh garlic and tape into place.

If any irritation occurs, stop the treatment immediately.



“Warts – PubMed Health.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Mar. 2011.

Dehghani, F, MR Panjehshahi, F. Handjani, and A Merat. “Healing effect of garlic extract on warts and corns.” International Journal of Dermatology 44.7 (2005): 612-615. Print.

“Garlic: MedlinePlus Supplements .” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Mar. 2011.

Quick Access Patient Information on Conditions, Herbs & Supplements . Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications, 2000. Print.

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