Warts and corns are the most common afflictions of the skin. Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and corns by continual pressure. Garlic is known as an effective remedy for skin conditions such as acne, ringworm, athlete’s foot, and influenza due to its antibiotic, antifungal, and antiviral properties.
Garlic has also shown to prevent cancer and inhibit its growth. Researchers believe this is due to its organosulfur compounds. Taken internally, one study showed it reduces the risk of cancer by forty-four percent.
Expanding Current Knowledge
In a first-of-its-kind study, garlic has now been found to kill every wart it touches and heal eighty percent of corns. It makes sense, since garlic is an antiviral.
In the study, twenty-three patients who had anywhere from two to ninety-six warts were treated with a topical fat-soluble extract of garlic directly on the affected area(s).
“Complete recovery was observed in all cases with warts after 1–2 weeks of treatment”
The warts completely disappeared without scarring. Further, of the nine patients who were treated with the same garlic extract for corns, seven achieved complete recovery in ten to twenty days.
The other two cases showed “marked improvement close to full recovery” but extended treatment didn’t completely eradicate their corns. Very, very close, though.
From Freezing to Duct Tape
People have tried all kinds of treatments to rid themselves of warts. Even “freezing” them (cryotherapy) doesn’t always work and often leaves a scar (and it can hurt!).
Over-the-counter salicylic acid works but it can take weeks or months and doesn’t always permanently remove persistent and stubborn virus outbreaks. Neither of these are viable options for people with diabetes or circulatory problems.
During the post-study period, researchers kept an eye on their subjects to note any recurrence of the warts:
“Current treatment for warts in our clinics includes: electrocautery, cryotherapy or application of keratolytics. These approaches are not fully successful, and in some cases warts reappear. In our study, treatment with garlic extract resulted in no recurrence of warts during the follow-up observation period (3–4 months)… Removal of corns by surgery, which is practiced in most clinics, can be painful and costly. Treatment with garlic extract appears to be a more convenient modality.”
How exactly these results were achieved is theorized thus:
Antiviral – yep, we knew that. Allicin in garlic has been isolated as its antiviral/antifungal/antibacterial constituent.
Antitumor – diallyl disulfide is one of those organosulfur compounds we mentioned. It promotes abnormal (cancer) cell apoptosis (death).
Fibrinolytic activity – fibrinolytic refers to breaking up some cells to detach from other cells. Fibrinolytic therapy is used for treating some heart and blood disorders, for example, to dissolve blood clots. The same theory applied here:
“Application of garlic extract on a corn caused the removal of the corn from its place. It seems that because of the fibrinolytic effect of garlic, the surrounding fibrin tissue of the corn capsule was lyzed and the capsule was separated from the main tissue.”
Immune modulatory – garlic has been shown to improve immune activity. A generally-strong immune system can more effectively fight virus and other infection.
To use garlic to treat warts:
- Peel a clove of garlic, slice it in half, and grind it to make a paste.
- Apply the paste directly onto the wart (or corn).
- Cover the area with a clean cotton ball and place tape or a bandage over the cotton.
- Leave on.
- Apply twice a day until the wart or corn is gone.
“More convenient”, yes. Less dangerous, yes. Less painful, yes. Sounds like we have a winner.