Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), of which there are more than 100 subtypes. Warts are generally painless and can appear anywhere on the body. If unsure, always check with your doctor or dermatologist to verify it is a wart.

Common warts

Most often found on the hands. They can spread from one part of the body to another, but seldom from person to person.

Subungual or perungual warts

Found around and under fingernails and toenails.

Genital warts

These are easily spread via unprotected sex. They can appear around and in the vagina, on the tip of the penis, around or in the anus and also on the thighs. It is wise to have genital warts checked and attended to by your doctor or specialist. Women with genital warts are more susceptible to cancer of the cervix. Genital warts should not be treated at home.

Plantar warts

These usually grow on the sole of the foot, and are often tender to the touch. If your wart does not respond to natural treatments, ask your doctor or podiatrist for more aggressive anti-wart treatment.


  • Flat or slightly raised area on the surface of the skin.
  • Can be cauliflower shaped.
  • Colourless, white or pink.

What causes it?

  • You kissed a frog?
  • Any viral condition, including warts, is a sign that your immune system is not firing from all cylinders.

What to do


  • Avoid sugar as it suppresses the immune system.
  • Eat unprocessed fresh food centred on vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, nuts and seeds.
  • Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which has antiviral properties. Coconut oil is a stable cooking oil, try it in stir-fries.
  • Garlic is terrific for the immune system and has antiviral qualities. Raw is best.


  • Herbs to boost the immune system include echinacea, andrographis, thuja, cat’s claw and St. Johns wort.
  • Vitamin C and zinc are excellent in boosting your immune system.
  • The topical application of a tincture or ointment containing licorice, cat’s claw, St. John’s wort and/or lemon balm.
  • The homoeopathic remedy thuja can be very effective.
  • Apply salicylic acid (from the chemist) directly onto the wart.


  • Most warts disappear in their own good time; have patience.
  • Apply a section of banana peel, squishy side on wart, and cover with tape. Replace with a new peel daily until the wart has disappeared.
  • Several trials have shown that warts disappear with daily application of a drop of tea-tree oil.
  • Cover wart with plain old sticky tape. Keep on for as long as possible. Not sure why this works. Perhaps warts have noses and suffocate.
  • Don’t pick or scratch. Warts can be spread.
  • For painful plantar warts, place a corn pad or similar padding around the wart to take the pressure off when walking and awaiting the disappearance of said wart.


Used in combination, 2 drops of tea-tree oil and 2 drops of lemon-scented eucalyptus oil is an all-penetrating, antiviral and antiseptic blend. Apply using a cotton bud directly to the wart. Cover with tape and leave for a few days then re-apply the same treatment. Be patient, it is a slow process!

At a glance


  • Sugar suppresses your immune system. Avoid it.
  • Your diet needs to contain loads of fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, legumes nuts and seeds.
  • Lauric acid has antiviral properties. It can be found in coconut oil. Use in cooking or add to your muesli.


  • Warts are caused by a virus. Boosting your immune system is a way of beating this virus. Antiviral herbs include echinacea, andrographis, cat’s claw and St. Johns wart.
  • Vitamin C and zinc are excellent for boosting your immune system.


  • Warts are contagious, so stop picking at them and be cautious about what and whom you touch with your wart.
  • A daily drop of tea-tree oil on the wart can be effective.
  • Place a piece of banana peel, from the inside of the skin, onto your wart. Cover and replace with new peel daily.