Aromatherapy essential oils for warts & verrucas

Aromatherapy A-Z: Warts and Verrucas

It is a little known fact that warts and verrucas are caused by the same virus  - the human papilloma virus (or HPV). Warts are small, rough growths that tend to appear on the hands and feet - verrucas (also known as plantar warts) is simply the term given to warts that grow on the feet. Both can be uncomfortable and unsightly, but can disappear of their own accord as suddenly as they arrived, when the body develops resistance to the virus. This can however take many weeks or even years. Verrucas can become extremely painful when pressure is exerted on the foot, so it usually best to treat them rather than wait for them to go away by themselves. They are also extremely contagious, so treatment will also stop them being spread to other people. 

The key thing to remember is that warts and verrucas are an indicator of your immune system being under pressure. They often come following a period of intense stress or shock. The shock can be of a physical nature such as a fall or impact injury, or an emotional one such as a bereavement. Either way, your immunity drops, and the body doesn't recognise how to deal with the infection, which then creates the response.

When treating them, the two main actions are to boost up your immunity and to treat the wart topically.

Boosting Immunity:

Take an overview of your general health. Depending on your diet, lifestyle and stress levels, you may need to:

  1. Get more quality sleep – especially if you're on shift work.
  2. Take Zinc citrate @ 15 mg, Vitamin D @ 1-10 000 ius, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. See a nutritional therapist if in doubt.
  3. Eat more fresh fruit and green vegetables.
  4. Drink plenty of water as consistent dehydration can lower your immunity.
  5. Get more fresh air and exercise.
  6. You may benefit from specific immunity boosting tonics such as Siberian Ginseng (“Elagen” being one of the purest and best quality).
  7. Take Garlic – a clove a day at least – follow with raw parsley to help neutralise the odour. Or take 3-6 Garlic capsules per day.
  8. Lymphatic drainage massage will help boost your immunity if your system is very sluggish and you suffer from water retention, oedema and cellulite.
  9. Have regular aromatherapy massages. Essential oils particularly indicated for boosting immunity in relation to viruses would include: Lemon, Tea Tree, Rosemary, Geranium, Juniper, Bergamot and Grapefruit.

Topical Treatment

If the wart has become large and proud with dead skin, file it down gently to enable the oils to get to closer to the root of the problem. Then with a cotton bud apply 1 drop of Lemon essential oil to the wart – and put one drop on the central gauze of a plaster. Be careful not to get the oil on the healthy skin either side of the wart. Repeat the process and re-apply a fresh plaster morning and night until the wart shrivels and drops off. This may occur within a week, or could take up to a month. Once it has gone you can massage in a small amount of Wheatgerm oil to encourage healing and reduce scarring.

Tea Tree essential oil can also be used in the same way as Lemon, and different people can react to either one or the other. 

This treatment can be effective for corns as well, although these are usually pressure induced.

Joannah Metcalfe
Consultant Aromatherapist

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