©2007 Lenore Ramm Echinacea can help boost the immune system and prevent warts.

Caused by a virus, mildly contagious, and usually unsightly, warts indicate a sluggish immune system. Combating warts is a two-step process: adopting behaviors that support immunity and using plants from your garden to destroy the wart itself. In fact, herbal remedies using echinacea and garlic can be used to prevent and eliminate warts.

Herbal Remedies for Warts

First of all, to prevent warts, it is important to boost immune function. Base your diet on whole grains and fresh garden produce, eat only small amounts of simple sugars, and get plenty of rest. The body makes certain immune factors only when you're sleeping.

The main immune-boosting herb that has been clinically studied is echinacea. Others include licorice, goldenseal, and elderberry; all can be taken internally. Echinacea is quite safe to use for extended periods in certain severe immune problems, although some falsely advise to only use it for short periods.

The allium family helps do away with the actual wart. Crush a clove of garlic and tape a small amount of it to the growth. Protect surrounding skin to avoid blistering. Alternatively, cut an onion in half, hollow out one side, and fill with salt. As the salt draws the juice out of the onion, use the liquid to paint the wart several times a day.

A chunk of aspirin taped to the wart will produce the same effect. Herbs rich in salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin, may be helpful, too. Mash fresh yarrow and apply it to the wart.

Another herb that diminishes the unwanted growth is fresh dandelion. Break a dandelion stem or leaf and apply the white sap to the wart.

Whichever herb you choose, very common varities -- some find right in your garden -- can help you heal warts upon their arrival, and a healthy diet can help you prevent future warts from ever appearing.

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Eric Yarnell, N.D., R.H. (A.H.G.) is a naturopathic physician and registered herbalist in private practice specializing in men's health and urology.  He is an assistant professor in the botanical medicine department at Bastyr University in Seattle and is president or the Botanical Medicine Academy.  He is the author of several textbooks including Naturopathic Gastroenterology, Naturopathic Urology and Men's Health, and Clinical Botanical Medicine; He writes a regular column on herbal medicine for Alternative and Complementary Therapies.  This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should be aware that many of these techniques have not been evaluated in scientific studies.   Use of these remedies in connection with over the counter or prescription medications can cause severe adverse reactions. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Each state and each discipline has its own rules about whether practitioners are required to be professionally licensed. If you plan to visit a practitioner, it is recommended that you choose one who is licensed by a recognized national organization and who abides by the organization's standards. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before starting any new therapeutic technique.