As published in the July/August 2012 issue of Vitality Magazine
Do you have warts? No problem! Rub a piece of bacon on your warts, then bury the bacon under a tree, and the wart will soon disappear. If you’re not into bacon, no worries, rub a few copper pennies on your warts then give the pennies to someone who needs them. You may however run the risk of offending the person.
These remedies and many more have been used in folk medicine for centuries. What is fascinating is that they’ve been known to work for some people. How is this possible? My guess would be the mind-body connection. The human mind is a powerful magnet. When we believe something is possible, we can make it happen.
When analyzing a case, homeo¬paths see the mental/emotional aspects of patients as the most important in a hierarchy of symptoms. Feelings of anxiety, guilt, shame, anger, depression, and the like, often give rise to a variety of physical ailments.
Addressing such feelings with a homeo¬pathic prescription can permanently eliminate many physical symptoms, including warts.
A young woman, I will call her Courtney, felt devastated about contracting genital warts from her boyfriend. Feeling angry and betrayed, Courtney had conducted hours of research and explored her many options for eliminating the warts. She was convinced that having the warts burned off by her physician was her best option. However, afraid of enduring the pain associated with such a procedure, she was hopeful that a more gentle approach, such as homeo¬pathy, could help.
Courtney’s biggest concern was the implication of the warts on her overall health. She saw the genital warts as a life sentence, something she would contend with for the rest of her life. She was afraid of possible future complications, including cervical cancer. In addition, Courtney wanted to have children some day and was frightened by the thought of passing the warts prenatally.
Genital warts is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a sub-type of the human papillomavirus (HPV). It spreads by skin-to-skin contact via sexual activity. While only a small percentage infected with genital HPV actually develop genital warts, they can transmit the virus to sexual partners.
Since homeo¬pathy is concerned with treating the person as a whole being, I investigated many aspects of Courtney’s health, medical history, and emotional well-being. I explained to her that simply removing the warts by external means (burning or surgical removal) did not remove the disease or its contagious aspect. I further explained that homeo¬pathic treatment could not only wipe out her warts, but also address the internal cause; the root which made her susceptible to genital warts in the first place. Homeo¬pathic treatment can diminish and eliminate the predisposition to warts and the possibility of passing the virus onto partners and children.
Courtney was a compulsive worrier. As a result her family members often called her “worry wart.” Interest-ingly, the term describes a person who worries or stresses to the point of causing them to develop worry warts – or fever blisters.
The remedy I chose for Courtney was Calcarea Carbonicum. My decision was based on many factors combined, including her tendency to be overweight, along with her glandular swellings, excessive sweating, sleepwalking, nightmares of being pursued, cravings for and sensitivity to dairy products, anxiety about health, and fears about death and poverty.
The genital warts disappeared within three weeks of daily use of the remedy, and Courtney reported feeling stronger than ever before. After three months of taking the prescribed homeo¬pathic remedy, Court¬ney had more energy and felt happier than ever before. She proudly reported feeling calmer, the disappearance of her sleepwalking and nightmares, and getting rid of the cheating boyfriend.
Warts are benign growths of the skin and mucus membranes caused by HPV. There are more than 100 strains of this virus circulating in the human population today.
The type of warts we develop depends on the specific type of HPV we come into contact with. In addition, the state of our immune system and our genetic predisposition play important roles. Those genetically predisposed, or susceptible to the virus, get warts when their immune system is compromised or weak, such as during stressful life events. As a result, not every person that comes into contact with HPV develops warts.
Warts are acquired mainly through person-to-person contact. The virus is contagious (to those who are susceptible) and capable of causing infection by entering through a small break in the skin. In the same way, warts can be spread to other parts of a person’s body.
Most warts are harmless and tend to disappear over time without intervention. Some unsightly warts linger for long periods causing grief and embarrassment. Certain types are painful to touch while others can bleed when scratched
There are five main types of warts defined by their appearance and the body part they have the most affinity to:
Common warts are found mostly on fingers, hands, knees, and elbows. They can, however, appear in any part of the body. They have a dome shape with smooth or cauliflower-like surface.
Plantar warts grow on the sole and toes and can cause discomfort and pain while walking. When plantar warts grow in large numbers, they are referred to as mosaic warts.
Flat warts are fairly smooth with flat tops. Flat warts may grow in clusters and are found on the face, neck, and hands.
Filiform warts are thread- or finger-like warts, most commonly seen on the face, especially near the lips and eyelids.
Genital warts appear in the genital and anal areas, and are sexually transmitted. The virus responsible for genital warts is a different strain than the types of warts defined above.
Removing warts by surgery, burning or other means is a temporary solution. It is similar to cutting away a cancerous tumour without addressing the energetic workings of the organism which helped develop the tumour in the first place.
In homeopathic treatment of warts the person is considered as a whole being; all physical and emotional aspects are taken into account. The selected remedy strengthens the person’s immunity and removes the predisposition to viral infection. In addition, people find renewed energy, better sleep, disappearance of other symptoms, and many more pleasant surprises
Case #1: An otherwise healthy eight-year-old boy presented with multiple warts on his hands and a few on his forearms. When asked what was going on in the boy’s life in the months prior to the appearance of the warts, his mother replied “nothing unusual.” When I probed deeper into their personal lives and relationships, his mother mentioned arguing with the boy’s father. The father had left home for a few days following a series of loud arguments, which made the boy feel insecure. The warts had appeared a few weeks following the incident.
Based on the boy’s introverted nature, sensitivity, cravings for salty foods, and other factors about his nature, I prescribed Natrum Muriaticum. A few weeks following one dose of this remedy, his warts disappeared completely.
Case #2: In 2002, a 10-year-old girl was brought in because of the many stubborn warts she had on her hands. I took her case and tried to find emotional triggers that could have caused the warts. Nothing was apparent until I asked her the question, “If I grant you three wishes, and pretend anything is possible, what would you wish for?” Without hesitating, she replied, “I wish I could reverse 9/11 and bring back all the people who died.”
Her warts had appeared shortly after the terrorist attacks in 2001. Her over-sympathetic nature corresponded with the physical and emotional characteristics of the remedy Causticum. One dose of this remedy cleared up all her warts.
Case #3: A 52-year-old man consulted me about his painful plantar warts – one on each heel. When the first wart appeared under his right foot, James tried a few over-the-counter medications, as well as home remedies including the freezing kit, the plantar wart pads, and the duct tape method, to no avail. He then had the wart surgically removed. Not only did the wart grow back a year later, he also developed one on the other foot.
James suffered from headaches due to his sluggish digestion. Consuming fatty foods, or exposure to direct sunlight, were two guaranteed triggers of his headaches. He had dry skin in general, suffered from mild sleep apnea, and had chronic constipation. He used words like “kind,” “gentle,” and “sensitive” when describing himself. He had difficulty asserting his needs and avoided confrontations at all costs. Based on this data and other details about James’ medical history, I selection the remedy Natrum carbonicum.
James was pleasantly surprised with the effects that the remedy had on his overall health. While the plantar warts did not change during the first month, James was digesting better, his headaches became less frequent and he was sleeping deeper. A month later, the wart under his right food became smaller and less painful. Soon after, both warts disappeared completely.
Warts have plagued human kind for millennia. The causation was once misunderstood, even by medical professionals. In the 1800s, some doctors were convinced that warts on the fingers were a result of “solitary habits” or masturbation. Others concluded that a wart on young boys was connected to the presence of phimosis (tight foreskin), needing circumcision.
One patient, who sought help for another health concern, told me the following story about her wart removal more than 60 years ago. When Diana was six, she had painful, bleeding warts all over her hands. She was a student in a convent. Whenever the class went anywhere, they had to walk in pairs holding hands, but none of the other children wanted to hold Diana’s hand. She always ended up walking with the Sister. Nothing worked to remove Diana’s warts, not even burning with liquid nitrogen. When Diana’s great-grandmother learned about the problem she took Diana to a healer in Gatineau, Quebec. Diana’s great-grandmother was part Native Indian and familiar with many home and herbal remedies. The healer she took Diana to was the seventh son of a seventh son.
First, the healer took Diana’s hand into his own and examined her warts. He then left the room and returned with a chunk of raw meat, which he gently rubbed all over her warts while reciting a prayer. When finished, he gave the meat to Diana’s mother and asked them to take it home and bury it in their backyard, and the warts will be gone in seven days.
They followed the healer’s instructions and buried the meat in the garden. “I have no idea how much time passed but one morning shortly thereafter, I woke up and went to wash my hands and saw a miracle! They were all gone!” Diana remembered. “What was left was some soreness and a tiny scar which remained for several years after. The warts never came back. There is no explanation as to what happened and how these warts disappeared. Whenever the subject came up, my great-grandmother w ould simply state that he was a holy man and all is possible.”
Folklore provides a rich source of theories for the removal of warts. One of the more colourful ones includes rubbing your warts against a father of an illegitimate child (without his knowledge) for the warts to disappear. Another one involves putting as many pebbles as you have warts into a small bag and tossing the bag over your left shoulder. The unfortunate person who picks up the bag will get your warts.
Many theories of wart removal exist and are practised even today. One method is to put a slice of unripe banana on the wart and put a piece of tape over it. Change this dressing as often as needed until the wart disappears. Similar “remedy” applications include nail polish, garlic, aspirin, castor oil, and even your own urine!
I am certain that some of these treatments have worked for some people at some time. You may think I am biased, but for a more permanent approach to eliminating stubborn warts I recommend classical homeo¬pathy
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