Monday, November 15, 2010

How to Get Rid of a Plantar's Wart

My very first introduction to herbalism began when I was about 10 years old. I had gone to summer camp and came back home with a planter's wart, thanks to those lovely communal showers. For those of you who do not know what a planter's wart is, it is a wart that grows on the bottom of the foot. They are caused by a virus that infects the superficial layer of skin producing a thick, callus-like growth that is very painful.

After someone at church had mentioned an herbal cure for planter's warts to my mother, she gave me the choice: Either I go to the doctor and have them dig it out of the bottom of my foot with a sharp metal object, or we apply an herbal paste to the wart. Gee, I wonder what sounded more appealing to a 10 year old. Of course, I chose the herbs.

Once we started looking around our backyard, we found this particular herb growing everywhere! My mom gathered some leaves and ground them up in a mortar and pestle. She put this moist herbal mash right over the wart and covered it with a bandage to keep out all the air. After sleeping all night with it on, she applied another fresh poultice the next night.

I think we were all amazed when she removed the second bandage and found that the wart just fell off of my foot!

This experience had a huge impact on me as a child. I believe it sowed the seeds for a love of herbs and natural medicine that would not come to fruition until I was an adult.

So, what was this herb? Common wood sorrel, or oxalis acetosella. It is a small, creeping perennial plant that looks similar to clover, but the leaves are shaped like hearts. It grows in shady areas mainly, but I have even seen it growing in my pasture in full sun.

It is good for warts, and is also good for getting rid of cysts under the skin.

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