Millions of Americans suffer from unsightly and sometimes painful warts and corns. In fact, these two conditions are among the most commonly treated in dermatology offices around the country.
Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) and can pop up on any part of the body. Corns, however, are caused by excessive friction and often form on the feet thanks to improperly fitted footwear.
Traditional treatments include electrocautery, cryotherapy, keratolytic application or surgery. Depending on the location, prevalence and size of the corns or warts, these procedures can be painful and come with their own set of side effects.
However, a new study published in the International Journal of Dermatology offers a potential cure that is far more affordable, pain-free and convenient: garlic. Yes, this bulbous plant can do more than flavor your food or keep the occasional vampire away.
In the study, researchers selected patients with either warts or corns and separated them into three groups. Each group was treated with a topical application of either a water-based extract of garlic, a fat-based extract of garlic or a chloroform and methanol solution (the control group).
Wart patients treated with the water-based extract showed improvement, yet the solution took over two months to achieve the desired results. However, those treated with the fat-based extract experienced a complete elimination of all warts in as little as one to two weeks. Seven of nine corn sufferers treated with the fat-based extract experienced a complete healing, while the remaining two experienced close to a full recovery. The control group experienced no effect.
It should come as little surprise that garlic exhibits this type of effect. The plant has been touted for centuries for its healing qualities. The combination of sulfur compounds, vitamins and minerals work synergistically to treat numerous conditions ranging from atherosclerosis to coughs and colds.
One specific compound, allitridin, has been proven to contribute to garlic’s healing effects. Research indicates that garlic works as a potent antiviral and can aid in fighting numerous human infections including hepatitis and flu, among several others.
Studies also indicate that garlic aids in heart health, as it can lower triglyceride levels in the blood that if unchecked, can lead to atherosclerosis over time.
While potent, garlic’s healing capabilities are best realized from raw cloves. Some popular culinary methods of preparing garlic include sauteing and roasting, yet heating the bulbs over high heat diminishes or inactivates its healing compounds.
One of the most active healing ingredients, allicin, is released when the raw cloves are bruised or crushed and allowed to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Whether applying garlic topically or consuming it, always select raw, organic garlic. Avoid peeled or crushed varieties as they have been treated with chemicals, killing or deactivating many of the enzymes. And if using garlic often as a topical treatment, you may want to invest in an air freshener!
-The Alternative Daily