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Ask a Naturopath: plantar’s warts

Q:  Why do some people get plantar’s warts and others don’t?  Is there something I could do to treat them internally, before they appear?  C.S.

Answer from Katherine Willow ND:
The standard answer to your questions  is that plantar’s warts are caused by a virus called human papilloma virus or HPV and that to prevent them one is counselled to avoid going barefoot in areas like pools or showers where one is likely to pick them up from others who have them.  To make matters ambiguous, the virus is said to be able to hibernate for months or years, so there is never a clear correlation with where one gets it.  The standard spiel is that it takes people up to 2-3 years for their immune system to overcome this virus and there is no successful treatment or prevention that keeps plantar’s warts from coming back.

This is an extremely interesting topic from the point of view of natural medicine and German New Medicine (GNM), both of which have quite a different story to tell.

If we start with GNM, we discover that warts in general are part of the healing phase of a separation shock.  Here is an example:

A young man came to my office with small warts all over the right side of his body and the diagnosis of molluscum contagiosum from his dermatologist.  He was told there was no cure, but the warts could go away by themselves within a year or two.  I explained to him about warts being associated with the resolution of separation issues, and he mentioned there had been the possibility of a divorce from his wife a year ago.  He told me the relationship had got back on track in the summer, late August to be specific.  The warts appeared at the beginning of September.  The room was electric with awareness.

I sent him away with some naturopathic remedies to support his healing and never saw him again.  Instead, I received a phone message saying: Thank you, the warts are all gone.   On a further note, he was right-handed, so the warts had appeared on his “partner side” according to GNM.

Taking this back to plantar’s warts, their location is a clue to the nature of the separation issue, in other words, something to do with feet: touch on the feet that is lost, being somewhere and not being able to be there anymore, doing something that involves the feet that can’t be done anymore.

And which side of the body would tell you if the issue involved another person, either mother or child (non-dominant side) or partner (dominant side—but partner can be anyone close other than mother and children or occasionally pets).  Both sides simultaneously would indicate a general situation rather than separation from a specific person.  Sometimes the separation issue is that the person desperately wants to separate, ie walk away from someone.

If there are hanging separation issues in a person’s life, which is actually very common in our society where families are often torn apart in various ways, then plantar’s warts is one way they can manifest, get triggered and heal, get retriggered and heal again.  If there is a constant trigger, the healing can be difficult and the warts can be chronic.

From a naturopathic viewpoint, I’d like to apply the principles of constitutional homeopathy where warts can be part of a specific remedy picture which corresponds to a potential “stuck level” in a person.  Once the remedy helps them move out of that “stuckness”, that particular way of thinking and acting, their predisposition to warts will go away.

Similarly, when we undertake general self-improvement, with diet, intelligent supplements, exercise, sleep, positive thinking and increased self-awareness appropriate to our body type, we grow stronger and we lose that predisposition to warts!

All of these perspectives are really saying the same thing: becoming emotionally aware and resilient strengthens our immune system.

These are not quick fixes, and require consistent effort and often help from another person—mainly to be a mirror for self-awareness but also in providing technical support around remedies, supplements and lifestyle advice.

It’s important to treat plantar’s warts sooner rather than later.  My favourite method is to immediately take them out manually.  One simply needs to be careful to prevent any infection if there is bleeding (there rarely is in my experience).  Another way is to cover the wart with the inside of a banana peel with tape for several days in a row, changing the peel morning and evening.

To really eradicate planter’s warts one needs to go more deeply.

Ask Katherine a question below in the reply sectio