Aromatherapy/Essential Oils for Warts

Warts are a common skin condition caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). While many types of warts will disappear on their own over time, many people would prefer the condition clear as soon as possible. Aromatherapy treatment using essential oils and hydrosols can provide an effective alternative treatment option for those who wish to avoid allopathic treatments, such as prescription medications, or burning and freezing of warts for their removal.

Using Aromatherapy to Treat Warts

Practitioners of aromatherapy commonly use essential oils and hydrosols to treat warts. Warts are caused by a virus, and in the course of allopathic medicine treatments, people are likely to treat the wart itself without treating the virus that caused it. For this reason, warts are likely to recur and require ongoing treatment. Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils can treat the cause of warts, eliminating the necessity of continued treatment.

Aromatherapy is used to treat warts by applying an essential oil or a hydrosol as a topical solution or using one or the other in a bath. Most essential oils should never be taken orally, as they are highly concentrated and some can be toxic.

Genital warts should not be treated by aromatherapy. One should always seek advice from a physician on how to treat genital warts.

Essential Oils for Warts

Several essential oils have been identified as being anti-viral and are suggested for treating common warts, plantar warts, and flat warts. These oils also have other uses as antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal agents. Essential oils should never be taken internally, as they could be toxic if ingested. When applied to the skin or inhaled, the many healing properties of essential oils can treat common ailments such as warts.

Essential oils suggested for topical treatment of warts:

  • Eucalyptus: fresh, pungent aroma, can be harsh
  • Frankincense: astringent, beneficial to skin
  • Garlic: antiseptic, fungicidal, strong odor
  • Lavender: pleasant, soothing odor
  • Lemon: fresh, sparkling scent
  • Tea tree: fresh, camphor-like, can be harsh
  • Thuja: woody, cedar smell, is neurotoxic, can be harsh

Hydrosols are rarely suggested for treating warts; however, the oregano hydrosol is classified as an anti-viral and can be effective. An oregano hydrosol can be mixed with water and be ingested although it has a very odd taste. It can also be used in a bath for treatment.

How to use Aromatherapy to Treat Warts

Essential oils can be applied directly to the wart or can be added to a bath for soaking.

Direct Application of Essential Oils for Warts
For topical use, apply one or two drops of undiluted lavender, garlic, tea tree, eucalyptus, thuja, or lemon oil daily directly to the wart. After application, cover the area with a clean, dry bandage. If the surrounding skin is irritated after treatment, use wheat germ oil or vitamin E oil to soothe it.

Essential Oil Bath for Warts
To use essential oils in the bath, add 5 to 15 drops of an essential oil to a tub of warm water, and then swish with the hand to mix it. The amount of oil used should correspond to the size of the bathtub. Use more for a large tub (closer to 15 drops), less for a smaller tub (closer to 5 drops).

Measuring Essential Oils for Usage

  • 1 drop = 15 to 25 milligrams
  • 10 drops = 150 milligrams
  • 1 milliliter = 20 to 30 measured drops

Precautions During Use of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy for Warts
Essential oils should only be used externally, as they can cause severe reactions if taken internally. Thuja is neurotoxic and may be abortive (cause termination of pregnancy).

Essential oils and hydrosols should not be used to treat children because they can be too harsh for a child’s tender skin. Children may also have undiagnosed allergies and have a severe and unexpected reaction to the plant used to make the oil.

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is a branch of herbal treatment that uses the essential oil, or pure extract, of a plant rather than the whole of the plant. While aromatherapy does involve the sense of smell, it would actually be more aptly termed “essential oil therapy.” The practice uses essential oils and hydrosols to treat physical and emotional conditions and diseases. Essential oils have many medicinal uses as ingredients in topical solutions, massage oils, bath oils, and capsules.

Essential oils are pressed or distilled from plant parts. Aside from being characterized by the natural fragrance of the plant from which they are derived, essential oils each have a specific color, viscosity, and taste. Hydrosols are the pure, natural waters produced during the distillation process of making the essential oils. They are clear and also have an aroma specific to the plant from which they were distilled.

What Causes Warts?

Warts are small, hard, abnormal, but benign elevations on the skin. They are caused by one of many different strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV) family. Each strain of HPV causes a different type of wart. The most common type of wart is referred to as a “common wart”, and may be found on the hands and face. “Plantar warts” are warts that are found on the feet, and “venereal warts” are warts found on the genitals. Flat warts are another common type of wart that are smaller and smoother than other warts; they tend to grow on women’s legs, children’s faces, and the neck.

Warts are usually harmless and do not cause other illnesses, except in the case of genital warts which have been linked to cervical cancer.

Warts are contagious and are passed from person to person. Because warts are caused by a virus, they must have a point of infection. Warts can be contracted by walking barefoot in locker rooms or at swimming pools, using a towel that another person with the virus has used, or by engaging in sexual contact. The incubation period for human papilloma virus (HPV) is rather long, so it is usually hard to determine where an individual may have initially contracted the virus.

Where to find Essential Oils for Aromatherapy

An Aromatherapist can assist you in choosing the proper oils and hydrosols to treat your condition. Essential oils can be found at most health food stores. If they are not readily available in stores, they can often be special-ordered through the store or on the internet.

Additional resources

Boon, Heather S. The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to the 50 Most Common Medicinal Herbs. Toronto: R. Rose, 2004.

Mindell, Earl. Dr.Earl Mindell’s Natural Remedies for 101 Ailments. North Bergen, NJ. Basic Health Publications, 2002.

Worwood, Valerie Ann. Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child. Novato, Calif. New World Library, 2000.

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