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In the first study of its kind, this common herb was found to have remarkable healing results for common warts and corns.
A clinical study published in the International Journal of Dermatology, titled "Healing effect of garlic extract on warts and corns," reveals the amazing healing properties of garlic extract in healing common warts and corns.
Warts are caused by the virus human papilloma virus (HPV), and corns by pressure of friction. They are some of the most common conditions found in dermatological practice today.
In the new study, peeled garlic was processed to produce either a water or fat based extract. A total of twenty-eight patients with 2-96 warts, nine patients with 1-2 corns, and a control group consisting of five patients with 7-35 warts were enrolled in the study. The study design involved the following methodology:
- In the ﬁrst phase of the trial, a water extract of garlic was applied twice daily on warts in ﬁve patients with 3–5 warts.
- In the second phase, 23 patients with 2–96 warts (all on the hands except for two cases who had plantar warts), and nine patients with 1–2 corns on the feet, were treated by applying a fat-soluble extract of garlic twice daily.
- A control group including two patients with warts and two with corns were treated with a 2:1 ratio of chloroform and methanol solution (the lipid solvent) for a period of 20 days to eliminate the possibility that the treatment results were affected by the solvent.
- Water extract of garlic: "[F]ive cases received the aqueous garlic extract for 30–40 days, which resulted only in the disappearance of small warts and partial improvement of larger warts. Treatment with the aqueous extract of garlic needed a period of more than 2 months to achieve a partial recovery in the patients."
- Fat-soluble extract of garlic: "Twenty-three patients with 2–96 warts, and nine patients with 1–2 corns were treated by applying the lipid extract. In this group, complete recovery was observed in all cases with warts after 1–2 weeks of treatment (Fig. 1). Seven out of nine patients with corn(s) showed complete recovery (Fig. 2) while two cases showed marked improvement close to full recovery with no further improvement on continuation of treatment. The period for the treatment of corn(s) in this group was between 10 and 20 days."
- Chloroform: methanol (control group): The control group showed no improvement.
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The researchers expanded on the implications of their findings by pointing out the relatively inferior results offered through conventional treatments:
"Current treatment for warts in our clinics includes: electrocautery, cryotherapy or application of keratolytics. These approaches are not fully successful, and in some cases warts reappear. In our study, treatment with garlic extract resulted in no recurrence of warts during the follow-up observation period (3–4 months)... Removal of corns by surgery, which is practiced in most clinics, can be painful and costly. Treatment with garlic extract appears to be a more convenient modality."Finally, the researchers identified the following four possible mechanisms of garlic's anti-wart and anti-corn properties:
- Anti-viral – HPV virus is the primary cause of the common wart. Garlic's anti-viral properties are well established.
- Anti-tumor - warts are actually HPV-associated growths, not unlike benign tumors. Garlic has been found to destroy a wide range of cancer cells. You can view a list of over 160 diseases garlic has been studied to have potential therapeutic value in, including over a dozen different forms of cancer.
- Immune modulatory – The researchers noted that while the mechanism of garlic's anti-wart and anti-corns activity is unknown, "...enhancement of immunological responses elicited by garlic may be responsible."
- Fibrinolytic activity – The researchers observed: "Application of garlic extract on a corn caused the removal of the corn from its place. It seems that because of the fibrinolytic effect of garlic, the surrounding fibrin tissue of the corn capsule was lyzed and the capsule was separated from the main tissue."
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