Medical herbalist Nicola Parker describes antiviral herbs like elderberry as one of the most powerful immune boosters
As a one-a-day tablet elderberry is an excellent choice for arming your immune system against warts, verrucas and any other invading bacteria or virus.
Respect your elder when it comes to tackling verrucas
Warts and verrucas are unsightly, sometimes painful growths that appear on the skin.
There was a time when you could visit your GP and have them frozen off, which while uncomfortable, was a rapid treatment compared to over-the-counter alternatives. These days, this treatment is no longer offered like it once was, which makes treating warts and verrucas a lengthy, time-consuming and expensive process.
Sometimes warts and verrucas can go away on their own, but if you’re having difficulty with a particularly stubborn growth or cluster, knowing your enemy may help you build a better strategy towards eliminating it.
Most over-the-counter treatments involve gradually wearing the growth down, removing layer after layer of hard skin to shrink it until it can be removed easily at the root. This process can be painful and take a very long time, especially if there are multiple growths to remove or if the wart or verruca is very large.
Getting rid of the physical lump is one strategy, but there are more ways to attack it. Warts and verrucas are caused by strains of the Human Papilloma virus (HPV). Viruses can be difficult to get rid of and even harder to treat, because they are opportunistic. A healthy immune system will actively work against a virus, to stop it taking root and causing problems. If you’ve been run down, unwell, stressed out or if your immune system is compromised by an underlying health condition, the virus is more likely to win the battle.
Improving your immunity with herbs and nutrients is incredibly easy. If you prefer to go down a nutrient based route, my Immune Support formula is forever my “go to”. Rich in zinc, vitamin C, beta glucans and antiviral herbs like elderberry, it’s one of the most powerful immune boosters in my inventory. As a one-a-day tablet that covers all bases, it really is an excellent choice for arming your immune system against warts, verrucas and any other invading bacteria or virus.
Once your immune system is working as it should be, the process of ridding the skin of unsightly and painful growths – like verrucas and warts – should be much swifter and reappearance of these invaders should reduce or even stop.
Outside of boosting your natural immunity, antiviral herbs can be applied topically, directly to the source as well as taken by mouth. Elder is the one to take by mouth and is an excellent option for young children and little ones not old enough for high strength vitamins like those in the Immune Support. Elder comes in drops suitable for children as young as 3 months old and in a stronger medicine for adults and older kids who prefer not to take tablets or extra nutrients.
Elder is probably my favourite winter herb. It is incredibly effective, it’s rich in vitamin C and it tastes delicious. Topically however, it’s probably going to be a bit too sticky to apply so for warts and verrucas, I suggest a double pronged attack with elder taken by mouth and lemon essential oil applied topically.
Essential oils are extremely potent, so much so that it is best to avoid contact with the healthy skin around the affected area or this can become dry and sore with prolonged exposure.
A single drop of lemon oil provides a powerful antiviral blast, all from the tip of a cotton bud. In comparison to some of the expensive treatments out there, it costs literally a few pounds and a bottle will last for months. I’ve been using it since the start of my career and when it is combined with oral antivirals like elder, it really works a treat.
It’s a good idea to use a plaster over the area after the lemon oil has been applied, keeping the virus under direct attack at all times, changing and reapplying frequently. If you’re stuck in a rut with stubborn warts, don’t give in, just change your strategy and attack the virus directly, weakening it from behind enemy lines rather than just filing away at what is visible.
l For more information or to make an appointment with Nicola, contact her at her clinic, Health and Herbs on 01524 413733.