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Warts and All

by Dr Angela Jones(more info)

listed in homeopathy, originally published in issue 22 - September 1997

There are few things more irritating than a wart. Though seemingly trivial, they are unsightly and embarrassing. Conventional medicine has little to offer the sufferer -- he can choose between pumice, corrosive paints or freezing with liquid nitrogen, or there's always the reassurance that warts usually resolve spontaneously after about five years.

One of my first homeopathic successes was with warts. Eight year old Bridget was plagued with several warts near the tips of four of her fingers. They had been present for about eighteen months and had resisted conventional modes of treatment. She had not tried liquid nitrogen because one of her friends had the treatment and received a painful blister which developed a secondary infection.

Bridget steadfastly refused to countenance a similar experience.

Apart from the warts, Bridget was a healthy little girl. She had no chronic illnesses and took no medication. She was generally good-tempered and caring and her father mentioned that she would get very upset by injustices. Her other interesting characteristic was that she loved the rain -- an advantage for someone living in Wales.

One of the major remedies for warts on the fingers, especially if next to the nail, is Causticum. This is a special chemical concoction invented by the founder of homeopathy, Hahnemann, himself. It has many uses but when used constitutionally, is particularly suitable for people who are keen on "causes", often animal rights but it could be any form of injustice. They are the kind of people who are not merely armchair politicians but instead get involved in some kind of direct action.

Even at this age, Bridget would become very upset by injustice and that characteristic, as well as liking rain, backed up the choice of Causticum for her warts. I followed the rule of giving the minimum dose and gave her rather incredulous father three tablets of Causticum 30c to take away. Imagine my delight when they returned after one month, wart-free! The warts had disappeared like a charm after only a few days. It was my first attempt at treating warts as a homoeopath and I must admit that I was as amazed as they were.

Another brilliant success was in the humble matter of my son's verrucas. He had picked one up whilst learning to swim and it soon became two, then three, despite numerous applications of various proprietary products. I was beginning to contemplate liquid nitrogen for him but hesitated, knowing how uncomfortable the resulting blisters can be. Soon after, I became interested by homoeopathy and read about Antimonium Crudum, a preparation of the metal antimony which is useful for any callus-type condition on the feet. I obtained a bottle of 6c tablets and gave Michael two tablets a day. After ten days, I was amazed to see that one of the verrucas had formed a black core that simply dropped out leaving a small hole which healed in two days. This process repeated with the other verrucas and he has never had a recurrence. I have since used this treatment routinely in general practice with universal acceptance by the patients and very few failures. One would expect the occasional case to need an alternative medicine on the basis of individualisation. Thuja is another major wart medicine which can also be used for verrucas either by mouth or topically, as the mother tincture, dropped directly onto the offending lesion.

Although a fair few patients do consult specifically for a problem of warts, there is another group who have warts as part of a systemic illness and in whom the warts can be a useful clue to the medicine required for the whole illness. Rhian was a typical example of this situation. She had been feeling unwell for over a year with fatigue and joint pains. The pain had started on the right side in her shoulder and arm and had moved into the left shoulder more recently. It was a rheumatic type of pain with marked morning stiffness and was generally better for warmth and movement.

Rhian also suffered from "irritable bowel syndrome" in that she was prone to bouts of constipation and tended to feel bloated after food. Indeed, she could only eat small amounts at a time and had terrible wind, especially after certain foods, most particularly garlic.

She had tried the conventional treatments for this complaint without success.

But what about the warts? Well, Rhian had recently developed warts on her fingers, quite dose to the nails. They were large and unsightly but by no means her main problem. Her other main traits were a general lack of vital heat in that she felt continuously chilly, but disliked stuffiness, and also a tendency to anticipatory anxiety. This is an important symptom in homoeopathy and describes the kind of anxiety that comes on before an event, not always major events but even something relatively minor. Having said that, Rhian was a successful career woman so that, although maddening, the anxiety dearly was not significantly affecting her professional performance.

Rhian's condition seemed to call for the medicine Lycopodium, which is derived from the spores of the club moss, ground up to release the potent oils within. However, I was not aware that Lycopodium was useful for warts. Looking up in the texts, I was delighted to find that Lycopodium was indeed mentioned as active against warts on the fingers. Indeed, it is among the smaller list of medicines where warts are dose to the nails.

And the proof of the pudding was that, the warts having been the most recent symptom, they were the first symptom to disappear when Rhian had a dose of Lycopodium 30c. Her joint pains and irritable bowel also improved greatly and she, was very pleased with her progress. However, she subsequently developed quite severe psychological symptoms which needed help from other medicines but that is another story...


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About Dr Angela Jones

Dr Angela Jones works in NHS general practice and also privately, using homeopathy alongside conventional medicine. Dr Jones can be contacted via the Faculty of Homeopathy on Tel: 020-7566 7800.

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