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Garlic - A Natural Treatment For Warts and Corns

Originally published on June 18, 2013

Warts are considered non-cancerous skin growths - different strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV) cause warts to form on different areas of the body. Warts that form on the fingers are typically called "common" warts, while those that appear on the soles of the feet are called plantar warts.

About 70 precent of warts dissipate on their own within two years without any treatment, though in some cases, more warts can appear as the initial wart shrinks. Warts can spread by direct contact with scratches or cuts in the skin.

Corns are small collections of thickened skin, typically along the bottoms or sides of the feet - they are typically caused by excessive friction within footwear, usually due to aggressive athletic activity or footwear that doesn't fit properly.

To treat common warts, plantar warts, and corns without acid, cryotherapy, or excision, all you need are fresh garlic cloves, a knife, and athletic tape.

Start by thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water, and if you have any breaks in your skin, be sure to bandage them up to avoid direct contact with the wart.

Peel one clove of garlic, then cut it in half.

Use the cut side of one portion of garlic to gently rub the wart - the goal is to coat the entire wart with natural garlic juices. Do this for a minute or two, then use athletic tape to affix the remaining fresh garlic half against the wart - be sure to do this with the cut side of the garlic against the wart. You can cut and trim the garlic to cover the wart, but be sure that the portion of garlic that will remain in contact with the wart is a little larger than the wart itself to ensure contact if the garlic shifts.

You can apply this natural garlic treatment to warts and corns before going to bed, then remove it during the day to allow the area to breathe, and continue to reapply using fresh garlic each night.

For a small wart or corn, this garlic treatment will often lead to a complete cure within a week. For larger warts, you may need to continue with garlic application for a few weeks.

I just had a client use this garlic remedy for a large wart on his second toe. Within a few days, his wart shrunk by about half - as his wart shrivelled away, he could see blackening of the roots of the wart. Within a month of daily treatment, his toe was perfectly normal.

Garlic has long been known to have anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties. Koreans eat massive quantities of garlic through many of their staple dishes, kim chi being the most notable one, and epidemiologists in Korea have long believed that this partly explains their better-than-average record of immunity against various air-borne diseases.

A study in the International Journal of Dermatology (2005;44:612–5) confirms that garlic is a useful treatment for warts and corns.

If you give this remedy a try or know of another reliable natural treatment for warts and corns, please consider sharing via the comments section below. Thank you.

Please Note: Before trying this or any other natural remedy, it's always prudent to run things by your personal physician.


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In 1964 I was a senior in high school and had many plantar warts on one foot. I went to a doctor and he filled a big syringe with novacain and shot it directly into the middle of the wart cluster. It hurt like hell for a few seconds until the novacain took effect. Three weeks later the warts were all gone and never came back.

I took a needle and lanced through the wart sideways and break open the skin..the skin on top of the wart is usually rough and calloused so its not painful. After that I put a dab of coconut oil on top of the lanced wart..then I have chopped garlic and put that directly on top of the coconut oil and kind of mix it all in..making sure the garlic juices and coconut oil touch the wart area..then keeping the oil and garlic on the wart..I wrap a bandaid around it. change out the oil/garlic/bandaid everyday and your wart will be gone within a few days. If you don't lance the wart it will take a week or two but will still work. Coconut oil is a carrier oil which means it penetrates the skin easily and will carry whatever it touches with it..i.e. garlic enzymes/juices.

I have corns on all my toes.. They are getting bigger and rougher.. Please help

I would definitely give the garlic remedy a try. If it isn't fully effective, you could try an OTC solution from your local pharmacy, as they are typically effective for corns.

I hope things improve soon.

Colloidal Silver can be used externally at the wart site to remedy a plantar wart. It can take a month or two of regular treatment (spray area daily and bandage) . ..but it works!

Cut a piece of Gray duct tape slightly larger than the wart and apply. No need to keep changing. It seems that the wart suffocates or it may be the adhesive that kills the wart - who cares it works.

I had suggested grey duct tape to a friend for her young son's plantar wart. She confirmed that in 3 days that wart just pulled out and the problem did not return.

Thanks for another great article Dr Ben. Natural remedies are always preferable to any harsh, invasive chemical or surgical treatment.

I can attest to the fact that banana peel, used in much the same way as you describe, cures warts also.

My daughter was a talented tennis player and she developed plantar warts on the soles of her feet. The suggested solution was surgery to cut them out and this would mean many long weeks of recovery involving much pain and inconvenience, and no tennis training or competition either.

So we tried the banana peel and the results were amazing. The warts were gradually drawn out and eventually disappeared altogether - fantastic!

I had lots of large crumbly growths on my torso. They looked bad when I was in a swimsuit and often crusty bits would break off leaving a tender area which would bleed if clothing rubbed against it. I started keeping a piece of banana peel taped over each growth and replacing it every night and morning. The growths gradually dropped off leaving healthy skin within a couple of weeks. Then I saw a skin specialist about something else and he said the growths were not warts but solar keratoses. He showed me a tiny dropper bottle containing a remedy which he said was used to treat the keratoses and cost $200 a bottle. He said the active ingredient was actually the same as the active ingredient in the banana peel!

Another great article from Dr. Ben!

This is really strange, but I've found potato skins to be effective wart removers as well. Basically, just slice off some of the skin and then put the wet side of skin on your wart. Cover with a band aid so it stays in place, and then check back in a day or two. I've been doing this ever since I was a kid, and it works like magic.

I have been successful with an old herbal remedy for warts: dandelions. Take a young dandelion plant with a flower stalk. Break the stalk and allow the while milky juice to rise (it will bubble up on the cut stalk) and apply this to the surface of the wart. Be sure to cover the wart entirely. Give thanks to the dandelion for its help as you apply its juice to your skin.
Do this three times a day, each time with a fresh dandelion. In two weeks the wart should be gone.
I was taught that this could be done during the cycle of full moon to new moon, or from new moon to full moon (hence the two weeks).
I have used this successfully on myself and another family member.
(Yet another use for the wonderful dandelion!)

Well all I got to say , is that I'm now a believer in this, I used several dandelions and applied it to a wart I have on my knuckle for years and trying almost everything with no luck. This morning my wart is black and noticeably smaller. It burns a little bit but actually appears to be smaller! !

Understand about the garlic but what is "athletic" tape? Plastic/or cloth tape used for bandages? Elastic bandages used for sprains? Or?
Thanks for the info!

Athletic tape is that white cloth type tape for bandages. I've heard it called masking tape too.

Hi. I wanted to share with you that organic Apple Cidar vinegar, small piece of cotton ball, and athletic tape worked amazingly on the wart I had on my finger. I dipped a piece of cotton ball into the apple Cidar vinegar, put it on my finger, wrapped athletic tape around it, and did this each night for about 3 nights. It went away. After the 1st night, it was turning black! My daughter had a wart on her finger... We did the same thing for her and it worked! Perfect remedy!

Will this treatment work for molluscum?

I don't know if garlic will work for molluscum, but Apple Cider Vinegar was really effective for us. Google it and you'll find a ton of info about it. Basically, dip a small piece of cotton ball in ACV and tape it over the molluscum and wear it overnight. We'd do this just at night for a few days and soon see the molluscum turn black, or just turn red and disappear. On of my children had a highly resistant strain of molluscum on her face and using ACV near her mouth wasn't an option. We used podofilox (prescribed by a dermatologist) and it was AWESOME! We applied it ever other night - using a different cream on the off nights - and within 2 months all the molluscum cleared up. Good luck!

the article on garlic and warts cure is quite informative. I had a small wart on my left cheek and I used banana peel rubbed it on the wart and stuck a portion of it on the wart (so that the inside of the peel is touching the wart) and taped it. the wart is gone within two weeks! I think this remedy can be tried on all types of warts. Hope this will be useful for your readers.


Elderberry Extract is a powerful anti-viral that deactivates the virus that is the cause of skin warts. I had one on my right index finger that I had burned off twice and it kept growing back. I went on Elderberry extract liquid every day for 30-45 days and my wart disappeared. It hasn't grown back in 8 years! It works great.

Hello, I am curious if you took the elderberry concentrate by mouth or did you topically use it? Thanks in advance.

I have found that Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is amazing for getting rid of warts!! Just soak a cotton ball in the vinegar and apply to wart, affix with band aid or tape! Works wonders

Lemon juice works well too...just keep applying the juice until after about a week the wart should shrink and then finally disappear.

I have not tried the garlic remedy but I have removed warts by rubbing them with the inside of a banana peel ... and of course eating the banana. One needs to keep doing this every day until the warts eventually disappear.

A friend of mine said he got rid of warts on his hands by rubbing the milk from milkweed on them.

I have used, with much success, vitamin e oil, straight from a capsule and rubbed on before bed. Warts, dry skin spots and a huge plantar wart that had been in existence for some years all gone.

Will definitely try this if a wart happens again in our family! I don't have one right now, but here's a strange and interesting story!

I had an extremely large wart on the side of my foot for two years. By large I mean Nanny McPhee large! It was so ugly. The doctor burned it off with liquid nitrogen on two occasions and it just came back. He finally referred me to a surgeon and as I waited with dread to hear about a date for surgery I happened to make some changes to my supplement regimen, and the wart simply shrunk away and VANISHED!

I could not believe my eyes and I still can't believe it. I had made two changes, and here is what they were... First: Due to researching MTHFR, I switched from regular B vitamin complex to "active" B vitamin complex (ie p5p, methyl5cobalamin, methylfolate) and Second: I started taking maca root. Now I have no idea if it was one or the other or a combination of both changes that solved the problem, but needless to say I am THRILLED! My inclination is to believe that it was the B vitamins kick starting my methylation and improving my body's natural detoxification. Anyway, that's my story, I am now an "active B" evangelist... gotta take something absorbable or you are wasting your money!

All 3 of my kids have had plantar warts. The pediatrician's recommendation for removing them involved shaving off the top layer of the wart with a pumice stone and then applying a topical gel that she wanted me to get from the drugstore. What I ended up doing (and what worked the best for me) was to shave off the top layer when they're skin was wet, as she'd instructed. I then applied some therapeutic-grade clove oil and covered it with a bandage. Within 24 hours, a black spot appeared in the center of the wart (indicating that it was starting to die off) and after about a week, the wart was completely gone. And there have been no recurrences.

Hi Dr. Kim,
Many years ago I followed the advice of Huckleberry Finn - rub a raw potato on the wart(s) at the time of the full moon and throw it over your shoulder. (also not to look for that potato afterwards). And it worked!! Had 17 warts and within
a week all gone.
Now I have warts on various places on my arms and legs and going to use the garlic remedy you describe.
The only thing is: I do not want to smell like a garlic bulb.
Greta Farina

Thank your for your newsletter. Is there anything that can be done for skin tags?8792

I have been to the specialist before because of warts.. What he did was use some type of liquid to burn of warts on my hands they went away for awhile. Until recently i began noticing a far too familiar enemy on my arm. My mom suggested trying it. Its mt second day and i can see a difference. Stings when first applied but worth trying to see what happens with this home remedy

I was searching to find a way to treat the wart on my finger and came across your article. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I was using an OTC treatment for warts and it was not helping as a matter of fact it was getting bigger while using the treatment. So I decided the use the garlic. The garlic was working immediately as
I was rubbing the garlic on the wart. It was turning black as I was
using it!! It shrunk and the pain I was having is gone. I was in so
much pain that I wasn't getting a good nights sleep. This is only the second day of using the garlic and it's healing!!

Used this method. and now my daughters wart is red and she says it hurts. is that normal ? she put it before bed and than took it off in the morning.

I have this thing growing on my head for years now,have been to skin specialist several Times but no wondering if this is really wart because its been on my head for years now ..seriously itches when it touches also prevents hair from growing at that particular part of the head..

Hi Dr Kim I have a planter wart I put garlic and vinegar. The garlic and my skin become green is that some thing that I should be worry about?
Thanks Nancy

Hi Nancy, it's difficult to comment without actually seeing it in person. I would suggest having your family physician take a look. Best of luck.

Garlic has been known to turn blue or green when it ferments. It's a part of its natural chemistry.

After over five years trying to get rid of this wart, now it seems to have turned into 2+ warts on my finger. I have been getting a meal delivery service and so now I have loads and loads of fresh garlic. So finally I am trying the garlic method. I have pretty much tried everything bar the liquid nitrogen, did try some dry ice we had at work, then knocked it off trying to get my microwave out the door for repair. I thought great it’s gone now but it grew back. That was several years ago. I’ve tried apple cider vinegar, duct tape, TCA, home freezing kit, salicylic acid, kawakawa, essential oils of lemon, frankincense, myrrh. Have got rid of it several times but it grows right back. Have had the most success with combination treatments. Until now. I am trying garlic, so far just thin slices and not rubbing it onto the wart. I can see it starting to turn black finally. I’ve probably been doing it for a little over a week. I’m pretty impressed so far. Maybe I’ll have to try the half a clove trick next.