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August 19, 2002
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Some of my favourite folklore remedies (for warts...). What did your grandma tell you?
posted by Spoon at 1:20 PM on August 19, 2002


From the first site:
There's an old wifes tale which states that the only way to rid yourself of a wart (which you may or may not have got from not crushing up eggshells - thereby givng a witch a boat) is to sell it to someone. This being the case I have 5 warts for sale (guaranteed non genital) Buyer receives framed picture of wart and an actual wart.
Thomcatspike is on ebay?
posted by ColdChef at 1:21 PM on August 19, 2002


(guaranteed non genital)

I hope I never find myself in a transaction where that phrase is needed.
posted by redsparkler at 1:25 PM on August 19, 2002


Fabulously creepy. For those who've ever had them frozen by a dermatologist, the home version of that game is now available at the drugstore. Instead of writhing in agony while the doc tries to make small talk, you can screech all you want after trying Wartner in the comfort of your very own home.

Yes, I've tried it. Yes it works. Ow.
posted by websavvy at 1:30 PM on August 19, 2002


I was told by someone that a way to get rid of a wart was to have a grasshopper spit on it (you know that black stuff that they spit when you pick them up).

Surprisingly enough it worked, apparently because the grasshopper saliva includes some chemicals that help them digest food and also warts!
posted by wigu at 1:35 PM on August 19, 2002


I have the unfortunate honor of getting cold sores once or twice a year. Once, when I was in school, a gal who hailed from somewhere in Missouri (or Mississippi, or some Southern state like that) told me that rubbing my own earwax on the coldsore would make it go away.

I opted for Carmex... not only because I clean my ears daily to ensure that I don't have wax build up, but also because, well, her idea was gross.
posted by crankydoodle at 1:41 PM on August 19, 2002


Missouri is not in the South.
posted by bingo at 1:48 PM on August 19, 2002


It is, if you're from Atmautluak, AK.
posted by Witty at 1:50 PM on August 19, 2002


It may be to the south of you (and so is North Dakota), but it's still not in the South.
posted by bingo at 1:58 PM on August 19, 2002


I hear if you say "Atmautluak" seven times fast while spinning clockwise, your warts will disappear by sunrise.
posted by gottabefunky at 2:00 PM on August 19, 2002


I heard if you go to a dermatologist, and tell him to remove the wart, your wart will go away.

I know it sounds crazy, but that's what my grammy told me back when I was a young'un, by cracky.
posted by UncleFes at 2:14 PM on August 19, 2002


Well, you know the only way you get a wart is from a frog peeing on you. ;o)
posted by bmxGirl at 2:15 PM on August 19, 2002


Missouri may be in the south, relative to Alaska, but it's not Southern.

The couple of warts I have get chewed just like fingernails.

When I was little my mom would put that caustic liquid stuff on them, which worked ok I guess.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 2:17 PM on August 19, 2002


This morning I heard a radio interview with a woman who was the proud owner of a wart which she believe had been removed from Elvis's hand just before his army induction. She bought it from a Memphis doctor for "a lot of money".
posted by timeistight at 2:19 PM on August 19, 2002


I remember having a wart underneath the toenail on my right big toe, and having it frozen off: it started off ok, and then got worse and worse and worse until I would have rather chopped off my foot with an axe. And it didn't work the first time, so I had to go back again. And then one morning I woke up and the wart was gone.
posted by monkeymike at 2:20 PM on August 19, 2002


The couple of warts I have get chewed just like fingernails.

So you mean they grow back? In any case, there's an image I didn't need. :P
posted by gottabefunky at 2:24 PM on August 19, 2002


Yep. They grow back.

So far I haven't noticed any hydra-esque behavior, so I got that going fo me, which is good.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 2:26 PM on August 19, 2002


when a youngster, i used to get planter's warts on the soles of my feet (inverted warts). quite uncomfortable. i had to go the podiatrist to have them frozen and dug out a number of times.

years later i find out i could have avoided all of that if my parents had just told me to wear socks with my shoes.
posted by o2b at 2:35 PM on August 19, 2002


For cold sores the only things that work is Zovirax(Acyclovir) and Abreva (Docasonal). Acyclovir tries to attack the virus itself while Abreva surrounds the healthy cells.

Both of them if applied right when you feel that tingle can completely prevent it from appearing, and will speed up the healing by a few days even if you catch it late. I get em a couple of times a year too, frickin hate em.
posted by zeoslap at 2:36 PM on August 19, 2002


Next time: put a spell on it!

Vissna, vassna som kol i aska, man i jord, snö för sol. Du ska bliva så liten som ett senapskorn, sedan intet.

Should work.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 2:38 PM on August 19, 2002


I hear if you say "Atmautluak" seven times fast while spinning clockwise, your warts will disappear by sunrise

In the southern hemisphere (where Missouri is definitely 'northern') you need to spin counter-clockwise.
posted by HTuttle at 2:56 PM on August 19, 2002


Warts go away when they decide to and that's about it. There are over 50 different types of virus and nobody knows anything about them.

I had a wart on my thumb from age 7 to about 12. At least twice a year I'd go to different dermatologists. I had it:
1) cut out with a scalpel (2 or 3 times)
2) burnt out electrically (3 or 4 times)
3) frozen
4) filed away

It always grew back. In desperation, I tried all the folk remedies (burying a steak in the garden was one). I even asphixiated my thumb (the smell and the colour were poisonous). Nothing worked. The main dermatologist had warned my mother the very first time we went that there was very little chance anything would work.

One day it just fell off. The reason for freezing and burning the bastard is just to keep if from growing larger. They're EVIL, I tell you!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:12 PM on August 19, 2002


I read somewhere that warts last so long because hide from the body's immune system. Once discovered, they're gone almost overnight. As for the strange remedies that have perpetuated, they are simply the last 'cures' that were attempted by the sufferers.

HTuttle - as a rule of thumb, spin in the direction that the water in your toilet flushes. :^)
posted by madprops at 3:12 PM on August 19, 2002


The only home cure that really works is bourbon and a razor blade. Drink bourbon, cut wart off about 1/16th of an inch below the skinline, use a bit more bourbon to clean the cut (although it won't really bleed much anyway). I had one, now gone 10-12 yrs.
posted by luriete at 3:16 PM on August 19, 2002


Um, Compound W works pretty well. 'Specially the gel kind.

(aside - "Compound W" goes in the Hall of Fame of funny medicine names, along with Preparation H and Immodium A-D. Like just using the initial of the ailment makes it more discreet or something.)
posted by spacewaitress at 3:21 PM on August 19, 2002


you have to get the seeds out most importantly. when you are digging a wart hole look for the black deals that are deep in the skin. if you do not get those things out, it is all in vain.
posted by wigu at 3:22 PM on August 19, 2002


the black things are blood vessels.
posted by Spoon at 3:36 PM on August 19, 2002


Or alien seed pods.

from itsy bitsy aliens
posted by ook at 3:41 PM on August 19, 2002


This MetaFilter Post has been brought to you by Do-It-Yourself Home Surgery.

And remember kids: dad's belt makes a great tourniquet for those arterial accidents.
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:59 PM on August 19, 2002


The only thing I've known that reliably gets rid of them is soaking the body part in dilluted chlorine bleach for fifteen minutes a night for two to three months.

Since I don't have the patience for that, I tried getting them frozen for about six months, and when that didn't work, I just let them be... until they started shrinking when I switched from normal soap to a weird all-natural brand I found at Trader Joe's. *shrug*
posted by SpecialK at 4:03 PM on August 19, 2002


At U of Kansas, the student medical center actually includes a very popular (long waits in line sometimes) "wart clinic"...must be the combination of climate (at some times of year), whatever microorganisms are in the air and the ground, and all the walking up and down hills. Anyway, I visited a bunch of times for the bottoms of my feet...I believe they told me they were using a combination of dry ice and a scalpel. Had to go back weekly for a while, but it worked.

What Spoon said about the blood vessels is true. Although, just because they aren't really "seeds," do we know that it doesn't make a difference whether you dig them out or not?
posted by bingo at 4:04 PM on August 19, 2002


I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the famous banana skin cure!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:28 PM on August 19, 2002


I heard you can light the infected area on fire.

(Worked for Richard Pryor)
posted by Dr_Octavius at 4:28 PM on August 19, 2002


This MetaFilter Post has been brought to you by Do-It-Yourself Home Surgery.

I suppose that means I should explain how my father regularly excised my ingrown toenails using barber shears.

When I was about fourteen I found out that a pair of cuticle clippers was much less painful. And when I was about sixteen I discovered it was possible to have surgery so you wouldn't get ingrown toenails anymore, and immediately insisted that this be done.

After which, so did my father.
posted by kindall at 4:32 PM on August 19, 2002


Would that be foot amputation?
posted by bingo at 4:37 PM on August 19, 2002


for cold sores i recommend L-Lysine tablets. when you feel the tingle, eat about 5 an hour over the day (500 mg) = no cold sore. no, i'm not kidding.
posted by dobbs at 4:48 PM on August 19, 2002


i've always been a firm beleiver in the brute force method. exacto knife and peroxide. repeat as needed.
posted by quonsar at 6:53 PM on August 19, 2002


My Grandmother worked what she called "Root Magic" . She claimed she could do things like stop bleeding by reading a certain verse in the bible among other things. Her remedy for warts I once witnessed was to wrap a blue thread and then a red thread around a certain type of twig. This was then followed by rubbing the offending wart with the thread covered twig. The "patient" was then instructed to throw the twig in the street. Supposedly, when a passerby picked up the stick, the patient would miraculously loose the wart, the passerby would then receive the wart. I cannot comment about the efficacy of her "treatment" but I had heard once that a wart is a virus that under normal circumstances only lasts about two years anyway if left alone. I had a few once and tried many over the counter remedies before finally giving up. Oddly enough, once I gave up ...the warts disappeared on their own, beginning with the largest, and first one to appear (the seed wart).
posted by SweetIceT at 7:48 PM on August 19, 2002


as a rule of thumb, spin in the direction that the water in your toilet flushes

Oh, you narrow-minded North Americans! Do any of you even realise that the water in toilets does not spin at all in many countries?

My daughter is prone to warts on her fingers for some reason and nothing seems to get rid of them but, after a while (2 years sounds about right) they just disappear.
posted by dg at 7:52 PM on August 19, 2002


Wasn't that part of a famous '70s song?

To wit:

Sell it,
Cut notches in a stick,
Spit tobacco,
Tie knots in black string,

Get down tonight,
Get down tonight.

posted by Vidiot at 7:53 PM on August 19, 2002


excuse me folks, have you seen the cootie thread?

I need a shot
posted by amberglow at 7:57 PM on August 19, 2002


re: cold sores & l-lysine

Lysine is believed by many to slow or stop the growth of Herpes simplex I. One doctor even claims to have cured it by taking very large doses of lysine over a lengthy period of time. In the past when I was weakened by viruses in winter, I would always get cold sores and they would persist for at least a couple of weeks. I later found that if I take large does of lysine (I actually take 1000mg per hour for about four hours straight, that was the first dosage that did the trick for me), the cold sores either never form or if there is a small bubble beginning, they quickly vanish. I also put a topical medicine containing lysine on the area, although I have had success with just the lysine tablets.

I can then take 500 mg once or twice per day to make sure the cold sores stay away until my immune system has recovered. I frequently get cold sores from lack of sleep as well, and because of this I would take lysine as a preventive method if I was unable to sleep for some reason or was intentionally depriving myself of sleep.
posted by bargle at 8:33 PM on August 19, 2002


heh heh.... warts are cool...
posted by spilon at 8:59 PM on August 19, 2002


So... how does one promote wart growth?
posted by Neale at 9:04 PM on August 19, 2002


>So... how does one promote wart growth?

Use the YMCA showers daily without sandals?
posted by shepd at 9:32 PM on August 19, 2002


Everything I know about warts I learned from Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. How does one promote wart growth? Tom says, "I play with frogs so much that I've always got considerable many warts." How do you get them off? Tom discusses this very topic with Huckleberry Finn in Chapter VI:

"Sometimes I take 'em off with a bean."

"Yes, bean's good. I've done that."

"Have you? What's your way?"

"You take and split the bean, and cut the wart so as to get some blood, and then you put the blood on one piece of the bean and take and dig a hole and bury it 'bout midnight at the crossroads in the dark of the moon, and then you burn up the rest of the bean. You see that piece that's got the blood on it will keep drawing and drawing, trying to fetch the other piece to it, and so that helps the blood to draw the wart, and pretty soon off she comes."

"Yes, that's it, Huck -- that's it; though when you're burying it if you say 'Down bean; off wart; come no more to bother me!' it's better. That's the way Joe Harper does, and he's been nearly to Coonville and most everywheres. But say -- how do you cure 'em with dead cats?"

"Why, you take your cat and go and get in the graveyard 'long about midnight when somebody that was wicked has been buried; and when it's midnight a devil will come, or maybe two or three, but you can't see 'em, you can only hear something like the wind, or maybe hear 'em talk; and when they're taking that feller away, you heave your cat after 'em and say, 'Devil follow corpse, cat follow devil, warts follow cat, I'm done with ye!' That'll fetch any wart."
To read all of chapter VI of Tom Sawyer, go here.
posted by Lynsey at 9:55 PM on August 19, 2002


I developed a wart on my leg, and got rid of the lumpy bit just by rubbing it down with a pumice stone after showering (so it was nice and soft). Just the slightest skin discolouration remains -- otherwise, all gone cheaply!
posted by John Shaft at 11:11 PM on August 19, 2002


Missouri may be in the south, relative to Alaska, but it's not Southern.

You're wrong. Missouri is Southern and Northern, Eastern and Western. It was the Compromise State. It is a divided in multiple ways. Ozarks in the south, rolling plains in the north. Cut horizontally by a river. Two urban areas on the east and west, like splitting nuclei, separated by rural and semi-rural areas. A southern accent in the south, a Midlands accent in the north. Two Federal Reserve districts. Liberal cities, except for Springfield, conservative ruralities. They grow rice in the Bootheel, corn on the plains.
posted by Mo Nickels at 6:55 AM on August 20, 2002


The only home cure that really works is bourbon and a razor blade. Drink bourbon, cut wart off about 1/16th of an inch below the skinline, use a bit more bourbon to clean the cut (although it won't really bleed much anyway).

The only wart I've had was excised carefully with a sharp, sterilized knife. As for a "seed", I found a tiny hard pearlescent object about a mm beneath the skin. Saved it for a while, maybe I should have put it in my ex-wifes coffee or something.
posted by rotifer at 4:49 PM on August 20, 2002


a radio interview with a woman who was the proud owner of a wart which she believe had been removed from Elvis's hand

That would be Joni Mabe. This is why I love MeFi. Where else could we learn that a) Elvis had a wart and b) it's a collectible?

p.s. She also has (probably) an Elvis toenail.
posted by LeLiLo at 8:01 PM on August 21, 2002


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