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Cures for Warts and Old Wives Tales

Warts usually disappear of their own accord, so whatever they are treated with will work. This is why the list of reported cures is so long and bizarre. The local wart charmer never failed unless you stopped going to see him before you were cured.

There are many different ways to cure warts according to folklore. Most of them work if you use them long enough because warts usually disappear on their own, even if you don’t use a cure.

You could steal a dishcloth and hide it inside a tree stump, or even rub the wart with pebbles from a beach, dried beans, or peas and then throw them away. When you throw them away, the wart will go with them.


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If you tie a knot in a piece of string for each wart that you have, and then bury the string, the string will rot and the warts will go away.  Another old wives tale says that if you put vinegar on a wart and on a penny at the same time, the copper will erode and so will the wart.

There are still more of these superstitions based on old ideas of magic, or folklore. Rub a wart with corn and bore a hole in a tree, put the corn in the hole and plug it up. You could also rub the wart with soda bread, raw meat, onion, or even with a penny to make is go away.

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If I had to use this method, I think I’d prefer to put up with the warts. Catch a big snail and rub it on your warts. If you do this for nine nights your wart will be gone.

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Cutting a notch in a stick for each wart and then burning the stick will burn away your warts. Washing warts in the water in which eggs have been boiled is said to cure them. However, there is also a superstition that handling eggshells from boiled eggs gives you warts.

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The list goes on and on. There are literally thousands of supposed remedies and most have ‘been seen to work’, so people have held on to their belief. We all have superstitions which have been handed down through the ages. However, although these cures for warts sound stupid, or irrational, someone somewhere saw how they once worked and held fast to ‘the cure’ they had discovered.  Their ‘knowledge’ has been handed down as fact, with a somewhat twisted sense of cause and effect.

Of course, this doesn’t just apply to warts. Many folk remedies, though not all, have the same roots and are still used because someone somewhere once thought they saw them work.

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User Comments
  1. Ruby Hawk

    On July 10, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    my grandma took a dishrag and rubbed it on the wart and threw it under the back door step. It worked for her.

  2. Paul Roberts

    On July 10, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Some of our own backwood remedies have developed into modern day medicine. Good work on the folklore. Friend fan smile

  3. catlord

    On July 10, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    My grandmother always said that if you rubbed a wart with a shiny penny and dropped the penny on the ground, whoever picks the penny up will get your wart.

    -Probably a deeper truth to that than I understood as a kid…

  4. Inna Tysoe

    On July 10, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Thanks for that.


  5. Glynis Smy

    On July 11, 2009 at 12:00 am

    I knew the egg one but not the rest. Interesting facts.

  6. George W Whitehead

    On July 11, 2009 at 12:56 am

    Wart an interesting article, Louie!

  7. Jaye McCaffery

    On July 11, 2009 at 2:57 am

    Yeah, I use the snail method all the time ……. (only joking). Interesting article.

  8. CA Johnson

    On July 11, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Thanks for this information, louie. I have never had a wart before so I would not know what to do to get rid of it. I enjoyed reading this article.

  9. sheba

    On July 11, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Thanks for sharing. Nice write!

  10. Lex92

    On July 13, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    didn’t know any of those… Good to know information thanks :D

  11. Ryan Derring

    On August 26, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    My grandmother told me to rub the wart with an onion, then have your mother go bury it. Never tried it tho.

  12. Jean

    On August 12, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    I know for a fact the dish cloth one works. My Aunt took them off my brothers hands. And also I had oneon the top of one of mine The next day all my brothers were gone the following day my one was gone . No scar. Or any evidence there had been

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