We’re not promising to run down all of the folk remedies tried over the ages to remove warts, since that would be one of those lists that stretches all the way around the equator.
Untold numbers of methods have been recorded. People washed warts in rainwater pooled in tree stumps. They pressed raw potatoes, banana peel and any number of saps and oils on warts. They also believed in the Theory of Transference – the notion that an ailment could be transferred from the patient to a tree, animal or object. Blood was drawn from a wart, placed on a grain of corn and fed to a chicken. Warts could also be ‘sold’ to a folk healer called a wart charmer.
Surprising as it is, many of the most far-fetched wart remedies have been documented as being successful. Some medical researchers now believe that the body may be able to rid itself of warts through the power of hypnotic suggestion. One doctor who had had no success in treating a man with a case of multiple warts put the patient in an X-ray room and told him he was going to zap him with radiation. In fact, the doctor ran the X-ray machine without delivering any rays – but the man’s warts fell off the next day.