Natural health with Megan Sheppard: Warts and 'geographical tongue'

Megan Sheppard gives her advice on treating warts naturally and whether to be concerned about 'geographical tongue'.

My 16-year-old daughter has warts on her knuckles, which are unsightly. Is there a natural solution?

Warts are caused by a number of viruses, and unfortunately they are contagious so your daughter should avoid touching or picking at them to prevent them from spreading and appearing in new sites. I appreciate she will be unhappy about them as they can be the cause of teasing from others, or simply knock confidence levels despite being largely beyond her control.

Since warts are viral in origin, immune support is one of the key places to start in helping to heal and prevent these raised lumps of rapidly multiplying cells. Vitamin A is an important player in the healing of skin issues. This means that pumpkin, sweet potato, cantaloupe/ rock melon, leafy greens, tomatoes, and oily fish are all great foods for your daughter.

With two teenagers in my own house, I’m quite aware that this isn’t in line with the dietary preferences of most teens, but bumping up her intake of these foods really will help. Foods rich in organic sulphur are also important. This includes garlic, onion, Brussel’s sprouts, cabbage, and broccoli.

Natural health with Megan Sheppard: Warts and 'geographical tongue'

I know I’m really pushing it in terms of typical teenage taste buds, and this isn’t going to make the list of foods to avoid any easier to swallow.

Sugar is a huge problem in terms of compromised immunity and can be enough to set off viral issues that have been laying dormant, including cold sores, warts, or simply dropping defences enough for the common cold to sneak in.

Junk foods in general are an obvious problem when it comes to building and maintaining a healthy body. Of course it is difficult for most of us, myself included, to make optimal choices 100% of the time.

I tend to look at it as being a case of when you are in good health you have a little more leeway with diet and lifestyle choices, as long as the bulk of things you do are in line with good health and wellbeing; when your body is showing signs of being under stress, you need to stick to the cleaner lifestyle.

To help your daughter fight the virus(es) causing the persistent warts, it would be a good idea to supplement with vitamin A as well as eating the foods I recommended earlier. She will need 20,000iu daily for one month. Taking 3,000mg of vitamin C will also help, she will need to divide this up into 6 x 500mg doses taken throughout the day.

Topically, oreganum (also called oregano) essential oil applied neat with a cotton bud to the wart itself twice daily will usually result in the wart disappearing in two to three weeks. Make sure that the essential oil you use is 100% pure therapeutic grade, or it will not do the job.

The salicylic acid in aspirin and apple cider vinegar are both supposed to work to break down warts, again in just two to three weeks. This method involves using cotton wool soaked in apple cider vinegar to paint the effected area(s), crushing half of an aspirin tablet and placing it directly on a round plaster then applying it to the wart. Change the plaster each morning and again at night before bed, adding fresh vinegar and aspirin each time.

This is an alternative to the oreganum oil. The two methods are not to be used in conjunction with each other.

I am six months pregnant and have what is called ‘geographical tongue’, and while it looks very strange I have been told that it won’t cause any harm. Is this the case, or should I be worried?

This is a condition where irregular patches appear on the tongue looking much like a map. Hence the name. The good news is this is a condition that can appear in pregnancy and disappear without trace when the baby is born.

It is a good idea to avoid very spicy foods, foods pickled in vinegar, caffeine, pineapple, plums, and tomatoes, as these all may exacerbate the problem.

Keep drinking plenty of water. Make sure you aren’t low in iron or the B-vitamins, as these deficiencies have been linked to the patches forming.

I am six months pregnant and have what is called ‘geographical tongue’, and while it looks very strange I have been told that it won’t cause any harm. Is this the case, or should I be worried?

This is a condition where irregular patches appear on the tongue looking much like a map. Hence the name. The good news is this is a condition that can appear in pregnancy and disappear without trace when the baby is born. It is a good idea to avoid very spicy foods, foods pickled in vinegar, caffeine, pineapple, plums, and tomatoes, as these all may exacerbate the problem. Keep drinking plenty of water. Make sure you aren’t low in iron or the B-vitamins, as these deficiencies have been linked to the patches forming.

NOTE

The information contained in this column is not a subsitute for medical advice. Always consult a doctor.


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