Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Recently collected wart cures

The following remedies have been contributed to P-LA since January 2015:

Broad bean (Vicia faba).  [Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, 1960]  When I was a little girl they used to say rub the pods of broad beans of warts and the warts would go.  Surprisingly the warts on my knee did go [e-mail, August 2020].

Dandelion (Taraxaum officinale).  1) My mum (now 91) always rated the milk [of dandelion] as a natural cure for warts [Cambridge, April 2019].

2)  From my grandfather in Czechoslovakia –  the white fluid in dandelion stems he would put on warts to cure them.  He would pick the dandelions on the way home when he picked me up from kindergarten [Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, February 2020].

Greater celandine (Chelidonium majus).  1) [Oxfordshire] We used greater celandine against my brother’s warts when we were little.  Didn’t work, but our applications were so erratic I don’t consider it evidence either way! [Birmingham, April 2018].

2)  Greater celandine sap against warts [Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, February 2020].

Potato (Solanum tuberosum).  Potatoes cut and rubbed on warts – used and worked, 1950s, Yorkshire, [Lambeth Horticultural Society, London, November 2015].

Sow thistle (Sonchus oleraceus).  My mother always had me use [sow] thistle milk for warts.  That was in the 1980s in rural north-west Victoria, Australia [Imperial College, London, June 2015].

Sun spurge (Euphorbia helioscopia).  Sun spurge has white sap which is said to be good for getting rid of warts [Darlington, Co. Durham, January 2021].

Other records of wart cures, especially from outside Britain and Ireland, would be gratefully received; please send them to

Images:  main, sow thistle; inset greater celandine, both Tooting Common, London Borough of Wandsworth, January 2021.