• picture
  • picture
  • picture
  • picture
Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Environmental Health Note/Mother’s Remedy

Air Date: Week of

Living on Earth’s Jennifer Chu reports on a study that finds breast milk may help get rid of stubborn warts.


CURWOOD: Just ahead: a new world of music. First, this Environmental Health Note from Jennifer Chu.

CHU: It’s been reported that a cream containing human breast milk can destroy stubborn warts. A study from Sweden shows that when applying the cream daily for three weeks, all of the 20 participants on the treatment found their warts reduced by at least 75 percent. Twenty other participants who received a placebo cream saw their warts reduced by only 15 percent. When allowed to continue the treatment, three-quarters of the volunteers found their warts disappeared entirely.

Researchers believe an active ingredient in breast milk, known as alpha-lactalbumin, causes this reaction. This compound forces the wart cell to self-destruct by gathering in the cell's nucleus and inhibiting its control process. While doctors have long known breast milk contains a natural antibiotic, its effects on tumors and viruses have only recently been discovered.

Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus, the same class of virus that causes cervical cancer. Scientists hope this new discovery will go beyond eliminating common growths to aid in fighting cancer. With that idea in mind doctors plan to begin a study of the compound’s effect on women with cervical cancer. That’s this week’s Health Note. I’m Jennifer Chu.

CURWOOD: And you’re listening to NPR's Living on Earth.

ANNOUNCER: Support for NPR comes from NPR stations, and Aveda, an earth-conscious beauty company committed to preserving natural resources and finding more sustainable ways of doing business. Information available at Aveda.com; The Noyce Foundation, dedicated to improving math and science instruction from kindergarten through grade 12; The Annenberg Foundation; and The Kellogg Foundation, helping people help themselves by investing in individuals, their families, and their communities. On the web at wkkf.org. This is NPR, National Public Radio.

[MUSIC: The Ventures “The Fourth Dimension” THE VENTURES PLAY TELSTAR (EMI – 1992)]



Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

Living on Earth
62 Calef Highway, Suite 212
Lee, NH 03861
Telephone: 617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Newsletter [Click here]

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.

Creating positive outcomes for future generations.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.

Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth