Black Drawing Salve Recipe

Old Fashioned Black Drawing Salve Recipe Black Drawing Salve Recipe

Black drawing salve is  a natural remedy I first heard about when visiting a local Amish community to pick up produce and eggs. I saw one of the farmer’s sons applying what looked like tar to his arm after getting a large splinter from a fence post.

I asked what he was putting on his arm and was told that it was a drawing salve to help pull out the splinter and make sure the area didn’t get infected. I was fascinated and wondered if it would work and if it would stain the skin.

The farmer assured me that it didn’t stain the skin and that they used it all the time in their community to help with wound healing and drawing out things that were stuck in the skin. He said that it was even effective on some spider bites for drawing out the venom.

I asked if there was a place to buy it, and was told that they made it themselves but the farmer offered to write down the recipe for me.

We’ve been making variations of this recipe ever since. It takes a while to make but is very effective and well worth the time. We especially use it for splinters and pieces of glass that get stuck in the skin.

I have not tried it personally for this, but black drawing salves are also said to help remove moles and skin tags.

What you’ll need…

Here’s where I got the ingredients:

5.0 from 1 reviews
Black Drawing Salve Recipe
Black drawing salve is a traditional recipe that is naturally antibacterial and skin nourishing. It is said to help draw splinters or other things out of the skin.
Recipe type: Remedy
  • 3 Tablespoons of comfrey, calendula and plantain infused olive oil (see instructions below)
  • 2 tablespoons shea butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Beeswax
  • 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
  • 2 tablespoons Activated Charcoal Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Kaolin Clay
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 20 drops (or more) Lavender Essential Oil
  1. Before making the salve, it is important to infuse olive oil with comfrey, calendula and plantain. You will need 1 tablespoon of each of the herbs, finely powdered in a food processor or blender, and ½ cup olive oil. It can be infused in one of these two ways:
  2. Powder the herbs and place in a small jar. Pour oil over the herbs. Leave in jar for 3-4 weeks, shaking daily, and then strain through a cheesecloth for use.
  3. Heat the herbs and olive oil in a double boiler. Leave on low/medium heat for about an hour until oil gets strong smelling and darker. Strain through cheesecloth for use.
  4. Personally, I keep a big jar of olive oil with plantain, comfrey and calendula in my herb cabinet and let it constantly infuse for use in salves and lotions. When the oil is used, I discard the herbs and begin the process again.
  5. Combine infused olive oil, shea butter, coconut oil, beeswax, vitamin E oil and honey in a glass jar in a small pan of water. Heat the water to a simmer and carefully stir mixture in the jar until all ingredients are melted.
  6. Remove from heat and add activated charcoal, kaolin clay, and lavender essential oil and mix well.
  7. Quickly pour in to small jars or tins and let sit until hardened (several hours).
  8. Store in airtight container and use as needed on cuts, splinters, etc.

How to Use Black Salve

Make sure area has been cleaned well. Put a generous amount of black salve on the wound or splinter and cover with gauze or a large bandaid.

Leave at least a few hours or overnight to allow it to draw out the infection or object. Some things (like glass… in my experience) may take a day or two and several applications to draw out an object.

This salve is a wonderful natural remedy but it is not a replacement for medical care when needed. Consult a doctor before using if you have any health conditions or concerns.

Ever made a salve? How did it work? Share below!

You may also enjoy these posts...

Reader Comments

  1. Donna Godfrey says

    I remember my grandma had black drawing salve she bought from a Amish man. She was raised Amish… also would draw out a boil.

    • Darcy says

      I don’t think we have Amish in Australia, but my grandmother had a jar bought commercially that we used to call the black wit
      ch’s brew. We always joked that it could draw a nail out of a fence post. This was early 50’s. Have not heard of it for years. It was magical stuff. And it doesn’t sting.

  2. Nadja Van der Stroom says

    Katie, would Betonite clay work in place of Kaolin? It’s used on the skin for its drawing properties, too (and I have it on hand!)

  3. says

    I just love your blog! I am putting a large order in at Mountain Rose… to start making my own toothpaste and other things. Keep the recipes coming! I do live vicariously through you… as I am slowly but surely adding your “things” to our lives.

    Question… do you think this SALVE would be good to put on warts? My son has one on his leg. Just wondering if you’ve heard.

    • Bron says

      If you soak a cotton wool ball with apple cider vinegar and apply to the wart with a bandaid/sticking plaster and leave for a day or two, the wart will dry up and disppear in about a week or so, just as if you had it frozen off. My kids use this, it really works.

        • Carley says

          Cotton wool ball is simply a piece of pure wool rolled into a pad or a tiny ball. You can buy a piece of wool about the size of a small scarf just for this purpose at the health food store (usually sold with castor oil.) Wool has wonderful drawing properties. If a wool cloth is drawn around the neck for sore throats with castor oil, it draws out impurities. Same thing if you put it on other areas of the body for pain or infection. Castor oil kills parasites and draws out impurities as well. If you use a small cut piece of wool, fold into a pad and put some drawing salve on it. Apply to skin with adhesive tape or bandaid. The infection gets drawn out and into the cloth. You can discard or wash and sterilize to use over again. Preferably use a natural off white color wool that has not been dyed. You can also use natural organically dyed wools.

          • Alli says

            Don’t put anything in the dryer that has had oil on it. There is the possibility of fire. I don’t know how much oil would have to be present, but I would not want to find out.

          • Teresa says

            Sweetie, I don’t know where you’ve been living but a cotton wool ball isn’t actual wool rolled into a ball. It’s literally cotton that’s been made into a small ball. You can find them at the beauty and health section of a supermarket or in a chemist. Google would supply some good images and information if you’re not sure.

    • lynne says

      warts are viruses, the coconut oil is anti virus but the rest is not. a mixture of coconut oil and tea tree oil (used sparingly) will work better. apply once or twice dailey. not too much. be patient. it might take some time.

  4. Juliana Lopes says

    Hi there, I have started reading your blog a couple of months ago and I have been trying to make changes little by little. I was looking into starting to take supplements, since my family and I don’t take any right now. Do you think it is ok to start everything at once or what would you do?

  5. Nancy says

    I have made a good deal of what I called my “Black Magic salve” (I was only able to find black wax at the time) over the years. It need not be hard, however. I put all of my infused ingredients in a food processor with the whipping blade. Then with the processor turned on slowly start drizzling the melted wax into the the processor until it is like creamy butter. Once it is the consistency you like turn off processor and put in jar. It came in handy for the farm cats that would get into scrapes with each other.

  6. Kristen Schwartz says

    Wow! This will smell so much better than the kind I’ve been using for the last 20 years. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Madre Hendriksz says

    So strange! My parents always had a small pot in the cupboard and we’re from South Africa! We used to buy it in the chemist. Used to love the smell, very distinctive, probably because it made everything feel better. Will try your recipe. Curious if it’s the same recipe as to what I’m used too…

  8. Amy Frev says

    My husband’s uncle has made black salve and he and his wife have used it on moles on the skin and it does work to get the moles to fall off.

    • Kristine Charbonneau says

      When it’s used for moles, do you apply the salve daily and cover with a bandaid to keep it in place? Any idea how long it takes to work? Thanks in advance for your response!!

  9. Morgan says

    Tried making this…when I stirred in the powders (act. charcoal & bentonite clay) it just got very clumpy. When I tried pouring it into tins I dropped bits of the clumps in there but it WOULD NOT mix with the other stuff. The more I mixed, the bigger the clump grew. Is this typical or did I do something wrong?

      • Morgan says

        Yes. It started out looking like all other salves I have made. Only way I veered from directions was my herbs were heat infused instead of solar infused. I actually made it twice. First time I forgot to take it off heat first (although heat was very low) before adding the charcoal and clay. But I thought maybe the heat caused the clumping. So I tried again and let it sit off heat for maybe 5 minutes or less (didn’t want it to harden). I used a double boiler instead of mason jar. But as soon as I added the powders it was like it clumped together in the bottom of the pan. There was still a lot of liquid, but also a big clump that got worse as I mixed and as it cooled. The consistency was like gack (if you know what that is). I poked the clump thinking it was just the powder not wanting to mix-but that wasn’t it. And the more I whisked and mixed-the bigger the clump. So I poured the liquid (which there was still quite a lot of) into my tins and then tried to evenly distribute the clump among my tins. The whole mix turned black so I know it had to mix somewhat.

        • Joseph says

          Did you strain the infused oil hearb on a cheesecloth – Separating the oil from the powder first, or did you put the entire content of oil and powder into the charcoal? Because, if you mixed all the hearbs and oil together with the charcoal then that could explain its flax gelatin poultice it created insteat getting a liquid mix. Hope that help.

  10. Dav says

    I got pencil lead stuck in my skin about 15 years ago and it left a blue-gray dot. Do you know if this salve would get that discoloring off of my skin or the graphite out?

    • Courtney says

      Oh my gosh, I had that same thing happen! I’ve got a blue gray dot on my foot where a sharp pencil on the floor got me as I walked by! I’ll be honest–I probably won’t actually make the recipe myself (time, money, effort to collect ingredients, etc), but totally post if it works for you! Or if it doesn’t!

  11. Chelsea Robinson says

    I was wondering if you heard about this pulling out cancer? My grandmother was telling me of her friend using black salve to pull the cancer out of her body, it was a different recipe but I was wondering if you knew of this recipe doing the same?

    • Dove says

      The other “black salve” that’s used for cancer removal is an escharotic made with zinc chloride and some herbs, and I think the zinc chloride plays a big part. Maybe the reason it works so well is because of its astringent qualities. The recipe above might have a similar effect since it contains two ingredients that pull out toxins, though I’m not sure it’s enough for skin cancer treatment. I would certainly use additional or different herbal oils if I was making this for purposes of treating skin cancer–the ones used in the zinc-based salve would be fine.

      This is a snippet from an article about escharotics (link below text quote):

      “The herbs most commonly employed include Bloodroot, as already mentioned, Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), Chaparral (Larrea tridentata), Cayenne (Capsicum frutescens), galangal root (Alpinia officinarium) and Red Clover (Trifolium pratence).
      There are however many other herbs in other formulations that are also
      used. In Ukraine, where I live and work, Greater Celandine (Chelidonium majus) for example, is more commonly used.”

  12. Tamara Chapman says

    My mom and I were just talking about Black Salve the other day and how we wished we could still find it in stores. She used to put it on our boils and styes (yes my eye), stings, and anything else that needed drawn out and it worked wonders! Thank you so much for sharing! I’m so excited to see that I can make this and add it to my cabinet!

  13. Cindy says

    Do you think this could work for an ingrown hair? I have one that is
    underneath my skin and I haven’t been able to get it out for some time
    now. I usually rub some tea tree oil a couple of times a day, but it’s
    not working.

  14. Hanna says

    Black salve and peppermints were my granny’s cure-alls. I didn’t realize growing up that her natural remedies would infuse every fiber of my being. :-) I didn’t even realize that they WERE natural remedies! When she died the family divvied up the remainder of her black salve and I treasured mine – making it last as long as possible. I’ve never been able to find it in the drug stores since. I’m wondering if this could actually be what she always had? I have everything on hand and will definitely be making it! If it turns out – I think this would be an AWESOME gift that my family would treasure. :-)

  15. Kelly says

    For as often as I end up using it (once, maybe twice a year) I can’t bring myself to spend all that time making it. I just buy a tube of drawing salve at the drug store. If it were something I’d use weekly I’d totally go for it.

  16. Rebecca says

    What size are your jars here? How much / how many ounces will this recipe make? I would like to make some as gifts and am not sure if this is for one jar or 10. Thank you!

  17. Jen says

    I made this recently and had a strange result – after letting it sit,
    the center portion came out kind of gummy. At first, I thought the
    entire salve was this way, but realized the edges are more of the
    texture I was expecting, and that the gummy portion is just the center
    part. Did I do something wrong? Have you ever had this occur?

    had divided this up into three small portions, so am tempted to re-heat
    one and see if it will settle better. Have you ever re-heated your
    salve? If I do it slowly and keep it at a low temperature, do you think
    it would be okay? Thanks for any advice you can offer.

  18. Melissa says

    I made this recently and had a strange result – after letting it sit,
    the center portion came out kind of gummy. At first, I thought the
    entire salve was this way, but realized the edges are more of the
    texture I was expecting, and that the gummy portion is just the center
    part. Did I do something wrong? Have you ever had this occur?

    had divided this up into three small portions, so am tempted to re-heat
    one and see if it will settle better. Have you ever re-heated your
    salve? If I do it slowly and keep it at a low temperature, do you think
    it would be okay? Thanks for any advice you can offer.


  19. Summer says

    Should i buy the comfrey leaf or comfrey root powder? Can you cook/ heat this in regular pot on a stove? Step one for infusing the oil says strain with cheese cloth but then so does step two..? Is this just to make sure all the herbs are completely out? Im sorry if these are silly questions i am very new at this..

  20. Valerie says

    My husband is a Diabetic and has an ulcer on his foot I read that lavender oil is good I just started using it is there something else you would recommend. I was wondering if the Black Drawing Salve would work

  21. Dave says

    I worked as a glazer for years and have glass in my face and arms that when disturded will irritate the skin and look like a pimpill, I am going to give this a try. Do you think it will draw out glass that’s been inbeded for years? I’ve tried some stuff from the store, but was not happy with the results. Thanks for the info

  22. Marc C. says

    Thank you for this tip & recipe. A great thing to know. There are a great many home wellness/medical prevention’s and cures that exist. We as a society have
    gotten too far away from this knowledge. Maybe it’s a good thing after all, that
    (modern) medical treatment is in danger of pricing itself out of business.
    My Mother (Pawnee) & Grandmother (Irish) {Fathers mother} had a great many of these recipe’s they used on us all. Too bad I didn’t pay better attention as to
    how they were made. I was young! I’m slowly digging up what I can. Very useful knowledge. GOD bless, 1MoreBoyScout.

  23. Sandra Justice says

    The comfrey, calendula and plantain.. leaf? root? flower? I have comfrey leaf, plantain root powder and calendula flower. Your measurements were for which? Thanks!

  24. Eicca says

    I love black salve! I use it basically daily.

    I work in a hardware store, and am always getting metal filings, glass, PVC and splinters in my hands, and metal in my face. Add in my cystic acne, follicle issues on my legs, and various other skin issues (I’m an autoimmune mess). Metal is the worst to get out. Can’t see them half the time, can never grab them, and easily get infected. Plus, they are incredibly painful! Black salve applied immediately, then left to sit for 10-15 minutes, I apply a bit of duct tape, then yank off. Gets out 90% right away. If it’s stubborn, apply salve, bandage and leave until I shower. The metal falls out then.

    Also, I’m a piercing lover. When I get a bump, apply salve daily, works fast, no chemicals of questionable origin, and no pain.

    • veronica says

      I have read that the herb Melissa works to shorten the duration and pain of a cold sore. I’ve bought many books through Amazon and
      Some names are medical herbalism and Rogers school of herbal medicine. They have much info, uses and recipes.

  25. Rebecca says

    I am recovering from toxic mold exposure, and other assailants. So, right now, I am focusing all of my energy on detoxing. Could this be used on the body, such as over the liver or other organs? Perhaps on the neck, or even on the scalp, since the mold is primarily in the form of neurotoxins?

  26. Mary P says

    Do you have a reccomendation for a black salve that I could purchase? I love the idea of it- but don’t feel that I’d get it made any time soon! Thanks!

  27. Tricia says

    Black salve can be used for the removals of some skin and breast cancer (where visible on the surface). I’m not a Dr, but check it out on line. Amazing videos available, very impressive. Shame this is never mentioned on any cancer website. Why do they not want us to know this???

  28. Liz says

    I’m just preparing the herbs to make this. Is it one tablespoon of powdered herbs, or one table spoon in their leaf form, and then Powdered? I find it takes about 3 tbs of the leaf to make 1tbs powdered. Thank you!!

  29. Mary says

    Which part of comfrey are you referring too, the leaves or the roots? Raw or processed shea butter? Why can certain ingredients be omitted?

    My cousin swears by the black salve “Ichthammol”.

  30. Eva says

    How many oz’s dose this recipie yield? I don’t know what size jars to order. What sizes do u use???

  31. Christal watts says

    I have all but the top line of ingredients…would this be worth making without those ingredients? I have a friend with a pretty bad spider bite.

  32. Daryl says

    I have the Blood root, Chaparral, Galangal,Graviola DMO, Vegetable Glycerine, Zinc Chloride, I read recently that they need to be boiled for 30minutes then another recipe says don’t boil, or cook.
    Plus other ingredients, which has the best results, more or herbs, and oils,
    What I have and shared was very successful on our Melanomas.

  33. Joseph says

    When infusing the hearb in oil you said: Before making the salve, it is important to infuse olive oil with comfrey, calendula and plantain.
    Q. Do you combine all the hearbs in one big jar or separate jars?

  34. Sam James says

    Hi :) How long can I keep the ready salve in the cupboard? Do I have to keep it in the fridge?
    Thanks for everything you share with us <3

  35. BERNA says


  36. Amy says

    I recently purchased Icthamol ointment at CVS after reading about its properties to draw out boils, which my DS was having a problem with. It worked great but I am glad to try your recipe also.

  37. Yolanda says

    I have just gethered all my ingredients to get started. I bought the dry herbs not the powders although they had the powders available. Should I have bought the powders to skip the step of processing the dry herbs? I remember my mom using black ointment on us when we were growing up.

  38. John says

    I hope that people looking for a bloodroot black salve recipe do not get mixed up by this.
    Or Icthammol made from shale oil, as both are called black drawing salve.

    Black salve containing bloodroot is a whole nother thing.
    I have used it three times with success.
    There is a few websites that try to scare people away from the real salve but testimonials are everywhere on the internet. youtube for instance.

    Bloodroot is an amazing herb that is continually suppressed because the cancer industry is self regulating and making hundreds of billions annually.


    Find out for yourselves and don’t believe the hype.

  39. Brett says

    Is there anyway to purchase this product? It is exactly what I’m looking for, but I don’t feel capable of making it, I’ve been doing so much research on it and think this is the closest to what my aunt used to have many years ago

  40. Sarah says

    If you don’t feel like making this yourself go to your local pharmacies and ask them if they sell it. My grandmother was in her pharmacy one day and mentioned it to the pharmacist that she used to be able to buy it and hasn’t seen it in years in a store. They keep a supply behind the counter of it but don’t leave it out in the store! Store bought works very well in my experience with it.

  41. Jan says

    IF you want to buy it instead of making it poke around on etsy!! Support a home based business & get a great product! Win win :)

  42. Alyssa says

    I’ve actually found this product at my local CVS under the name Ichthammol ointment! I’m not sure if it’s exactly the same but it’s working for me.

Join the Conversation...

Please read my comment policy.

Rate this recipe: