Black Drawing Salve Recipe

Old Fashioned 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.

Black Salve Recipe



  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.
  6. Heat the water to a simmer and carefully stir mixture in the jar until all ingredients are melted.
  7. Remove from heat and add activated charcoal, kaolin clay, and lavender essential oil and mix well.
  8. Quickly pour in to small jars or tins and let sit until hardened (several hours).
  9. 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!

Old fashioned black drawing salve is an Amish recipe that is a natural treatment for wounds, splinters and other skin problems.

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Reader Comments

  1. I have everything to make this except the clay- can I use bentonite clay?

      • Could I use DE instead of the clay?

        • I wouldn’t substitute diatomaceous earth with the clay since the DE is actually microscopically sharp (fossilized diatoms), and that’s not something necessarily needed in a drawing salve. Also, the DE doesn’t have the full adsorption qualities found in clay.

      • Can I skip the clay?

    • I had an issue getting the clay (I used bentonite) to blend in. It clumped for me–any tips? Thanks so much!

      • I had to dehydrate mine in the oven. The salve is oil based and the water in the clay won’t blend with it.

        • water in the clay?? NO, there should be no water added to the clay.. just disperse the clay and coal in the carrier oils before doing anything… use a small coffee frother to mix up powders in the oils so there are no clumps, then proceed to melt harder oils only & combine them to the other oils afterwards, so they slowly melt together. You want to do this anyways because shea will get grainy if heated and rushed into mixing….

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

    • It does work on a boil. That is the firs use that I ever knew of.

      • My folks used to make a naptha pollace (from Fels Naptha bars, orange (citrus) peel, sugar and a couple other things. Anyone know the full recipe?

    • I don’t think we have Amish in Australia, but my grandmother had a jar bought commercially that we used to call the black witch’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.

      • Itthiol ointment can still buy from chemist

      • What I had in Australia was Bates salve, it came in a block about the size and shape of a pack of gum and you heated it to put it on wound or on a band aid to draw the splinter.

    • I wonder if it is the same thing my grandma in Peru put on my cheeks when i got the mumps. Then she would wrap me up,

  3. Could I omit the shea butter? I’m allergic to latex and react to the small amount found naturally in shea butter.

      • Would you then have to replace with something else? Or is it just easy enough to omit it?
        It is the only ingredient I don’t have currently on hand!

  4. 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!)

  5. Duh…just saw that you answered that already…sorry!

  6. 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.

      • Try a slice of raw garlic set on the wart with a bandaid to keep in place; do this overnite.
        Yes, it can stink, but the antiviral components of the garlic will dispatch that wart.
        It worked for me on large wart making its home on a finger joint and a cluster of warts on my daughter’s elbow.

        • Could I use essential oils of the herbs? If so, how much should I use? That way, I could make a batch very quickly when needed.

    • 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.

      • What is a cotton wool ball?

        • 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.

          • 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.

          • 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.

    • Oregano essential oil works extremely well and relatively quickly at removing warts.

      • The other excellent essential oil to use on warts is TeeTree oil.

    • 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.

    • You can remove any wart (in my experience) with a fresh apple. Just stand the apple (stem up) and cut in quarters from the top down. Rub both sides of each quarter on the wart, and then put the apple back together. Dig a shallow hole in the ground and bury the apple. When it rots, the wart will be gone. I know it sounds insane, but I have used it on myself and others many times, and it has NEVER FAILED me so far. An old Mexican medicine man told me this trick, and I thought he was crazy. But it worked!

      • Is there a particular type of apple you use or can you use any kind of apple?

    • Thirty years ago, my then 11 year old son, had 32 warts on the bottom of his foot. I smeared black salve on the warts repeatedly for three days. Without any pain, he picked at the warts and they all came off, including the white roots.

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

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

  10. Comfrey…..leaf or root?

    • Ditto this question.

    • Leave, fresh if possible (but not wet with dew). Dry well work too, though.

  11. for the Black Salve: are the herbs dried or fresh? Can you mix dried and fresh?

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

    • 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!!

      • I think there’s some confusion here between (black) drawing salve and black salve. Drawing salve–what’s described in this post–is not strong enough to remove a mole. Think about it; if it could remove a mole, would you want to put it on an open wound? Black salve (without the word “drawing”) is something else entirely and literally eats holes in the skin.

        • Do you have a recipe or link for Black Salve?

    • I’ve been trying many different “remedies” to get rid of brown moles on my skin…this drawing salve will work??

  14. Once again, you rock my world! You come through on SO MANY LEVELS! Thank you!

  15. I remember this salve as ixthamal. no longer available anywhere.[Ickthamap] or Ick the mal

    • You can get Ichthammol at Amazon.

      • I can buy it at the local drug store. You just have to ask for it, as it is “behind the counter.” Wonderful stuff!

        • My druggist at Walgreen’s said “NO.” Walmart, NO, Save Rite NO

          • Rite Aid – in Pennsylvania 🙂 Hopefully, you can find it.

          • I saw it at CVS a few weeks ago. It hadn’t been there prior, as I had been looking for it! Possibly it’s enjoying a resurgence in popularity?

      • I just bought some at my local feed store to use on a horse. Would it work on cracked/bruised ribs to draw bruising and soreness out?

    • Yeees!! My tube is so old. Gotta try to find it again.

    • Ichthamol is commonly used for livestock. Most often to pack hoof abscesses in horses. Check your local farm supply stores. One of them should carry it. 9therwise you can probably find it on Amazon.

    • Just made a batch of this tonight. I did omit the plantain because I couldn’t find any locally and didn’t have the patience to wait for an online order. I’m kicking myself because I thought about picking my own from the yard/woods this summer and never got around to it.
      I also made a couple other variations to the recipe:
      I substituted neem oil for vitamin E oil.
      I also used manuka honey in place of regular honey.
      It turned out very well. I was nervous at first because the olive oil was separated in the jar while I mixed in the other ingredients. Once I had everything in I closed the lid and gave it a good shake. Everything mixed perfectly then.
      I’m giving it a try on a weeping abscess that just showed up on my horse. Very interested to see the results.

      • Plantain, I thought, is the main drawing ingredient.

    • Ichthammol Ointment 20% is still available.
      Manufactured by Allan Pharmaceutical Warminster, PA. I bought mine from Walgreens, I think.

    • You can also get Ichthammol at CVS pharmacy. I just bought a tube of it less than an hour ago. Looked everywhere for it and couldn’t find it until CVS .

    • Cvs drug store says yes for 8 or 9.00.

    • Yes, My parents had a tube of black Ikthemol salve that was inherited from my mom’s parents in 1967. It never lost it effectiveness and the tube was finally emptied in the 1980’s.

  16. Thank you so much! We always used drawing salve when I was a kid and it works so well. I can’t wait to make up a couple of batches, one for my parents and one for me.

  17. 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?

      • 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.

        • 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.

    • It’s the Bentonite that clumps (it ‘flocculates’). Only use a very little bit, evenly sift a light layer onto the top of the hot balm and let it moisten by itself. Ordinary Kaolin works much better for the formula but the Bentonite has amazing drawing power. It’s not a true clay; it belongs to the mineral group called montmorillonites.

  18. 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?

    • I’m not sure after that long but it probably wouldn’t hurt to try…

    • 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!

  19. Can I omit the Plantain? it is the only thing I don’t have

  20. 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?

    • 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.”

      • That would be the blood root herb that is the ‘cancer removing’ herb.

        • Hi there,
          I like your web site and I like this recipe, I thought black salve has blood root in it, correct me please and if you have a recipe with blood root please hand it to I’m sooooo in need for it I’m battling a long term illness and I out of money and children to look after I find it difficult to continue the fight. I wonder whether you can direct me to where I can buy blood root herb

    • Rick Simpson Oil, will cure skin cancer. This has been verified by Harvard medical. Jus saying, keep up the work, profiteers of big pharma won’t do the research for us. Lol

  21. 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!

  22. 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.

    • Wouldn’t hurt to try.. I would think it could help…

  23. 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. 🙂

  24. Can this go bad?

    • I was just going to ask about shelf life!

        • Yes, what I had of my mother’s was definitely over 50 years old…and still worked as it should. 🙂 No expiration on it!!!

          • Wow, awesome! Good to know. I don’t think mine will last tho!

  25. 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.

    • Hi there,
      I like your web site and I like this recipe, I thought black salve has blood root in it, correct me please and if you have a recipe with blood root please hand it to I’m sooooo in need for it I’m battling a long term illness and I out of money and children to look after I find it difficult to continue the fight
      Desperate mother

    • huh. I bought a small tin at Walmart several months ago and had to get it out again this evening after stabbing myself with who-knows-what while weeding this afternoon. Much to my chagrin, there was MOLD growing on the surface! From now on, it goes in the fridge. grrr It will be nice if this recipe DOES “last indefinitely”.

    • What exactly are you buying?

  26. 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!

  27. 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.

  28. 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.


  29. 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..

  30. 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

    • are you using lavender oil undiluted? It is pretty strong… I would recommend diluting to 3 to 5 drops per tsp…. or 5ml. I would dilute it in coconut oil. hope this helps.

  31. 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

    • I have a similar situation, but on a smaller scale. I have a piece of glass that has been embedded in my foot for nearly 3 years and no Dr was able to help. I would appreciate any tips that would help with this as it is beginning to affect my ability to walk. Thanks in advance!

    • Did it work? I’m desperately looking for ways to get glass out of my daughter’s face from a horrible car wreck.

  32. 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.

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

      • I’m looking for a way to get rid of a “permanent black head”-same one has been coming back for years. I think I’ll try this. You mentioned you keep a bottle of comfrey, calendula and plaintain infused olive oil. Do you put the dried leaf in the bottle, or do you use the power leaf?

  34. 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.

    • Eicca, where do you get your black salve?

  35. Would this work on something like a cold sore?

    • haven’t tried, but I’d be careful with it on the face because it can stain

    • 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.

  36. 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?

    • It could but it might dye the skin with long term use. I’d think the charcoal would be more beneficial internally

      • I had an enlarged pore center of my forehead. I applied Ichmathal to “empty” it and ended up with a permanent BLACK pore which will not come out or go away!
        Be careful where you put black salve on your skin.

  37. 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!

  38. 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???

    • Because black salve and black drawing salve are two completely different things, and black salve is dangerous. It’s the equivalent of using a knife to try to cut out a tumor on your own: leave any cancerous cells behind, and they’ll come back, likely worse if you’ve opened up a tumor in a sac. Go too far, and you’re left with a giant hole. I’m all for natural medicine as far as it goes, but people with cancer need to see a doctor, not try to treat themselves.

      • Dangerous? or a lifesaver? Black salve for cancer is better than a doctor cutting it out. Put black salve on normal skin and nothing happens. Put it on abnormal skin and it kills the cells and ONLY the abnormal cells. A doctor can’t do that. AND….as long as you apply the salve to all the abnormal tissue all of it is killed. Also the healing process with black salve is WAYYYY better than cutting it out with a scalpel. As the cells die the healthy tissue under it is protected by a scab, the most natural healing process. Also, as the abnormal tissue is dying blood supply is growing to heal the area, while still protected by the scab. Not so with radical excision. As your tissue regenerates underneath and fills in, the scab is pushed up and off. Yes, it may not look pretty while it happens, but there is less scarring overall. And yes if the area is large you may want to do it in sections. It’s not for everyone, but it is a lifesaver in some cases.

  39. Does I have to use beesewax?

  40. Hello,
    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!!

  41. what type of honey are you suppose to use

  42. 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”.

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

  44. Do you sell the black salve you make and if yes how do I order some?

    • No, not any more. I just create the recipes now so you can make it yourself 🙂

  45. 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.

  46. can you omit the charcoal and perhaps use more clay?

    • You could certainly try it, but the charcoal is a big part of the drawing power of the salve. If you try it, let us know if it still works well!

  47. 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.

  48. 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?

      • Katie thanks. Is that a 1/2 a cup of olive oil for each ingredient herb or for all three herbs? thanks

  49. So glad to find your blog. Can’t wait to try this . Where can I order the ingredients?

  50. 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

    • All of the ingredients are shelf stable so it lasts months or years in the cabinet 🙂

  51. I live in the desert. Do you know if this works for getting cactus needles out of your skin?


    • Yes it would, that is one of the reasons that I will be making it.

    • I know this is an old post, but in case you haven’t got your answer yet I just used salve I made from this recipe on 2 cactus quills ( they were very tiny but felt huge). It worked great


  53. 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.

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

    • Yrs I have an elderly friend who had a cancerous tumor on her face …she used the salve and now is cancer free…this was 20 years ago…mind you it left quite a scar but she is alive to tell about it!

  56. Is it 1 Tablespoon leaf then powdered or powdered first?

  57. Hello. I was wondering if I could buy a jar of your black salve from you? Please let me know. Thxs.

      • Ok. I understand that. I just am not able to create it and was wondering if u made another batch for Christmas if I could buy one :-). Thxs

    • you can buy this on ebay.. got mine from the whispering-winds- farm.. hoping it will remove my minute ticks from my body from 2 years ago they fester up now and then. will let you know..

  58. 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

    • I don’t think so, but there are some companies online selling a similar product.

  59. 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.

  60. 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 🙂

  61. 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.

    • Also Rite Aid…

  62. I have all but Plantain. I actually have comfrey and calendula in process for about 3 weeks now. I dont have plantain. Will there be much of a difference without it?

  63. i found this is my health food store. I bought it because the smell reminds me of my Grandfather over 50 years ago. I now use it for Excema.,j

  64. I plan on trying this recipe, but if you don’t have a month to prepare this, you can buy several good drawing salves. CVS does sell Ichthammol in a small tube. You can also find Ichthammol at Farm and Home stores and Tractor Supply Co. (TSC). It is in the equestrian area and is used on horses, but is safe for humans. The drawing salve is 20% Ichthammol. I came from a family of farmers and we use to use a product called McNess – For Man or Beast, which is also an excellent drawing salve. Another home remedy was to put a piece of raw bacon on a bandage and cover a splinter or thorn over night. The fat from the bacon softens the skin and the salt draws out the splinter or thorn.

  65. I know this is a really old post so I’m hoping you’ll see this … Will the salve still work decently without the vitamin E oil? I’m having an incredibly difficult time finding vitamin E that is not derived from soy or wheat, locally (I’m allergic to both), and I’m looking to make the salve asap. I’ve got a nasty sliver of glass in my heel and my skin closed up over it too fast 🙁

  66. Hi Wellness Mama!

    Thank you so much for a wonderful site. I am looking at all your awesome remedy recipes!

    Quick question. Does this work on cysts? I found that I get some acne that heals and appears there is a cyst under the skin and I can’t seem to get rid of them. I’ve tried a few poultices, with no success.

    Thanks so much for any advice.


  67. I’m seriously questionably confused by this recipe and your story of its source. Every Amish on earth knows that black drawing salve is made with bloodroot, not charcoal, and zinc, not clay.

    I was asked about this recipe today by soneone whose naturopath recommended drawing salve for a lesion. The recipe you’ve given wouldn’t even touch it, let alone draw it out. I’m very disappointed to see this on your site.

    • Charcoal AND clay are both widely known for their excellent drawing abilities. It’s usually best to do a little research before you try to tell someone they’re wrong…especially when you don’t know what you’re talking about.
      I have used this recipe for years, as well as a different recipe containing bloodroot. Both get the job done wonderfully. Just because there’s different variations of salve doesn’t mean that the one you personally haven’t used isn’t top quality.
      Just saying. Have a great night!

    • If you read through the posts there is BLACK SALVE then there is BLACK DRAWING SALVE. Both work for the respective conditions they are made for. Clay & charcoal are powerful drawing agents. Have used this to pull out something kind of desert thorn in my shoulder for 2 years 2-3 inches deep. Please be careful in poo-pooing someone’s work. This DOES work… it is just not Black Salve it’s Black DRAWING Salve. Two different things

  68. I can honestly say I watch my grandpa pull cancer out of his body with this stuff as a teenager, plus went back to the Doctor and showed no sign of having cancer.

  69. Can shea butter be substituted with cocoa butter in this recipe? I’m assuming it is just for moisturizing and softening purposes more than it is actually helping create the drawing effect.

  70. I got a splinter in the palm of my hand two days ago, and stepped on something yesterday that put a jab in my heel–ah, the joys of yard work! 🙂 My family always used to have this black drawing salve on hand for just such needs, but I’ve never been able to find it. As I limped to my computer this morning, I hoped I’d be able to find a recipe, and VOILA! Wellness Mama to the rescue! 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to share your wisdom!

  71. Made a poor version of this today (I only had about half of the ingredients) as I was desperate to try SOMETHING because I got a hair splinter in my foot yesterday. I couldn’t see or feel it on the surface to pull it out (I searched for so long, so many times since yesterday morning, even using a bright flashlight and magnifying glass) and it felt like it was getting deeper with each step. Soaked my foot for around 20 minutes, then put some of this on and covered it with a rolled tissue covered by a large bandage. Kept it on most of the morning, the whole afternoon, and into early evening. I think it is gone! Foot is still a little tender, but I can’t feel the sharp jabbing in my tender flesh any more! Yay! I was sceptical it would work with so many important ingredients missing, but it seems to have done the job! I need to make a real batch now, and keep it on hand!

  72. Hi, I was wondering how many ounces this recipe yielded. Thanks!

  73. I use this when I get metal splinters from work – works wonderfully! But, biggest test – severe road rash from getting hit while biking. Left leg from ankle to mid thigh, left arm from elbow to hand, and worse was entire left palm. I knew the ER couldn’t have gotten all the grit out, and while waiting for plastic surgeon, I slathered this on for 48 hours on most, 72 hours on my palm. Then used your healing salve on everything. By the day the surgeon saw me, everything was clean and I had tons of healthy tissue. I’m down to the worst damage being slightly open at 5 weeks. It’s probably going to scar, but that’s it and I left a lot of skin on the road. My bruises are taking longer to heal, but they are. A big part was I couldn’t do any natural care for 18 hours, so they got plenty of time to develop, plus I was hit by a truck going 15 mph so bruising is all but guaranteed.

  74. Infusing: Just received my calendula flowers from MRH today…I already have Plantain and Comfrey…I’m going to do solar infusing…how much of each dried flower do I need to the ratio of oil? 1 T of each to 8 ounce oil? Just an example. Totally no idea. Thanks! I’m ready to make some black salve. Whoot whoot!

  75. Hi! I have a quick question for you. Do you ever sell your concoctions already made up? Like this salve recipe? We are away visiting family for a few weeks, so I don’t have many of the ingredients available to make this up, but we are in need of it. Let me know if you’ll sell a little jar and I could paypal you! 🙂

    Heather Wilson 🙂

  76. I’m infusing oils for this now; so excited! So…anyone think this would be good to put on a tick bite of caught within first 24 hours? Just a precaution to getting in maybe Yuck out or to not even bother? I am reading an article about ticks now…#ticksaremynightmare

    • Ticks are my nightmare too! It definitely wouldn’t hurt, but I’d still watch the tick bite for any further symptoms just to be safe.

  77. Hi there! I came across your recipe quite by accident, but I also came across this article as well. I was thinking of making this for mosquito bites, but now that I’ve seen this, I’m not sure? What’s referenced in the article is made with Blood Root, which of course is not in your recipe, but I wanted to be DOUBLY sure that it won’t be harmful before I make this.

    WARNING! This article has a picture that can be considered pretty graphic, so if you’re squeamish at all, it’s probably best to not look. It’s VERY early in the article.

    Thank you for your help! 🙂

  78. Have you heard of Prid Drawing Salve? If so, do you think that would be good and safe for acne? I would love to make your version but don’t have the money for all the ingredients at this time:( Also, I read and saw pictures of drawing salve burning the skin? Has this happened?

  79. Wellness Mama,
    How much olive oil do you use to infuse the comfrey, calendula, and plantain? Is there any specific type of olive oil? Do you use the darker or lighter colored olive oil. Thanks for the recipe.

  80. LAUGHING! I know have a Dalmatian toe (polka dotted) and some pretty spots in my kitchen…thanks to the activated charcoal…I’ve been so excited to make this and finally infused my oils…and now 😉 I’ve learned to be veeeeery careful with the powder Hahaha. I saw where Kaite says be cautious as it stains when someone asked about using it on her face…well…she means it!! I’m going to have nightmares of my children opening this bag and my home being covered charcoal powder!!!

  81. Can I use liquid activated charcoal? If so how?

  82. In my rush to get the salve made before a trip, I accidentally added the charcoal powder to the jar when heating the olive oil-honey mixture and am wondering if that has something to do with the fact that it doesn’t seem to be working…not for slivers or any other skin conditions. Did I ruin it?

  83. Oops, I meant to say coconut oil, not olive oil!

  84. I’ve read all the comments and all the wonderful uses for this product, but didn’t see anything for toenail fungus. Do you think it would work for that? Thanks

  85. I’m very upset, with myself. I have 2 cups of infused olive oil, I was going to put put 4 Tbsp of the bees wax, coconut oil, Shea Butter, than 3 Tbsp of the honey, 4 Tbsp of the charcoal n kaolin clay. But instead of only 3 tsp of vitamin E, I put 4 Tbsp. I don’t know what to do to correct it. Plus I was going to put 4 Tbsp of castor oil in it. Also not sure how much essential oil.

  86. Can I substitute something for the plantain or just onit it?

  87. Sorry if this was asked already, I don’t have time to read all the comments right now. But doesn’t the original drawing salve contain bloodroot?

  88. Where did the Amish get coconut oil?????

    • I would guess from a mail order catalog where they get many of their grocery and other products.

  89. This is exactly what I need. My 9 yo got a splinter in her foot. We could see about 1/4 inch of the splinter sticking out of her foot. It took us about an hour to get it out. My hubby ended up pulling it out and it ended up being over an inch long!!! My worry is that there is a small piece still in her foot. I would like to try something to draw it out, so that she does not have to have it surgically removed. My problem is where in the world would I find the dried herbs used in this recipe?! I have coconut oil, Vitamin E oil, Activated Charcoal Powder, honey and lavender essential oil, but wouldn’t even know where to begin to find Beeswax, Kaolin Clay ,comfrey, calendula, plantain or shea butter! Help please:)

    • All of the ingredients are linked to in the recipe where you can purchase them…

  90. Tried this last night on my six year old. She stepped on a twig and got a large “sliver”. But when I pulled it out, the tip remained about a 1/4″ in. I soaked it in povidone iodine for 2 hours, which didn’t seems to do much. And then made this salve and applied it, wrapped it up, and everything, overnight. Nothing happened. Any thoughts? Perhaps the sliver is just too deep and needs medical attention. Bummer. Any suggestions for the knowledgeable community welcome!

  91. Hi there,
    I have been reading your blog for a while now; thanks so much for the toothpaste recipe and the information about oral health! It has been invaluable to me! I came across this and was surprised to see you reccommend this salve, as I have read many horror stories about it. Supposedly, black salve has been used as an alternative medicine to cure skin cancer in an effort to draw out the cancer itself. I havd read these treatments have gone horribly wrong and even saw an fda warning against all “black drawing salves”. Apparently, they can kill the tissue and create a black eschar in its place. What is the difference between your salve and the ones warned against? I trust you to have read up on warnings, however, I do not see them mentioned here! Any idea how to tell which is harmful or not?

    • I believe the ones with the warning contain pine tar or something similar.

  92. I got a very painful “barn spider” bite on my ankle while hiking (I actually saw the spider and flicked it off). It was a radiating pain that throbbed and made it hard to finish our hike back to the car. About 30 minutes after the bite, I got home and tried to think of what I could put on it to make the pain stop. I had recently bought bentonite clay to try a face mask (I still haven’t tried! LOL!). I remembered that it is supposed to open your pores and draw dirt out (I think?), so I figured it might draw the spider’s venom/poison out. I mixed it into a paste with ACV, and sure enough, the pain went away almost immediately. It was shocking how well it worked. I bet this recipe would have worked well, too! I’ll make it and have it on hand for the future.

  93. I grew up in Germany and we used it all the time, for any skin condition, I remember going to the Apotheke ( Pharmacy ) where the Pharmacist took it out of a big container and weight it out for my Mom, it looks and smells like Tar, but works great.

  94. You said this was a variation of the original recipe….could you possibly post the original recipe too?

  95. Can I use comfrey and plantain extract instead of the infused olive oil?

  96. i did 2 batches of this tonite, the first got wieat rd and lumpy when heating, and i wondered what the point of heating is. so i made a second batch and blended the shea and coconut with the vitaminE in a little dish that warmed up in my hand enough to blend smoothly, I added the honey and charcoal/clay and it whipped up nicely. do you think the heating is a requirement? if so why?

  97. Love this recipe, though I made one small change. I use raw honey which is chock full of living antibacterial organisms, much like yogurt is loaded with good bacteria. However, heating raw honey above 110 degrees kills the living antibacterial organisms so I remove the mixture from the double boiler, add the remaining ingredients stir well & then while the mixture is warm but not hot, I add the raw honey & stir well to combine.

  98. Can I use this on my dogs one has repeating staph skin infections- treating hollisticly and the other has non cancer growths.

  99. Love your site! I have everything needed to make this but still waiting on the clay. I’m just wondering how much does this recipe make? 1 tin, 2 tin, 3 tins or more? : )