Black Drawing Salve Recipe

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Old Fashioned Black Drawing Salve Recipe
Wellness Mama » Blog » Natural Remedies » 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.

Black Salve Recipe

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.

Salve Ingredients

Salve Instructions

  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.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


272 responses to “Black Drawing Salve Recipe”

  1. Liz Avatar

    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!!

  2. Tricia Avatar

    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???

    1. Stephanie Avatar

      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.

      1. Leia Avatar

        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.

  3. Mary P Avatar
    Mary P

    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!

  4. Rebecca Avatar

    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?

      1. Yvonne Avatar

        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.

    1. veronica Avatar

      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.

  5. Eicca Avatar

    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.

  6. Sandra Justice Avatar
    Sandra Justice

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

      1. Holly Avatar

        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?

  7. Marc C. Avatar

    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.

  8. Dave Avatar

    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

    1. Elizabeth Avatar

      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!

    2. Amy Avatar

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

  9. Valerie Avatar

    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

    1. Alita Avatar

      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.

  10. Summer Avatar

    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..

  11. Melissa Avatar

    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.


  12. Jen Avatar

    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.

  13. Rebecca Avatar

    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!

  14. Kelly Avatar

    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.

    1. Medo Avatar

      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

    2. Marina Heilman Avatar
      Marina Heilman

      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”.

        1. April Avatar

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

          1. Sylvia Avatar

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

        2. Jenny Wassell Avatar
          Jenny Wassell

          How much does this recipe make. What size container should I buy

  15. Hanna Avatar

    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. 🙂

  16. Cindy Avatar

    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.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

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

  17. Tamara Chapman Avatar
    Tamara Chapman

    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!

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