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.


279 responses to “Black Drawing Salve Recipe”

  1. Susan Avatar

    Is this exactly the recipe with the herbs traditionally used?

    What is the rationale for the specific ingredients?

  2. Sheri Avatar

    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? : )

  3. Anne jennings Avatar
    Anne jennings

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

  4. Donna Avatar

    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.

  5. Rischa Avatar

    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?

  6. Rachel Avatar

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

  7. Dina Avatar

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

  8. Oma Avatar

    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.

  9. Dana Avatar

    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.

  10. Elizabeth Avatar

    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?

  11. Andrea Avatar

    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!

  12. Alicia Avatar

    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:)

  13. Deanna Avatar

    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?

  14. Dee Avatar

    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.

  15. Denise Avatar

    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

  16. Bette Avatar

    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?

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