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. Karen Avatar

    Hey! Love the recipe, but I’ve found something that I thought may be of use. Any time we have gotten stung, we quickly find some plantain, (unless we have some tobacco on hand which also works), and chew it up a bit to apply to the sting area as a poultice. It works great if you are on the go and don’t have access to some pre-made salve. However, I have tried it without chewing it, and instead, grinding it with a mortal and pestle. It didn’t work. After doing some searching, I found that the saliva activates the breakdown of the plantain which makes it effective. I don’t know if it would make any difference in the recipe above, but though it was worth mentioning. Anyone else have similar results?

  2. Emily Avatar

    Curious to learn more about Black Salve and other issues.
    Thanks !

  3. Becky Avatar

    I have made this same salve in many different ways. My favorite tho is to just use the Calendula, Plantain and Comfrey infused olive oil with Shea and bees wax. Sweet and simple. I have used this for all sorts of skin irritations, chapped lips and scrapes.
    When I put the activated charcoal and kaolin clay in this mixture it lumped and the texture didn’t work at all.
    I also have a jar of these 3 herbs in Olive oil on my counter for when it is needed.

  4. kara Avatar

    Thank you for this wonderful site. It’s my go-to for just about everything. I am a mosquito magnet. I’ve tried your insect spray and it works on cooler, windy days when the bugs are out but not ferocious. I am experimenting on making an insect (esp. mosquito) salve. I am going to make an herbal base using mint and basil. I want it really strong so can I double up the amount of herbs to oil ratio? Once that is ready, I’ll add essential oils: lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, rosemary and catnip.

  5. Chris Avatar

    My favorite use for Amish Black Salve is for Fire Ant bites. Here in North Carolina you can’t work in the yard without getting at least one bite from a Fire Ant. So I get bitten almost every day in the summer. The bites hurt like heck. (Or worse). This salve takes just a minute to draw out the tiny bit of very powerful venom injected by the ants.

  6. Mindy Avatar

    I’ve used your recipe for a long time, and love it! I’ve traded the Kaolin Clay for Bentonite, and added a little bloodroot! Keep up the good work! 🙂

  7. melinda fox Avatar
    melinda fox

    i have soaked plantain, comfrey and calendula leaves,whole, in olive oil out in the sun for about 3 weeks now. The oil does not look to be green or dark, is this normal… did i do something wrong? Please help, my mom is waiting for me to make this salve for her. Thank you!

  8. Wanda Avatar

    Plantain? Would banana work instead? Do you use the peel as is, a huge chunk into the oil? Do you use it grounded, the whole fruit, fruit chunks or all of it in a blender and then into the oil? I’m confused. Please BE MORE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC when posting stuff like that. Thanks.

    1. Jenny Avatar

      Plantain… not the banana. It’s a common plant in backyards, sidewalks, driveways. Many people view it as a weed.

  9. melinda Avatar

    i want to make this salve and have most everything. Can i use rose hip seed oil instead of vitamin e oil? thank you so much for the wonderful info you post!

  10. Julie Avatar

    Not a great idea to use comfrey in a drawing salve. Comfrey’s strength is in quickly—sometimes too quickly—closing open wounds. For drawing salves, you need a wound to stay open. Keep the plantain and calendula in this formula, but ditch the comfrey. Use it after you’ve drawn out whatever needs drawing.

  11. Debby Avatar

    I ‘ve found this useful for removing age spots/freckles and reducing fine wrinkles. Kinda stumbled on this by accident treating a wound on the back of my hand, and was baffled how my freckles seemed to have lightened dramatically. After treating one hand repeatedly the comparison between the two hands was amazing. Now I use it on my face/neck and arms and get comments on how nice my skin is looking! I’m 54 years old, so this has been very encouraging. I know it’s bizarre and not the intended purpose of this salve, but hey, who quibbles with results? Not sure this would work for all skin types but for a freckled red head with seriously sun damaged skin, it’s been fantastic. Thank you for the recipe!

    1. April Cyr Avatar
      April Cyr

      Thank you from the bottom of my blue-eyed, red haired, freckled heart!! People don’t seem to understand the differences in redheads vs the rest of the entire population! So happy to hear from a freckled redhead that this works for sun damage since all redheads HAVE IT or WILL HAVE IT eventually!!

  12. Suzanne Avatar

    What else can I use the oil infused herbs, calendula, comfrey and plantains in?
    I infused all of these together to make the black salve and now have a gallons of the infused herbs.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Ps. I bought your e book on home remedies.

  13. Xena Avatar

    Do you have information on where Black Salve can be purchased? Or, do you have any suggestions? The reason I ask, is my husband has skin tags and moles. He has asked if there are any remedies.

  14. Suzanne Dempsey Avatar
    Suzanne Dempsey

    Love love love this website! Planning a move to Mexico next year and chose to be able to have lots of fabulous things from your website to bring with me.
    Do you have a book that includes all the shampoos, creams, salves, detanglers, soap making etc? Would love to have that and then I can make a list to buy all things so that I have on hand to make while we are there.
    Many thanks-
    You do a wonderful job-
    Kindly- Suzanne

  15. Nichelle Avatar

    Just curious…Can I substitute essential oils in this black salve recipe instead of infusing the herbs?

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