Black Healing Salve

Before I go into making this black healing salve I want to make it clear that this is not the ‘black salve’ that is touted as a cancer remedy or used to dissolve other benign types of skin growths or warts. That black salve contains a couple of specific ingredients that make it much stronger and specifically purposed. If you are interested in knowing the difference, you can scroll down to the end of the page.

This is simply a healing salve. There are many different recipes for black healing salves available, the commonality between them is the combination of drawing and healing ingredients. Some of the most common ingredients include:

Charcoal – pulls bacteria and toxins and traps them.  (and is what gives the salve it’s black colour)
Bentonite clay – Draws toxins and chemicals out of your skin, and has a high concentration of minerals for added benefits in healing and repairing damaged skin.
Honey – anti-bacterial and moisturizing.
Comfrey – anti-inflammatory herb that can help wounds heal quicker.
Plaintain – natural anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Calendula – promotes collagen production to speed up healing.
Lavender – anti-bacterial, regenerative, and pain relieving.
Tea tree – anti-bacterial
Olive oil – full of antioxidants and vitamin E.
Vitamin E oil – an extra dose of this skin-loving vitamin.
Beeswax (or candelilla)- acts as a barrier trapping the healing ingredients next to your skin and thickens the oils.
A note on Bentonite clay

Don’t use metal with Bentonite clay. When the clay becomes mixed with water it rapidly swells open like a highly porous sponge. From here the toxins are drawn into the sponge through electrical attraction and once there, they are bound. It is for this reason that bentonite clay should not be stored in a metal container or stirred with a metal spoon since the clay absorbs the metals and becomes less effective.

Black healing salve


  • 1/4 cup calendula/comfrey/plantain infused oil (to make the infusion use 1 tablespoon of each of the herbs, finely chopped, and ½ cup olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • optional: 1 tsp vitamin E oil
  • 2 tsp beeswax (or candelilla)
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • optional: 10 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 3 tsp activated charcoal (approximately 15 capsules)
  • 3 tsp bentonite clay
  • optional: 1 tbsp of honey


  1. Infuse the olive oil. If you’re not sure how, read this.
  2. Combine the infused oil, coconut oil, optional vitamin E oil and beeswax in a glass bowl stood in a small pan of water.
  3. Warm the oils VERY gently, you simply want the coconut oil to liquify so that you can mix everything together well.
  4. Remove the glass bowl from the heat and add the charcoal, clay, optional honey and essential oils
  5. Mix well and transfer to a jar, then allow it to cool before tightening the lid.
  6. Store in a cool, dark place

To use the salve, apply it directly to the bug bite, sting or splinter area and cover with a bandage to avoid it transfering oonto clothes where it can stain. Keep applying salve directly to skin every 12 hours until no longer needed.

A bit about ‘black salve’

The strength, effectiveness and risks associated with using black salve depend on the specific formula. Ingredients vary, but most include a type of zinc called zinc chloride along with powdered bloodroot. The rational behind using zinc and bloodroot on the skin is that together they form a thick, dry scab called an eschar.

Zinc chloride is an especially powerful escharotic, often used to treat recurrent ulcers and help break up abnormal or harmful bone spurs/growths.

Bloodroot has been a traditional folklore practice for many centuries, used to naturally treat warts, polyps and moles prior to the invention of more advanced treatment options. It is sometimes used by dermatologists in the treatment of skin cancer, though the effectiveness and safety of this practice is still mostly up for debate.

Overall it seems that though it may work in some cases, black salve’s effects might not be worth the risk. While it does have some potential anticancer and antimicrobial properties according to a small number of studies, serious side effects of black salve that have been reported by doctors and patients include burning the skin, leaving behind open wounds, causing blackening of the skin, scarring and discoloration, and allowing cancerous cells and tumors to further spread and progress.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s