How to Make Black Drawing Salve or Ointment

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Black salve or drawing salve is a traditional ointment which is said to pull infection, stingers, splinters, and other foreign objects from the skin. The main ingredient in commercial black drawing salves is ichthammol. Ichthammol is produced by distilling oil shale. Ichthammol is very difficult to find for sale individually. It is typically sold as the main ingredient in prepared black drawing salve.


However, you can make a similar black drawing salve at home by using bentonite clay, activated charcoal and herbal oils. Bentonite clay is commonly used in skin care for it's ability to draw impurities to the surface of the skin and increase blood flow.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 tbsp beeswax
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cocoa butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp shea butter
  • 1 tablespoons of organic coconut oil
  • 2 tsp tablespoon vitamin E oil
  • 1 tbsp activated charcoal powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp bentonite clay
  • 2 drops essential oil (calendula or lavender)
  • Warm the beeswax, cocoa butter and shea butter in a glass pot.

  • With a candy thermometer, measure the temperature of the wax and butters. Try to maintain a temperature of 180 degrees for 20 minutes.

  • Add the oils, charcoal powder and clay.

  • When the mixture is cool, stir in the essential oil of your choice.

  • Place the black drawing salve in sterile glass jars and store them in a cool, dark, dry area.

  • To use black drawing salve place a small amount on the area to be treated. Cover with gauze and change the gauze and drawing salve daily.

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