Hi! I'm Heidi.

 Hi! I'm Heidi, and here is my Homestead Journey.....

Hi! I'm Heidi, and here is my Homestead Journey.....

 

Hi! I'm Heidi--I'm a modern-day homesteader starting out in middle age! I'm all about plant medicine, raising animals for love & food, preparedness, traditional food practices, and being a natural health rebel for life! Join me on this journey!

 I'm Heidi, and this is Ranger.  He has been with me for over ten years, and I love him dearly.  

I'm Heidi, and this is Ranger.  He has been with me for over ten years, and I love him dearly.  

Herbal Black Drawing Salve Recipe That WORKS! (The How, Why, and What of Black Drawing Salves)

Herbal Black Drawing Salve Recipe That WORKS! (The How, Why, and What of Black Drawing Salves)

Homestead work is hard and ongoing. This week, we've been fencing, and sometimes the posts and railroad ties we use pierce our hands with slivers. Sometimes these are really deep too! Especially Mr. V.--as he is fond of working without gloves. He had four different, deeply embedded splinters last week, pretty bad, and at least one was beginning to fester. I figured it was time to make another batch of Black Drawing Salve

I actually used to sell this salve in my old Etsy shop many years ago, and it was a favorite of many. Even though I don't sell this salve any more, it is so easy to make; anyone can do it! It works great, too---I've tried many drawing salves, and this is my favorite recipe. 

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 Black drawing salve is an herbal healing salve that pulls out splinters, helps boils go away, solves pimple problems, and helps draw out things that don't belong in your skin. This black salve recipe smells GREAT too! Find out what black drawing salve is and how it works plus my best recipe for this healing salve. #healingsalve #salve #healing #blacksalve #drawingsalve #blackdrawingsalve #herbalsalve #essentialoils

Black drawing salve is an herbal healing salve that pulls out splinters, helps boils go away, solves pimple problems, and helps draw out things that don't belong in your skin. This black salve recipe smells GREAT too! Find out what black drawing salve is and how it works plus my best recipe for this healing salve. #healingsalve #salve #healing #blacksalve #drawingsalve #blackdrawingsalve #herbalsalve #essentialoils

What on Earth is Black Drawing Salve?

Black Salve, if made well, is an incredible remedy for helping remove slivers, toxins, impurities, and things that don't belong under the surface of your skin. It's useful on boils, wounds, embedded glass shards, cactus spines, or needle-like pieces of wood. 

In addition, it's wonderful for speeding up the healing from bug and spider bites, ingrown hairs, and thorns. 

It's also useful for acne and pimples! Cool, right?

Some people believe it is helpful for skin cancers, however, there are specific ingredients that need to be involved. My recipe for drawing salve is just a good old basic remedy that works for what it was meant to do: Drawing out things that don't belong in the skin.

How Does Black Drawing Salve Work?

Here is a bit of information about the ingredients in this recipe for black drawing salve and why they work:

The first is activated charcoal: 

The activated charcoal has been used since ancient times as a detoxifier and purifier. It's what is often used when someone ingests a poison too. 

The charcoal helps clean the wound and pull out the offending object.

Next up is the herb-infused oil:

I chose St. John's Wort, Comfrey, and Plantain for my version of drawing salve. Comfrey is well known to speed up wound healing (it's also known as knit-bone). Plantain and St. John's Wort are incredible healing herbs. And St. John's Wort is also great for helping soothe pain. 

You may note in the picture I have lavender and calendula herbs also infused in this oil. It's what I had on hand, and these two herbs do add additional skin soothing and healing benefits.

The oil is also useful for helping to soften the skin around the splinter, which helps the body dispel the object much more quickly. 

Castor oil:

Castor oil is a viscous oil that has excellent anti-microbial properties. Therefore, it helps kill any bacteria that may cause infection.

Bentonite clay:

Some folks feel any kind of clay is fine to use for drawing salve. However, different clays do different things, depending on their composition. 

I prefer to use bentonite clay because it enhances the detoxification and drawing action of the activated charcoal.

Kaolin clay actually has hemostatic properties, so I don't recommend using it to draw out foreign objects. What you are trying to do with this salve is help the skin puncture open to allow pus, the objects, and any toxins to leave the wound.

The clay also helps thicken the salve.

Beeswax:

The beeswax is not only healing to the skin, but it is what creates the "salve," or ointment feel of this topical herbal remedy.

The Essential oils:

This blend of equal parts clove essential oil, rosemary, and lavender essential oils smells SO good. But more importantly, the properties of these essential oils all lend themselves to speeding healing. The Clove essential oil also helps numb the area, which helps with pain relief.

NOTE: One of our readers commented that Comfrey may close the wound before the splinter can emerge. This may possibly occur, although I've never had an issue with it. I have seen some pretty amazing things happen with this salve!  

**I generally have this infused oil blend ready to go at all times, so this is what I always use for the Black Salve. If you have a very bad skin issue, perhaps consider leaving the Comfrey out if you have concerns. I appreciate those of you who write in with questions and comments! 

 I didn't strain out the plant matter, so those are the speckles you see in the oil. Also---this infused oil includes lavender and calendula, as that's what I had on hand. It's just as good, if not better, with the first three herbs on the label. 

I didn't strain out the plant matter, so those are the speckles you see in the oil. Also---this infused oil includes lavender and calendula, as that's what I had on hand. It's just as good, if not better, with the first three herbs on the label. 

How to Make Your Own Black Drawing Salve

This salve is really easy and simple to make. It sets up fast, too.

You can use regular olive oil if you don't have herbal infused oil ready to go. However, the addition of the herbal properties make this salve much more powerful. You can find out how to infuse herbs into oil right here in this article. 

Ingredients for Black Salve:

**  A scant 1/3 cup of the herb infused oil. (Remember, it's ok to use regular olive oil in a pinch. But consider getting a Mason jar of oil infusing so it's ready for next time!) The herbs I used are Plantain, Comfrey, and St. John's Wort in equal measures. You could also use Calendula or Lavender for additional healing. 

** 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons Castor oil.

** 2 to 3 teaspoons Beeswax. The beeswax thickens it for a firmer salve. I used 2 teaspoons in this particular batch, and it just always turns out a little runnier than I'd like when I use this small of an amount. Therefore--consider using 3 teaspoons, if you like it firmer. If you like a more "ointment-y" salve, then go with 2 teaspoons.

** 1 tablespoon Activated Charcoal

** 1 tablespoon Bentonite Clay

** About 60 drops each of these essential oils: Clove, Rosemary, and Lavender.

NOTE: The amount of essential oil I used in this recipe is a bit heavy, so if you want less essential oil, that will work just fine, too. 

ANOTHER NOTE: The links above are for Amazon. But you might want to check out Starwest Botanicals, which is where I purchase most of my essential oils and products for body care recipes.

ONE LAST NOTE: There is a fast and slow way to infuse herbs in oil. You can find out both methods to infuse herbs in oil in this article

 The Mason jar in the double boiler set up. 

The Mason jar in the double boiler set up. 

Herbal Courses from beginner to advanced

Instructions for Making Your Black Healing Salve:

Step 1) Combine your infused (or not) olive oil and the beeswax in a double boiler. I just use a pint size (wide mouth) Mason jar set in a pan of shallow water---about 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Set the burner on low. Melt the beeswax into the oil. Once the mixture is all liquid, remove from the heat. 

Step 2) Now add the charcoal and the bentonite clay. Stir well. 

 Stirring in the powders, charcoal and bentonite clay--

Stirring in the powders, charcoal and bentonite clay--

Step 3) Add in your essential oils. 

Step 4) Pour your salve into a jar. This recipe makes four ounces. I used one of my pretty jars this time, as my four ounce jelly jars are still packed away after the move! 

 See how runny it is right now? It will thicken up, but had I added a tad more beeswax, it would be a bit thicker. As it was, I put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes, gave another good stir to get any clay or charcoal that settled to the bottom, and continued to let it set up on the counter.

See how runny it is right now? It will thicken up, but had I added a tad more beeswax, it would be a bit thicker. As it was, I put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes, gave another good stir to get any clay or charcoal that settled to the bottom, and continued to let it set up on the counter.

Step 5) Leave it to set up until it's nice and firm. Because I used a little less beeswax this time, I put my salve in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Then I gave it another good stir. I removed it from the freezer and just left it alone. Usually, you can just leave it alone and it will set up just fine without freezing after several hours max. 

That's it!

 A few minutes in the freezer helps speed up the set time.

A few minutes in the freezer helps speed up the set time.

How to Use This Black Drawing Salve

This is a great salve! But fair warning: Charcoal stains. Be aware of this and take precautions because you sure don't want this near your good clothes!

Mr. V.'s favorite way to use this is to spread it over the wound or splinter, then wrap it with a bandage. If it's small, a band-aid works just fine. 

Both he and I have seen it work overnight! It's pretty incredible stuff. In tough cases, you may need to apply the salve for a couple more days. 

 Ready to go! If you stir it while it's starting to set up, like I did, you'll end up with a somewhat disturbed surface. This doesn't affect how the salve works at all.

Ready to go! If you stir it while it's starting to set up, like I did, you'll end up with a somewhat disturbed surface. This doesn't affect how the salve works at all.

Final Thoughts and Reflections on Making Your Own Black Drawing Salve

If you have been reading my blog for any time, you know how I feel about homemade: I love it! Doing it and making it yourself is the BEST way to go. You know exactly what is in your product, you can make your own adjustments as you see fit, and you are avoiding the toxic chemicals found in most commercial products.

Gosh---you are also saving a great deal of money!

And guess what: I'd put this black salve up against any similar salve in the stores! 

Do you make your own salves? I'd love to know your thoughts on this, and maybe you have other ingredients you enjoy adding? Share in the comments!

You may also enjoy these similar articles:

If you have any wood-workers, hard-workers, or gardeners in your life, you'll probably want to give this a try! If you do, let us know how it goes for you!

Hugs, Health, and Self-Reliance,

Heidi

P.S. Have you signed up for our newsletter? I hope you'll join our community and never miss a thing! I'll be sending you some free eBooks on using herbs, essential oils, and how to get your own homestead going no matter where you live. 

P.P.S. Have you been wanting to learn more about using herbs and essential oils for your health? If you want to start with a great book, I recommend Rosemary Gladstar's book, Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide. If you'd rather take an online class, then check out The Herbal Academy of New England. They have short and long classes in a variety of different herbal topics, plus courses for all levels! 

Herbal Courses from beginner to advanced
 That's a pretty little jar of black drawing salve! Great for gifting, too!

That's a pretty little jar of black drawing salve! Great for gifting, too!

 Ever wonder what black salve is and what it's used for? Well, here are the answers, along with my favorite recipe of all time. You can make this Black Drawing Salve easily and quickly. You need this in your medicine chest! Clear pics and directions. You'll love this project for handmade gifts this Fall & Winter! #blacksalve #drawingsalve #blackdrawingsalve #medicinal #herbalsalve #healingsalve #charcoal #natural #remedy #splinter #boil #greatskin

Ever wonder what black salve is and what it's used for? Well, here are the answers, along with my favorite recipe of all time. You can make this Black Drawing Salve easily and quickly. You need this in your medicine chest! Clear pics and directions. You'll love this project for handmade gifts this Fall & Winter! #blacksalve #drawingsalve #blackdrawingsalve #medicinal #herbalsalve #healingsalve #charcoal #natural #remedy #splinter #boil #greatskin

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