Never in my life have I ever had so many mosquito bites than last summer at our cabin. My legs and feet were covered in angry, red, and painfully itchy bites. Everything in my herbal kit was for cuts, bruises, and burns. How could I have forgotten to bring my black drawing salve for bug bite relief?
What Is Black Salve?
Black salve means different things to different people. All include activated charcoal which gives the salves both drawing power and it’s characteristic black color. Also common to drawing salves is bentonite clay. All clays have some ability to draw out impurities from the skin, but bentonite does a fantastic job of it. I’ve used it on all sorts of skin problems from poison ivy to ringworm with good results.
For some, “black salve” means a drawing salve made with bloodroot. These are known as “escharotics”, which leave a black eschar where the salve was applied. The idea with this type of black salve is to remove everything from skin tags to skin cancers, or to draw deeper cancers up and out of the body through the skin. I do not know of any actual studies to back up the claims of drawing out cancer, only anecdotal evidence.
Another type of black salves include pine pitch for drawing out things like grit, splinters, or even little shards of glass. Road rash from falling off a bicycle would be a great application of a pine pitch salve. However, the kind of drawing salve we’re making here is for drawing out venom and saliva from bug bites. Plantain, also called “White Man’s Footprint”, is an easy-to-find herb. Common to most lawns, plantain is known for drawing out the venom of bee stings.
Black Drawing Salve Recipe
Here is what you’re going to need:
- 3/4 cup Herbal Drawing Oil (see recipe here)
- 1/4 cup mango butter (or other solid fat, such as lard)
- 2 tablespoons beeswax pastilles
- 1/2 cup activated charcoal
- 1/2 cup bentonite clay
- 1/4 cup honey, preferably raw
- 100 (or so) drops of lavender essential oil (my two favorites are from Florihana and Plant Therapy)
- Double boiler (this is what I use)
- Containers to hold approximately 16oz of salve- tins, jars, etc.
To make the salve:
- Make the Herbal Drawing Oil ahead of time. You will need a minimum of 2 hours warming time.
- In a measuring cup, measure out 3/4 of a cup of Herbal Drawing Oil.
- Break off pieces of mango butter and drop into the Herbal Drawing Oil until it rises to 1 cup.
- Warm up the oil, mango butter, and beeswax in the double boiler until the butter and wax has completely melted.
- While that is warming, measure out your charcoal, clay, and honey.
- When completely melted, take off of the heat, and whisk the charcoal and clay into the oil mixture.
- When the mixture has been thoroughly blended and cooled to the touch, add the honey.
- Once the honey has been thoroughly incorporated, add in your favorite brand of lavender oil, and whisk into the salve.
- Allow salve to cool thoroughly, and add to your home apothecary or herbal first aid kit.
How To Make Black Drawing Salve Video
Sometimes, it’s just easier to see something done. Here’s a video I uploaded to YouTube demonstrating how to make this black drawing salve.
How to Use Black Drawing Salve
Applying the salve is a bit messy. However, it’s less messy than making a paste out of water and activated charcoal, or out of water and bentonite clay, to apply to the skin. Both are still great options for drawing out venom from insect bites and stings.
To apply the salve, flush the area with clean water, and then apply just enough salve to completely coat the area. If this was a spider or snake bite, draw a ring outside where it’s red and swollen with a pen so you can see if the inflammation is spreading.
If you enjoy learning about herbal and natural remedies for both everyday and emergency preparedness, check out my book, Prepper’s Natural Medicine. Release date June 9, 2015.