How to Make Black Drawing Salve for Boils, Wounds and Tick Bites

How to Make Black Drawing Salve for Boils, Wounds and Tick Bites

Having a cluster of deeply embedded boils, wounds, or tick bites are pretty bad. If you are new to herbal remedies and treatments, then you might not have heard about black salve. 

What is Black Drawing Salves?

If prepared well, black drawing salve is one of the most incredible herbal remedies to eliminate toxins, slivers, impurities, and other materials that find their way under the surface of your skin. Black salve is a herbal treatment option for boils, wounds, tick bites, cactus spines, embedded glass shards, and many more. Apart from that, the salve is highly effective for accelerating the healing process from bugs, ticks, spider bites, thorns, and ingrown hairs. Furthermore, some people make use of black salve in the treatment of cancer. However, it requires certain ingredients. For everyone interested in making a black drawing salve, doing it yourself isn’t complicated. 

Making a Black Drawing Salve: The Ingredients

Here are a few of the ingredients used in making a black drawing salve and how they work.

  • Charcoal

Charcoal is one of the essential ingredients required in the preparation of black salve since ancient times. Activated charcoal usually serves as a purifier or detoxifier. In some cases, it is normally used for patients who had just ingested poisons. The primary role of activated charcoal in the preparation of black drawing salve is to clean off the wound. It also helps to pull out the toxic material present in the wound.

  • Herbal Infused Oil

Some of the most common herbal infused oils utilized in the preparation of black drawing salve include Comfrey, St. John’s Wort, and Plantain. Comfrey is commonly regarded as an herbal infused oil that effectively accelerates the rate of wound healing. St. John’s Wort and Plantain herbal oils are also excellent for soothing the pains as a result of these wounds.

  • Castor Oil

Another prominent ingredient used in the preparation of black drawing salve is castor oil. It is a viscous oil that has great anti-microbial properties.

Therefore, it helps to paralyze bacteria that may be responsible for infection on those wounds.

  • Bentonite Clay

While it is generally assumed that any clay can be used to make a drawing salve, it is also pertinent to note that different clays perform different functions. However, it all depends on their composition.

Bentonite clay is preferable when making a black salve because it functions to enhance detoxification. It also enhances the drawing action of the activated charcoal. Bentonite clay also helps to thicken the salve.

  • Beeswax

Beeswax doesn’t only heal the skin, it also helps to create the salve.

It is usually considered as the ointment feel of this topical herbal remedy.

  • Essential Oils

This involves a mixture of equal portions of essential oils such as rosemary, clove, and lavender.

Blending these oils gives your black salve a great smell. More importantly, these essential oils also contribute to speeding up the healing process.


Measurement of the Ingredients for Black Salve

  • 1/3 cup of herb-infused oil
  • 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of castor oil
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons of beeswax
  • 1 tablespoon of activated charcoal
  • 1 tablespoon of bentonite clay
  • 20 drops of each of the essential oils such as Rosemary, Lavender, and Clove.

Instructions for Making Your Black Drawing Salve

Step 1

Combine your herbal-infused oil, castor oil and the beeswax and place it in a double boiler. A pint-sized Mason jar set dipped into a pan of shallow water (about 11/2 to 2 inches). The burner has to be on a low. Melt the beeswax into the oil. Once it turns liquid, you can separate it from the heat.

Step 2

This is where you add the charcoal and the bentonite clay. After this, you can stir well.

Step 3

Add the essential oils

Step 4

Pour the salve into a glass jar.

You can find this recipe on Youtube as well:

Step 5

Allow it to set up until it becomes nice and firm. You can put it inside the freezer and leave it for about 10 minutes.  You can also decide not to place it inside the freezer at all. Leaving it for several hours will set it up just fine and nice.

Store the finished salve in a cool, dark place. To use, just place a big glob onto the affected area and then cover with a large bandage. Activated charcoal tends to stain fabric, so you don’t want it touching your clothing or furniture. Leave the salve on the spot for at least 24 hours, then, in the case of splinters and other foreign bodies, check if it’s moved enough to grab it with tweezers. For tick and insect bites, after 24 hours, you can remove the salve, clean the spot, and then either let it be open to the air or cover it with another bandage.

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  • Tricia Posted July 24, 2020 2:04 PM

    Can I use chickweed oil that I have be infusing?

    • Greg Posted September 7, 2020 9:02 PM

      Can I use black drawing salve on a vaccine site in case I am forced to take a vaccine?

    • Greg Posted September 7, 2020 9:14 PM

      Can I use this to treat a vaccine site if I am forced to get a vaccine?

  • Joe Sanks Posted July 24, 2020 2:13 PM

    Is there a print button? I could not Find one. It takes 12 pages it would be nice if you could make it more convenient. And use less paper

    • Diane Cerep Posted July 24, 2020 2:55 PM

      cut and paste the recipe and put in a word doc.

    • Trish Rhoads Posted July 24, 2020 3:56 PM

      I just highlighted what I wanted to print, then clicked in the blue shading and hit print. Brought it down to 4 pages.

    • Anna Posted July 24, 2020 6:12 PM

      You can select which page(s) you’d like to print if you check option preferences.

    • Wendy Posted September 24, 2020 3:21 PM

      Joe, just highlight what you want to print, copy and paste it in Word and then just hit print.

    • Trakouri sanders Posted July 26, 2021 4:38 AM

      just right click and click print
      go to destination tab and select save as PDF
      You can also go to pages and click customs and enter the number of pages you want to save so you dont have to save all unnecessary pages.

  • Uta Saunders Posted July 24, 2020 2:36 PM

    Hi Nicole, What is the best way to store this and what is the best way to store the salve and what is the shelf life of the salve if stored under those ideal conditions?

    • Meena Posted July 24, 2020 3:08 PM

      I am curious to know as well. I know if something is made with water and kept out the shelf life is around two weeks because bacteria starts to set in. This does not have any water so perhaps it is shelf stable. I imagine if kept in the refridgerator it would last longer.

    • Gardengab Posted July 25, 2020 1:10 AM

      Any salve made without water. especially the beeswax based ones, will last for a long time at room temperature. I keep those in a cool room for a year. The worst thing that can happen is that the herbal oil in it will go rancid. If that happens, you can actually smell it, if you take a whiff after opening the jar. The lack of water and the beeswax will not allow bacteria to grow, so it is always safe to use. I try to use mine up within a year, just because of the rancidity issue and the quality of the herbal ingredients slowly deteriorating after a few months.

  • Pat Posted July 24, 2020 2:50 PM

    Do you sell this ready made? I don’t have any of these ingredients? Thanks, I love your emails!

    • Susan Besselman Posted July 25, 2020 4:39 PM

      Can I buy this slave ready made?

      • DrJulie Posted February 22, 2021 3:25 PM

        They sell it at country life in Columbus GA the number is 706.323.9194

    • The Lost Herbs Posted July 28, 2020 1:04 PM

      Hi Pat,

      Thank you so much for your comment.
      I am so sorry about it, however we do not sell the salve already prepared.

      God bless!

  • Donna Hall Posted July 24, 2020 2:54 PM

    When do you add the herbal infused oil (comfrey, St. John’s & plantain). Along with essential oils?

    • Donna Hall Posted July 24, 2020 2:56 PM

      Found it, along with castor oil in step 1

    • Debi Posted August 5, 2020 4:45 AM

      How much comfrey etc do you need to make infused oil? Thank you for your time.

  • Sandie Swanson Posted July 24, 2020 3:03 PM

    Good Morning, is there any other wax or something that can be used instead of bees wax? I am deadly allergic to bees, including wax, honey, all by-products. What infused oil should be used? Olive oil ? or is there a type you can purchase for this salve. I know black salve is great, and you can’t find it in the stores any more, not like before. The ones I have found just aren’t the same as when I was a kid and used it. Please help!! Thank you.

    • Anna Posted July 24, 2020 6:16 PM

      I found this on google when I searched for substitutes. Candelilla Wax– from the leaves of the candelilla shrub native to the southwest, candelilla wax has the same lubricating properties as beeswax but is harder and much less pliable

    • Michelle Everest Posted September 24, 2020 1:15 PM

      The woman below you commented
      found this on google when I searched for substitutes. Candelilla Wax– from the leaves of the candelilla shrub native to the southwest, candelilla wax has the same lubricating properties as beeswax but is harder and much less pliable

  • Debra Scofield Posted July 24, 2020 3:35 PM

    How large of a jar will I need for a simple recipe?

    • The Lost Herbs Posted July 28, 2020 1:05 PM

      Hi Debra,

      Thank you so much for your comment.
      The jar should have an average size.

      God bless!

  • Pat N Posted July 24, 2020 4:23 PM

    “leave a space of about 10 minutes.” Did you mean 1 inch? or something smaller?

    • The Lost Herbs Posted July 28, 2020 1:12 PM

      Hi Pat,

      Thank you so much for your comment.
      “You can put it inside the freezer and leave it for about 10 minutes.” . We meant that you should let it cool for 10 minutes in the freezer.

      God bless!

  • Pat N Posted July 24, 2020 4:25 PM

    “A pint-sized Mason jar set dipped into a pan of shallow water (about 11/2 to 2 inches).” Are you implying that the jar set in the water is the same as a double-boiler? I’d be a bit worried that the jar, sitting directly above the heat, would cause the wax, etc., to burn. Plus, it’s harder to mix inside a jar, when you’re adding the other ingredients!

    • Roni G Posted July 31, 2020 1:27 PM

      I am also looking for the answer. And what is the purpose of the Mason jar?

      • Roni F Posted August 5, 2020 9:54 AM

        Pat N. I contacted a friend and she informed me that when making tinctures, salves, etc you should not use metal pans unless they are stainless steel: glass is recommended. Using the pint jar, as you would use the top of double boiler, make the salve then add the remaining ingredients. Hope this helps.

  • Marilyn Posted July 24, 2020 5:14 PM

    This information is absolutely invaluable! Thank you so much!

    • The Lost Herbs Posted July 28, 2020 1:10 PM

      Hi Marilyn,

      Thank you so much for your comment.
      We really appreciate your feedback!

      God bless!

  • Yolene Tassy Posted July 24, 2020 5:50 PM

    Thank you for this information. Where can I get infused oil if I don’t already have one.

    • Gardengab Posted July 25, 2020 1:33 AM

      infused oil is made by macerating (soaking and steeping) an herb of your choice in oil for a minimum of two weeks, agitating the jar daily if possible and then straining the herbal material out. In order to prevent bacterial and mold growth, the herb needs to be dried first. Then it is best broken up as small as possible, so the oil has as much surface to act on as possible. You can powder it, but I don’t like powder that much, because it is hard to strain out. Oily powder gets your strainer clogged easily. I prefer to crumble up the dried herb in a paper bag before mixing it with the oil.

      • Roni F Posted August 5, 2020 9:56 AM

        Gardengab thanks for the info. Do you have a preference for carrier oil? Almond, grapeseed? Thanks

  • Kathy Watts Posted July 24, 2020 6:22 PM

    Are the essential oils for cancer the same as the oils you mentioned here?

    • The Lost Herbs Posted July 28, 2020 1:14 PM

      Hi Kathy,

      Thank you so much for your comment.
      You can adapt the recipe- you can use the oils you prefer.

      God bless!

  • Tam Hicks Posted July 25, 2020 5:14 PM

    Where do you find these ingredients? I have absolutely no idea!

    • The Lost Herbs Posted July 28, 2020 1:15 PM

      Hi Tam,

      Thank you so much for your comment.
      You can find the ingredients on Amazon or in an herbal remedies shop.

      God bless!

  • Denise Posted August 1, 2020 11:09 PM

    Can I use soy wax instead of bees wax on the drawing salve?

    • The Lost Herbs Posted August 14, 2020 11:51 AM

      Hi Denise,

      Thank you so much for your comment.
      Yes, you can use soy wax as well, however beeswax is much more recommended.

      God bless!

  • Sheryl Posted August 2, 2020 3:41 PM

    I made this and mine separated. I am not sure what went wrong. My bee max also hardened. What do I do now?

    • The Lost Herbs Posted August 14, 2020 11:53 AM

      Hi Sheryl,

      Thank you so much for your comment.

      I think your black salve recipe did not succeed because you did not add enough herbal oil.
      In this case, you should do the recipe again or try to add a little more herbal oil.

      God bless!

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  • Dev gately Posted August 27, 2020 1:48 AM

    Hi ! I’m having trouble with ordering the lost herbs. And the medicinal seed pack.
    Help!!!!!!! I got the remedies book and love it. And want more,!

    • The Lost Herbs Posted August 27, 2020 6:22 AM

      Hi Dev,

      Thank you for your interest our work.
      Please check you email. I have sent you an email with the purchase link.

      God bless!

  • Rachel Posted November 3, 2020 4:55 PM

    Should the essential oil be diluted with carrier oil prior to use in this salve?

  • Cynthia Tolentino Posted February 22, 2021 10:09 PM

    Hi, I am also interested as Dev is. Thank you🙏

  • Thomas R Mehmel Posted February 25, 2021 10:44 PM

    The Seneca Iroquois Indians used this black drawing salve and they use to make it on the reservation it was very effective as a drawing salve.

  • Marsha Donaldson Posted August 25, 2021 2:50 AM

    I have used a black drawing salve called “PRID” that comes in a small orange can with black print. It is less than $10, and can be purchased at WalMart. I have used it instead of taking an antibiotic after getting cellullitis from a mosquito bite. And a friend used it on an embedded tick head on her daughter’s backbone that had been there for months. After a week, the tick head came out! Although not herbal, PRID is labeled as a homeopathic drawing salve. I wouldn’t be without it!

  • Mary Posted September 2, 2021 6:35 PM

    I read all of the information and comments about the herbal infused oil, so I understand about drying it and crumbling it, but it never stated what type of oil to use. I’m very new to this and mosquito bites are at an all time high and they hurt so I found this and would like to try. I have tried Prid but it doesn’t work. Just need to know what type of oil to put the herbs in. Thank you

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