How to Make Amish Black Drawing Salve

Amish black drawing salve is a homesteading “medicine” cabinet staple in Appalachia. More times than I can count, we have used it to pull out tiny bits of a splinter that digging painfully into the skin with tweezers does not retrieve.

amish black drawing salve

I used to pay a pretty penny to buy the black drawing salve from our Amish farrier until I learned how to easily make it myself.

Slathering the black Amish salve onto any of the common minor problems below may help pull foreign matter or infection out of the skin. And no, the black salve does not stain your skin – in my personal experience.

Top 6 Black Amish Salve Uses

  1. Wood Splinters
  2. Metal Shavings
  3. Glass Pieces
  4. Acne
  5. Spider Bites
  6. Insect Stings

Some folks use the Amish black drawing salve on moles, warts, and skin tags, and maintain it is effective without causing any scarring to the skin.

I have never done so and cannot speak to how effective this use of the salve is – or note any adverse results, which may very well exist.

Does Amish Black Drawing Salve Work?

There is no scientific evidence that the Amish black drawing salve works.

But, even though some dermatologists and the FDA not only say it does not work or could cause more damage than benefits to the skin, millions of folks who are willing to try home remedies swear by its effectiveness when it comes to the uses enumerated above.

From my research, the primary reasons there has been such an outcry against the black drawing salve by dermatologists and the FDA involves claims on the internet that it can draw cancer out of the body – especially skin cancer.

The gruesome photos I, unfortunately, saw while doing research show the festering wounds and scarring that people who used the Amish black drawing salve repeatedly to try to get rid of a type of cancer, seem to have caused.

It is very likely that this salve does NOT work in treating skin cancer, but may also damage the skin.


I am not a doctor or any kind of medical professional. This black Amish salve information is offered for entertainment and research purposes only.

Simply because a home remedy is made out of natural ingredients that does not necessarily mean it is safe to use – or safe for everyone in your family to use. Always speak with your doctor before using any natural remedy, no matter how safe it may seem.

History of Amish Black Drawing Salve

Although this salve, both the homemade and store-bought version is commonly referred to as Amish black drawing salve, it was Native Americans who may have actually used it first.

The original black drawing salve Native Americans include bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), as well as crushed wood ash to create it.

How to Make Black Amish Drawing Salve


  • 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons calendula-infused olive oil I add a little plantain in mine for its added healing benefit
  • 1 tablespoon aloe vera oil or juice
  • 2 tablespoons beeswax
  • 2 tablespoons activated charcoal powdered
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons bentonite clay
  • 2 teaspoons shea butter
  • 20 drops essential oils optional, recommended oils: frankincense, tea tree, lavender, clove, and eucalyptus


  • Put the coconut oil and the shea butter into a double boiler, or a glass measuring cup (or similar heat resistant container like a Mason jar) in a cook pot filled with 2 to 4 inches of water.
    coconut oil
  • Heat the mixture at a simmer to melt the oil, beeswax, and the butter. Stir consistently and watch carefully because it will melt rather quickly and can easily become scorched.
    stirring the beeswax mixture
  • Pour in the calendula infused olive oil and stir well.
    adding calendula oil
  • Remove the pot from the heat.
  • Sprinkle in the bentonite clay.
  • Stir to combine thoroughly.
    mixture in double boiler
  • Add in the vitamin E, aloe vera, and activated charcoal.
    aleo vera gel and vitamin e
  • Stir again to make sure all of the ingredients are combined into the black Amish drawing salve mixture.
  • Drop in any essential oils you have chosen to use now and stir once more to combine all of the ingredients.
    eucalyptus and lavender essential oils
  • Pour the hot black Amish drawing salve into a single or many small containers with a firm fitting lid and allow it to cool completely so it hardens.
  • Stir the black Amish drawing salve in a cool dry place until ready to use.
    amish black salve on finger

When using the homemade drawing salve, clean the area of the skin first, and pat it dry. Next, apply a liberal amount of the black salve onto the problem area, then cover it with either a bandage or gauze.

The salve is thick and should not run, but sitting still or using a firm protective covering like several layers of gauze will help it remain perfectly in place.

How long it takes the black Amish salve to draw out a splinter or shard of either glass or metal will depend on several factors: how large or small the piece is and second, how deeply it is embedded into the skin.

It may take multiple applications over the course of several days to pull out the splinter, or shard from the skin.

amish black salve pinterest

2 thoughts on “How to Make Amish Black Drawing Salve”

  1. Just researching formulations, I did not try this recipe. I believe the black salve that you are referring to that causes necrosis is one made with bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis).

  2. As a child, we always had icthamol (not sure on the spelling) in our medicine cabinet. It was a drawing salve and looked just like your final image. I’ve tried finding it as an adult to keep in my medicine cabinet and have never been able to. Your description of this is exactly how I remember icthamol working. I might attempt to make this to see if it’s the same. Thanks!


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