Magic Black Drawing Salve

When I (Emma) was a kid every mom had a little white jar with a pale green lid in her medicine cabinet. It was the mysterious “black magic cream” and those moms spread it liberally on infected cuts, boils, and even splinters.


I haven’t seen that little black jar in decades but I recently discovered that the same ointment is commercially available online and in pharmacies like CVS. A warning, it took my CVS several weeks to get their Ichthammol Ointment in stock, in spite of running a two-for-one ad. It works just as well as that magical little white jar.


For those of you who are a bit more adventurous you may want to make your own. I have not tested this recipe from but if you do, please let us know what you think!


Black Drawing Salve Recipe



  • 3 Tablespoons of comfrey, calendula and plantain infused olive oil (see instructions below)
  • 2 tablespoons Shea butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Beeswax
  • 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
  • 2 tablespoons Activated Charcoal Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Kaolin Clay
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 20 drops (or more) Lavender Essential Oil


  1. Before making the salve, it is important to infuse olive oil with comfrey, calendula and plantain. You will need 1 tablespoon of each of the herbs, finely powdered in a food processor or blender, and ½ cup olive oil. It can be infused in one of these two ways:
  2. Powder the herbs and place in a small jar. Pour oil over the herbs. Leave in jar for 3-4 weeks, shaking daily, and then strain through a cheesecloth for use.
  3. Heat the herbs and olive oil in a double boiler. Leave on low/medium heat for about an hour until oil gets strong smelling and darker. Strain through cheesecloth for use.
  4. Personally, I keep a big jar of olive oil with plantain, comfrey and calendula in my herb cabinet and let it constantly infuse for use in salves and lotions. When the oil is used, I discard the herbs and begin the process again.
  5. Combine infused olive oil, shea butter, coconut oil, beeswax, vitamin E oil and honey in a glass jar in a small pan of water. Heat the water to a simmer and carefully stir mixture in the jar until all ingredients are melted.
  6. Remove from heat and add activated charcoal, kaolin clay, and lavender essential oil and mix well.
  7. Quickly pour in to small jars or tins and let sit until hardened (several hours).
  8. Store in airtight container and use as needed on cuts, splinters, etc.

How to Use Black Salve


Make sure area has been cleaned well. Put a generous amount of black salve on the wound or splinter and cover with gauze or a large bandaid.

Leave at least a few hours or overnight to allow it to draw out the infection or object. Some things (like glass… in my experience) may take a day or two and several applications to draw out an object. This salve is a wonderful natural remedy but it is not a replacement for medical care when needed. Consult a doctor before using if you have any health conditions or concerns.