How To Make Draw Salve

If you are looking for an alternative way to treat minor skin conditions like bug bites or inflamed skin, then try making your own draw salve.

Draw salves are a natural way to treat a range of skin-related problems plus they are very easy to make at home using your own ingredients.

If you are thinking of making your own draw salve, but you are not sure how or where to start, then don’t worry – we are here to help!

We are going to dive into draw salves, what they are and what they contain, so you can choose the right ingredients to make your very own.

Also, we will include a recipe to guide you through making your own homemade drawing salve.

So, take a look below to learn more about draw salves!

What Is A Draw Salve?

Draw salve is a natural remedy for the treatment of minor skin conditions like dry skin, eczema, and psoriasis.

It can also help treat other minor skin concerns such as ingrown toenails, splinters, and bee stings.

Depending on the ingredients used in the draw salve, it can help soothe skin irritations and minor skin eruptions.

Sometimes, you can even use it as a moisturizer on healthy skin.

Draw slave is also known by other names such as drawing salve, black salve, or black ointment.

The ‘draw’ of its name is often mistakenly associated with drawing out foreign objects like splinters.

However, it was originally called black ‘drawing’ salve due to the outdated belief that it could draw out bad humors.

Health care professionals say that there is no guaranteed evidence to prove that drawing salve can be used to physically draw out a foreign object from your skin.

However, it can help soothe and make the process of removing a splinter less painful.

That being said, black draw salves are limited in their uses. It can only help with issues on the top layers of skin tissue.

You may have seen websites selling certain black salves or creams claiming to treat or cure cancer, boils, moles, and skin tags (benign, or non-cancerous, growths of the skin). These claims are false.

Draw salves help with skin irritation and wound healing, not with serious medical issues like skin cancer.

Draw salves can be made using a variety of different ingredients. Most contain essential oils that are known to be very effective in helping to soothe irritated skin conditions.

Other active ingredients can include charcoal, kaolin clay, tea tree oil, beeswax, and so many more!

What Ingredients Should I Use To Make My Draw Salve?

When it comes to making the base for your draw salve, you will need two main ingredients to give the salve its properties and form, so you can easily spread the salve in your desired areas.

You can choose between the following ingredients, and three of these will later appear in our recommended recipe.

Activated charcoal is a fine black powder made from bone char, bamboo, wood, coconut husk, peat, petroleum pitch, coal, olive pits, or sawdust.

It is well known for its effectiveness in pulling out gunk from your pores and regulating oily skin.

This is why you will often see face masks or face washes that use activated charcoal.

Kaolin clay is also another powerful ingredient for cleansing skin.

It is more commonly used by those with greasy skin as just as with activated charcoal, it helps regulate your skin’s natural oils and calm any blemishes, cooling your skin and neutralizing its color.

Sometimes, kaolin clay is switched out for bentonite clay as the two are very closely related.

Beeswax is an excellent emollient that helps seal in moisture. Although this ingredient is not vegan friendly, it is still very rich and soothing.

It melts easily with just the heat from your hands, so it’s definitely great for moisturizing skin and easy to use.
Shea butter is a natural source of vitamin A, which is great for healthy skin.

It’s a great vegan alternative to beeswax and is often used in cosmetic products as such a substitute. It is just as moisturizing and soothing as beeswax.

Any of these key ingredients work fine when making your salve. Later on, we will be using the kaolin clay and beeswax with just a touch of activated coal.

However, the beeswax can easily be switched out for shea butter for those who follow a vegan lifestyle.

Essential Oils

How To Make Draw Salve

Several essential oils can be used to help draw irritations out of the skin. Because there are so many you can use, they each have their own strengths and additional properties that can benefit you in different ways.

It is up to you which essential oils you choose to add to your salve, and you can make many salves that specialize in different areas.

Lavender essential oil is good for all things skin-related. It is often used in herbal medicines and home remedies as it is so gentle to use, especially when it comes to remedies for children or those with sensitive skin.

Lavender essential oil has also been shown to be an excellent anti-inflammatory agent.

It helps reduce swelling, redness, itching, and pain. It also promotes relaxation and sleep, which is why you may see a lot of sprays or medications that help reduce nerves that contain lavender as an ingredient.

So, if you want a soothing salve that is great for all kinds of sensitive skins, you can use lavender essential oil as it is extremely gentle.

Peppermint essential oil is great for soothing irritated skin. Peppermint essential oil has a cooling effect on the body and works well to relieve muscle aches and pains.

It also helps relax tense muscles, which makes it perfect for people who suffer from headaches.

Peppermint essential oil is also known to improve circulation, making it helpful for anyone suffering from cold sores or chapped lips.

Rosemary essential oil is a natural antibiotic. It is also antiseptic, meaning that it kills bacteria and viruses.

It is also a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Rosemary essential oil is also known for relieving stress and anxiety.

It has been shown to help reduce inflammation and promote healthy cell regeneration and is also known to increase circulation and stimulate the immune system.

If you are looking for a salve that can fight off infections and keep your skin clean, rosemary essential oil is the way to go.

Tea tree essential oil is one of the most popular essential oils around – but tea tree oil is more than just a nice smelling product. It is actually very effective at fighting acne and other skin conditions.

The reason behind this is that it contains antimicrobial agents that kill bacteria and fungi. These compounds also prevent the growth of new cells and stop them from forming.

This means that it is not only great for treating acne, but it can also prevent future breakouts.

This is why you will often find it included as an ingredient in lots of facial products like soaps and moisturizers.

Coconut oil is one of the best oils for drawing out toxins from your skin. It is rich in lauric acid so this means that it is antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal.

It is also a powerful moisturizer, which makes it great for dry skin.

It is also high in vitamin E, which is great for keeping your skin supple and soft. This also makes coconut oil a fantastic moisturizing agent.

It penetrates deep into the skin where it provides moisture without leaving any greasy residue.

If you suffer from dry skin and are worried about using a salve that contains charcoal and kaolin (both are frequently used for controlling greasy skin) adding coconut oil will help balance your skin.

It will also keep it from drying out so much. So when it comes to choosing your essential oils, pick some of the above options to help personalize your draw salve to suit your needs.

How To Make A Draw Salve

Here is our favorite simple recipe to make a draw salve.

Remember, you can customize the essential oils to suit your tastes, and switch out the beeswax for a vegan alternative like shea butter.

But first, before you start, you will need a double boiler and the following ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon loose leaf comfrey
  • 1 teaspoon loose leaf plantain
  • 2 tablespoon kaolin clay
  • 2 teaspoon beeswax
  • 1 tablespoon activated charcoal
  • 25 drops of essential oil (choose as many as you like, mix and match at will or just use one singular oil)


Make sure you have all your ingredients gathered and prepared.

A double boiler is also essential, but you can make your own using two pans or a stainless steel bowl over a saucepan if you do not have one.

Once you have all your ingredients ready and your double boiler is ready, you can start following these instructions:

To start making your homemade draw salve, add the olive oil and loose-leaf herbs to the double boiler. Let them simmer in some water for 30 minutes over medium heat or until the oil is dark.

Once ready, strain the herbs off the oil with cheesecloth and discard them. Place herb-infused oil back into the double boiler.

Now, you should add clay and beeswax. Allow all the ingredients to melt together.

Once they are all melted, remove them from the heat. Whisk in the activated charcoal and essential oils, stirring vigorously until everything is combined. Then, your salve is complete!

Simply transfer it into a glass jar and label it appropriately.

Use And Storage

When it comes to storing your draw salve, it is best to keep it in an airtight container or jar.

It should also be kept out of direct sunlight and stored somewhere cool.

The best place we would recommend is in your refrigerator. There, your salve will last longer as it is out of direct sunlight and will be kept at a consistently cool temperature.

As for shelf life, homemade salves can actually last for around 6 to 8 months!

This is more than enough time for you to go through it, especially if you decide to use your draw salve as a facial product rather than just as an effective remedy against spider bites or wasp stings.

Talking about use, if you are not sure how exactly to use your black drawing salve – it’s easy!

You can just spread it onto damaged or irritated skin using your fingers, slather it on over things like insect bites or ingrown hairs to help soothe the skin.

You can also apply it to any skin imperfections on your face to help fight inflammation or any red blotches.

To wash your salve off, just use a bit of warm water to rinse it off the area you applied it to.

Our only warning when it comes to using your homemade black drawing salve is to use it only on the surface of your skin and do not ingest it.

The recipe contains activated charcoal, which can make any medication or oral birth control you are taking ineffective.


And there we have it!

A handy yet easy guide to making your very own homemade draw salve!

It is a very versatile salve to use, treating everything from small wounds to a wasp sting, plus it’s a great way to help fix blemishes and skin irritation.

You can even add essential oils to help customize your salve to suit your needs.

For example, tea tree oil is a great one to add if you want a salve to help calm your acne because of its antibacterial properties!

So, pick out your favorite essential oils and start making your own draw salve!

Hannah Shiftle
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