Drawing Salve

Recipe for Black Drawing Salve with Free Printable Labels (good for splinters, boils, insect bites, etc)


A while back, I wrote about how I was taking an online herbal class through the Herbal Academy of New England. I absolutely love it so far! (By the way, it’s self-paced, so it’s never too late to join! Click HERE for more info on the class. They also have gift certificates available!)

For a homework assignment, I had to choose a recipe from their herbal flipbook to make. There were sooo many great ideas to choose from, but I finally settled on this drawing salve. I actually took great liberties with their original recipe, but that’s okay – they encourage experimentation! (If only all homework could be so fun as the kind in this class!)

Since we heat our house solely with wood, we’re always getting tiny, bothersome splinters in our hands. I tested some of this out on the palms of my hands and was quite happy with how it helped! (Note: the charcoal in it tends to stain, so be sure to keep it covered with a band-aid and away from white shirts and such.)

Besides splinters, the salve can also be used for things like boils and insect bites.

I liked it so much, I thought that I’d make some up as stocking stuffers for the wood-working guys in my family. (The labels I created for gifting can be found below the recipe.)

 

Black Drawing Salve Recipe with Printable Labels

Drawing Salve

(Click HERE for printable recipe.)

  • 6 tablespoons infused olive oil*
  • 2 tablespoons castor oil
  • 2 teaspoons beeswax
  • 3 teaspoons activated charcoal
  • 3 teaspoons clay (kaolin or bentonite, etc)
  • essential oils: 30 drops lavender, 15 drops tea tree (where to buy)

*Olive oil should be infused with an herb such as calendula, plantain, violets or goldenseal. You can buy calendula oil HERE or you can infuse your own oils, following the directions HERE.

Combine oils and beeswax in a heat proof container. (I recycled a tin can for melting purposes, since items made with charcoal can be difficult to wash out. However, you’ll want to be sure to store the finished salve in a glass container.)

Set the container down in a saucepan containing a few inches of water, forming a make-shift double boiler. Heat over a medium-low burner, until beeswax has melted.

Remove from heat and stir in essential oils, charcoal and clay. Immediately pour into glass containers.

This recipe is sized to fill 1 four-ounce jelly jar. Store finished salve in a cool, dark place. Apply a small amount to skin, as needed. Cover with a band-aid and leave on for up to twelve hours before washing off with soap and water.

 

Adding Labels to Drawing Salve

 Labels

Here are a few printable options for labels. Click on the link below that best describes the amount you’re looking for. Print on sticker paper (like this kind) or, in a pinch, use plain copy paper and carefully affix to a regular canning lid with a thin layer of glue.

Sheet of Two Labels (with recipe)

Sheet of Four Labels

Sheet of Six Labels

If you liked this DIY project, let’s keep in touch! Sign up for my monthly newsletter (below) so you won’t miss future recipes and tutorials!

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Shared with From the Farm blog hop!

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22 Responses to Drawing Salve

  1. thank you so much for this recipe-we only heat with wood too and I am always getting splinter in my fingers. last summer I got bit by a spider this would have been good for that too thanks again Kathy

  2. Suzanne Hendrickson says:

    We used to have a drawing salve called ‘Wonderful Dream Salve’. It was truly amazing. It was commonly called a tar salve. It was great for everything! It removed bee stings, reduced the size and pain of ‘piles’ (hemorrhoids) and stopped the itching of mosquito bites. Is there a way to make this without the charcoal by substituting something less staining? I would like to make some and use it on chigger bites.

    • Jan says:

      Sounds wonderful! Maybe it had pine tar in it? (I have a recipe for Pine Tar Salve that I want to experiment with too!) I haven’t tried leaving out the charcoal in this recipe yet, but thought maybe next batch I would substitute green French clay for it. In that same line of thought, maybe you could use more kaolin clay for the charcoal portion? Let me know how it works out, if you try it!

  3. Janine says:

    thank you for that, it sounds wonderful….just a question regarding your herbal studies…i’m in Australia and trying to find a course that covers the making of herbal concoctions, what is the name of your course that you are doing?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Janine! I’m taking the Intermediate Course through the Herbal Academy of New England. (It’s call intermediate, but the first section is review of basics, so they say that really anyone can take it, even beginners and those that have never taken a class.) There’s a link to it in the very first paragraph of this post if you want to check it out! :)

  4. Stephanie says:

    Is this the kind that stinks really bad? My great gramma used to make a drawing salve that was black but smelled sooooo bad lol. It worked really well though and I wish I would have been able to get her recipes before she passed but I was to young to realize what I was missing

    • Jan says:

      No, this one only smells like tea tree oil and lavender. :) Maybe the kind she used had pine tar in it – it supposedly smells REALLY strong! It’s on my list to experiment with too, but I need to find a pure pine tar source first (or see if I can DIY my own.)

  5. Lea says:

    I was raised on only wood heat and vowed never to have it as my sole source…and now we live in a house where it is our only heat source. :-)
    Will definitely need to make this. My husband works in the forest and often gets splinters, my dad is a carpenter…we could use this in my family.
    Thanks!

  6. Kay says:

    Hi Lea, I was raised with a Gran’ that always used a drawing salve on splinters and boils. It stank to high heaven (tarish).
    When we moved to West Texas I learned to take a Nopal cactus pad remove the thorns and peal one side and place the pealed side to the boil or splinter and cover for about 12 hours. In our case it was usually a cactus or mesquite thorn we were drawing but it worked great. Just wondered if you have ever heard of this or can find more info on it.

    • Jan says:

      Kay, that is so interesting! I’ve not heard of using a nopal cactus pad, but I’ve heard of using the same technique with various leaves such as plantain, violet, even maple and oak leaves. Any non-toxic leaf can be used as a first aid poultice like that. It’s amazing how many great remedies can be found in nature! :)

  7. Diana says:

    Is it okay to make without the oils, I am allergic to so many oils especially lavender and tea tree, causes migraines?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Diana! Yes, you can absolutely leave the essential oils out. The original recipe called for several more types that I omitted, but the main drawing action is with the charcoal and clay so the essential oils are just bonus ingredients.

  8. jodi says:

    thank you for sharing this remedy, I needed this one, we heat our home with a wood burning stove.

  9. Traci says:

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. Can I mix a calendula extract with the olive oil to make the calendula oil?
    Thanks!

    • Jan says:

      Hi Traci! If your calendula extract is oil based, then you sure can try it out. If it’s water or alcohol based though, it will separate out from the oils.

  10. Traci says:

    I was able to find some premade calendula oil on Etsy that was all natural and didn’t cost a fortune. Made the drawing salve for my husband’s cellulitis and it has worked wonders. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  11. Lisa says:

    I can’t wait to try this! I get boils a couple times a year…this sounds great. I treat with tumeric (oral and topical) now.  I want to take The Herbal Academy course but i am a novice…will I be okay to take it???

    • Jan says:

      I hope it helps! The Herbal Academy course is great for beginners too. They start out with a review of the basics, so you’ll catch up quickly! :)

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