Homemade drawing salve may be one of the best options when it comes to healing. Drawing salve is a blend of ingredients that create an ointment used topically to help heal skin inflammation, boils, insect bites and splinters. In ancient times, drawing salve, also known as black salve, was believed to draw out evil spirits that were causing ailments, but it is regaining popularity due to its beneficial healing power and highly antiseptic qualities.
This homemade drawing salve stays true to its name because the ingredients not only pull out impurities, but also draws out foreign objects by softening the skin. This softening can also create pus that helps push any foreign object or poison out of the wounded area.
I consider homemade drawing salve a must-have in your first aid kit, especially if you are out in the wilderness on a hike, but it can do just as well at home making it a quick go-to for just about any skin irritation or small wound. While you can purchase drawing salve and may have heard of the popular brand Prid Drawing Salve, I find that making my own is better so that I can ensure I have ingredients that are safe and effective.
How to Make Homemade Drawing Salve
To make this powerfully healing drawing salve, I recommend to prepare your calendula-infused olive oil a few days in advance.
Using a double-boiler (or a glass boil in a pan of water), place the shea butter and coconut oil in the pan. On low heat, melt these two ingredients and stir. Shea butter is a favorite of mine because it adds just the right thickness while helping treat any skin irritation and aid in cell regeneration. And, of course, benefit-rich coconut oil is a must-ingredient due to the phenomenal antibacterial properties it contains.
Next, add the calendula-infused olive oil, honey and arnica oil. Blend well. In the same species as marigolds, calendula is an amazing flower that offers true antibacterial benefits. The acids that are found within the oils of the calendula plant are both antimicrobial and antiviral, which is why you want this as an ingredient in your drawing salve.
Additionally, honey must be included since it offers natural antibacterial wound-healing effects, and honey helps the body to naturally produce hydrogen peroxide, making it nearly impossible for bacteria to thrive. A raw honey or Manuka honey salve is ideal. Arnica oil works wonders due to the helanalin it contains, which is a lactone long known in folk medicine to be a healing agent. (1)
Now, add the aloe vera, vitamin E oil and activated charcoal and continue to mix. Aloe vera is famous for healing the skin of any irritations to include wounds. Activated charcoal helps remove toxins from the affected area while reducing any itchy feeling. You can’t go wrong with vitamin E oil since it is the perfect healing agent, reducing inflammation while speeding up cell regeneration.
Once all of these ingredients have been well blended, add the frankincense and tea tree oil. Frankincense is a true healer of most anything and can even help reduce any scarring that may occur due to the wound. Tea tree oil makes a great partner with loads of antibacterial benefits and can help prevent any infection.
To use your DIY drawing salve, apply a small amount to the affected area and gently rub. Leaving it on overnight may be needed to allow time for the skin to soften, especially if you have splinters. Applying a loose bandage can help prevent staining of your clothing or bed covers.
Some cases may require two or three nights of application. Once you see the end of the splinter, for example, gently grab it using tweezers, and pull it firmly outward. You will need to be careful so that it does not break as you pull. For boils and other skin inflammation, gently rub the salve directly onto the area.
Note of caution: I recommend making your own drawing salve. Another name for drawing salve is black salve. Some reports indicate that there are misperceptions in its use, in particular in relation to skin cancer. Some ingredients in store-bought versions may be harmful to the skin. (2)
Homemade Drawing Salve with Honey & Calendula
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
- 2 tablespoons calendula Infused olive oil
- 1 tablespoon arnica oil
- 1 tablespoon aloe vera
- 1 teaspoon activated charcoal
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons shea butter
- 10 drops frankincense essential oil
- 10 drops tea tree oil
- To make this powerfully healing drawing salve, you may want to prepare your calendula infused olive oil a few days in advance. The recipe can be found here.
- Using a double boiler or a glass boil in a pan of water, place the shea butter and coconut oil. On low heat, melt these two ingredients and stir.
- Next, add the calendula infused olive oil, honey and arnica oil. Blend well.
- Now, add the aloe vera, vitamin E oil and activated charcoal and continue to mix.
- Once all of these ingredients have been well blended, add the frankincense and tea tree oil.