Learn how to make draw salve with this simple recipe. Drawing salves can come in handy for removing splinters, relieving bee stings, and other skin irritations. It is made with natural ingredients, essential oils, and activated charcoal.
Last week we had some beautiful fall weather, so I took my kid’s apple picking with some friends. Well, one of the little girls went to pick an apple off the ground and was stung by a bee.
I had some lavender in my bag and rolled it on her. Lavender is really good for relieving bee stings and helping with skin irritations.
We then noticed the stinger was still in her. OUCH! The apple orchard had some drawing salve for sale, so my friend bought that and rubbed it on the bee sting.
My wheels started turning. I wanted to make some drawing salve to have on hand. Not only for bee stings but also for removing splinters, soothing skin irritations, and helping with spider bites.
I looked at the recipe on the tin and went home, and started experimenting. This salve didn’t have activated charcoal in it, which I knew I wanted to include in mine, so I had to change it up just a bit.
PIN IT FOR LATER
WHAT IS DRAWING SALVE?
Drawing salve is rubbed on the skin topically to help “draw” irritations under the skin out, hence the name. 😉 In some cases it can provide relief and reduce infections.
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WHAT IS ACTIVATED CHARCOAL?
Activated charcoal is a fine black powder made from bone char, bamboo, wood, coconut husk, peat, petroleum pitch, coal, olive pits, or sawdust.
You can make activated charcoal at home, or you can buy it on amazon.
It will most likely be a one-time purchase, as it lasts forever, and you only need a little bit for each use.
WHAT DOES ACTIVATED CHARCOAL DO?
Activated charcoal can be used to pull toxins and poisons out of the body. In fact, it is an excellent deep pore cleanser, helping to draw out impurities from the skin.
I bought some when we had a spider bite scare, and I decided I would always have some on hand, just in case.
As you can imagine, it is a mess. But if you need it, you won’t be worried about it. We have used it several times, and it will stain the skin slightly, but it goes away eventually.
Anytime we have an unidentified bite, sting, or rash, I will go to activated charcoal. I prefer to use it outside or in the bathtub to cut down on the mess.
WHAT ESSENTIAL OILS ARE BEST FOR DRAW SALVE?
Several essential oils can be used to help draw irritations out of the skin. I am using a blend of the 5 essential oils listed below in my recipe. You can use one or two or all of these to make a drawing salve.
Lavender essential oil is good for all things skin-related. I especially love using it because it is such a gentle oil. Lavender can soothe occasional skin irritations and be used to draw splinters out.
Learn more about lavender here.
Tea tree is another one of my go-to’s for skin irritations. It is a very cleansing and purifying essential oil that can help keep the area of concern clean.
Apply it topically to skin imperfections, stings, bites, or splinters.
Frankincense is known as the king of oils and can be used for so many things. It has several benefits for the body and skin.
Frankincense is a must for drawing salve! It can reduce swelling, redness and may help remove unwanted moles and skin tags.
Learn more about frankincense here.
Clove is a very powerful essential oil. It has immune-boosting properties, relieves skin irritations, and can keep the skin clean.
Clove is a hot essential oil and should not be applied to the skin without being diluted.
Basil essential oil is found in my anti-itching bug bite balm, and it is one of the best for bug bites. My poor husband got into a chigger nest, and believe me when I say he was covered in chigger bites.
Basil was his best friend.
Crushed-up basil leaves have been used to reduce swelling and pain from bites and stings for many years.
Instead of using fresh basil leaves, I use basil essential oil. It is easier and takes way less to be just as effective!
WHAT CAN YOU USE DRAWING SALVE FOR?
This salve is intended for external use only. It is generally safe to use on teenagers and adults.
If using on someone that is prone to sensitive skin, you may want to test it on the soles of the feet first and reduce the amount of essential oils.
Here are a few things the drawing salve can help with:
- Bug bites
- Ingrown toenails
- Ingrown hairs
- Skin tags
WHAT INGREDIENTS DO YOU USE TO MAKE A DRAW SALVE?
I will use beeswax, clay, and herb-infused olive oil in this recipe. These ingredients really add a lot of benefits to the skin, but if you are ever in a pinch, you can just use activated charcoal and essential oils.
The beeswax will be used to help hold the salve together and thicken it. I use beeswax in several of my homemade skin recipes!
It has anti-inflammatory properties and can heal skin wounds. It makes a protective barrier on the skin to help keep the area clean and clear of infections.
You can use kaolin or bentonite clay, both of which are great for the skin! I am using bentonite because I already had this on hand.
It is a powerful cleanser and can reduce impurities. Clay is found in many face masks and is used to help with acne.
HOW TO MAKE DRAW SALVE?
The first ingredient in the drawing salve is herb-infused olive oil. This is super easy to make, or you can buy a premade version similar to it. To make it, all you will need is a double boiler, herbs, and olive oil.
- Add a tablespoon of both loose-leaf comfrey and plantain to the top of a double boiler.
- Pour 5 tablespoons of olive oil on top and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes to an hour or until the oil is dark in color.
- Strain the herbs and add the oil back to the double boiler, along with beeswax and bentonite clay. Stir until melted.
- Remove the pot from the heat, allow it to cool slightly, and stir in activated charcoal and the essential oils.
- Transfer to an airtight container and secure the lid once it’s completely cooled.
How to use drawing salve
Smear just a small amount of the salve onto the affected area.
Wrap or cover it with a bandaid to keep the salve in place and to prevent stains.
Leave the salve on overnight and reapply as needed.
Frequently asked questions
How long should I leave the drawing salve on? It will take at least several hours for it to work. In some cases, you may need an additional application.
Will this draw salve stain clothing? Yes, though there is only a little charcoal in this recipe, it will stain everything it comes in contact with.
- Add the olive oil and loose-leaf herbs to the double boiler. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the oil is dark in color.
- Strain herbs off the oil with a cheesecloth. Discard herbs.
- Place herb-infused oil back into the double boiler along with the clay and beeswax, stirring often until melted.
- Remove from heat and allow it to cool slightly before whisking in activated charcoal and essential oils.
- Transfer to an airtight storage container.
Allow the drawing salve to cool entirely before securing the lid.
Apply a small amount of drawing salve to the affected area and cover it with a bandaid or a wrap.
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