What is Black Salve Ointment?

Black Salve ointment is a drawing ointment made from Bloodroot, Galangal, Graviola, Chaparral, Zinc Chloride, Glycerine, DMSO, and Distilled Water.

Long used as a drawing ointment, in recent times people have claimed that it is effective at drawing out cancer. Although there are yet to be proven clinical trials on humans for this, there is still an overwhelming level of belief from online communities who support the use of black salve.

I’ll leave the conclusion in your hands to make on this dimension of using black salve to treat certain conditions.

This article is provided as an account of my use for information purposes only and is not an endorsement or a promotion to sell black salve.

My Experience with Black Salve

Recently I tried an experiment with black salve, or black sav as some may know it. There has been a lot more talk in the circles I’m in about using black sav for cancer treatment, mainly skin cancer.

Before we get too deep into this, I would like to state that this article by no means is intended to be medical advice. If you require treatment I urge you to seek professional advice.

My experiments have led to the question ‘What is black salve ointment?’ being asked pretty consistently.

To reiterate the point, this is by no means an endorsement that black salve cures cancer. There are a lot of other sources out there that claim that black salve, among other dietary approaches, cures cancer, but this is not a statement that I’m making here.

One of the bigger changes, other than phasing out animal products from my diet, has been the reintroduction of marine vegetables.

As a child, I was regularly exposed to seaweed in my diet in some form or another. My Grandmother used it in a lot of her preparations as a Naturopath, and even in her cooking.

Sea Moss has become a staple in our house again, with the healing properties of this amazing algae being used as a dietary supplement, and a topical application.

In the photos shown here, you will see the progression over time where six months of sea moss being a part of my diet, and my regimen, has made a noticeable difference to the health of my skin.

My wife, who suffered from acne break outs during times when she was stressed, has also found that a plant-based diet and the use of Sea Moss has also helped with her complexion.

So I’ve added an update to this post down the bottom where you will be able to see the area treated by the black salve and how that looks after 155 days. But I also want you to look at the fine lines that were around the bottom of my eyes as a comparison.

Now, before I decided to jump on in and give black salve a try on a couple of spots that were of concern, I thoroughly researched the impacts of using the product and found that there were two sides to the discussion.

I also urge you to do your research and satisfy yourself about your conviction, either way, before buying black salve or using black salve.

Disappointingly, I came across some incorrect scaremongering sources online when looking for information related to what is black salve ointment.

Particularly on YouTube, with the likes of Myles Power, who, in his video as shown below, states that the black salve will indiscriminately burn any tissue that it comes with.

I have found this is not the case. I have applied black salve to several areas for months with no result at all.

Not even a hint of reddish inflammation on the skin. My wife has done the same on some areas she hoped that the black salve would affect, alas, no dice.

She didn’t experience any irritation. Her father had applied his in several areas, some responded to the ointment, while others didn’t.

And then you have the well-known Dr. Axe, who touches on the question of what black salve ointment and the history of black salve and how it has been used effectively for thousands of years.

To be fair, you do need to consider both sides of the discussion, and go with what feels right to you, and what makes sense to you. For your viewing, and in the interests of being objective, you can find Dr. Axe’s video below.

In this article, I will share with you the first actual response that black salve has triggered for me, and walk you through a description of each day’s progress so you can see what has happened to me.

All of the images in this post are exactly as they were taken on a day-by-day basis with no editing aside from cropping and changing the resolution of the image to improve the loading time on the page.

For the original photos, you can go to Google Drive and see them in their unaltered state if you are skeptical.

Yes, there are a lot of gross and scary-looking images of what black salve does online, but I believe that the research is not conclusive enough to be able to say that this should, or should not be marketed or promoted in the ways that it is.

I would like to see more healthy discussion about what is black salve ointment without the emotion that it often comes with. So, to not scare or inaccurately promote or be seen to market this, I have simply documented what I experienced in my use of black salve.

What is in this ointment?

As we look at what black salve ointment is, we will also need to consider thinking about how does black salve work. Black salve ointment, sometimes known as black sab medicine or black sav medicine, is a mixture of the following ingredients:

  • Bloodroot powder 1
  • Galangal powder 2
  • Graviola powder 3
  • Chaparral powder 4
  • Zinc chloride
  • Distilled water
  • DMSO 70%
  • Vegetable Glycerine

There are a few manufacturers of black sav medicine, or black sab medicine, as it is known in some countries that essentially stick to these core ingredients.

Some will vary with the addition of other compounds or essential oils, depending upon how they are marketing their product.

Many of the people I know recommend making your own black salve instead of buying it. Basically, they want to ensure that they have complete control over what they are using, and not be given something they don’t agree with using for their own health reasons, beliefs, and values.

And that’s fine, they are entitle to believe what they do, and I don’t seek to question that. I simply seek to question the effect of the use of black salve.

How does this Salve work?

I will walk you through the journey I have taken using black salve and hopefully help to demonstrate how black salve works for you.

This is a journal based entry that details what I observed from the moment of applying black salve to the first spot that it responded to, right through to the end result.

Please keep in mind that this is written as the process is taking place and I’m not certain of what the final outcome will be at the time of writing.

From what I understand about my question ‘how does black salve work?’ it somehow goes about attacking a layer of protein that apparently forms around an abnormal cell structure.

According to various sources I have read, the process is one where once the protein surrounding this abnormal cell structure is removed, the body then begins to purge (for want of a better way of putting it) this cell structure over time.

Before you even attempt to buy or use black salve, I implore you to make sure that you do your research.

Don’t just go off the hype of a miracle cancer cure (which is still unconfirmed) in questionable sources with articles bearing titles like ‘Use Black Sav For Cancer Cure’ or websites with emphatic text in caps locks.

This really is quite desperate, and lacks a certain credibility. Nor should you be put off learning more by the abundance of black sav horror stories. Keep an objective mind, and find the facts that you can make sense of.

Using Black Salve Day 1

After noticing a slightly lighter coloured spot to the left of my nose that had taken on a rougher feeling I decided to give the black salve a try.

I thought this was initially a blind pimple, as it had felt like it was sitting beneath the surface of the skin, about the depth that a blind pimple normally would for me.

After trying to encourage it to flush out, as most pimples would, it didn’t seem to want to budge. After a couple of weeks of no change I had scratched at it, squeezed it, rubbed it and put it through all sorts of other rough poking and prodding.

I just wanted it to go.

I left it alone for a couple of days and suddenly remembered that I had a small jar of black salve in the bathroom. I had previously tested a few suspect spots, but they did not respond in the way that I expected they would.

There was no tingling or burning sensation after the application. There was quite literally nothing.

Given that the education we have received in Australia around identifying suspicious blemishes that could be cancerous, I didn’t expect anything to come from this test either.

In one of the offices I work out of there are health and safety posters up that are intended to promote awareness of good health. One of them is a poster that displays photographic images of what questionable moles and skin markings can look like.

This is all in an effort to help people spot things like melanoma.

What I have to the left of my nose is nothing like anything listed on that poster. Nor is it anything like hat I’ve seen on medical advice and government websites about skin health.

It had been about an hour since I had a shower that morning, so my skin was in a normal state, and not stimulated from exposure to hot water.

After applying a very small amount of the black salve to this area I affixed a plaster to keep the paste from being rubbed off or flaking away.

I had been advised not to use a lot of the black salve paste as it doesn’t take much to be effective. Within about half an hour I had noticed that there was a tingling sensation that had developed in the area.

This was not the sort of mild itching that I can sometimes get from a plaster as the skin is stretched in ways that it is normally not.

The sensation was directly under the plaster, right over the area that the black salve had been applied to. This tingling increased in intensity to become more like a mild burning sensation, and it stayed in that one spot.

I was aware that some form of mild irritation was to be expected if the spot that the black salve was applied to had a specific cell structure that it is intended to work on.

My father-in-law had used the same batch of black salve that we have at home over the past eight months with results similar to those I noticed.

After more than a dozen treated areas resulting in tissue being drawn out, he has healed without any sign of scaring.

This same batch of black salve is one that a dear friend of mine gave us some from, and she had advised us on the recommended use.

All of that in mind, there was no reason for concern that I had about what was going on with how the black salve was working. The sensation continued for the rest of the day as I left the plaster with the black salve on for about 12 hours.

What is Black Salve? Find this image on Instagram.

After removing the plaster, most of the black salve was stuck to the fabric of the plaster. My skin had taken on a slightly reddish tinge around the edges, and the surface of the skin where the salve had been applied to had turned a murky yellow.

It looked like it had been cauterized to me, but it still felt like there was a noticeable sense of feeling around it.

I was not thinking so much about ‘what is black salve ointment?’ at this time, nor was I concerned about ‘how does black salve work?’ as my initial thought was ‘Oh crap, could that be cancerous?’.

And if it was I began to wonder what else could be that the Doctors have not noticed when I’ve had medical checkups.

I had a warm shower and allowed what was left of the paste to soften in the water. Not all of the salve had softened and come off, so I was told by my wife that her Father had recommended hydrogen peroxide to clear the remainder of the salve from the surface of the skin.

This did help with freeing up some of what was left, but it appeared that a few flecks of the black salve were encrusted into the cauterised-looking skin.

As I expect that this layer of skin will eventually come away on its own, I’m not that worried about a few little black flecks of salve still being there.

To reduce the chances that I might unknowingly scratch the area and cause damage to the skin, I applied a fresh plaster before going to bed that night.

This was a clean plaster with nothing on it, and was only intended to keep the area from being scratched in my sleep. At this stage the area was still tingling a little. Not as much as it had been earlier in the day.

What is Black Salve Ointment – Day 1

Using Black Sav Day 2

Waking up the next morning I didn’t notice any tingling sensations in the area where the salve had been applied. For the most part the skin felt relatively normal, except for a little bit of tightness and the faint sensation that something was sitting on my cheek.

It felt a bit like when a fly first lands on you, but doesn’t move after that. The appearance of the area where the salve had been applied had changed a little.

It looked like it had expanded a bit more compared to the day before. There was no sign of any kind of pain at all, but I did find that I was trying not to scratch that particular itch.

Again, as I went to bed, I applied a plaster to protect the area as I slept and experienced no discomfort at all during the night. After my wife and I spent some time discussing our understanding of ‘how does black salve work?’ the next thing I knew was it was time to get up for work.

What is Black Salve Ointment – Day 2

Using Black Sav Day 3

Today it is Monday. The first day of the work week, and I’ve got to go in to the office. No one has said anything yet about the appearance of the yellowish spot on my cheek.

The only real conversation that has been held around this has been between my wife and me. This has largely centered around observing what is happening on the surface, and how the treated area looks.

Today I found myself doing some more research into the effects of using black salve. The suggestions on YouTube for one are proving to be more doom and gloom than I have ever noticed before.

What I have observed is that the information that the vast majority of these YouTubers who are warning of the dangers of black salve is not true to what I’ve experienced.

And what’s more, they are typically neither qualified to comment, nor are they speaking from a perspective where they have used black salve and sharing their experience.

Now, I don’t mean to be pedantic about this, but if you’re going to share your opinion on something, make sure you are speaking from a personally informed base where you can speak with some level of authority.

I would rather consume this type of information than a regurgitated stream of stuff you’ve read or hard from somewhere else that you ultimately know nothing about. Ok, rant over, but, that’s where I’m at today.

As I did the night before, I applied a fresh plaster to the treated area to protect it while sleeping. There are still a few small flecks of black salve on the surface of the skin, but there is no discomfort apart from an itchy sensation that comes and goes.

Using Black Salve Day 4

As non-eventful as it may sound, today was really like any other normal day as far as how the treated area goes. The black slave hasn’t had a ‘burn everything it touches’ effect on my face, and there’s no itching or burning sensation.

The appearance of the skin as shown in the photos displays what looks like the transition from one single scab-like formation to two.

Again, I covered this with a plaster before going to bed to allow it to rest and be protected from any inadvertent bumps or scratches in the night. At this stage I am hoping that there is some clarity you are getting from this to address your question ‘how does a black slave work?’

While at work today, one of my colleagues had asked me about the mark on my face. I had not worn a plaster during the day at this stage as I wanted the area to be able to get all of the airflow and natural light that it needed.

In the discussion we had I mentioned that I was using black slaves. He had never heard of this and wanted to know more about what is black salve ointment.

We had a chat for a little while and I suggested that he Google the topic and do his research. I had not offered to supply him with any, nor did I advise him on where he could obtain any as I only wanted him to do his own research.

What is Black Sav Ointment – Day 4

Using Black Salve Day 7

Some days had gone by with no real noticeable change. I continued to wash and dry as normal, and to sleep with a plaster on to reduce the chances that I would scratch at the scab in my sleep.

Today I noticed that the scab that had started to form began to take on a white outline, as most scab will when they are lifting away from the body. This didn’t present any itching sensation.

When I smiled I could feel it lifting away from my face, as if it were close to coming off. With the research that I had done into a black salve and how to use it, I left the scab alone so the body could do its own thing.

My wife said that she could see that it was lifting away and that it looked like there was nothing much more to come. Being the size of a grain of Buckwheat in the area it covered, not the depth, it looked like any other normal scab.

The colleague I spoke with a few days earlier about what is black salve ointment had not mentioned anything more to me, nor had he taken any steps towards learning about the subject.

Like some things in life, people only ask out of curiosity, and no real basis of interest.

What is Black Salve Ointment – Day 7

Using Black Sab Day 10

I had continued along the same with washing and aftercare as I normally had. Shaving was not an issue as this sat higher on my cheek than the area I would shave.

When I shave I normally use a facecloth and warm to hot water after I have finished. This I feel freshens up my skin, and makes it feel less irritated.

I always shave after having a shower, and I never dry my face before I shave. This regime did not result in the scab being wiped off as I was very careful to not wipe the area, rather, I would pat it down.

I make my blend of shaving oil which I have used for the past 15 years, and I never use aftershave, only warm to hot water.

The scab today had looked much more like it was hanging on by the last thread. It hadn’t come off as a part of my showering or shaving at that stage.

Later in the day I was in the bathroom and could see that it was very close to coming off. I was scrunching my face and smiling to see how it was behaving, and it had fallen free.

What was left behind was a slightly reddish patch of skin that did not feel like it had the same nodular bump below the surface. It felt smoother than it did before the black slave was applied to it.

As I mentioned previously, I had applied black salve to other areas and had absolutely no result or reaction, not even tingling. This was the same batch of black slaves and it had reacted with something in the skin this time.

The other areas where the black salve had been applied, but had not reacted, were on my wrist, forearm, neck, and shin. None of these suspicious-looking spots that I had responded to the treatment. The one on my face was the first to respond at all.

Using Black Salve Day 27

A week after the scab had fallen away, the redness of the skin had reduced substantially and there was no sign of any roughness.

I tested the black salve on another patch of skin on my jaw that looked to me like it was not quite normal, but this, like the other tests before my cheek, did not respond.

What is Black Salve Ointment – Day 27

Using Black Salve Day 155

Over a couple of moths I had noticed that a light scab had consistently formed over the treated area. A bit like dry flaky skin that was rough to touch.

Being a little on the obsessive side I couldn’t leave it alone and kept picking at it, so much so that my wife began to slap my hand when she saw me reaching up to scratch the area.

There was nothing itchy or irritating about it. I just had one of those behaviours that needed changing. So, here we are at day 155, and from about day 30, I have been using Sea Moss topically as a part of my routine.

This was simply blended into a gel after washing and soaking, then applied morning and night after having a shower.

You can see from the two photos shown here that there are noticeable results in the healing, but also in the appearance of fine lines around my eyes.

Head over to our Sea Moss page to find out more about what Sea Moss is and how easily you can make it a part of your routine.

What is Black Salve Ointment – Day 155

Conclusion – What is Black Sav ointment?

After having tested the black salve drawing ointment, and seeing what my father-in-law had experienced (from the same batch of black salve) I feel that I have a much better understanding of what is black salve ointment.

Before you attempt to use black sav yourself please keep in mind that it may not be legal in your jurisdiction, and self-diagnosis is not always the most effective means of a basis for treatment.

Do your research and take care not to constantly treat the same area again and again unless you know what you are doing. This is not medical advice, nor is it an endorsement for your using black salve.


  1. Sanguinaria canadensis: Traditional Medicine, Phytochemical Composition, Biological Activities and Current Uses” – A. Croaker, G. King, J. Pyne, S. Dukie, L.Liu, 27 August 2016 [PubMed Central] [Archive] ↩︎
  2. “Galangal Root: Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects” – A. Petre, 14 November 2019 [Healthline] [Archive] ↩︎
  3. “What is graviola and how is it used?” – M. Adcox, 25 January 2024 [Medical News Today] [Archive] ↩︎
  4. “Chaparral ” – Encyclopedia.com Staff, Last checked 29 February 2024 [Encyclopedia.com] [Archive] ↩︎

Last Updated on 2 months by D&C Editorial Team


About the Author

Matthew has been on an active journey towards living a healthy life from a young age. Influenced by his Grandmother, a practicing Naturopath who served her community from the 1940's to the 1980's, his views on living holistically were shaped from a young age. Growing up in different parts of Australia, his connection with the Ocean and a passion for sustainability comes through in everything he does and shares.

"I'm not a Doctor, and I don't play one on the Internet." - me

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