When it comes to building a natural first aid kit – this DIY drawing salve is a must! It is the perfect remedy for drawing out bites, stings, and even deep splinters.
What’s a Drawing Salve?
A drawing salve is named for its ability to draw things out of the skin. When toxins get stuck in the skin the combination of ingredients in the drawing salve work to effectively draw those things out. It has been used as a traditional remedy for hundreds of years. The drawing salve works by pulling foreign substances, toxins, and unwanted particles that make their way deep into the skin to the skin’s surface so that they can be eliminated.
Our Experience Using Drawing Salve
Last year was our first year making this salve which I wanted to have on hand just in case. Unfortunately, “just in case” turned into being used many times by almost every member of our family. The first application was for ticks. Last year was a terrible season for ticks and every time we found one on any of us, besides saving the tick and putting it in a plastic bag in the freezer, we’d apply a thick layer of drawing salve on the spot where the tick was, cover it with a bandage and let it sit overnight.
After tick season wound down, then came the bees. After not having been stung by a bee since childhood, last year was the year of the bee sting in our house. There were several stings that happened and each time, we immediately applied this drawing salve to the sting and it made for extremely quick healing and very minimal reactions.
I was so glad we had our “just in case” drawing salve on hand for the many occasions that required it.
Case Study – Bee Stings
Five years ago, was our first jump into the world of backyard beekeeping. And, my husband’s first bee sting since childhood. He strolled into the house, one early summer day and casually mentioned that he got a couple of bee stings on his hand. Tough guy that he is, he just went about his normal day without doing anything to said bee stings. While within a couple of hours his hand was hugely swollen and the stings were extremely irritating. At this point we quickly realized our mistake and grabbed at anything we could to rub on for some relief.
Fast forward, last year, he managed to get close to a dozen bee stings by the year’s end. Every time he got stung, he immediately went in and applied this DIY drawing salve to the sting and there was no residual swelling, minimal pain and itching, and instantaneous relief. That being said, we are true believers in the power of this drawing salve!
Active Ingredients in DIY Drawing Salve
Activated Charcoal: Basic charcoal is made from wood, coconut shell, peat, coal, or petroleum but the difference in “activated” charcoal is a form of charcoal that has been processed to contain pores that can trap chemicals and prevent them from being absorbed by the body.
Activated charcoal is a common remedy to remove poisons from the body. It has also had applications for the treatment of digestive issues. Activated charcoal is black and super messy but it’s a very helpful thing to have on hand.
Bentonite Clay: Bentonite clay comes from ash taken from volcanoes. It is dried out and filtered before being sold. The benefits of bentonite clay include:
- Healing skin conditions
- Aiding in detoxification
- Protective against bacterial infections
- Supporting digestion and respiration
The main mechanism by which bentonite clay works is by binding to toxins in the body, almost magnet like, and removing them from the body.
Plantain: This is optional but we love to make a plantain infused olive oil to add to this salve. Next to dandelion, plantain is one of the most abundant weeds with so many beneficial medicinal uses. Plantain is also known to draw toxicity from the body. It has a long history being used to stimulate the liver, and is highly effective against bites, stings, and other irritations of the skin.
How to Apply:
DIY drawing salve is extremely effective against combating the negative effects of stings and bites, as well as painful splinters that may have wedged their way deep into the skin, helping to protect against infection. Simply rub a thick layer of the drawing salve over the wounded area and cover with a band aid. It can be quite messy, so you will definitely want to cover up the area where the salve has been applied. Keep the area covered overnight and, in the morning, you can uncover and clean off the drawing salve.
How to store:
I like to store our drawing salve in these 2 oz containers. These little containers can make a great gift item or are small enough to have on hand in your purse or diaper bag. Alternatively, you can keep them in any glass storage jar with lid. I like to store in a cool dark place.
1. Put olive oil and 2 tsp beeswax in a heat safe glass container (I use a 1 cup pyrex measuring cup).
2. Place the glass container in a pot with about 1-2” of water.
3. Heat the pot and water until the beeswax is fully melted.
4. Once melted, remove from heat.
5. Stir in the charcoal and clay and add essential oils if adding.
6. Pour salve into containers.
*There are 2 methods to infuse the plantain in olive oil. You can either place plantain leaves covered in oil and let it sit for a week or two and then use. Or you can heat the oil lightly on the stove with the plantain leaves and then strain the leaves out and use right away.
Another of the most frequently used items in our natural skincare regimen is our DIY magnesium tallow balm. This one is a must to promote restful and deep sleep.
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- 1/3 cup olive oil infused with plantain* (the plantain is optional)
- 2 tsp beeswax
- 1 tbsp activated charcoal
- 1 tbsp bentonite clay
- Essential oils (optional)
- Put olive oil and 2 tsp beeswax in a heat safe glass container (I use a 1 cup pyrex measuring cup).
- Place the glass container in a pot with about 1-2” of water.
- Heat the pot and water until the beeswax is fully melted.
- Once melted, remove from heat.
- Stir in the charcoal and clay and add essential oils if adding.
- Pour salve into containers.