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Black salve has been around since 1858, where it was used by Native Americans, however, it is now currently illegal to produce and sell as a cure to cancer. Black salve has nothing to do with activated charcoal paste or masks

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The FDA says, “Beware of products claiming to cure cancer on websites or social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram. According to Nicole Kornspan, M.P.H., a consumer safety officer at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they’re rampant these days.” Black Salve is considered by the FDA to fall in this category. “It’s always possible to find someone or some company hawking bogus cancer ‘treatments,’ which come in many forms.”

They go on to say, “‘There are legal ways for patients to access investigational drugs, for example taking part in clinical trials’, says Kornspan. Patients looking to try an experimental cancer treatment should talk to their doctor about treatment options. For more information, visit the National Cancer Institute Clinical Trials website.”

Medical Law Perspectives says, “Black salve is fake cancer cure-found irrelevant for blemish use injury.” They reported a Montana woman suffered pain and damage to her face after  using Black salve. “Thee jury did not find by clear and convincing evidence that the naturopathic physician acted with malice. Persuaded by the facts in the case and informed by the clear jury instructions, the jury refused to award punitive damages.”

Healthline says, “It’s extremely harmful alternative skin cancer treatment. Use of this treatment isn’t backed by scientific research. In fact, the FDA has labeled it a ‘fake cancer cure,’ and it’s illegal to sell the ointment as a cancer treatment. Salves intended as an alternative cancer treatment are no longer legally allowed on the market.”

Black salve is available for purchase by less and less suppliers as they are pushed out of business. Black Salve is not recommended by the FDA or the NIH for use against cancers. Saying it is controversial is an understatement. Black salve is used by veterinarians, on animals, regularly. says, “As Alpha Omega Labs stated, the products found at and are NOT quality salves and are a waste of money, like many others being marketed as true black salves.” Alpha Omega Labs was shut down by the FDA in 2003 due to “introducing a new unapproved drug,” and a mail fraud charge. They are working on being, “re-established in Guayaquil, Ecuador.”

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To make black salve, the SDA Network says in a program called One Answer To Cancer, to combine 50 grams of Bloodroot.(two packages will be needed) 50 grams of Chaparral, 50 grams of Graviola, 50 grams of Galangal, each or which are powerful herbs. Combine these ingredients in a bowl. In a pot on the stove add 500 ml of water. To the water, add 250 grams of zinc chloride. Stirring frequently, bring the mixture to a boil. The stirring is meant to remove lumps of powder, incorporating the ingredients. The dry herbs are added to the pot on the stove and stir continuously until there are no lumps. After the mixture is smooth, no lumps, stir in 25 mls of DMSO and stir to combine. Add 25 ml of glycerine and stir to combine. Let the mixture simmer for 15 minutes. The mixture will have a similar consistency to peanut butter or paste. This mixture makes a lot, more than you could use. Let the mixture sit for two days and use on one questionable spot at a time. They recommend storing the Black Salve in the refrigerator in separate jars, allowing it to keep for forever, even though it continues to dry out a bit. Water re hydrates the salve, if needed. 

Elaine Hollingsworth, Director of Hippocrates Health Center of Australia, says, “It is so valuable, we believe it should be in every medicine cabinet in every home.”

If there is an open lesion, zinc chloride will sting. 

FDA recognizes zinc chloride as GRAS, generally recognized as safe for feeding or dietary substances.  

To use black salve, first, the area of treatment is washed with a loofah sponge to clean the area, slough of dead skin cells and bring  blood to the area. Black salve is applied to cancer areas or cancer spots with a wooden stick, like a popsicle stick, and covered with a Band-aide. Only one spot should be done at a time. Large areas, areas larger than a dime, should only be done under a physician’s care due to kidney stress and other potential issues. As days pass, the perimeter of the area should be washed with a cotton swab dipped in conventional hydrogen peroxide and a new bandage applied daily. Salve is not removed or altered during the process, if the area is large, new salve can be added each day when the wound is dressed and can be added once for each of the first three days. The person feels a pulling from deep within the tissues, sometimes this can happen immediately when the salve is applied. The area generally turns red, often within the first 15 minutes. the normal redness looks similar to redness around an infected wound. Usually within 30 minutes of application, the wound begins to seep. Within two hours, the area begins to raise with swelling. At six hours the area generally turns more raised and red with white tissue beginning to from around the area perimeter. At roughly day five, the area is often crusty with white and areas begin to lift out pus and debris. Pronounced swelling and redness should be present. Usually around day six, the area being lifted out begins to separate from the surrounding skin. Around day 7 the core begins to separate from the skin surrounding area. On day 8 the core is nearly released from the skin. Usually on day 9 the core falls out leaving clean margins, usually it will stick to the bandage and just lift out as the bandage is removed. A crater of healthy skin will remain. For the squeamish, it is hard to see. due to the redness, swelling and removed Vitamin E and aloe can be applied to reduce scarring. In just over a week, the crater is filled with healthy tissue. After a month, the area become less and less As time passes, there is little to no sign anything happened in the area. To view the process, click here. Checking with your doctor prior to any medical process is best. says, “If you feel “nothing” after three to six hours, it is most likely that nothing more will happen: Black salve has failed to come into direct contact with the cancer or there is no cancer present.”

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine says they reviewed cases of black salve use. They say, “Black salve is not a natural therapy. It contains significant concentrations of synthetic chemicals. Black salve does not appear to possess tumour specificity with in vitro and in vivo evidence indicating normal cell toxicity. Black salve does appear to cure some skin cancers, although the cure rate for this therapy is currently unknown.’

They recommend, “The use of black salve should be restricted to clinical research in low risk malignancies located at low risk sites until a better understanding of its efficacy and toxicity is developed. Where a therapy capable of harm is already being used by patients, it is ethically irresponsible not to study and analyse its effects. Although cautionary tales are valuable, black salve research needs to move beyond the case study and into the carefully designed clinical trial arena. Only then can patients be properly informed of its true benefits and hazards.”

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine said, “(Black salve) can be dangerous for use without medical supervision. Patients should be educated about the lack of objective evidence supporting the clinical efficacy of black salve as a skin cancer treatment, as well as the possible cosmetic defects resulting from tissue necrosis secondary to the effects of bloodroot and zinc chloride.”

JAMA Dermatology reported a case where a 70 year-old-man, with a history of basal cell carcinoma came for medical treatment after using black salve. Concerns over pain and discharge at the site of black salve prompted further research. They reported, “The ulcerated biopsy site was excised shortly thereafter, and the final pathology report demonstrated no residual carcinoma, although there was concern that the original biopsy site might have been obscured by the induced inflammation.”

In cancer situations, it is best to work with a knowledgeable practitioner. Black salve should not be considered a sole solution. 

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, CGP, D.PSc. who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. She works as a Certified GAPS Practitioner who sees clients in her office, Skype and phone. She has been published in Wise Traditions, spoken at two Weston A. Price Conferences, Certified GAPS Practitioner Trainings, has been on many radio shows, television shows and writes for Nourishing Plot. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia, through food, she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. She is a Chapter Leader for The Weston A. Price Foundation. [email protected]

“GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.



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