Homemade Herbal Drawing Salve

This drawing salve is great for splinters, and it is so easy to make! I love being able to pick fresh herbs and other items directly from my yard and be able to use them. This is can also be good for wounds your animals may get.


I have been taking a class from the Herbal Academy of New England for a couple months. It has been a really interesting experience learning about all the natural ingredients and their unique abilities to heal the body. Recently, they started an introductory class that is a lot of fun and very affordable.

Online Herbal Class for Beginners
Click here to explore the class!
In the latest section of my class, I made a drawing salve and the ingredients are an interesting mixture. A drawing salve is used to help treat minor skin irritations. This particular one is used for treating boils, insect bites, and splinters. Each ingredient has a special purpose and when combined, they are potent.
Plantain Infused Olive Oil
Plantain is a weed that grows wild and is probably in everybody’s yard. Plantain can be cut while in the yard, chewed and placed on insect bites immediately when they happen for relief. By itself, plantain is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory.
Bentonite is known as a healing clay. It is made from volcanic ash, and it actually produces an electric charge. Because of this charge, when activated, using a liquid like water or vinegar, it has an ability to draw out toxins and chemicals, much like a sponge can absorb water. (Make sure the clay never touches metal such as spoons or bowls- it will neutralize the electric charge)
Activated charcoal is interesting. It has many uses both internally and externally. Highly porous, the charcoal pulls bacterial and toxins into the pores on its surface and traps them. (I actually grind it down a bit more than it comes to help it absorb into the salve better.)
Beeswax is obviously used to change the texture of this liquid and turn it into a salve. However, that is not its only purpose. Beeswax acts as a barrier, trapping the healing ingredients next to the skin.
Castor Oil is the notorious laxative. However, when applied topically, it is an anti-inflammatory, helps skin remain hydrated, fights infections, and is known to heal cuts and wounds.
Finally, our essential oils: Clove, Rosemary, Lemon, Lavender, and Eucalyptus
Lavender is credited, in this instance, with its amazing anti-bacterial qualities.
Clove is great as an antiseptic, and is often used to treat bug bites and cuts.
Lemon is a natural bacterial infection fighter.
Rosemary is credited with having the ability to kill bacteria and viruses on the surface of the skin. It is known to improve circulation, and will help with cell renewal at the site of injury.
Eucalyptus is added for the anti-inflammatory properties that is is known to have, and it has a unique ability to calm the skin. It is also a very popular treatment by itself for bites, burns, and blisters.
As you can see, each of these ingredients potentially have incredible healing abilities on their own, but when combined into this salve, you have created a anti-inflammatory and healing bomb!
Drawing Salve Ingredients

The Recipe

Homemade Drawing Salve

1 1/2 cups olive oil infused with plantain
1/2 cup Castor Oil
1 ounce beeswax
1/2 cup activated charcoal
1/2 cup Bentonite clay
1 teaspoon total of essential oils : clove, rosemary, lemon, lavender, and eucalyptus
To make the olive oil infused with plantain: I pulled fresh plantain from my yard and placed it in a small crock pot with the olive oil for about 4 hours on low. You can also infuse it by placing the ingredients in a jar and allowing it to sit for about ten days. Then, strain the oil and press the leaves out to get as much as possible. (or, I put the leaves and the oil in the food processor and liquified them. This way the salve gets as much benefit from the plantain as possible.
Then, I placed it in a small glass pan and slowly warmed it up enough to melt the beeswax. Slowly stir in the remaining ingredients, I used a wooden spoon to keep the bentonite clay active. Pour into small glass jars and allow mixture to cool. It will slowly start solidifying, so don’t add more beeswax than it calls for, or it will be a solid, not a salve!
plantain 2

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