Feb 182011

BLACK SALVE….aka…Drawing Salve, Ichthammol, Black Drawing Salve

UPDATE 6/22/14:  The salve I’ve been using (below) has either gotten extremely hard to find or extremely EXPENSIVE.  That said, I’ve ordered this Squire Drawing Salve  at Amazon.com (NOTE: the image below shows that the label is blue – it is NOT.  The product I have is the red label you see when clicking on the link):

drawing salve

Now, I can’t tell you how well it works compared to what I had been using, but can tell you that it contains the same ingredients as the Perrigo brand and is a drawing salve like Perrigo’s.  The other important piece that I have noticed once I received this, is that the scent of this brand’s isn’t as strong as Perrigo’s….whether that be good or bad – I don’t know yet.

I do know that it smells exactly like the Prid brand drawing salve, which I know has worked on healing other issues on humans.  That said, I’m COUNTING on it working as well as Perrigo’s and will update you after I’ve tried it out on a cat’s abscess (it’s only a matter of time before one of the 13 cats gets another).


I have been dying to tell you about my encounters with Black Salve. So, for you who don’t know what it is, or would like to read what black salve is all about….here you go.  This stuff has saved me so much money in vet bills you can’t even begin to imagine!  Plus, I have saved countless trips to the doctors using Black Salve….read on!

What is this salve?  Well…if you go to a store you would more than likely find…Ichthammol ointment on the shelf, or many times you need to ask the pharmacist for it, as it’s kept in the pharmacy.  I have asked some pharmacists for Black Salve, and have them not have a clue what I was talking about, as most only know it by Ichthammol ointment.  You can purchase alternative products made with herbs online and possibly in health food stores.  

For purposes of this writing, I am going to use the ingredients you’d find in Ichthammol ointment. It is made from sulfonated shale oil and combined with other ingredients, like lanolin or petroleum, to treat skin problems. It comes in different strength concentrations. Ichthammol ointment, well-known for its drawing effect, also has antibacterial, antimycotic and anti-inflammatory properties. Ichthammol ointment can be useful to treat different types of skin conditions in both humans and animals.* And…don’t say I didn’t warn you…it stinks!

This is the same exact product (below) I use to treat…boils, ingrown hairs, pimple like lesions that don’t come to a head (sorry…don’t know how to describe them otherwise), slivers, and the countless abscesses my cats have encountered (as they aren’t too smart and have to fight thinking they each own the home). I recommended this to a friend when she had no health insurance as she had an issue with a toe nail…she told me it worked like a charm! One can find it online at Amazon.com and many other online retailers as well as in pharmacies.  I would not hesitate in buying the product below either – it’s the same as the one below – just by a different company.  If you don’t have the need for the larger tub above, try this.

So here’s what you do with it:


When you have a boil manifesting apply the black salve to the area and cover with a bandaid. Continue this treatment…usually about 3 days until the boil or pimple like lesion erupts and begins to drain. Once this happens, you need to stop using it right away. Next, I use a triple anti-biotic ointment on the wound to help keep the area from getting infected (not always necessary…but I like to be on the cautious side…you know…an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure…kinda thing). That’s it!

The lesions I refer to are very common for my son who has multiple handicaps. He gets them on his back and on one shoulder. Just recently, he had one on his lower back…it looked so sore! So I applied the ointment at bedtime, and come morning…yes…the very next morning, the lesion opened and drained. It’s was completely healed in two days. He has fabulous skin otherwise. I am actually thinking these lesions may be a result of the fabric softener I insist on using in my laundry (they contain oils I recently discovered). I am going to try the Purex Crystals to see if these lesions disappear as the Crystals don’t contain oils.

Cat Abscesses

On my cats abscesses I use the ointment the very same way, except of course, no bandaids. As I write this, I am in the processing of nursing Ollie Ollie (cat) back to normal as over the past week he had developed a lump on his hind quarter. It was getting huge, and as it did, I could tell it was an abscess (it ended up being the size of a golf ball by the time it erupted). So three days ago, I began applying the black salve to a good portion of the lump…I couldn’t find the wound that caused it. I also applied a warm wash cloth (only because he let me) to the area. Last night, I went to check it to see how it was as he was lying on it. Well…it had erupted and was draining real well. I am thinking he knew it needed to drain, and it more than likely felt good to relieve the pressure, so he laid on that side which he had been avoiding for the past week. Today, I began using the triple anti-biotic ointment to the area and will continue to do so for a few days. I am sure he’ll be as good as new…he’s already giving me loves again. I did have to clean my couch as that’s where he was lying when it drained…but that’s a small price to pay considering what the vet bill would’ve been!

I have treated MANY abscesses on my cats like this and only once did I have to take one to the vet. Mr. Mu had one near his ear and I just couldn’t get it to go away. No matter what I had done, he would have needed that abscess surgically drained as it was in his ear as well. That’s what he gets for thinking he’s all that and more!


A tube of black salve costs all of $4 – $8 depending on where you purchase it. I would venture to say I have saved over $2000 over the years treating the cats’ abscesses this way…never mind the doctor visits I would have had to attend for us humans. Below is the very exact product I use. I always keep a tube in the house whether it’s needed at the time or not, as I have run into having to have the pharmacist order it. Of course…when it has to be ordered, this means I have to wait for it to come in…delaying treatment!

Skin Cancer

Some people claim this ointment is a lifesaver for skin cancers. I would have to really, and I mean really, read up on reviews before I would use it for that.


For slivers, the smalls one that aren’t too deep, I find it works well on. However, when I get a sliver…I want the thing out NOW. I am a baby when it comes to pain so I will get myself some ice, a needle, and a pair of tweezers and get rid of it the old fashion way! That being said, I found my daughter would much rather deal with the sliver and wait for the salve to work…no needles for her. If after reading this you have any questions…feel free to ask. I know sometimes it’s hard to digest whether you can trust an article that’s been written, or wonder if…can I safely use it for? …So please, don’t hesitate to ask…anything! *Taken from the product description of: Ichthammol 20% Draw Out Drawing Salve Ointment

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  22 Responses to “Black Salve, Ichthammol Ointment, Drawing Salve – all the same!”

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  1. […] Ichthammol ointment (black salve) has been known by some to cure ringworm.  Myself, I have never tried it, but do use Ichthammol Ointment for many other things.  Read about those HERE. […]

  2. […] March 31, 2011   Daily Meme's, Furry Friday   No comments Once again, I have treated an abscess on one of my cats with black salve!  Much to my amazement…it only took one application and the abscess broke.  Mr. Snickers is a happy kitty now…no more pussy lump… no more pain… and he’s walking w/o a limp (abscess was on his hind quarter).  If you missed my post on this fabulous home remedy you can read it here. […]

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