Charcoal is having a moment, for sure. We love the crazy Japanese charcoal toothbrushes and we’ve been drinking charcoal in Pressed Juicery’s new green juice. We’re no strangers to drinking or bathing in clay either, which can draw toxins out of the gut. Stephanie at Hello Natural is walking us through a DIY for a traditional skin-healing remedy called black salve. It’s strangely gorgeous and surprisingly effective…

Every summer my dad would bring out the activated charcoal when anyone got a mosquito bite or the occasional bee sting. He would make a paste with activated charcoal and baking soda (just add a little water) and apply it to the skin. It makes a major mess so we walked around with a paper towel bandage for hours. I was always skeptical of dad’s natural remedies, but this one worked! So I’m glad that activated charcoal is popular again – and this salve works just as well at drawing out stings, itches and splinters.

At first glance, this recipe seems to have an intimidating number of unusual ingredients. Charcoal? Clay? Infused oil? But if you’re interested in building a natural remedy kit these are all good ingredients to have on hand.


You know how clay is often used in face masks to draw impurities out of pores? The same applies here. Both the activated charcoal and clay in this pull the toxins from the skin, reducing the sting of bites and stings. Hence why this recipe is commonly called ‘black drawing salve.’


We’ve talked infused oil before for headaches and healing, and the process is super simple. If using the solar method, just cover a handful of herbs with oil in a tightly closed jar and let it sit for a couple of weeks. Calendula-infused oil is nice to have on hand because it has so many skin healing properties.

Activated Charcoal Black Salve Recipe


1/4 cup calendula-infused oil (make your own or buy online)
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons beeswax (just started using beeswax pellets, and, whoa, game changer!)
3 teaspoons activated charcoal (approximately 15 capsules)
3 teaspoons clay (I used bentonite clay)
10 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops tea tree essential oil


Melt the beeswax and coconut oil together. I recently discovered how much easier it is to just melt the ingredients in the glass container you plan to use. Put the container in a sauce pan with a couple of inches of water and warm it on low heat. (Note: this only works with glass!) You can also melt in a glass bowl in a makeshift double broiler and transfer to containers later.

Add the remainder of the ingredients together and stir. Let salve cool until it hardens. Keep salve in a lidded container in a cool, dark place.

For tips on how to use the salve plus tons of other beauty DIYs, visit Hello Natural by clicking through here!

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  1. I look forward to making this, so how do I make my own calendula-infused oil? And do you have a way to remove skin tags with out cut them or tying them. thanks for info in so many things.

    Bridget | 05.28.2015 | Reply
  2. This looks great!! And luckily I have all of this–even the calendula infused oil, yay! Made my first batch a few months ago. My question is, what do you typically use this salve for — and does it stain?

    Casey | 01.11.2016 | Reply
  3. I love salves with charcoal too and if you’re a vegan, you can skip the beeswax and use some shea butter. As far as the charcoal, the best is Schizandu’s FOOD GRADE charcoal powder…so fine, and you don’t have to waste/mess with capsules. Also I’d only use extra virgin, cold pressed coconut oil….never use the processed free-flowing stuff.
    When you make something you will consume (whether by eating it or applying it to the skin, use only the finest ingredients!!
    Thank you for your delicious recipes! 🙂

    Dita | 05.06.2016 | Reply

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