A Drawing Salve is great for drawing out foreign substances in the skin such as slivers, shards of glass, thorns, boils, and insect venom such as bee stings. Plantain’s mucilage-rich properties help soften the skin, allowing pus and foreign substance to be drawn to the surface.
What is a Drawing Salve?
Now if only they made a drawing salve for emotions or pulling information out of husbands or teenagers. This is not that salve. And, if I ever created such a salve, I would be one wealthy woman. I can just see all these wives purchasing a jar for their husbands hoping to engage in deep conversations of the heart like never before. Sorry, I don’t know why my mind went there except for the fact that drawing salves pull out foreign substances that are stuck and need to be drawn out. Sounds like the perfect recipe for marriage counseling in a jar.
No, for real, all kidding aside, have you ever had that tiny piece of glass stuck in your foot from the jar that fell from the cupboard, shattering into a million pieces? You think you have swept it up thoroughly, but something wedged its way into your foot while walking barefoot and not even tweezers and a magnifying glass can get it out. The Plantain oil (not to be confused with green bananas) works to soften the skin and draw out toxins. Both activated charcoal and bentonite clay pull out toxins and draw out impurities due to their negative charge. This attracts positively charged toxins found in the body like a magnet. Oregano oil is both antimicrobial and reduces inflammation. Frankincense helps speed up the wound-healing process by fighting inflammation.
Plantain oil is the main ingredient in this drawing salve. It is quite pricy to purchase, so preparing it from the plants you forage around your own home is probably your best bet. Bonus for you, plantain is everywhere and in plentiful supply. It amazes me how this powerful little plant is underfoot and loaded with healing benefits, and yet many of us have no idea. Trust me, you will see it everywhere now.
Plantain is amazing at pulling out the pain in a bee sting. My children have grown up learning about herbs. One afternoon, my son was stung by a bee while playing ball. He started to freak out because of the pain. I yelled from across the yard, “You know what to do. There is no need to fear.” He stopped screaming and immediately went looking for plantain. He picked it, chewed it up in his mouth making a spit poultice, and immediately applied it to his sting. The pain instantly was gone and he was off playing without another thought. Knowledge is power. I love how God puts the remedy close to the problem. For example, jewelweed is close to poison ivy to stop the itch, and plantain is in the midst of a field of clover, where the bees hang out.
Preparing Your Plantain Oil for the Drawing Salve
Plantain oil is easy to prepare. When preparing your plantain oil, you want to make sure and harvest plantain from a clean, chemical-free environment. On the side of the road where cars and pollutants can contaminate, or on a busy pathway where people walk or animals pee are not the best places to forage.
Carefully pick enough plantain to fill a quart jar up halfway with fresh, clean, moisture-free chopped plantain leaves. Fill the jar to the top with olive oil, making sure the leaves are fully submerged. Label the jar and place in a cool, dark place for 6-8 weeks, shaking occasionally. After the maceration period, strain, bottle, and label your oil. This can be used for bee stings, on a salad, or in many salve recipes.
- 6 oz (177.5 mL) plantain infused oil (see recipe above. This process takes 6-8 weeks if starting from scratch.)
- 2 fl oz (60 mL) castor oil
- 15 grams (.5oz) beeswax
- 9 grams (.3 oz) activated charcoal
- 35 grams (1.15 oz) bentonite clay
- 15 drops each Oregano & Frankincense essential oil
- For the plantain infusion: Fill a quart-sized ball jar half-full with fresh harvested, clean and moisture-free plantain leaves. Cover with olive oil. Press down, making sure all plantain is under the oil. Cover with a tight fitting lid and store away for six weeks in a cool, dark place.
- For the drawing Salve: Combine plantain oil and castor oil in a staninless steel mixing bowl with beeswax and place over a 4 qt pot on low heat with 2 cups of simmering water. This will act as a mock double boiler.
- When wax is melted, turn off the heat.
- While still warm, add the charcoal and clay and stir until incorporated.
- When the mixture has cooled slightly, add the essential oils so they keep their potency.
- Pour into containers, label, and store one away in your home apothecary. The other would make a great gift.
- To use, apply salve to the affected area and apply a clean bandage. Reapply every few hours as needed.
materials you will need:
2- 4 oz salve tins
kitchen scale reading in grams, oz, and mL
4 qt pot
stainless steel mixing bowl
1 qt sterilized ball jar with tight fitting lid (if you need to infuse your plantain)
Avoiding the Cracks
In preparing your drawing salve, if it cools too quickly it can crack, as mine did above. This is real life and I included my cracked pictures because that is how we learn. Life is not always picture perfect, but it is still an amazing drawing salve and still usable. The crack just means it either cooled too quickly and unevenly or I had too much wax. If it cracks, you can smooth it out with a clean spoon, or remelt it. Just keep in mind that heating essential oils breaks down their healing properties.
You can actually test your wax to oil ratio before adding the essential oil by dabbing a drop on a cool plate and checking the consistency. Too runny, not enough wax. Too hard, not enough infused oil. I was happy with the consistency of the wax to oil ratio so the problem was not too much wax. I actually prefer putting my salves in a 4″ salve tin rather than a jar because it has a greater surface area and can cool more evenly. Unfortunatly, I didn’t check before I made the salve to see if I had stock in any containers. My bad.
How to Apply the Drawing Salve
Make sure that the area is clean. Dab a pea size amount of Drawing Salve on the affected area and cover with a clean bandage. Reapply every few hours as needed until the foreign substance has been expelled. Please seek medical attention for serious cases.