The Benefits of Charcoal + Drawing Salve Recipe

Bamboo is very sustainable and environmentally friendly.  It is the fastest growing woody plant in the world.  After the bamboo is harvested it is "carbonized" at extremely hot temperatures.  The result is activated bamboo charcoal.

Activated bamboo charcoal {a.k.a. Activated Charcoal} is a phenomenal soap and skincare ingredient, particularly for those who suffer from oily skin and/or acne.  It has long been used as an effective acne treatment because it is very
absorbent and "cleans" well.  And even better yet, soap made with Activated Bamboo Charcoal doesn't leave a residue on your skin, allowing your pores to breathe.

It is recommended to use this salve for anything where a little "pull" is needed:  i.e. bug bites, bee stings, splinters/glass shards, boils, and of course acne, can all benefit.  I grew up with my grandmother putting some kind of salve on everything.  A scratch?  She's got a salve for that.  A small burn?  Yup - she's got a salve for that too.  Even if we bumped our elbow or hit our funny bone, out would come a salve. 

I started making the drawing salve myself a couple of years ago and quickly put it to good use. Two summers ago, while working at the summer Farmer's market, J had dropped the corner of a folding table on his toe.  And he was wearing flip flops......  Needless to say, it became red, hot and puffy.  When we got I home I figured, why not do what grandma would do?  I slathered it with drawing salve and threw a Band-Aid over it {so the black charcoal didn't get all over everything}.  Wouldn't you know it?  Within a half hour the throbbing pain was gone.  He washed it off after an hour or two and by that evening you would never have known he dropped a table on it!

It really is the perfect addition to your natural first-aid kit and makes a wonderful gift!

If you would prefer not making the salve, you can make a poultice by mixing a bit of the charcoal and bentonite clays with a touch of water or coconut oil to make a thick gel.  Apply to the area in need of drawing and cover with a Band-Aid or cloth to prevent staining.  A quick word of caution though.  Activated Charcoal is very messy and difficult to clean up so please use with care.

Why I use the additional ingredients listed:
Olive Oil - a Vitamin E-rich powerhouse that is an effective moisturizer.
Castor Oil - offering anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, it is high in Vitamin E and beneficial fatty acids.

Beeswax - provides a protection against irritants while holding moisture and allowing the skin to breathe.  It is a humectant that offers anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Bentonite Clay - produces an electric charge when hydrated.  It has a negative charge which attracts molecules with a positive charge and bonds with them.  With most toxins being positively charged, Bentonite clay helps rid the body of the toxins by actually absorbing the toxins.
Lavender Essential Oil - is known for its anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties.
Tea Tree Essential Oil - has properties as an antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, expectorant, fungicide, insecticide, stimulant and sudorific substance.

Drawing Salve
Makes: 6 ounces

.75 ounces grated beeswax or beeswax pastilles
4 ounces Olive Oil {infused with plantain, Echinacea and/or calendula for extra healing properties}
1 ounce Castor Oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons activated charcoal
1 1/2 Tablespoons bentonite clay
12 drops Lavender Essential Oil
6 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil

To make the herb -infused oil:

1/2 cup Dried plantain, Echinacea and/or calendula
approx. 1 1/2 - 2 cups Olive Oil

Solar Method:  Fill a pint mason jar halfway with dried herbs.  Add 1 1/2 cups oil.  Screw on the lid and leave in a sunny window, shaking lightly as often as you remember, for 4 weeks.  Strain the oil {tossing the herbs} and put the oil in a clean jar until ready to use.  I use cheesecloth in straining mine. **If, when your infusion is ready there is any mold, moisture has been introduced and the infusion should not be used. **  Measure what's needed for the recipe and label and store the rest in a clean jar until ready to use.

Fast Method:  If you want to make the balm/salve soon, you can use a heated version.  Heat the olive oil and the 1/2 cup dried herbs in a double boiler on medium-low, allowing the water to simmer gently, 30-40 minutes.  Strain.  Cool.  Measure what's needed for the recipe and label and store the rest in a clean jar until ready to use. 

Infused oils should last a year or more if stored in a dark, cool location and checked for moisture {check underneath the lid}.


 To Make the Salve:
*Stovetop method* In the top of a double boiler, gently heat the beeswax and oils together until the beeswax is completely melted, over medium-low heat.   Remove from heat. Carefully stir in the clay and charcoal until fully incorporated.  If you're adding essential oil, add once you've removed the mixture from the heat and stir.  Pour into tins, jars or other containers.

*Microwave method* In a pyrex measuring cup {or pyrex or glass bowl that is microwave-safe}, measure out beeswax and oils.  Microwave at 40 second intervals, stirring between each, until fully melted.  Carefully stir in the clay and charcoal until fully incorporated.  If you're adding essential oil, add once you've removed the mixture from the heat and stir.  Pour into tins, jars or other containers.

To Use:
Rub small amount into skin as needed.  Cover with Band-Aid or gauze to prevent staining.  Leave on for 60 minutes up to 4 hours, as needed.

Other healing balms or salves:
All-Purpose Salve
Little One's Salve
Calendula Salve
Dandelion Salve

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my link to any products or services from this blog.  Simply put, when you click on or purchase something I've linked to, I receive a small amount of money/remuneration to support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you for your support!!

1 comment

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing your recipe, I'm going to make this - just have to find some good quality activated charcoal (I'm in Australia, otherwise I would follow your links!).