What the heck is activated charcoal and why would you purposely make a black salve to rub on your skin? Before I answer that, I’ll share an even crazier story with you.
If you’ve been following along on Garden Therapy you’ll see that I have a number of different recipes and garden ideas to keep away mosquitoes. I really hate mosquitoes. I’m one of those sensitive people who has a strong histamine reaction to the bites. I don’t just get an itchy little raised bump. I get a big red swollen blotch that takes every ounce of my willpower not to scratch like I’m going bananas.
So here’s the crazy part.
To test out this recipe for activated charcoal drawing salve, I actually invited mosquitoes into my house and allowed them to bite me! And am I ever glad that I did.
A drawing salve is a mixture of oils and herbal ingredients that work to draw toxins from your skin and can be used on mosquito bites, wasp or bee stings, blisters, boils, slivers, and minor infections.
Activated charcoal and bentonite clay are very effective at sucking up toxins but, not surprisingly, they will leave your skin dried out after use.
As I mentioned, this post has been sponsored by iHerb and Nature’s Way, who also provided me with all of the oils to make the remedies. iHerb carries over 400 Nature’s Way products that can be shipped to over 160 countries. Their Customer Service team provides support in 10 languages!
I am also participating in the iHerb affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn a small commission on sales. But they also have something just for you! All Garden Therapy readers can get a discount off their order and if you are a new customer, you can get an additional $5 off your minimum $40 order by clicking here. All of the opinions and recipes are my own.
As I was scrolling through iHerb to order Nature’s Way Coconut Charcoal, I noticed a few ingredients I had saved on my Account List: rosehip seed oil, jojoba oil, and bergamot essential oil. Then a light bulb came on. I should add some skin-healing ingredients to test in my drawing salve! I quickly updated my order to include both drawing and healing ingredients to test a new salve recipe. The key was not to choose ingredients that will absorb deeply into skin, but instead those that help to repair the surface of the skin.
My order arrived after just a few days (I wrote about how easy their international shipping is on the last recipe I made from iHerb) and I made up my usual drawing salve recipe with the new additions.
That’s when I invited the mosquito to the party.
I got a nice big bite on my arm and watched it swell up. I scratched it a few times (which is totally against my number one rule for keeping mosquito bites under control: do. not. scratch.) As you can imagine, it was quite swollen and itchy, so I applied my new and improved activated charcoal drawing salve and covered it with a bandage. It was moderately itchy for the next 30 minutes while I went to sleep but it didn’t keep me awake. When I woke up the next morning I took off the bandage and washed off the drawing salve and the bite was completely gone. Not even a tiny bump was left.
I’ve made a few other variations of drawing salve using activated coconut charcoal and bentonite clay and I found that they definitely take away bites and infection, but they leave a little bump behind for a few days. And while the bite is no longer itchy, my skin feels dry. But my new recipe took the bite inflammation away completely and made my skin feel fantastic.
Besides mosquito bites, I’ve been using this drawing salve on minor scrapes and cuts that have become inflamed to reduce infection. I asked my hubs if he would try and get a wasp sting but he wasn’t biting. And nether were the wasps. But as soon as someone around here gets stung, I’ll keep you updated!
Here are the ingredients that I picked for the healing salve and the reasons why I chose each one of them.
- Bentonite Clay Powder – draws out toxins from skin
- Activated Coconut Charcoal – detoxifying and skin balancing
- Certified Organic Jojoba Oil – actually a wax (not an oil); the closest to our own skin’s sebum so it is gentle and won’t clog pores.
- Organic Cold Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil – full of vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids that help repair skin
- Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – carrier oil, has antimicrobial properties
- Organic Bergamot Essential Oils – relieves stress on skin
- Organic Lavender Essential Oil –soothing on nerves and skin
Activated Charcoal Drawing Salve Recipe
- 50 g Nature’s Way Organic Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin
- 10 g Now Foods, Solutions Certified Organic Jojoba Oil
- 12 g Beeswax
- 5 g Nature’s Way Coconut Charcoal, Activated
- 3 g Frontier Natural Products Bentonite Clay Powder
- 20 drops Life Flo Health Pure Rosehip Seed Oil
- 8 drops Now Foods Organic Essential Oils, Bergamot
- 8 drops Now Foods Organic Essential Oils, Lavender
Weigh the ingredients on a small kitchen scale. In a double boiler, slowly heat up the coconut oil, jojoba oil, and beeswax until just melted.
Remove from the stove and add the bentonite clay, coconut charcoal, and essential oils.
Pour the activated charcoal drawing salve into a glass jar or tin and let cool before using.
How to Use Drawing Salve
Use a small spatula or spoon to remove the salve from the jar to avoid adding in contaminants from your fingers (the spoons you get from tasting gelato work perfectly!). Apply a small amount to the skin and cover with a bandage. Leave on for up to 12 hours. I also use this recipe as a face mask and it makes my skin feel lovely afterwards!
Want to make some of this magic salve for yourself? Pick up all of the ingredients you need from iHerb. All customers can get a discount off their Nature’s Way order and new customers can get an additional $5 off their minimum $40 order by clicking here!
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