FDA: Black Salve is Dangerous and Called by Many Names

FDA: Black Salve is Dangerous and Called by Many Names

Recently FDA (Food and Drug Administration of U.S.) warns about Black Salve, that is actually can be dangerous for your health.

On October 13, FDA published, – “You may have seen websites selling certain salves or creams (commonly known as “black salve”) claiming to treat or cure cancer, boils, moles and skin tags (benign, or non-cancerous, growths of the skin). These claims are false. Salve products containing corrosive ingredients, including black salve, are dangerous and are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat or cure any skin condition, particularly not skin cancer.

Specifically, the FDA is warning consumers not to use any salves or other topically applied products that list any of the following potentially dangerous ingredients: sanguinarine, Sanguinaria canadensis, or bloodroot, alone or in combination with zinc chloride.”

This announcement doesn’t mean that all salves are dangerous, but products with the above ingredients can destroy the skin and result in permanent disfigurement, tissue necrosis (death of cells in living tissue), and can result in infection. Furthermore, using salve products such as black salve for serious conditions like skin cancer can result in delayed cancer diagnosis and cancer progression.

Corrosive Ingredients in Your Black Salve

“Some salve products contain corrosive ingredients, highly reactive substances that injure living tissue. They act either directly, by chemically destroying the tissue (oxidation), or indirectly by causing inflammation. Either way, the result is damaging, painful and can result in permanent disfigurement (scarring),” – FDA said

Some of these salves claim to draw out only the cancer, leaving healthy skin untouched, but this is false. The ingredients in these products destroy cancerous and healthy skin equally. Using these products can result in permanent scarring and may even result in the need for reconstructive (plastic) surgery. In addition, these salves can destroy the top layer of skin while leaving cancer behind in the deeper layers, where the cancer may continue to grow.

The FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research warns, “Consumers need to know that ‘black salve’ is an informal term and not the only name used for this product. It is also sold under such names as Skinprov, drawing salve, red salve, Cansema, bloodroot, Indian Herb, Hawk Dok Natural Salve, Black Drawing Ointment, and many others.

The products come in many forms including salve, paste, cream and poultice (soft, moist material applied to the wound). In some cases, corrosive salves may be marketed as natural or homeopathic products. In some instances, the corrosive ingredients are listed as “inactive” ingredients.

Watch Out for the Following Red Flags:

  • Salve products with the following names: black salve, drawing salve, red salve, Cansema, bloodroot, Indian Herb, Hawk Dok Natural Salve, Black Drawing Ointment, and many others. The products come in many forms including salves, pastes, creams, and poultices.
  • Products that contain any of these ingredients: sanguinarine, Sanguinaria canadensis, bloodroot, and zinc chloride.
  • Salve products that claim to cure or treat cancer, remove moles or warts, or treat other skin conditions. 
  • Products with instructions to expect burning, pain, or scar formation at the application site. The sellers often state to expect a thick, dry scab on the skin.

Safety Rules:

  • Contact your health care professional or dermatologist if you have any concerns about skin cancer or other skin-related issues. Be sure to tell them about any products, including herbal or other “natural” products, that you may be using for any skin-related issues.
  • Do not use black salve or salve products that contain sanguinarine, Sanguinaria canadensis, or bloodroot, alone or in combination with zinc chloride, as an alternative to proven medical therapies. This can result in permanent disfigurement and in the worst case, death.

Learn how to recognize health fraud scams.

Anastasia Kovalenko

Anastasia has an experience of creating articles for about 5 years. Topics of those articles included health, overall wellness, pharmacies and new pharmaceutical products. Wishes to learn more and improve her experience in medical field. Considers archaeology to be the most interesting and exciting hobby among others.

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