Black Salve – Does It Really Work?

Black Salve – Overview

As the world continues to evolve, more people are beginning to embrace alternative treatments for various medical conditions.

When it comes to skin cancer, for instance, one of the most common alternative therapies has to be the use of Black Salve.

What is Black Salve?

Usually marketed as Cansema, Black salve is a controversial substitute for skin cancer treatment. It is derived from a flowering plant known as Blood Root. The plant is a concentrated escharotic, and what that simply means is that it is a destructive and caustic material.

This treatment is popular because some alternative medicine specialists claim that Black Salve only destroys damaged skin cells. However, there is no scientific evidence to back up that claim.

Instead, this therapy extensively destroys all cells, whether good or bad, and there is evidence to support this. When this happens, the affected area develops scarring and ulcers, which can ultimately hinder pathologists from making a solid diagnosis when examining tumors.

Unsurprisingly, in 2012, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia banned the sale of Black Salve. It made that decision because there was not enough evidence to show that the substance could treat skin cancer.

Rather, it is believed to cause more harm than good.

Does Black Salve Cure Cancer?

Salve is marketed using different names likes Black Ointment and Cansema. It is important to note that its manufacturers do not provide comprehensive information about its specific constituents. There is no reliable scientific evidence that Black Salve has anti-cancer effects.

Studies on the effects of Black Salve on cells outside the body do not show selective destruction of malignant cells without harming healthy cells.

Higher concentrations of the product were found to cause the destruction of cancer cells as well as normal ones.

No credible studies have shown Black Salve to be effective compared to traditional skin cancer treatments. Black Salve is not an effective treatment for any type of cancer.

Is Black Salve Safe?

Black Salve causes direct damage to all skin cells it comes into contact with, both healthy and malignant, which is harmful. That aside, the biggest hazard associated with the therapy is the valuable time that cancer patients lose when trying it.

Ultimately, this can cause serious consequences, especially in more aggressive types of cancer. You may also want to note that there have been reported deaths following self-treatment of cancer using Black Salve.

Dangers of Black Salve for Skin Cancer

Now that we have established that Black Salve is not the ideal treatment for skin cancer, why don’t we look at some of the dangers of using it?

The use of Black Salve or other products containing bloodroot or sanguinarine is not only dangerous but life-threatening as well. We are talking about infections, necrosis, and even permanent disfigurement.

If you need more assurance, the FDA has Black Salve listed as a  “fake cancer cure” that should be avoided. The belief that the substance can be used to treat cancer cells and leave out healthy cells is outlandish – even laughable.

Black Salve burns away all the tissues it comes into contact with, regardless of whether they are cancerous. This can lead to tissue death or necrosis. It can also cause other side effects like disfigurement, scarring, and infection.

The therapy is also termed an ineffective cancer treatment because it doesn’t treat metastasized cancer.

What to do with a Cancer Diagnosis

If at any point you suspect that you have skin cancer, the best course of action would be to get checked by a professional as soon as possible. From there, they can diagnose your issue and prescribe a treatment plan.

Final Thoughts

Cancer is a scary reality, but the good news is that most types of skin cancer can be cured, especially when diagnosed and treated promptly. Time is of the essence here so it is vital not to waste time on alternative therapies like Black Salve.

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Current Version
September 16, 2021
Written By
Shubham Grover
April 13, 2024
Updated By
Daniyal Haider, MD

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