Last month I brought attention to a particularly nasty product currently promoted online to vulnerable people as a cancer cure. Black salve is a paste made from a mixture of Bloodroot extract and zinc chloride that, when applied directly to the skin, will cause the cells to die. It does this by physically burning the skin with zinc chloride and inhibiting sodium-potassium pumps on the surface of the cells with compounds found in the Bloodroot extract. This creates a thick black dry clump of necrotic tissue called an “eschar” which will eventually separate from the surrounding area causing scarring and potentially serious injury and disfigurement. This paste is the stuff of nightmares and will burn whatever human flesh it comes into contact with yet despite this undeniable fact, there are some online that promote the idea that it has the magical ability of “drawing out” cancer from underneath the skin and that it won’t harm healthy cells.
Before any one asks! No I have not put black salve on my face!