Black salve is an alternative therapy increasingly chosen by patients to self-manage their skin cancer. Black salve is an indiscriminate escharotic, usually applied topically, that typically combines the corrosive compounds bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) and zinc chloride. Topical formulations of black salve are sold over the counter under various commercial names other than black salve. While not approved by the US FDA, black salve is advertised by marketers as safe and effective in the treatment of cancer, boils, bug bites, warts, moles, and skin tags. It allegedly targets diseased cells, leaving healthy tissue unharmed.
There are definitely two sides when it comes to this treatment. The one side is: Some currently marketed escharotics contain bloodroot (Sanguinaria candensis), zinc chloride, or both. However, because cancer salves are not manufactured under government supervision, it may not even be possible to know what is in them. People who use such products without benefit of medical consultationrun additional risks. Untrained individuals may incorrectly conclude that a growth is cancerous when it is not. Skin cancers that can spread should be medically investigated to see whether they have done so, and some of these require extensive treatment even though they might not look dangerous to the naked eye. In addition, although escharotics may appear to destroy cancers on the surface of the skin, the user will not be able to tell whether cancer remains under the skin where it can continue to grow without immediate detection.
The other side are testimonials from various people that swear black salve cured their cancer. There is a lot of research to be done before using this substance but it is worth looking into.