Ichthammol is a obnoxious reeking emollient made from shale rock. Ammonium bituminosulfonate which is extracted from sulfur rich oil shale rock by a action known as dry distillation. In case you are wondering what is dry distillation it a process of heating a solid to produce a gas which is then condensed into a liquid or solid as in the case of oil shale rock to make Ichthammol also known as black drawing salve or ichthyol, Albichthyol.
Ichthammol ointment is not 100% pure Ammonium bituminosulfonate, it is in reality made up of approximately 10% or 20 % Ammonium bituminosulfonate mixed with some herb, oils or waxes. This black pungent salve has a many uses as a natural cure for a variety of skin injuries and conditions. Please do not confuse or relate Black drawing salve with some of the rumors you might have learned about it being a topical cancer cure. While there is many affirmative anecdotal evidence to support the claims there is no institutional evidence to support this kind of efficacy and those salves are of a different concoction and are of as caustic nature. Ichthammol ointment can be applied to draw out splinters, relieve uncomfortable insect bites and stings, Treat boils, carbuncles, abscesses, mild fungal infections of the skin such as athletes foot, eczema or psoriasis and acne. As a intervention for poison ivy exposure, Used also as a comforting ointment for animals with wounds, dry hooves, inflammations or skin irritations.
There are no recognized damaging side effects by using drawing salve ichthammol ointment even when used by pregnant or breastfeeding mothers. Neither is it known to impact other medicines. However A protective covering should be placed over the applied area to avoid staining clothes, cloths and bed linen. This discoloration can be extremely difficult to remove. Avoid contact of ichthammol salve with mucous membranes, such as the eyes. It should never be taken internally. It should not be used in bad wounds. Avoid use if you are allergic to any of the components
ichthammol ointment 20% is usually recommended as this is believed the most efficacious preparation. however there is a weaker preparation of 10% Ammonium bituminosulfonate. When using ichthammol ointment clean the area first with warm and soapy water of wipe the area with either hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohols solution. Then put on a dab of ichthammol ointment to the area and cover with a bandage and leave over night repeat as often as is necessary to alleviate the condition. However if the condition persist for too long e.g over three days seek the assistance of a doctor. The salve can be applied 1-3 times a day, or as directed by physician.