Michael Tierra on Black Salve (part 1 of 3)


Michael Tierra
Michael Tierra


Dr. Michael Tierra L.AC., O.M.D.

Founder of the American Herbalists Guild,

author of numerous books on health and herbal healing including:

The Way of Herbs, The Natural Remedy Bible and The Way of Chinese Herbs

Planetary Herbology, Chinese Traditional Herbal Medicine

Biomagnetic and Herbal Therapy and The East West Course of Herbology.

Link to entire web article




Thoughts on the Use of Escharotic Pastes for the Treatment of Cancer

Michael gives his honest assessment of black salve, its use and history. He is not a fanatical advocate, and weighs up the pros and cons of the black salve question in a realistic way. 

Interview with Clark Bigham about his history with bloodroot products

Michael Tierra did his homework and has come up with a thoughtful critique of escharotic treatment. Some of his readings were “Chemosurgery” by  Frederic Mohs M.D., and a citation offered by Paul Bergner (http://naimh.com/x/web-3/escharotics.pdf) which criticized the use of escharotic agents.

He interviewed a number of people including Clark Bigham who formed a company in the sixties to research and bring to market a bloodroot salve consisting of sanguinaria, galangal and zinc chloride mixed with distilled water. The salve was and still is widely used in veterinary medicine throughout the Wyoming and Colorado areas. It was, and probably still is, used by individuals on local external cancers. Clark has a letter from Sloan Kettering, who after their research, stated that the salve was the most effective substance against cancer they had ever seen. (They also found that a 5% dilution of the salve is 100% effective as eye drops for macular degeneration and one type of glaucoma. When mixed with toothpaste at a 5% ratio, it cures gingivitis. It is currently sold as Viadent). Clark stated that In over 28 years, he has never seen an adverse reaction to the salve.


Anecdotal does not mean Unproven

This is an incredibly important point! As Michael points out, anecdotal evidence is NOT meaningless. The anecdotal ‘negative’ statements which are seized upon by some, do not have more value than the anecdotal success stories. In fact, less to my way of thinking. They just do not know! To simply state that something is ineffective or dangerous only means that person has not honestly considered all the evidence.


The people who have seen the results should be given more credit, sez I. Why do so many prefer to believe the negative?  Detractors by their statements give no proof that a treatment does not work. It’s only by their opinion that they contradict the experience of others. They are willing to deny but not to look into the truth of the matter. This prejudice is a common theme of the medical industry’s opposition to natural therapies.




Here is a little light viewing on the use of herbals in cancer treatment.