Cancer Salves

What are Cancer Salves?

Cancer salves can be applied in the form of a paste, poultice, or salve to tumor locations externally on the skin or over internal tumor sites. Salves can contain a variety of natural ingredients including oils, beeswax, and herbs such as chickweed, bloodroot, comfrey, mullein, or marshmallow, to name a few. Such salves are readily available to the public and are often applied at home or under the care of a naturopathic physician. Some alternative practitioners believe that cancer salves possess the ability to destroy or purge cancer cells from the body. However, current scientific evidence currently does not support such claims, and incidents have occurred where caustic ingredients in some salves have caused burns and scarring. Alternative methods such as this one should be part of a treatment course that has been discussed with a licensed physician or specialist.

History of Cancer Salves

Cancer salves have been used to treat disease for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. In the 1700s, Dr. Richard Guy, an English surgeon claimed he used salves to treat breast cancer patients with great success, although never formally verified. Another physician, Dr. Eli Jones, later used a figwort syrup salve which he also claimed cured cancer in his patients.


One cancer salve on the market today is Curaderm. It is touted as a remedy for basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and solar keratosis. Marketers also claim that Curaderm will not cause scarring, unlike corrosive escharotic salves. It is derived from chemicals found in Sodom’s apple and contains a compound normally used to treat warts related to aspirin. Claims that cancer salves can cure cancer have been largely based on testimonials and reports by individuals, and no controlled clinical studies have been published in conventional medical journals.

Mesothelioma and Cancer Salves

Although currently not endorsed by research or the American Cancer Society, alternative treatments such as cancer salves, are used by some regardless of their reported effectiveness. Patients diagnosed with mesothelioma and other cancers might consider these types of alternative treatments in conjunction with standard methods.


American Cancer Society