There are no clinical research studies investigating the benefits of black salve; however, there is strong evidence that the individual herbs found in these therapies, which typically include bloodroot and chaparral, are harmful to health, states the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Center. Side effects of bloodroot include vomiting, dizziness and burning, and lesions of oral and esophageal tissues, and researchers link chaparral consumption to liver damage.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Center explicitly warns against the use of either of these herbs for cancer treatment due to their toxicity and risk of severe adverse side effects. Nevertheless, LifElixir and Healing Within are two companies that sell oral black salve tablets in the United States for cancer treatment, according to their respective websites. The herbs and minerals in black salve help fight cancer by reducing tumor growth through the destruction of diseased and irregular cells, purports the Healing Within website. The salve does not affect healthy tissue.
While clinical data fails to show that bloodroot and chaparral have an anti-carcinogenic effect, there is evidence from laboratory studies in cells and animals that these herbs fight cancer, according to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Center. For example, chaparral contains biological compounds that block cellular division in some in vitro studies.