Corrosive black salves still disfiguring Australians, for profit


This post contains a collection of disturbing images  

Many people self-diagnose lumps and other skin imperfections. Sometimes they have real,  clinically diagnosed cancers and they then reject evidence-based treatment. This is a ready market into which vultures descend and profit. The internet has made this even easier than before. There are Facebook pages and groups set up for all manner of crackpot, dangerous cures. One of these is the escharotic market. They make it easier for people to burn away their flesh in the privacy of their own homes, posting the results on the internet.

From Dr Harriet Hall, in Science-Based Medicine:

Bloodroot is one of the main ingredients in black salve, a dangerous topical quack treatment for cancer. In the form of Cansema, black salve containing zinc chloride, bloodroot and other ingredients has been banned by the FDA for use as a cancer cure. But it is still readily available online.

Steven Barrett says “The idea that bloodroot kills only cancer cells and spares normal ones is preposterous.” There is good evidence that bloodroot does damage normal cells. A woman who used it for skin blemishes developed a large eschar on her neck and was left with a scar. Black salve products containing bloodroot are known to cause necrosis of normal tissue along with scarring, granulomatous inflammation, implanted foreign material, reactive stromal atypia, suppuration, and residual cancer. A 2012 review of bloodroot pointed out that it can cause significant tissue destruction, scars, and keloid formation.

Quackwatch warns against using escharotics, and shows a picture of a woman whose naturopath treated her with a black herbal salve for a bump on her nose. It ate away a large part of her face and her nose sloughed off. It took 3 years and 17 plastic surgeries to reconstruct her face. The picture is not pretty; click on the link only if you don’t mind being grossed out.

Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration also warns consumers about black salve:

What are black salve, red salve and cansema?

Black salve, red salve and cansema are products containing an active ingredient called sanguinarine, which comes from Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis). Sometimes zinc chloride is also present.

These products have been sold in Australia as an alternative treatment for cancer, including skin cancer.

The TGA is advising consumers against purchasing or using black salve, red salve or cansema products.

Can these products treat cancer?

The TGA is not aware of any credible, scientific evidence that black salve, red salve or cansema can cure or treat cancer. In addition there is no evidence that these products can be used to diagnose cancers. In fact, the evidence shows that they will cause skin irritation regardless of whether any malignancy is present.

While some Internet sites contain testimonials supporting the use of these products, the TGA does not consider this to be adequate evidence to support their efficacy.

What do these products do?

Black and red salves and cansema are corrosive salves. They essentially burn off layers of the skin and surrounding normal tissue. They can destroy large parts of the skin and underlying tissue, and leave significant scarring.

The TGA has taken action against manufacturers and suppliers of black salve:

Conviction for criminal charges for dealing with unapproved therapeutic goods

On 12 July 2017 the Devonport (Petty) Court sentenced a man and woman in relation to 2 criminal charges each surrounding the manufacture and supply of unapproved therapeutic goods under section 19B(4) of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989. The product, known as Black Salve, is not approved for marketing in Australia and has been the subject of TGA alerts (See Black and red salves in treating cancer and Black salve, red salve and cansema). The man and woman were convicted under the provisions of section 20(1) of the Crimes Act 1914and fined $750 each. The court ordered that the goods seized as evidential material be forfeited to the Commonwealth under section 54 of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.


Conviction for criminal charges surrounding the manufacture, export and supply of unapproved therapeutic goods

On 13 February 2015 the Southport Magistrates Court sentenced a man in relation to 24 criminal charges surrounding the manufacture, export and supply of unapproved therapeutic goods under section 19B(4) of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989. The product, known as Black Salve, is not approved for marketing in Australia and has been the subject of TGA alerts (See Black and red salves in treating cancer and Black salve, red salve and cansema). The man was convicted under the provisions of section 20(1) of the Crimes Act 1914 and released on security of $5,000 and by recognizance that he be of good behaviour for two years. The court ordered the man not to be in possession of restricted chemicals, not to manufacture, promote, advertise or supply Black Salve and that the goods seized as evidential material be forfeited to the Commonwealth under section 54 of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.

There is extremely good reason for regulators to be so concerned about the use of salves.  This is what can happen:

Of course, whenever there is profit-driven hideousness to be had, Meryl Dorey and her antivax Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network are never far away. One of the first posts in this blog, in 2011, contained the AVN’s promotion of a black salve DVD in its online shop. Later, in 2013, Dorey and online conspiracy radio host, Leon Pittard, were sanctioned by the TGA for promoting the use of black salve. Dorey simply ignored the TGA’s orders that she post retractions. She then went on to post this on Facebook, in 2013:

Dorey isn’t alone. Professional Queensland anti-vaccination entrepreneur Stephanie Messenger has also promoted the 2013 petition, several times, in 2015:

Anti-vaccine chiropractor Anthony Golle still sold the banned DVD in his own shop, in 2015:

The original premise for this post was a Facebook post from friend of Messenger, US crackpot Sherri Tenpenny, who caused an uproar in 2015 when she planned to tour Australia. We certainly dodged a bullet, that time.

Just three days ago, Tenpenny posted an article from her Vaxxter site, advocating the use of black salve in the treatment of cervical dysplasia. You read that correctly: they are promoting the use of an indiscriminate, corrosive salve directly onto the cervix:

This is the Facebook post to which Tenpenny refers in her post:

The Facebook groups and pages that promote the use of black salve and associated products are set up by business-people who have a direct interest in the promotion and sale of these products. They own the businesses that profit from their use.

I’ve only included collections from three of these Facebook fora. It should be more than enough for alarmed regulators to jump up and take notice. Down the page, I will include a disturbing collection of evidence of pain and disfigurement from each group. Before that I will include a collection of evidence of the promotion of suppliers and manufacturers of black salve. Firstly, I’ll introduce the three fora.

First, BLACK SALVE RESEARCH GROUP is a closed group with over 4,700 members. The group is administered by Australians Belinda Gae Harris, Jane Beeby, and Anna Finch-Peacock. It is an Australian group. The group  is owned by Harris, who is the owner of one of the suppliers and manufacturers of black salve, TICKETY-BOO HERBAL:

Jane Beeby is, of course, the veteran AVN member and former AVN committee member we have, unfortunately, met several times before.

This is Harris’ pinned post in the BSRG group:

Second, The Bloodroot Discussion Group is a closed group with over 16,900 members. The group is administered by Hugh Varange (real name Uwe Wichmann) and Australian Ruth Driver. Wichmann is listed as a partner of another black salve supplier, Zenith Herbal. Both Wichmann and Driver claim to reside in Mexico, but, Driver has admitted to residing in Australia again. Wichmann also registered the business name “Zenith Herbal” in Queensland on August 25 2017:

It gets better, as is often the case. Wichmann and Driver were arrested in, convicted in and deported from Thailand in 2015:

Third, the Black Salve page is a public page with over 17,500 fans. The page is owned by Panacea-BOCAF, a guarded organisation with several names attached to it:

One of the earlier names involved in the Black Salve Facebook page is dangerous Queensland antivaxer, Nirvana Anderson. These posts are from 2013:

Please see this article from Diluted Thinking for a list of known black salve distributors in Australia: Black Salve – Australian Distributors.

As you can see from the Nirvana Anderson comment, above, advocates of the corrosive imbue it with some sort of magical sentience: an ability to seek out and destroy only cancer cells, whilst cleverly ignoring other pieces of flesh and tissue. This is, of course, delusional.

Another pertinent point to make – which will become unsettlingly apparent to the reader – is the cheer-leading and religious devotion from true believers, happily egging on their holey comrades in their quest to make excruciating Swiss cheese of themselves.

In the following collections of evidence I have decided that I will not redact names. The two closed groups have thousands of members and one only needs to request membership to be granted acceptance. The page is, of course, public. If regulators want evidence of this horrific practise, then, I figure the evidence needs to be there for them to chase up.

Names have not been left visible for the purpose of making fun of the individuals in any way. People in terrible situations can make terrible decisions. I know I have. And you will see how distressingly unfunny these decisions can be.

Having said that, the owners, leaders and administrators of these groups and pages deserve nothing less than prison terms.

Evidence of suppliers and manufacturers


July 5 2017, Belinda Gae Harris linked to her business YouTube video, of which I have downloaded a copy for keeps, promoting her products and showing how to make black salve:

August 29 2017, Harris listed the main suppliers of black salve:

August 23 2017:

August 24 2017:

July 25 2017, with TGA warning from one member:

July 28 2017, including a warning about the TGA from one member:

June 6 2017:

The Bloodroot Discussion Group

June 24 2015, shortly after Wichmann and Driver were deported from Thailand:

September 8 2017:

September 12 2017, capsules are produced so bloodroot can be ingested. This is based on the belief that the bloodroot hunts down cancer cells and pushes them out of the body:

September 16 2017:

Evidence of harm and disfigurement


August 1 2017, tumour on stomach, including input from admin Jane Beeby. Member may be in the USA:

March 26 2017, the late Lauri Bollinger of the US, breast cancer:

August 15 2017, breast:

August 14 2017, uterus and groin:

August 17 2017, including input from Jane Beeby:

August 17 2017, breast. Member is in the UK:

August 14 2017, admin Jane Beeby:

August 9 2017, breast:

July 22 2017, face:

July 21 2017, breast:

July 16 2017, admin Belinda Gae Harris exemplifies the religious zeal of this self-harm:

July 16 2017, spinal cord questions answered:

The Bloodroot Discussion Group

September 23 2017, male breast. Member in New Zealand:

September 20 2017, ear:

September 9 2017, breast:

August 30 3017, cheek. Member appears to be in the US:

July 21 2017, arm:

June 28 2017, under eye:

April 27 2017, neck:

April 14 2017, eyebrow:

March 1 2017, nose:

February 8 2017, face. Member location unknown:

December 17 2016, arm:

August 31 2016, September 22 2016, October 24 2016, calf:

August 4 2016, arm:

February 11 2016, under eye:

October 7 2015, arm:

Black Salve

August 29 2017, under armpit:

August 30 2017, skin tag on knee:

September 4 2017, nose:

September 1 2017, internally, for metastases:

September 12 2017, whitehead on neck:

September 13 2017, breast:

September 14 2017, breast:

September 18 2017, on biopsy wound on breast, and internally, for metastases:

September 30 2017, under eyebrow:

July 24 2017, on neck (image upside down):

July 22 2017, under eye:

May 26 2017, above eye:

September 26 2015, neck:

April 10 2015, nose:

July 5 2012, breast:

June 20 2012, temple:

April 18 2013, face:

And we haven’t even touched on the abuse of their animals, in all fora, due to time constraints.

August 13 2013:

Incredibly, Dogs NSW hosted one of the Panacea-BOCAF black salve spruikers on November 14 2015:

What you may not know is that there are a wide range of preventative measures and healing alternatives for you to explore. Ashtweth Palise from Panacea BOCAF (QLD) will be presenting his results on a revolutionary new approach to skin cancer for people and animals.

Thanks for reading.


About reasonable hank

I'm reasonable, mostly.
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2 Responses to Corrosive black salves still disfiguring Australians, for profit

  1. Cholm Williams says:

    Hi Hank Great posting. I had personal experience reconstructing disfigurements in N Ireland in the 1970s, it was a folk remedy handed down with unknown ingredients, but extraordinarily painful. I saw exposed bone on cheeks, back of hand, lower leg and even ribs when it was used for shingles. It sure cured the underlying skin lesion, whatever it had been. I presented some cases at the inaugural Skeptics meeting in Sydney in ?1975 Cholm Williams Plastic Surgeon

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