“Black salves” are corrosive agents that produce thick, dry scabs (“eschar” on the skin.) They can lead to substantial harm and damage. For that reason, a few crazy, delusional or frankly dishonest lunatics have concluded that they cure cancer and have marketed them accordingly. The idea that eschartics can “draw out” cancers from underneath the skin is so insane that it is barely worth commenting on it, but there is some evidence that people back in ancient times, perfectly ignorant of how things actually worked, would use these salves for similar health purposes.
Holly A. Bacon (of Cleansing Time Pro) is just one such individual, and probably not the most important one. Bacon had marketed “black salve” ointment and tablets with claims that both products were effective against all forms of cancer, as well as against hepatitus, HIV, SARS, and Avian Flu and other viruses, until stopped by the Federal Trade Commission. Other examples of black salve peddlers include Gregory Caton, who was sentenced to 33 months imprisonment in 2004 to be followed by 3 years supervised release for marketing several products with claims that they could cure cancer and other diseases. And in 2005, Lois March, M.D., a Georgia ear, nose, and throat specialist surrendered her medical license to settle charges (http://www.casewatch.org/board/med/march/march.shtml) that she improperly helped Dan Raber, an unlicensed person who treated patients for cancer by providing pain management to several patients whom Raber treated with a bloodroot paste (causing severe injuries). And, not the least, our old acquaintance, the horrid Andrew Weil, has apparently been a proponent of these “remedies”.
Other products in the category include the "Two Feathers salve".
Diagnosis: Sometimes it is hard to believe that these people are acting in good faith, but even if they are, the type and level of ignorance cannot reasonably be used to absolve them from moral culpability. Abhorrent monsters, all of them.