Zinc Chloride:
Its Established Effects

Addressing Misinformation About This
Vital Compound & Its Long-Standing
Use As An Escharotic Ingredient

One of the primary compounds used in the preparation of escharotics -- and this has been going on for centuries now -- is zinc chloride. There is nothing new about man's manufacture and use of this important zinc compound: it's use goes far back into antiquity, and, in fact, it was even made and utilized in the King's Chamber at the Great Pyramid at Giza. 1 Additionally, a careful reading of the first two chapters of Meditopia shows that it is repeatedly shown as an important ingredient in the history of the art. Zinc chloride is ever-present in the U.S. patent records of the past 150 years. 2
Sixteen years ago (around 2001), I had to address the use of zinc chloride in escharotics in response to misleading information that was provided by author, Ingrid Naiman. 3 I even incorporated my comments in the Cansema FAQ section. In addition to emphasizing how "caustic" zinc chloride is, 4 Naiman goes so far as to say that zinc chloride is not recommended for internal use. 5
I would not have strong opinions on this subject were it not for the fact that I've been working with zinc chloride-based escharotics since 1989, and have worked -- directly or indirectly -- with thousands of users over that time. Certainly, there is room for abuse of zinc compounds, if not used properly -- but so are most other things we normally regard as innocuous. Taken in excess, salt is poisonous (hypernatremia) 6, sugar is poisonous 7, alcohol is poisonous 8, and even water is poisonous (hyponatremia) 9. Speaking more broadly, as Paracelsus noted 500 years ago, "Every medicine is a poison, and every poison is a medicine. It all depends on the dosage." The current scare tactics that are surfacing on social media and even in the mainstream media -- (see rebuttal to a recent Dr. Oz hit piece) -- takes advantage of people who don't understand this. It's always easy to demonize something when addressing people who don't have the background to know any better.
At the risk of sounding annoyingly redundant -- because God only knows how many times I've addressed this issue in the past through various media -- let's review the misinformation -- point by point -- that has been circulated about zinc chloride:
  1. Zinc chloride is NOT horribly caustic. The word "caustic" has a specific meaning in chemistry and generally refers to "strong bases, particularly alkalis", hence its use in common language to describe high pH compounds: "caustic soda" (sodium hydroxide), "caustic potash" (potassium hydroxide), "caustic lime" (calcium oxide), etc. This doesn't describe zinc chloride at all, because aqueous solutions of ZnCl2 have a pH of about 4 -- and there is no escharotic I've ever made that isn't in the 4 to 6.5 pH range, which is far less acidic that apple, orange, grape, or cranberry fruit juices. For all intents and purposes, the action of zinc chloride when used escharotically has nothing to do with its pH -- but I see references to zinc chloride being "caustic" or "too acidic" on social media with some regularity, and I grimace when confronted with such unmitigated ignorance on the subject.
    What critics of zinc chloride-based escharotics "mean" to say is that zinc chloride is corrosive to human (animal) tissue -- which, taken to an extreme, is another way of saying that zinc chloride-based escharotics will indiscriminately eat away skin right on down to the bone wherever you apply it. Experienced users of properly made escharotics know that this laughably inaccurate.

    I've done a number of interviews -- (recent example: my interview on my assessment of Curaderm in comparison to true escharotics -- see also link above) -- where I've covered sizeable areas of my skin with Cansema® to show that its "causticity" is exaggerated.
    As I pointed out in my Dr. Oz rebuttal, properly made escharotics, used according to proven instructions do NOT "attack" healthy tissue. In fact, consumers who incorrectly believe that a given growth is cancerous, when it isn't, routinely complain that "black salve doesn't work." The truth is that properly-made escharotics, when applied to healthy tissue, are not SUPPOSED to work.

  2. Zinc Chloride is NOT excessively painful when properly utilized. The argument that zinc chloride is inherently painful runs parallel to the argument that it's painful to use "Black Salve." I address this as point 2 in my Dr. Oz. rebuttal.
  3. Zinc Chloride will NOT leave you disfigured. Again, this runs parallel to the argument that "Black Salve" is disfiguring. I address this as point 3 in my Dr. Oz rebuttal.
  4. Zinc Chloride will NOT leave 'gaping' holes in your body. This ALSO runs parallel to the argument that this is one of Black Salve's properties. I address this as point 4 in my Dr. Oz rebuttal.
  5. Zinc Chloride has been successfully used in internal formulas for many years. Naiman has promoted this false principle, as well. 10 Damn it. Somebody should have told me this 28 years ago, since I've been periodically taking internal versions of Cansema Tonic all of this time, sometimes for months on end. (Nearly ever version, except for the first version of Tonic III in 2003, has contained zinc chloride.) God only knows the horrible things that will happen to me if I continue to take internal escharotics with zinc chloride for yet ANOTHER 28 years! For all this talk about "intestinal damage" when taking internal escharotics with zinc chloride, why is it that I've been working with escharotics since 1989 and I have yet to hear of such a case? You want to know what will happen if you take too much zinc chloride -- (which I do NOT recommend)? You'll get nauseated and vomit.
    Again, in the small amounts of zinc chloride that you'll find in properly-made internal escharotics, this isn't an issue. If it were -- after 28 years -- I would know by now.
These are the main areas of misrepresentation as it relates to most escharotics, in general, and zinc chloride, in particular. Nonetheless, if any reader has a question that they don't feel we cover comprehensively, they can always write to us at support@herbhealers.com.

Greg Caton
Medical Researcher
Alpha Omega Labs --- Guayaquil, Ecuador
May 30, 2017


  1. Egyptologist, Christopher Dunn, has been writing about this for years. I was first exposed to the connection with zinc chloride from his book, The Giza Power Plant, which I read in 2004.
  2. See Chapters one and two of Meditopia.
  3. Naiman, Ingrid; Cancer Salves, Seventh Ray Press, Suquamish, WA; 1999. ISBN: 981882834150. p. 33. I don't know any of my competitors products that do what she describes. Paradoxically, two pages later, on p. 35, she contradicts herself, writing " . . . I have used several such products on myself with no reaction whatsoever, this despite the zinc chloride in the products."
  4. Ibid., p. 33.
  5. Ibid., p. 40.
  6. See Hypernatremia in Medscape. Admittedly, hypernatremia from excess salt intake is a rare cause, but it can happen.
  7. See Sugar Wars (The Atlantic). Also, NY Times Magazine article on this subject. Robert Lustig represents the more extreme view, but naturopaths have been citing examples from their own work for many years, and there are a number of excellent books now on the market covering the dangers of refined table sugar.
  8. I could pick countless sources on this subject. See The Mayo Clinic's contribution to the subject of alcohol poisoning.
  9. Technically, excess water intake is an uncommon cause of hyponatremia, but it can and does happen. See: entry by MSD Manuals.
  10. Naiman, Ingrid. Ibid., p. 40.