Dandelion salve will quickly become a staple in your home
Who’s ready to make yet another homemade, medicinal goodie for their household pharmacy? I consider this recipe Step One in my (make believe) Herbal Goodness 101. Let’s whip up some dandelion salve!
Who here doesn’t know what a dandelion looks like? And even better than being so easily recognizable – usually those yellow blossoms can be found everywhere! Recognizable and plentiful – check and check!
It’s spring here in the mountains, which means we get a fairly equal mix of gorgeous, sunny, 50-60 degree days … and snow. So, we are a little ahead of the dandelion curve, but I am finishing up my stock from last year. And when they bloom in my neighborhood, I am ready! So, if you are lucky enough to be enjoying more spring-like weather in your neck of the woods, harvest away!
Everything from the root to the flower of the pesky yellow weed provides benefits of all kinds. And the entire plant is edible – who knew? The root is often brewed in a tea, or dried and ground and used for supporting the digestive system. The leaves and flowers provide antioxidants, have been shown to reduce inflammation, and support the digestive system as well. So grab up some dandelion greens and add them to your salads and be the height of harvester-chic!
Take note if you are harvesting your own greens: make sure not to harvest where they may be exposed to chemicals. Places such as around pools, driveways, or other areas that may be contaminated by pesticides should be avoided.
First, we need to make some dandelion-infused oil for our dandelion salve
This process parallels our calendula-infused oil post here. Make dandelion oil using primarily the yellow bud in your herbal mixture. (Save the other parts of the plant for other recipes!) Harvest the buds and lay them out to dry overnight on parchment paper. This reduces some of the moisture content of the flowers. Next, fill your jar 2/3s with flowers, and then top with good quality grapeseed, sunflower or apricot kernel oil. Sit on a warm shelf with non-direct sunlight for 4-6 weeks, rotating jars a few times a week. The oil should end up being a gorgeous golden yellow. Remove the flowers by straining your oil through a cheesecloth or other fine strainer.
This oil is a dream for soap making, lotions and salves. One of the best ways we use the salve is for dry, irritated skin and for sore, tense muscles. This dandelion salve helps combat all kinds of aches and pains. Make it this time of year when dry skin and gardening hands come face-to-face. Once you have your dandelion-infused oil, the salve is a snap to put together.
Okay – time for an honest response! Who here has only looked at dandelions as weeds up until now?