Back in May our yard was full of dandelions. I knew people used dandelions for various things but I had never done anything with them myself except accept bouquets of them from my kids. 🙂
While many people think of them as weeds, dandelions actually can be very useful as they contain many vitamins and minerals. Many people eat the leaves, make herbal tea from the roots, batter and fry the flowers, and more.
While I haven’t used dandelions in our diet, I thought it would be fun to try to use the flowers to make a soothing salve for sore muscles as our first attempt at using dandelions.
I wasn’t sure how well the salve would work, but I thought it would be worth a try. My oldest son has used it and said it really helped his sore muscles. I haven’t needed it so far, but I am glad to have it on hand.
If you want to make dandelion salve here is the process you will need to use.
To make dandelion salve you first need dandelions. I picked a bunch of dandelions (flowers only), enough to fill a 18″x13″ cookie sheet, and let them dry on paper towels for several days.
It took about 3 days for the dandelions to look like they do in the picture below. I think waiting a full week would be even better.
After the dandelions were dry I placed them into a pint canning jar.
Then, I covered the dandelions with extra virgin olive oil. You could also use grapeseed oil or another light oil.
I next placed a lid on the jar and placed it in a sunny window for close to two weeks. Some people suggest using a piece of cheesecloth and a canning ring instead of a lid. I think that would work great and might prevent any possibility of molding.
I used a small strainer to strain the oil from the dandelions. I think cheesecloth would have worked better, but the strainer worked well enough.
After I had strained the oil it was time to make the salve.
I melted 2 ounces of beeswax inside a glass measuring cup that was sitting in a pan of boiling water (My makeshift double boiler.).
When the beeswax had melted I added the dandelion infused oil. I had 6 ounces of dandelion oil so my ratio of oil to beeswax was 3:1. This turned out to be a very good ratio.
When I added the oil the beeswax started to harden slightly. I just let it melt again.
Before adding the beeswax/dandelion oil mixture to a jar, I added about 20 drops of lavender essential oil. I not only did this for the aroma of the lavender oil but for the antibacterial and healing properties of the lavender.
I divided the dandelion salve into two smaller glass jars and allowed it to cool uncovered.
When the salve cooled it was ready to use.
Have you ever used dandelions either for eating for for medicinal uses like this salve?
If you want to give this dandelion salve a try, here’s the recipe.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Grapeseed Oil
- Cookie Sheet
- Paper Towels
- Glass Jars
- Lids for Jars
- Cheesecloth (or a fine mesh sieve)
- Lavender Essential Oil
- Measuring Cup
- Double Boiler or Sauce Pan
- Pick dandelion flowers (no stems) and place on a paper towel lined cookie sheet. Allow to dry for several days.
- Put the dried dandelions into a pint canning jar and cover with extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil.
- Place a lid (or a piece of cheesecloth & canning ring) over the jar and place in a sunny window for approximately 2 weeks.
- Strain the dandelions and oil through cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve.
- Melt beesewax in a double boiler (or use a glass measuring cup inside of a pan with water in the bottom).
- Add the dandelion oil to the beeswax and re-melt if necessary.
- Add lavender essential oil to the beeswax/dandelion oil mixture.
- Pour the mixture into small glass jars and allow to cool.
The ratio of dandelion oil to beeswax is 3:1 with 10 drops of lavender essential oil. For the batch of dandelion salve I made I used 6 ounces of dandelion infused oil, 2 ounces of beeswax, and 20 drops of lavender oil.