I’m thankful for my genetics.
Truly I am.
I have always had really nice skin. It didn’t get covered in pimples during junior high, tans nicely, has little to no freckles, and has even coloring.
But my hands tend to get pretty dried out especially in the winter and during heavy gardening season. Sure, I could wear gloves when I garden (which I do at times) but where’s the fun in that?
I was looking into DIY Dandelion Salves 2 months ago when I really started hitting the garden hard and my hands started drying out. I’m a sucker for the lowly plant cast aside by years of negative attention, and re-purposing plants that have no “usable” parts in today’s society. That’s where the dandelion came in.
If you look back on my post about The Lowly Dandelion, you’ll see all of the internal medicinal benefits.
In regards to the skin and external usage, dandelions have great pain relieving properties and can be used as a massage oil or put into salves, lotions, balms, etc.
The oil works for arthritis, stiff muscles, and headaches. It doesn’t numbs the pain (like an icee-hot product) but relaxes the muscles where the oil has been applied.
To make this salve we’re first going to make dandelion infused oil.
Dandelion Infused Oil
What you need:
-Pint Size Jar
-6-8 Cups of Dandelion Heads
-2-3 Cups Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
There are 2 ways to infuse your oil: The Hot Infusion Method or Solar Infusion Method.
If you’re impatient with your DIY projects and don’t like to wait around, the Hot Infusion Method is the best way to go. I did both for this tutorial, to be able to show you the Hot Infusion Method, but I will be using the oil from a Solar Infusion Method in my actual Dandelion Salve recipe. This method can be applied to any herb you wish to infuse into oil.
Now, let’s get started.
1) Go outside and pick your dandelion heads. Try to reduce the amount of stems you get (you can always trim them down later). You want about 6-8 cups of dandelions for this recipe. Where you pick your dandelion heads from is very important. Try to find a location where the lawn or area hasn’t been treated with herbicides or fungicides. The last thing you want is an infused oil with THAT cocktail in it.
Try to pick your dandelion heads when they are fully open, bright yellow, and dry (around mid-day). Fully open and yellow heads signifies that the flower is in its prime and is fully mature. If you wait for the dew to dry off of the dandelions before picking them you can save yourself a little drying time.
2) Spread your dandelion heads out on a flat surface to dry. Dandelions have a very high water content, so you want to make sure you don’t skip this step. High water content will lead to your oil having a sludgy scumming appearance…which is not what we’re looking for. Let them dry for 1-3 days. (I let mine dry for 2 days)
3) Pack your dried dandelion heads into a pint jar, filling it no less than 3/4 of the way up. I don’t measure them as I’m putting them in the jar which is why I have you pick more than enough dandelion heads for this recipe. Don’t SMASH them down into your jar, but make sure you tightly layer them in. Pour your olive oil over the dandelions, covering them completely, and screw lid in place.
4) Put 2-2 1/2 inches of water in a small sauce pan. Place your jar into the water and turn your burner on medium. Watch your water very carefully. You do not want it to boil, as this could fry your dandelion heads, shatter your jar, etc. When your pan has small bubbles on the bottom turn your burner off and allow your jar to stand in the water until the water is cool.
5) Place your cooled jar in a pantry for 2-3 days to continue infusing.
6) After 2-3 days, strain your oil. I first used a small, fine sieve strainer. Then I used cheesecloth and squeezed all of the oil out of the dandelion heads
Transfer your oil to a jar (amber in color, if possible…I didn’t have any on hand).
Your oil is now ready to use!!
****If you want to use the solar infusion method, follow steps 1-3. Then instead of putting your jar into a pot of water and heating it, place it in a sunny window and allow it to infuse for 3-4 weeks. I prefer the longer method, only because I tend to be a purist and believe the sun can extract properties out of the dandelions that boiling water cannot.
Ya, I’m crazy…and proud of it.
Make sure to label your infusion clearly, in case within the span of 3-4 weeks it gets shuffled around and you forget what’s in your jar ;)****
Dandelion Salve Recipe
What You’ll Need:
-Holding container for finished salve (I used a pint jar)
-Small Sauce Pan
-8 oz of infused dandelion oil
-2 oz of Organic Coconut Oil
-2 oz of Beeswax
1) Fill your small sauce pan with 2 inches of water. Place 2oz beeswax and 2 oz coconut oil in your pint jar, then place your jar into the pan of water. Turn your stove on medium until beeswax and coconut oil have melted.
Don’t let your water come to a boil.
2) After the coconut oil and beeswax have melted, slowly stir in your 8 ounces of infused dandelion oil. The beeswax and coconut oil may harden back up a bit when you add your oil. This is only because your oil is at room temperature. Just keep stirring until your beeswax and coconut oil have melted again.
3) Once your dandelion oil is fully mixed in, carefully remove the jar from the pan.
4) Let cool and harden with lid off.
5) Label jar clearly “Dandelion Salve” for future reference and top with a lid.
This salve has a firm consistency having coconut oil and beeswax in it. But if you scoop some out before you use it the salve will warm up and soften right in your hand.
Do you have any tips or questions on making salves??
Post in the comments below!