Spring Means Dandelions! Which means I can get started on making Dandelion Salve and Dandelion Oil! Easy to make, and a wonderful remedy for aches and pains, chapped skin, sore muscles and tired joints. Read on to see how I make mine…
Yay for Spring!
Spring brings many beautiful flowers, Tulips, Daffodils, Primrose and of course Dandelions! Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) divide opinion a great deal, most consider them a weed, an irritant in the flower bed!…but I think of them as a flower, a healing flower at that. I consider them a gift from nature, earth’s natural medicine, good for a whole host of ailments. Here’s a Little Dandelion history…
Dandelions are incredibly old! Dating back to subarctic Eurasia before the last Ice Age! They grew on mountain slopes, shore lines and exposed grassland. After the Ice age they spread rapidly via their airborne seeds and now inhabit most countries around the world.
Dandelions have long been used for medicinal purposes, in fact, they have been an important component in Chinese medicine for well over one thousand years! The ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians were also quick to notice the benefits of this sunny plant. They would often brew a tea from the roots and use it as a tonic to remove harmful toxins from the body. The gentle diuretic capabilities of the Dandelion helped to improve the function of the digestive system and flush the body of toxins through increased urination.
But that’s not all! Though Ancient Physicians may not have the insight that our medical professionals do today, it soon became evident through practice that Dandelions helped with a vast array of problems. They recommended Dandelion Salves, Tinctures, pulpice, Oils and teas for constipation, arthritis, anemia, diabetes, bladder problems, fevers, scurvy and even toothache. A plant with many uses!
Domestic Uses of The Dandelion
Dandelions were also admired for their beauty…certainly not regarded as a weed back then! They had practical applications too, they were often used to make Dye. From the flowers they would make a yellow dye and a purple tinted dye from the inner ribs of the leaves…I may have to try that!
How Did The Dandelion Get its Name?
The Dandelion was called ‘dent de lion’ by the French, meaning tooth of a lion which was in reference to the pointed, deeply serrated shape of the Dandelion leaves.
Dont wet the Bed!
A quite amusing yet unfortunate nickname was given to the Dandelion by The French, they called it ‘Pis-en-Lit’…A warning that one should never consume Dandelion Tea before bed (A known diuretic) for fear you may Pis-en-lit the bed!
Foraging For Dandelions
Very Few People grow dandelions intentionally, they grow so abundantly in the wild! Here is how to hunt them down…
When can you Forage for Dandelions? From Spring Onwards, until the first frosts
Where do dandelions Grow? Found in Pastures, Garden borders, waste ground and grasslands
Which Parts of the world do dandelions grow? All Over! But they are mostly native to Europe, Asia, the Americas and Australasia
What Do Dandelions Look Like? They Have Dark Green Leaves with a pointy teeth like edge appearance. The leaves form a basal rosette, with a central hollow stalk with a single fluffy yellow flower on top.
Now some Foraging Etiquette!
There are some rules you should abide by if you intend to forage for food, or for foliage. I doubt anyone would care where you forage Dandelions from as I imagine most people would be glad to be rid of them. But regardless, here are some rules I follow when foraging….
Only take what you need-Take no more than you plan to consume or use and try to forage over a wide area rather than picking from one patch. Make sure you’re foraging doesn’t disturb the habitats and environments of the local wildlife.
Leave No trace– Leaving no trace of your presence is a sign you have foraged responsibly. Do not trample or disturb roots and only take when there is an abundance of your chosen food or foliage. This allows the plants to replenish and renew.
Don’t Pick from Private land – If you intend to, be sure to get permission first.
Only Pick from Clean areas – Avoid Roadsides, Industrial areas & Top tip* Foraging from the base of a tree for example would not be wise, the likeliness of a dog previously cocking its leg there…is high! If you intend to consume what you have foraged, wash first.
How To Make Dandelion Salve and Dandelion Oil
- First Harvest Dandelion Flowers and Dry Them Completely. Do this by popping them in a food dehydrator on the lowest heat setting for 12 hours, or place them on newspaper in a dark, sheltered environment for around 1 week.
- Submerge dried Dandelion flowers in olive oil for at least 3 weeks, shake the jar every day , place on a warm windowsill.
- After 3 weeks, using a cheesecloth as a sieve, pour the oil through into a clean jar (separating the flower heads from the oil)
- For Dandelion infused oil, simply pour the oil into a dropper bottle.
- For Dandelion salve you need 1 part beeswax flakes to 5 parts infused oil.
- I measured 50g of beeswax flakes & 250ml of infused Dandelion oil, place both ingredients in a glass bowl.
- Create a double boiler by placing the bowl on top of a pan of boiling water, stir constantly as the wax melts into the oil.
- When there are no remnants of wax visible, pour the hot oil into your jar before it starts to set.
- Almost immediately you will see the oil start to set in the jar, leave to set.
- Screw the lid on the Jar and use as and when needed
The Benefits Of Dandelion Salve
Dandelion Salve is a wonderful pain reliever for all kinds of aches and pains. I use it mainly for chapped lips, dry skin, sore Joints and Sore muscles.
The Benefits Of Dandelion Oil
It has the same benefit as Dandelion Salve but is more useful for covering larger areas of skin. The oil glides and covers easier than the balm does, perfect for moisturising dry itchy skin on your legs for example. I also like to rub some on my neck and temples, I find it excellent for its calming effects, very useful for reducing any feelings of stress. It is also a wonderful anti-Aging treatment that can boost collagen production when applied regularly
What You’ll Need To Make Dandelion Salve And Dandelion oil
Old Sauce Jar Or Mason Jar
Herb Jar for the Dandelion salve
Amber Dropper Bottle for The Dandelion Oil
Useful Foraging Equipment
Do You Have To Use Olive Oil as A base?
The type of carrier oil that you use is up to you. I use Olive oil as i find it to be the most affordable and attainable…and my skin loves it! But you can also use Almond Oil or Coconut oil as an alternative.
How To Store Dandelion Oil And Dandelion Salve
I tend to keep them both in my makeup bag or bathroom cabinet for up to 1 year. I use My Dandelion Salve every single day as a moisturising homemade lip balm.
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