As I've read more and more about homesteading and reducing waste, foraging has become a topic of interest, mostly because you're getting something for nothing. Great for the budget! The plant that has caught my attention most this year is the dandelion. And while I still don't know if I love them all over my yard, I do know we don't want to spray them because of the honeybees. So why not make lemonade out of lemons...or salve out of dandelions?
The other day, after spending the afternoon working on my raised beds, my hands were rough. That's what happens after they spend all winter inside. And I had to keep reapplying lotion to make them feel moist again. I had heard of salves for farmers, and I knew that people were in love with dandelions for stuff like this, and so the Farmer's Dandelion Salve was concocted!
Dandelions are used in salves like this because of their analgesic properties. They can help reduce inflammation and ease muscle fatigue. Who knew that a "weed" that we work so hard to get rid of, can actually ease the pain of all that work?!
I added a few additional ingredients to this salve for varying reasons.
- Unrefined coconut oil: Coconut oil is a great moisturizer for skin because it penetrates deep. This will help with the excessive dryness that can occur after a day of working in the dirt.
- Beeswax pellets: Beeswax creates a barrier on skin to help lock in the moisture. Plus, it helps the salve harden!
- Raw Shea Butter: Raw shea butter is extremely moisturizing and can provide immediate relief to dry hands. It also does not liquefy at room temperature helping to harden the salve a bit.
- Lavender essential oil: Lavender oil contains antimicrobial properties which can help to speed up the healing of cuts and burns.
- Helichrysum essential oil: Helichrysum has been shown to contain anti-inflammation properties and is also used in many anti-aging products to help with the appearance and heath of skin. It is easy for a farmer's or gardener's hands to look "old" because of the hard work those hands endure.
- Roman Chamomile essential oil: Chamomile also had anti-inflammatory properties to help your tired hands or neck muscles. The anti-inflammatory properties, along with the anti-bacterial properties, found in chamomile also make it a great oil for skin health.
The first thing you want is to go in the morning or early afternoon on a sunny day to pick the dandelions. You want the dew to be dried up, and the flowers to be fresh and open. This is a great job for little hands to help with!
Once you have a good amount of flower heads, pluck out the petals and lay them out on a towel or drying basket. Allow them to dry overnight or close to 24 hours. Dandelions have a lot of moisture, and many people cautioned that adding the flowers without drying them first will cause your lotions, oils and salves to mold or mildew.
You want to make sure to melt your coconut oil. This does two things: First, it allows you to pour it and mix the flowers in. Second, the heat helps to allow the oils from the dandelions to infuse into the coconut oil. Keeping the oil in the sun allows the oil to stay warm and liquid, helping the infusion process. Your oil should be a golden yellow when you are done.
I used beeswax pellets because of how easily they melt and how simple they are to work with and measure. However, if I had access to our own beeswax, I would definitely use that instead.
Glass jars are perfect for storing this salve. Plastic has been reported to leach chemicals into products. Plus, essential oils will penetrate the plastic so that it will forever smell like whatever oils you have used. Filling small glass Ball Canning Jars, like I did, would make a great gift for the farmer, gardener or homesteader in your life!
I personally use doTERRA essential oils and love visiting Dr. Axe's website for essential oil information, but I am NOT a medical professional and you should always do your own research before starting to use essential oils.
Disclaimers: Erika Bault is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
I am a doTERRA wellness advocate and do make a commission if you purchase any of the oils via the website link provided.
- 1 cup dried dandelion petals
- 1 cup refined coconut oil*
- 1/4 cup beeswax pellets
- 1 TBSP unrefined shea butter
- 7 drops helichrysum oil
- 7 drops roman chamomile oil
- 10 drops lavender oil
- Collect several dandelion flowers. Pluck the petals from the flowers. It's ok if some of the green gets mixed in. Let the petals dry overnight.
- Heat the coconut oil until it is melted.
- Place the dandelion petals in a glass jar and pour the warm coconut oil over the petals. Place a lid on the jar and place it in a sunny spot for several hours while the dandelions infuse the oil.**
- Pour the oil through a fine mesh strainer and squeeze the oil out of the flower petals into a small saucepan.
- Add the beeswax pellets and shea butter to the dandelion infusion. Heat until all are melted.
- Remove from heat and add the other essential oils. Stir.
- Pour the salve into your jars and let them cool, making sure not to bump them and disturb the salve or it won't harden as pretty.
- Store in a cool place and use as needed after a hard day working with your hands.
- *Do not use fractionated coconut oil since it remains liquid. You want your salve to harden back up.
- **I let mine infuse for 6.5 hours, but you can do it even longer. I was just too excited to wait anymore.