Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) are well known among all. Children love to make wishes while blowing their seeds away, garden owner wish there would be no such thing as dandelions. On whatever end of the spectrum you might be, don’t overlook this stubborn weed!
In term of nutrition, dandelions are a great ally. Dandelion leaves and flowers make great additions to your salad, the flower buds provide a great taste explosion, the flowers can be made into a jam or syrup, and did you know you can make a coffee substitute with the roots? The dandelion coffee will be covered in a future post (because coffee always deserves it’s own post)!
Next to being an all round amazing edible, studies show it has got some great benefits for your skin as well. It helps to fight aging in the skin and may reduce skin inflammation and irritation. Sounds like a winner to me.
Dandelion is an ingredient you will find in traditional gardeners hand salves. But to be honest, this salve can be used for all parts of your skin. It is soft and nourishing. It can leave a slight oily residue, you can either wipe that off, or alter the recipe. Olive oil is a half-dry oil, meaning, it will leave a bit of a protective residue on your skin. If you swap the olive oil for a dry oil, like safflower, grape seed or rosehip seed oil, there will be no residue left.
To celebrate the spring vibes a soft hint of vanilla and sweet orange essential oils have been added to the recipe. Feel free to use an essential oil you love, such as lavender, sage, rosemary, rose (there are so many amazing smelling oils!).
This recipe will make about 2 cups of salve. Which will be enough to last you a long time, or to give away to friends and family.
This recipe is a two step recipe. First we will start with the dandelions. Pick two cups of dandelion flowers. The best is to pick them in the morning on a sunny day, when the potent ingredients are at their peak.
Pick flowers that look healthy and fresh. When you foraged about two cups of fresh flowers, spread them out on a flat surface, where they can dry for a couple of days. Once dried, you will have about a cup of flowers left.
When the flowers have dried (for the most part), add them to a large jar and pour 2 cups of olive oil over them. Set aside on a warm window sill for about two weeks (not much longer, since dandelions can spoil quite fast).
To get all the goodness out of the dandelions, into the oil, add the oil (including the flowers) into a double boiler. Put on medium heat for about an hour (no boiling). After an hour, strain the oil by using a cheesecloth. Make sure to squeeze all the oil from the flowers, that’s were the goodness is! Strain your oil well, the cleaner the oil (the better strained), the longer your salve will stay fresh.
Put the strained oil back into the double boiler, let the beeswax and cacao butter dissolve (no boiling). Get the double boiler of the heat source, and add the vitamin E oil and essential oils.
Stir well and pour into a tin or jar. This salve will stay fresh up to a year.
Hand draw a nice label, or print one just like we did, so you won’t forget what that nice smelling salve in the back of your cupboard is.
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