Spring is finally arriving in the Northern Hemisphere, and with it we will be able to enjoy one of the first medicinal flowers of the season: Dandelion Taraxacum officinale.
Dandelions are not native to the U.S., but have become an iconic fixture across the entire country. As I understand it, they were brought over by Europeans as a “little bit of home”. And while many look on these prolific beauties as weeds to be eradicated, they have so many wonderful uses.
Our family enjoys dandelion leaves in salads, stirfry and soups. I’ll harvest the roots to dry, roast & use as “coffee” (goes great with chicory!), and the flowers – one of the first food sources for bees – also make a great addition to salads, or a even a healing salve.
When gathering dandelions, or any medicinal plant, make sure you are gathering from a location away from high traffic density, animal trails/areas, places where weed killer or fertilizer have been used. And that you aren’t over harvesting, as well. Luckily, dandelions are so prolific, it is difficult to over-pick them.
This particular Dandelion salve is called a “simple”, as it contains only 2 ingredients: dandelion infused oil plus beeswax. It is great for minor cuts, scratches, and bug bites. I like to use certified organic olive oil for my salves, as this oil has healthy qualities and nutrients for the skin, as well as being well absorbed. You can use any good quality oil, based on your preference and skin type.
It is important to store your salve in a cool dry place. Caning jars can be a good option, or even re-purposing something like an Altoids® tin (just make sure it’s clean & dry!). I have found that properly stored, this salve can last up to a year. Made without any essential oils, this salve is virtually scent-free. If you choose to add any oils, make sure they are good quality, and don’t overdo it. 6-10 drops for an entire batch will give a light scent, without being overpowering.
Download the recipe here: Dandelion Salve Recipe
If you’d like to try this salve, but don’t want to make your own, why not pop by my Etsy shop & pick up some Sunshine Salve? It’s made in small batches, and contains ethically wildcrafted dandelion Taraxacum officinale flowers, certified organic olive oil & beeswax.
Disclaimer: The information given here is not a replacement for medical advice. If you have health concerns, please consult your primary healthcare. Lizbeth recommends you always consult your doctor before using herbs.
Looking for good quality oils? We love Mountain Rose Herbs or Plant Therapy. For containers and tins, I have had great luck with Elements Bath and Body. (I’m not affiliated with any of these sites – they are simply suggestions).