July 20, 2016

How to Make Dandelion Salve

I remember my dad on his hands and knees in the front yard, digging up evil dandelions by the roots.

How to make dandelion salve

And I remember watching the "gypsies" when we lived in Greece, foraging for dandelions in early spring, the first wild greens of the year.

Of the two, I have always been more like the gypsies. Although I didn't eat the greens, the cheerful yellow flowers have always made me smile. From grubby toddler hands offering me a yellow bouquet to the white "blow flowers" that my children loved, dandelions have given me some sweet memories.

How to make dandelion salve

When our middle daughter complained about all the dandelions she was dealing with this spring, I said "eat 'em!" She didn't go for that, but when I suggested making dandelion salve she was hooked.

How to make dandelion ointment

Dandelion-infused oil can be used as a pain-relieving massage oil or made into salve, soothing such conditions as stiff necks, sinus headaches, sore back muscles and arthritic joints. It also helps to heal sores and conditions rough, dry skin. My hands are so dry from gardening and working outside, and I really wanted to try this natural remedy.

Dandelion salve

Our daughter sent Granddaughter out to pick all the yellow blooms that afternoon and again the next morning, then poured olive oil in a jar to cover the flowers and let the jar sit on the kitchen counter until I visited them this summer.

Dandelion blooms infusing in a jar of olive oil

The first step to making salve was to strain the petals from the oil. I prefer to use muslin to strain herbs from oil, so that I can squeeze the last drop of the oil from the plant material, but I hadn't thought to bring some. I tried paper towels but they tore too easily, so I finally decided to live with a bit of sediment in the oil. It all ended up in the last jar anyway, so the others are perfect and prettier.

A jar of dandelion-infused oil.

The oil was such a pretty yellow color after infusing for over six weeks.


I measured out the beeswax that I'd brought with me, using 1/4 cup of beeswax and just under two cups of oil. I added a 1/4 cup of coconut oil too, to make the salve softer and less waxy. I guess it's more the consistency of ointment, actually.

Putting the beeswax in a glass measuring cup, we melted it by setting the measuring cup in a saucepan of simmering water on the stove like a double boiler. Next we added the coconut oil and let it liquify. I added the infused olive oil slowly, stirring after each addition because at room temperature it cooled the beeswax a bit.

Pouring dandelion salve into jars

Then we poured it into six 4-ounce canning jars. The last jar wasn't quite full, and was the one the sediment settled in, so it was our try-it-out jar.

Dandelion salve cooling in jars

Once it all cooled, my daughter applied some to her sunburned shoulders and I rubbed it into my hands. It was so luxurious; we love it! It is a bit oily when first applied, but it soaks in after several minutes. I brought two-and-a-half jars home with me and she kept three for herself.

Homemade dandelion salve

How do you feel about dandelions? Do you love 'em or hate 'em? Will you try making this salve? Let me know in the comments.

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  1. I just strained my dandelions a couple of days ago, to make salve!
    Dandelions are my favorite flowers! A beautiful gift from God!

  2. This is very interesting Kathi.
    Pinning for later :)

    1. Thank you for pinning the post, Sandra.

  3. I too enjoy grubby toddler hands bringing me dandelion flowers. I do eat the leaves in the spring (you get used to the bitter), and I dig the roots in the fall to make a tincture. A dropperful several times a day is a great way to relieve constipation! But I had never thought of making a dandelion flower salve. I love, love the color - so bright and cheery. What a great thing to use during the gray days of winter! We can moisturize and dream of spring. I'll be sharing this on social media - everyone needs to love their weeds!

    1. It really is so cheerful-looking, Michelle, and very luscious-feeling. Thank you for the suggestions of using leaves and roots, and for sharing the post!

  4. Love the post, I really wanted to do this this year, but wouldn't you know! We didn't have enough dandelions!
    Great post, thanks for sharing!

    1. Jamie, how many people are like us and say "Rats, I don't have very many dandelions this year!" ?

  5. What a great use of a sometimes pesky plant. The color is gorgeous!

    1. The color of both the oil and the finished salve are so sunshiny bright and pretty, Daisy.

  6. I have mixed feelings about dandelions too, Kathi. They do have a lot of great memories attached to them. I've heard of eating dandelion greens, but like your daughter I'm not too keen! I did try a dandelion and burdock drink once but I can't say I loved it. I would much rather use dandelions for this salve. It looks like a wonderful natural remedy. Thank you for sharing the tutorial for how to make it with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop.

    1. I agree, April, I think this is the best way to use dandelions. :-)

  7. Thanks for sharing another beautiful procedure, pinning and tweeting.

  8. This is such a neat idea! I really want to try making things with dandelions. Maybe next year. We don't have many right now. Thanks for linking up at #SustainableSundays!

    1. I've read of people who make dandelion wine and even dandelion jelly. Spring isn't far away, Danielle...


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