Dandelion Salve and all of my mistakes!

I like to consider myself mildly "crunchy", which means I long to practice more natural living. However, when I say MILDLY, I mean it. I am not by any means even in the top 50% of moms I know or follow on social media who live this way, and while I admire them and strive to find ways to live more like them, I have to consider myself "scrunchy" - meaning, somewhere in between "silky" and "crunchy". I try to read labels on products I use, I do vaccinate my children, I like to shop for grass-fed beef and organic fruits and vegetables, and I'm trying not to kill my own tomato, kale, and pepper plants.

However, I found myself wanting to make my own dandelion salve this year and with the abundance of those beautiful little yellow plants, or "weeds" as some call them though they truly are not, it was pretty easy to gather enough in our River Falls neighborhood to make a decent batch. I never realized how useful dandelions were, and now that I know I'll be experimenting much more in the coming years!

I found a recipe on The Nerdy Farm Wife and loosely followed it, but as with anything, I would do things a bit differently the 2nd time around and I should have followed her recipe a little more closely. But, meh, whatevs......my batch did turn out ok and smells lovely on my skin. So here it is! 

First we gathered all of our dandelions, stems and all. We let them wilt outside in the sun for 24 hours to remove the moisture.

The next day we added them to small mason jars, because that's all I had, and Veda loved being my big helper.

Then Veda helped me pour olive oil into each jar, covering up the dandelions. I should have used jojoba oil or sweet almond oil instead but I didn't have either. The finished product smells like olive oil when in the container, but once on your skin that aroma goes away.

The next step should have been to infuse the oil over low heat, but I ran out of time. So, we let the jars sit for 2 weeks and then heated them. This probably makes a difference in the properties of the dandelion oil so I recommend following the recipe and NOT doing what I did :)

Then we needed to strain the oil. At the same time, we heated the beeswax and coconut oil together and then combined all the liquids, adding 20-25 drops of sweet orange essential oil to the batch. Another mistake I made was not combining the infused oil with the beeswax/coconut oil while heating. This caused separation within the containers. Also, the beeswax cools quickly, so this got kind of messy.

Not bad for my first try and I hope if you are interested in making your own dandelion salve that you will learn from my mistakes! I'll be rubbing this on my knees, elbows, hands, sore muscles, and even my lips before bed. 

Send me your crunchy recipes so I can experiment with my kids this summer :)

All the best,

Andrea