Most of us are brought up to believe that dandelions are the enemy. Whether you pull them out or spray them with pesticides, they're likely not a welcome addition to your well-manicured lawn. But contrary to popular belief, the dandelion is actually pretty remarkable. According to a recent article by CBC News, a biochemist at the University of Windsor has just been given a $217,000 grant to continue studying how effective dandelion root extract is in fighting cancer. Researchers have already shown how “repeated treatment with low dose dandelion root extract was effective in killing most of the cancerous cells.”
There are actually many things that you can do with dandelions that DON'T involve spraying them with harmful pesticides, which is actually the WORST thing that you could be doing to them. You see, when you spray a weed with harmful herbicides, you’re not just killing the weed itself, but also pollinators, like butterflies, birds and bees, beneficial microorganisms in the soil, and contaminating ground and surface water.
In a recent article I wrote for a local magazine, Sunshine Coast Living Magazine, I shared my favourite things to do with dandelions. One of my faves - dandelion gardening salve! You can read the full article, "Four Fabulous Uses for Dandelions (That Don't Involve Pesticides) HERE!
This salve is the perfect relief for dry, cracked hands and heels after a day in the garden. It can also double as a moisturizing lip balm or lip gloss (I keep a small tin my purse).
How to Make a Dandelion Gardening Salve
The first step to making a dandelion salve is to make a dandelion-infused oil.
INFUSING OIL WITH DANDELIONS: gather dandelion flowers and leave them to wilt on your windowsill for a day or two. Fill a jar ½ -3/4 full with the wilted dandelions and cover with a liquid carrier oil like olive, avocado, sweet almond or grapeseed (don’t get too hung up on amounts). Leave to infuse on your window sill for 2-3 weeks before straining. Store strained oil in the fridge for future use. Complete infusion tutorial HERE.
Add the Dandelion Oil and Beeswax to a glass jar or Pyrex measuring cup and melt over low heat using the “double boiler” method (place the jar of oils in a saucepan or pot of simmering water).
Once the oils have melted, remove from heat and add essential oils.
Pour into a small glass jar, or whatever you have on have that you can re-purpose, and seal with a lid.
Apply to dry or cracked skin as often as necessary -will last for approximately one year.