DIY DandeLion Balm for Sore Muscles and Joints
The dandeLion balm is skin nourishing and useful for easing sore muscles, chapped skin, joint pain, headache, chest congestion, and other common complaints. The dandelion balm is nourishing and protective. You need this Lion Balm in your home apothecary to roar against pain and inflammation.
When I was in high school a friend, Lillian, an immigrant to Canada from Hong Kong, offered me a small salve tin of white Tiger Balm® for my headache. Tiger Balm® is a proprietary mixture of petrolatum and essential oils (1:1 ratio of petrolatum and essential oils) that is useful for relieving muscle pain, headache, joint pain, and backache. On that first introduction, my friend suggested I put it on my temples, which I did. The effect was immediate, cooling, opening, and pain-relieving.
After that first encounter, I found Tiger Balm® in the local Chinese corner grocery store. In Vancouver in the 1970s, there was one on almost every street corner. Today rather than stocking Tiger Balm® I make my own salves and liniments for sore muscles, headaches, and even chest congestion, free of petroleum products and rich in natural botanicals.
If you have a source of unsprayed dandelions you can make a batch of this in about 15 minutes of hands-on time and a bit of waiting for the infused oil to steep.
Dandelion flower benefits
This version is better than the proprietary brand name because it begins with dandelion-infused oil. The dandelion infused oil is made with dandelion flowers which are rich in flavonoids and polyphenols are known for their skin healing, pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory anti-oxidant, anti-tumour properties. Dandelion is a rich source of vitamins A, B complex, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. The rich yellow colour comes from the antioxidants quercetin, luteolin, luteolin 7-glucoside, carotenes, lutein, and zeaxanthin, all nourishing and healing flavonoids.
To make this dandelion balm start by making a dandelion flower-infused oil. While you can make an infused oil with fresh dandelion flowers, it’s somewhat hit and miss. Dandelion flowers are high in water content and can quickly make the infused oil give off a rotten smell — thanks to the coumarin compounds in the flowers. This can be avoided completely by first drying the dandelions in a dehydrator or low oven. When the infused oil is made with dried dandelion flowers it is safe for salve making as well as for cooking.
To make dandelion flower infused oil
Yield: 2 cups
1 cup of dandelion flowers, dried
2 cups of virgin olive oil or sunflower oil
In a pint-size Mason jar, place the dried dandelion flowers and the olive oil. Stir to remove any air bubbles. Ensure that the flowers are fully covered by olive oil. Cap tightly.
Put aside in a dark cupboard. Shake the jar daily for 4 weeks. When it’s ready the oil is a deep golden yellow colour with a faint fragrance. It should smell pleasant.
Strain. Discard the flowers and retain the dandelion-infused oil. Use dandelion-infused oil for the dandelion balm recipe below. The dandelion flower-infused oil can also be used as a massage oil for sore muscles and as the basis for a salve for dry, chapped skin. The high antioxidant and nutrient profile of dandelion blossoms makes it an ideal all-around skin-nourishing ingredient for salves and ointments.
Yield: 6 ounces
- 2 tablespoons dandelion infused oil
- 2 tablespoons shea butter
- 2 tablespoons (24 grams) beeswax pastilles
- 2 teaspoons menthol crystals
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil
- 2 drops vetiver essential oil
- 10 drops rosemary essential oil
- Make a double boiler using a glass measuring cup and a saucepan. Fill the saucepan with water so that it comes halfway up the side of the glass measuring cup.
- Place dandelion-infused oil, shea butter, and beeswax in the measuring cup. Simmer the saucepan over medium heat until the beeswax melts. Remove from the heat.
- Stir in menthol crystals, peppermint, vetiver, and rosemary essential oils. Stir to fully incorporate.
- Pour into salve tins. Allow the salve to harden before putting the lid in place. Label and date.
Use a small amount of the dandelion balm and massage into sore muscles, joint pain, strains, or sprains. To use it for headache pain, apply a small amount to the temples, avoiding the eye area. Rub it on the chest to ease breathing with chest congestion. This is also useful to relieve the itching of mosquito bites and other itchy rashes.
Other dandelion salves
Dandelion salve for chapped skin from The Nerdy Farm Wife
Dandelion lotion bars also from The Nerdy Farm Wife, Jan Berry.
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