Flower Foraging and How to Make a Salve for Bumps and Burns
Something I have been expanding on in my foraging repertoire this year is the amount of flowers (edible or medicinal) that I collect. I have been reading a lot about the benefits of flowers like yarrow, red clover, arnica, and even daisies, and have been making a point of taking bunches home whenever we walk around the block. It is surprising how many useful flowers grow on the roadside in my neighbourhood!
Some might argue that you might want to avoid roadside foraging because of the pollution from passing cars. I agree that it is not exactly ideal, but my street is fairly quiet, so I'm comfortable with it. I also feel like this alienates a lot of people who might want to try foraging but who live in urban environments. I think as long as you know that there are some potential downsides you can decide if you are comfortable with them or not.
One of my main reasons for foraging more flowers this year was that I wanted to try to make a few medicinal items for my pantry. My first attempt came out really well, so I thought I'd share it with you! I read that daisies and dandelions are really good flowers for aches, pains, bumps, bruises, bug bites, and burns so I decided to go with them. Also they are really common flowers, so that helped make this doable! Apparently arnica is also really amazing for this purpose, but I didn't find any until after I made this one. I have since located and picked some, and it is infusing in oil as I type!
The dandelions infused in olive oil over a few weeks, the daisies I quick infused with coconut oil on the stovetop (I chose this method because I was out of time, and also because I only had solid coconut oil and I needed to melt it. The other ingredients were beeswax from a local apiary, and some lavender essential oil. This is one I have had for quite a while that I just bought at the store. Something therapeutic grade would be better for this purpose, but I didn't want to spend any extra until I knew if this would work!
The verdict is - it's awesome! I tried this out as a massage oil for a sore back, on bug bites, on sunburn, and I feel comfortable recommending it as something worth making. Now, if you need medical attention for your condition, this is not going to replace pharmaceutical drugs or anything. It's not going to cure you of anything, but it will help alleviate some minor symptoms and it's worth having in the medicine cabinet.
One important thing to note is that this is not recommended for open wounds. I am going to be trying another salve with yarrow (featured in many of these photos) that will be more suited for something like that. I am also going to be making a cough syrup with the red clover I gathered, so stick around if you like homemade herbal remedies!