How to Make Dandelion Oil for Arthritis and Joint Pain Relief

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When I posted on my Facebook page the post about the best natural weed killers with a picture of dandelion seed head, some people suggested just to eat them instead. And this is true – dandelions can be eaten either raw or boiled in salads, or infused into herbal tea.

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In my e-book the Herbal Remedies Guide dandelion appears as an herbal remedy in several cases, and indeed  Wikipedia mentions that historically dandelion was prized for a variety of medicinal properties, and it contains a wide number of pharmacologically active compounds. It has been used in herbal medicine to treat infections, bile and liver problems and as a diuretic.

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But did you know that it’s also one of the most useful plants to reduce joint pain and aching muscles? The anti-inflammatory properties of dandelion have been proven to aid in the treatment of arthritis, gout, relieve sore muscles and decrease joint pain. In this case the dandelion flowers are infused into oil that can work effectively when massaged into aching muscles and joints.

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Dandelion Oil Recipe to Relieve Joint Pain

Dandelion flowers, freshly picked
Base oil, such as grapeseed oil, almond oil or olive oil

Preparation
Fill a small mason jar with fresh dandelion flowers. Pour the oil over the dandelion flowers and fill the jar almost to the top. Cover with cheesecloth secured with a rubber band and set the jar on a warm sunny windowsill for 2 weeks, or until the flowers have lost their color and turn brown. Strain the dandelion flowers out of the oil and transfer the oil to a new sterilized jar. Store it in a cool dark place. If you put it in the refrigerator, it should last indefinitely.

How to use it? when your therapeutic massage oil is ready, massage it into achy joints or muscles as needed.

For more useful herbs to relieve joint pain, please have a look at my article about the best herbs to relieve joint pain and how to use them:

The Best Herbs to Relieve Joint Pain and How to Use Them

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57 Responses to How to Make Dandelion Oil for Arthritis and Joint Pain Relief

  1. cindy says:

    I froze some dandelions this year, would they work as well?

    • Jenny says:

      Yes you can – I’ve come across a reference that said that the aerial part of the dandelion is better preserved by freezing because it retains more of its medicinal value when frozen rather than dried.

  2. Mary Stone says:

    THe flowers when young are excellent when dipped in egg then in flour milk and cajun spices and fried lightly.

  3. robert jean says:

    you said put the oil in but never said what type of oil ?

  4. Tammy Payton says:

    can this be consumed? and if so , what dose?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Tammy, in all the references I’ve checked, dandelion infused oil is used for topical application only. In foods, dandelion is used as salad greens, in soups and teas. As a tincture it’s good for digestion and liver cleansing. Find more information about dandelion in the website of University of Maryland medical center: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/dandelion

  5. Grace says:

    I don’t wanna sound stupid, but fresh dandelions are the white puffy things right?? Or the yellow ones?

  6. BJ says:

    Thank you for this recipe! I’m definitely going to try it out! One question though. When the oil sits in the windowsill for a couple of weeks, does it ferment? Does it start to bubble and or smell?Thank you for this article and answering this (probably redundant) question!

    • Jenny says:

      Making infused oils is a process of transferring flavor and scent into a carrier oil. It should not ferment and should not have a bad smell. It is a simple process of infusing flowers, herbs or spices into an oil by heating or letting it sit in a sunny spot so that the volatile oils can transfer into the carrier oil. If your infusion grows mold, there has been too much moisture in the jar and you’ll feel a bad smell and you will need to discard and begin again.

  7. voilet says:

    Hi is it just the petals or the whole flower thanks for all the info ,great site

  8. Lisa says:

    Thank you! I have been telling my family for years that dandelions are good for you. I am going to make this to help my daughter with her JRA. I am also going to make a salve. Thank you for jogging my memory on this.

  9. Steven says:

    In the past, dandelion roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems. Native Americans also boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional Chinese medicine, dandelion has been used to treat stomach problems, appendicitis, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe, it was used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.

    • Jenny says:

      Indeed dandelion is a well know medicinal herb so maybe it will change the way people look at this common weed 🙂

  10. Lucretia says:

    I so enjoy your post. I have been using some, but mostly reading about their uses for over 30 years. Hopefully some day I can retain all that i have read and I can use it when needed.

  11. debra says:

    this might be a stupid question but do you use the cooking oils like grapeseed ? or are they like massage oils?

    • Jenny says:

      You can use massage oils like almond oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil etc, as well as cooking oils like olive oil, sunflower oil etc.

  12. Jenny says:

    I saw in the internet that the name in Telugu is Simhadanti. I hope it’s correct. The botanical name is Taraxacum officinalis.

  13. sharon says:

    I m GOING TO TRY THIS, HOWEVER IT IS WINTER, SO WILL HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL SPRING. IS IT THE WHOLE FLOWER HEAD YOU USE PLEASE OR JUST THE PETALS.

  14. Jen says:

    If you store it in the fridge, can you warm it up before applying?

  15. Desiree says:

    How do you sterilize the jar? Do you just boil it for a time?

  16. Angela Reiter says:

    Thanks for the info. I have made and used this and love it. It helps my osteoarthritis so much.

  17. Sarah P says:

    What is the ratio of flowers to oil..? Cup for cup? If you want to make a large batch, say, a quart, how many flowers would I use..? Thanks!

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Sarah, there is no exact ratio – the dandelion flowers need to be covered with the oil. If you want to make a larger batch, just use a larger jar, fill it with flowers (you will need of course more flowers) and then cover them with oil almost to the top. At the end you will have a larger amount of oil.

  18. Chris Greene says:

    Dandelion is used for many conditions, but so far, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not it is effective for any of them.

  19. Pat Schmidt says:

    If I find dandelions in a field, what if they’ve been sprayed with something to prevent going to seed…..Still usable?

  20. Becky says:

    Hi Jenny, I bought some dried dandelion leaf…can I use that rather than the heads of the dandelions?

  21. Jill says:

    Maybe I missed this but how do you prepare the flower heads prior to covering with oil? Do you need to wash then dry them or just use straight from the yard?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Jill, if you pick them directly from your own garden you don’t have to wash them. If you see visible dirt or sand on them though, then you’ll want to rinse that off and dry thoroughly. Some sources suggest letting the flowers wilt for a day as opposed to using the freshly picked flowers due to the water content in the flowers, as the presence of water in the oil can encourage the oil to go rancid.

  22. Dr Ahmed says:

    Hi jenny Thanks for the detailed instruction in & valued response to all query .. yes i do have query .. i am using Mustard oil + ginger + garlic (boil for 30 mins) It gives result in swelling, muscular ache, stiffness ,: but no relief in bones pain can i add dandelion flowers (whole with his petals / dried or fresh ? if available in powder format will it help ??) while making the oil will it also help to get additional benefits in arthritis joint pain ? Kindly guide Regards & thank you in advance for your valuable time Dr Ahamad

    • Jenny says:

      I guess you will need to try adding the dandelion to the mixture and see if you notice any improvement over time. You can use fresh flowers or dried ones. If you use dry ones you need to halve the amount of flowers as dried flowers are more concentrated in their components. So if for example you use 1 cup of fresh flowers and cover them in oil, when using dried flowers use 1/3-1/2 cup and cover with the same amount of oil as if it was fresh. Dandelion root is available in a powder form but in this recipe it’s the flowers, not the root.

  23. Dr Ahmed says:

    well you have told to keep it intact for 2 week what if it is boiled in oil mustard for 30 min and removed from oil will this oil will have the same effect ..? regards

    • Jenny says:

      This is a shorter way of infusing oil that doesn’t use solar power. I don’t know if it has the same benefits as the longer way. Generally speaking, the longer the infusion, the stronger your herbal oil will be.

    • babydoll3156 says:

      I infuse my oils in the jar, in a crockpot. Add about two inches of water into a crockpot, set the jars in the pot and cook on warm for about eight hours. They are then infused.

  24. Michelle Sneed says:

    Thanks for all of your helpful insight !!

  25. Debbie Oakley says:

    Can you use dandelion essential oil from a health food store in olive oil and how many drops per ounce of olive oil?

    • Jenny says:

      I couldn’t find that essential oil is made from dandelion. I could only find dandelion extract or dandelion infused oil, but this is not essential oil.

  26. My father in-law is burden daily with arthritis in his legs. Which method would be the most helpful when using dandelions

  27. john james kelly says:

    Hi Jenny,
    Firstly, love your website, keep up the great work!
    I’ve been making dandelion oil in exactly the way you recommend for the last number of years. i give it to friends in the massage business and my parents use it for relief in their aching bones! I would love to sell it at farmer’s markets here in Ireland but am nervous about the HSE types making life difficult for me.I did attempt to register it but they maintain there is no evidence of it’s healing powers (or relief) for arthritis. can you recommend any sites where I might succeed in getting support for claims apart from Uni of Maryland which i’ve already located? thanks a mill John.

    • Jenny says:

      Hi John, what I could find is actually related to the root of dandelion and not to the flowers themselves. According to this study, Taraxasterol may be a useful agent for prevention and treatment of osteoarthritis (OA). Taraxasterol is produced from the root of Taraxacum officinale (dandelion). Another study talks about giving dandelion to arthritic rats, but I don’t know which part of the plant was used. I couldn’t find research about the flowers themselves.

  28. Tanya Thomas says:

    I am infusing olive oil for the first time one jar with dandelion and one with plantain, the dandelion kind of smells like spinach. I set them out in the sun and I open them and get out the bubbles and wipe away the moisture. Is this smell normal?

    • Jenny says:

      I’m not sure. How spinach smells is up to the olfactory process of the person who smells it. Perhaps for some it smells like something unpleasant (if the spinach is old for example) while for others it smells like grass (if it’s fresh). Some things can spoil or cause the oil to go rancid, but when the process goes bad you will know as it has a really bad smell. If this happens, discard the content and try again. Sometimes mold can grow in the oil (if the dandelions are left for much longer than 2 weeks in the oil). If this happens and the oil still smells good and not rancid, then just remove and discard the mold out of the jar with a spoon, making sure that you got it all. The oil should be fine to use after you remove the mold.

  29. AJT says:

    My suggestion, when using fresh herbs of any kind, is to use heat to infuse your oils. This way, the water in the plant material evaporates & all the actives possible infuse into the oil. Just don’t go overboard heat-wise. I use the double boiler method over med-low heat, no higher.

    Put your water in one pot, oil & fresh herbs in the smaller pot you’ll be ‘floating’ over the water. The size of your pots will be determined by how much oil you’re infusing. I wouldn’t recommend using jars for this unless you use an insulator under them because they will be resting directly on the bottom of the pot, getting the oil far too hot.

    I usually do this over a period of 3 hours, stirring every 20-30 minutes or so, or until my herbs look spent – meaning completely wilted & discoloured. As the water level in the lower pot decreases, add boiling water as necessary to top it up.

    You’ve now got a potent infusion of fresh herbal oil. Allow to cool to room temperature, uncovered, then seal tightly in a glass jar. Store in the fridge.

    Get a probe-type thermometer to measure your temp from time to time. If it gets too hot, add a bit of cooler water to the boiling water to lower the temp as necessary.

    My other suggestion would be to do research on which plants are better infused into oil/alcohol/water based on whether their main active ingredients are oil/alcohol or water soluble in order to get the most out of your herbs. For example, horsetail is best infused into water, rather than oil. Likewise medicinal mushrooms. Always in water. Other times it’s nice to do infusions in all 3 & combine them in a formulation to get the highest level of active ingredients possible. It takes some knowledge of herbs, solubility etc to get the best results. Google is your friend:-)

  30. Lisa McCorkle says:

    We dont have many dandelions around here so Im going to order dried today thanks to this. To make the infused oil is it easier to make it with dried dandelion leaf or leaf powder? I have the option for root but I see we need the leaf. Please let me know, thank you so much for your help 🙂

  31. Judy says:

    Can you use dandelion tea bags soaked in olive oil? I don’t know why but I have many herbal teas that cause me extreme bladder pain so I want to use them topically. They were expensive!

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Hi Judy, from what I’ve seen in sites like Amazon, the dandelion tea that is sold there is made out of the root of dandelion and not the flowers (I also saw a combination of root & leaf tea). Since it’s different parts of the plant than the recipe here, I don’t know if it is a good substitute. I’ve seen several references that drinking dandelion tea is good for arthritis pain but I don’t know what about topical application of it.

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