If you are looking for a fun and easy DIY project, and would enjoy a new, nourishing moisturizer, try this dandelion-oil recipe. Yes, dandelion. That familiar “weed” with cute yellow pom-pom flowers you’ve seen growing in fields since you were a kid. This plant has been appreciated for centuries for its many uses as both a medicine and a food. And, as you’ve noticed, it’s an abundantly available, easily accessible, low-budget resource. Spend an afternoon traipsing in a field of flowers and some time in your kitchen, and you will get a golden oil for your efforts. You can use it to sooth tense muscles and moisturize parched skin for the rest of the year. Have fun using this recipe to enjoy the benefits of this modest plant.
All parts of the dandelion plant can be used for medicinal and culinary purposes. The adorable flowers can be eaten or made into wine. The leaves and roots can be used in salads and sautés. The roots make a bitter medicinal tea and are used as a coffee substitute. In this case, we’ll be using the flowers to make an attractive and therapeutic infused herbal oil.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) has been used in herbal medicine traditions for ages. Traditional Chinese Medicine uses this plant to treat breast issues, such as mastitis, to sooth and benefit the digestive system, and to treat general inflammation. European herbal medicine systems have applied dandelion to treat diabetes, fever, eye issues, and diarrhea. This plant is commonly used as a diuretic and is helpful in reducing blood pressure and treating problems of the liver, gallbladder, and kidneys. It has been used to treat viral infections and even cancer. It is stocked with vitamins and minerals including zinc, potassium and iron, and vitamins A, B, C, and D. (Source)
Not only is dandelion useful for treating skin inflammation, boils, and eczema, it is also just a great soothing oil for everyday use. It relieves tight muscles and overall tension. It makes an excellent moisturizer.
How to Use it
This oil is can be used on its own as a massage oil and general moisturizer. It can also be added to a salve or a balm to increase moisturizing and medicinal properties. You can easily add your favorite essential oils, lavender is an excellent complement, to enhance the scent and calming effects.
Here’s everything you’ll need to make your oil:
- A glass container, such as a mason jar. Choose the size you want, depending on how much oil you think you might use.
- Good quality, recently-picked, dried dandelion flowers. Enough to fill your jar, loosely packed.
- Olive oil. Enough to fill the jar with the flowers in it.
- Cheese cloth (or similar material) and a rubber band to hold it in place.
- A knife or skewer for removing air bubbles from the oil.
- Something to store the jar in or on, in case the oil oozes out.
- A strainer.
- A container with a tight-fitting lid for long-term storage of your oil.
- Seek out good quality dandelions. Try to collect them from a field located away from roads that has not been sprayed or subjected to weed-killers or heavy fertilizers. Ideally, pick the flowers in full sun to be sure any morning dew has dried off and to catch the plant in full blossom.
- When home, spread the flowers out to dry for a day, ideally on a screen. Less water content promises a better, longer-lasting oil. Once the blossoms are dry, place them in the glass jar. Fill the jar with olive oil, covering the flowers completely. Help coax any air bubbles to the top and out of the oil using a skewer or knife. Cover with a piece of cheese cloth. Place in a dark place that’s neither hot nor cold, preferably on a plate or in a container in case any oil oozes out of the jar.
- You will then leave the jar to set for two to four weeks, checking on it often, especially at first, to make sure all is going well. Look and smell for any signs of mold or rot. If something smells off (you’ll know if it does), you will need to just throw it out and start over. Don’t be deterred. It’s an occasional part of making homemade herbal recipes.
- After the infusion period, strain the oil and store in a container with a tight-fitting lid. It’s nice to use a clear jar to be able to see the lovely color of the oil, in which case you will want to store it away from sunlight for longevity. A jar made of dark glass will help protect the oil. (Source)
Safety Concerns and Precautions
Homemade dandelion oil and similar oils can develop mold or start to rot. Be sure to remove all the air bubbles that arise when filling your container with oil. You want the plant matter to be fully submerged in the oil. Check on it periodically while it sets in order to catch any warning signs early. Oils eventually go rancid, so plan on using it up or throwing out anything that remains after about a year.
People who are allergic to ragweed and related plants (chrysanthemum, marigold, daisy, chamomile, yarrow, etc.) should avoid dandelions. You should consult your doctor before ingesting or using dandelion if you are taking lithium, certain antibiotics, medicine for high blood pressure (such as blood thinners) or diabetes, or any medications to treat the liver or that are broken down by the liver. While dandelion is generally safe, especially when applied topically, consult your physician before using if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, or if you have any concerns. (Source)(Source)