Dandelion blossoms are a nuisance to some, but to others, a little piece of sunshine in early spring offering an abundance of medicine - from their roots, to leaves to blossoms and everything in between; Dandelions should forever be revered as a blessing to all!
For today's post, we'll be diving into the properties held by the bright blossoms and their affiliation with the skin. However, please do yourself a favor and take a deep dive into the medicine possessed by the roots, leaves and even the essence of this grounding flower.
WHY USE DANDELION INFUSED OIL ON YOUR SKIN?
Dandelion flowers contain phenolic acids (a type of polyphenol), contributing to their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties. How do we access these phenolic acids and what does this mean for your skin? By infusing the blossoms into some sort of fat, you're able to extract these active constituents (phenolic acids and others) and access their benefits by applying them to your skin.
⚘ REGENERATION of skin cells
⚘ BRIGHTENING the skin
⚘ REDUCING fine lines
⚘ BOOSTING collagen
⚘ FIRMING the skin
⚘ PROTECTING against UVs
MAKING A POTENT DANDELION OIL INFUSION (yields 14ish ounces of oil)
Materials you'll need:
⚘ 3-4 cups fresh blossoms
⚘ drying rack, tray or basket
⚘ (2) 16-ounce sanitized mason jars with lids (1 for infusion and one for when you strain your oil in 4 weeks)
⚘ 14-16 ounces of organic/cold-pressed low PUFA carrier oil (I suggest jojoba or olive, but use what you have on hand)
⚘ sanitized cutting board
⚘ sanitized knife or scissors
⚘ sanitized stir stick (I use a chop stick)
⚘ *optional* 1/2 T high proof (80 or above) alcohol
⚘ a piece of cloth for straining (I use organic cotton muslin fabric, but you can also use a clean tea towel)
⚘ a metal strainer and a funnel for straining in 4 weeks
1. Dandelions contain quite a bit of water. To make the most potent oil that will not go rancid on you, you'll want to harvest your blossoms once the morning dew has evaporated. This helps to reduce the amount of moisture you need to eliminate before your infusion begins. Lay your blossoms out on some sort of drying tray- this can be an actual dehydrator tray, a basket or a window screen - something where air can circulate evenly and help to dry up the blossoms a bit and allow any bugs to escape. You don't want to completely dry out the blossoms as you will lose some of their actives by doing so, but you also don't want too much moisture as that can increase your risk of mold*. I will share more below on how you can avoid this! I leave mine until they have wilted - anywhere from 12-24 hours is typically ideal, totally up to you.
Before wilt ^
Wilted for 14 hours ^
2. Once the blossoms have had time to lose some of their moisture, it is time to chop them up. This ensures you are covering as much surface area as possible with the oil to extract as much of the medicine as possible. Make sure you are using a sanitized surface area and knife to avoid introducing any unwanted bacteria into your oil. With your knife or scissors, chop up your blossoms as fine as possible and place them into your clean jar. Fill your jar 3/4ths of the way full and here is where the option of alcohol comes in. To avoid the possibility of molding, you can pour 1/2 T of high proof (80 or higher) alcohol onto your wilted/chopped blossoms. This isn't necessary, but I have had my dandelion oil go bad, so it's a step I choose to take for this particular herb.
3. It's now time for your carrier oil. Slowly pour your oil into the jar and fill almost to the very top. Grab your stir stick and slowly stir the oil, bringing as many air bubbles to the surface as you can. Do this over and over throughout the day. The goal is to eliminate ALL of the air from your jar. Air can cause mold, and this is something you want to avoid! Once you're feeling good about getting rid of the air, fill your jar with oil to the very top (the lid should touch the oil when you put it on). Place your jar on a plate or in a container that will catch any oil overflow (this will happen, and it is better to be prepared). For the first few days, check on your oil. Open it up, stir it around to get any air bubbles out and top it off if the oil level goes down. After a few days, this will become less and less necessary as it bubbles most during the first few days.
4. Make sure you label your oil! It's important to do this or you may forget what in the heck is in this jar! It's happened to me many times... This is how I would label mine: DANDELION OIL IN JOJOBA - 5/10/23
5. Now it's time to let it steep. I suggest infusing for an entire lunar cycle (4 weeks). This creates a potent, yet mold-free oil. Make sure your oil is out of direct sunlight during this time. Sunlight can destroy the plants properties and degrade the oil. I like to shake it up every other day or so, checking on air bubbles and making sure no mold is forming on top.
6. After 4 weeks have passed, it's time to decant (separate the plant material from the oil)! Place your funnel onto your clean 16-ounce jar, place the metal strainer inside of that and drape your cloth over the strainer. Slowly pour your oil into the cloth covered strainer, separating the blossoms from the oil. Continue pouring until everything is out of your original jar. Wait patiently for the oil to strain completely. You won't want to squeeze the cloth in case there is any retained water in your plant material. This may take a little while, but worth every drop!
7. Once your oil has strained through, place the lid on this new jar and LABEL IT! Store out of direct sunlight. *If your oil has a slight alcohol smell, feel free to place it into an oven safe container and place in the oven on your lowest setting for no more than 10 minutes. This will allow the alcohol to evaporate without overheating the oil.
Dandelion Blossom Oil is wonderful on its own and may be used as a face and/or body oil, for minor first aid, and honestly just about anything! However, if you're curious about turning it into a salve, follow this simple recipe below!
8. In a double boiler (on LOW heat), melt one tablespoon of grated beeswax for every one ounce of Dandelion Oil. Once the beeswax has melted, turn off the heat and add your oil. Sometimes this will solidify the beeswax. If this occurs, simply turn the heat back on, stir until it all melts together, remove from heat and pour into your clean container of choice. This salve is wonderful for anything and everything... dry skin, chapped lips, rashes, cuts, scrapes, bruises, diaper rash, sore nipples from nursing, etc.
And that's it! Now you know how to make your very own Dandelion Infused Oil and Salve... Time to go make some magic. Enjoy!
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