Make your own dandelion infused oil in just a few simple steps.
Here is everything you need to know to collect your flowers, dry them out and create your dandelion oil infusion.
Many people consider dandelions to be an annoying weed that ruins the lawn, but they really are a nutritious and useful plant that is so often overlooked.
Uses for Dandelion Infused Oil
Dandelion infused oil has healing and soothing properties and having it on hand will allow you to reap the benefits in your own homemade skin care and beauty products.
Handy uses include;
> Use as a muscle and joint rub to soothe aches and pains,
> Apply to dry skin and chapped hands,
> Treat cracked heels
> Use as a base for home made dandelion salve, moisturisers and balms
I love that this beautiful plant can be used to create zero waste skin products and helps me be as plastic free as I can.
Homemade products are usually so much cheaper than store bought and don't contain all the extra stuff like palm oil, fragrances or additional irritants.
Step 1. Collecting Dandelion Flowers
The first step to crafting your infusion is is to collect a bunch of dandelion flowers.
Stick to picking flowers only in areas you know to be safe and free from pesticides, exhaust fumes or other nasties.
The backyard is the best place to start!
Do make sure you have identified the plant correctly.
I have all sorts of different weeds in my yard some edible, others are still a mystery.
As a rule, unless i am 100% sure what a plant is, I don't eat it, apply it to my skin or mess around with it.
There are lots of so called weeds that are edible and very healthy for us with great medicinal qualities. And I don't want to scare you off utilising weeds, but just to caution you to exercise some caution as plants can be toxic.
While picking the flowers I did notice that the dandelion flower looks extremely similar to the flowers on my prickly sow thistle which i didn't really want to include in my oil infusion. If you do accidentally grab a few of the sow thistle blooms, rest assured, they are safe to use.
Pictured Below is what a dandelion flower looks like
If in doubt, wait for the flowers to go to seed and watch them transform into these beautiful puffballs (below).
I have beautiful childhood memories of making wishes and blowing the seeds off, which I now love sharing with my daughter.
Dandelions start to bloom in Australia towards the end of August (winter) and well into spring. They also attract beneficial insects to the garden.
The best time to collect flowers is mid morning on a day it isn't raining.
As you will need to dry the flowers, it is far better to not have them already rained on, slowing down the process.
Flowers that have been blooming for a while may already be starting to seed. It's not a big deal and you can still include them.
I just collect them in a dish or container. As you can see, you don't need hundreds of flowers for this recipe. So if you have a few or a lot, you can still get a start on your infused oil.
Step 2. Drying the Dandelion Flowers
You can add the flowers straight into an infusion but as the buds are quite dense they tend to hold a lot of moisture and this can cause mould and spoil your infused oil.
To dry the flowers, tear open the end of the flower bud that joins to the stalk.
Gently separate the petals enough so you can spread them out. (you don't need to separate every individual petal)
You can see how I've done mine below to give you an idea.
Allow the flowers to dry for a day or two.
I just pulled the buds apart and left in a ceramic dish, after a day and half they were dry and fluffy.
(avoid drying them on paper towel as they may become permanently stuck)
They are starting to look a lot like the seeds in this photo above, but they feel like baby chic feathers, so soft and fluffy!
(Can you spot the bug?)
Step 3. Infusing Dandelion into Oil
One way to infuse your oil is to add your chosen oil and dried flowers to a small pot and warm on the stove to a low simmer. Be very careful not to overheat the oil and don't allow it to boil.
Once cooled, pour into a glass jar and let it infuse further or just strain and use straightaway.
(this batch I only allowed a week as I really want to get started on some dandelion salve))
Personally, I prefer to just allow the infusion to happen organically.
Add the flowers into your chosen jar or bottle first.
Then add your oil. I use olive oil because it's better on my skin than coconut oil and of course enhances the colour better.
There is no perfect ratio of flowers to oil. Add enough oil so they can float freely.
Here I am using about 10-15 flower heads with about 3/4 a cup of olive oil.
It could certainly take more flowers however I'm patiently waiting each morning for new flowers to bloom so I can add a little more.
Allow the mixture to sit for a week or two.
I know a lot of people do put their infusing oils on the windowsill to speed it up but it's not the best idea.
If you're unlucky, Sunlight can destroy some of the beneficial ingredients as well as make your oil rancid. Plus the flowers will lose their colour.
Using and Storing Your Infused Oil
Once the infusion is complete, strain the flowers out by pouring the oil through a sieve or large tea strainer. The flowers can go straight into the compost.
Bottle your oil and remember to write the date somewhere on the jar.
(I'm re-purposing a vegemite jar, and using a tea strainer)
It should last well for a year or more.
Store somewhere out of the sun and away from heat sources.
I hope this has been helpful and that now you know too just how simple it is to make dandelion infused oil.
If you have any questions or comments, add them below.
Remind your friends, family and neighbours not to spray weeds (and ask if they can spare some for you!)
Stay tuned....... I'm currently working on the dandelion salve and will be sharing the recipe on the site in a week (that's plenty of time to infuse 1/2 a cup of dandelion oil, and get hold of beeswax and coconut oil)