Dandelion flower infused oil is a “spring thing”.
Just be sure to leave some flowers for the bees!
Dandelion flowers just grow anywhere and everywhere! For some inexplicable reason, people want them eradicated from their yard, I have never understood why. The broad sweeping green of lawn is simply uninteresting and bland without the presence of the dandelion’s bright pop of yellow in the spring.
The first food of the year for bees, dandelions emerge before the beginning of spring and bloom intensely all summer and into autumn making them, also, the last of the seasonal food for your local bees. That is enough to allow the hardy dandelion its place even if you do nothing but appreciate its tenacity and benevolence.
When harvesting dandelion flowers in early spring, I can’t stress enough that they are an important early spring pollinator food. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least 2 or 3 dandelion flowers, for every 1 that you pick.
While the entire dandelion plant is used in many herbal preparations, the dandelion flower is particularly esteemed for its mild analgesic (pain-relieving) properties, making them an excellent addition to botanicals produced for sore muscles or other external aches and pains. They are also traditionally used in preparations to aid the healing of rough chapped skin.
Dandelion flower infused oil is made with dandelion flowers which are rich in flavonoids and polyphenols, both of which are known for their skin healing, pain relieving, anti-inflammatory anti-oxidant, anti-tumor properties.[1,2]
How to Make Dandelion Flower Infused Oil
Dandelion oil smells fresh, like spring, and it is helpful for easing aching muscles and joints. (among many other things!) This dandelion oil is a great introduction to making infused oils from your fresh herbs, and a wonderfully easy springtime project.
Dandelion Flower Infused Oil Supplies
You won’t need anything super special to make it. You will probably have everything you need in your kitchen.
Note on harvesting dandelion flowers… Harvest flowers and let wilt them in the shade for a day to allow water in the plant to leave. Fresh plants are 75% water and sometimes oils can grow mold if there is too much water in the plant, so this process allows for a higher quality oil.
This is a folk method (not clinically standard or particularly precise in measurement) which means we are going to eyeball it and not measure or weigh. If you are more comfortable using measurements, the ratio is approximately 1 ounce of dried herb to 10 ounces of oil.
- Glass container with a tight fitting lid.
- Oil – This is a very personal choice and truly depends on what you like. (It deserves its own article. 😉 ) You can read more at 8 Best Oils for Botanical Oil Infusions or simply use what you have on hand. (just no vegetable, soybean, or canola oil!) The photos of oil in this post were made with sunflower oil.
- Dandelion flowers – Enough to fill your container of choice with dry flowers.
Note: You may notice that some of your dandelions losing yellow and turning “fluffy” as they dry. That is okay; they are still usable.
Even though you will not be ingesting this oil, it’s still very important to choose dandelions that have not been sprayed with chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides. Many people still see the dandelion as a weed and go to great lengths to eradicate it. Remember the old adage “If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.”
Be sure that you harvest any dandelions from a chemical-free lawn or field.
How to Make Dandelion Flower Infused Oil
The process of making dandelion oil could not be easier. It is a simple infusion that uses natural warmth and time to extract the useful properties from the dandelion into the oil.
It is best to allow the infusion to set for at least 2 weeks, though 8 weeks is preferable to make it more robust and as full of herbal goodness as it can get. Just be sure your flowers are fully dry before placing them in oil. Remember, where there is water in oil, there is mold.
- Pick enough dandelion blossoms to fill your glass container and then some. They will shrink as they dry. You are aiming for a jar 3/4 full of dandelion flowers.
- Pour oil over your flowers until they are fully covered with oil and put on a tight fitting lid.
- Using a wooden spoon, carefully move the flowers around in the oil to remove air bubbles. You can also just roll the jar around a few times to get the air bubbles off the herb and in contact with the oil.
- Place it in a warm place to steep for a minimum of 2 weeks, just not in direct sunlight. I realize that this is an arguable point. Some use the sun and its accompanying warmth to infuse. I am of the opinion that the sun breaks down herbal constituents and causes premature breakdown of the oil. You use your own judgment here. 🙂 You can place your jar in a sunny, warm windowsill and cover the jar with a brown paper bag if you prefer that to direct sunlight.
- Shake once or more per day.
- When time is up, strain out the dandelion and store in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
It’s best to store your infused oil in a cool, dark place. Oils do go rancid (it depends on the oil you choose, different oils have different thermal stability rates), so plan on making a fresh batch each spring and tossing out any unused oil. It should last at least a year (more if you don’t heat the oil and more if you store it in the refrigerator)
If you need it NOW
For a quick infusion: For a quick infusion (also called heat infusion) you can use fresh flowers… after rinsing, pat them as dry as you can get them with paper towels or a soft hand towel. Mix the flowers and oil in your jar. Set the uncovered jar down into a small saucepan filled with a few inches of water. Heat over a low burner for a few hours, keeping a close eye that the water does not evaporate out. Remove from heat and strain. The quick infusion is the best way to infuse coconut oil.
For the record, unless you really need it quickly, I am not a fan of heating oil. The four big detriments to oil going bad are time, temperature, light, and air. Control as many of these factors as possible and you extend the shelf life of your oil infusions. Just sayin’.
How to Use Dandelion Flower Infused Oil
Dandelion oil is designed to be used externally, not internally. This means that it should be applied to your skin or used in homemade beauty products. If you would like to eat or drink dandelion for its healing properties, you should make an herbal tea or extract (tincture) or simply eat it in a salad!
- Dandelion includes pain-relieving properties, and the oil can simply be rubbed into sore and tense muscles or joints. This is by far my favorite use. After pulling weeds, my hand and elbow hurt like crazy. I massage this into them as soon as I come in from the garden… every time!
- A massage with dandelion oil helps loosen muscle cramps and relieves “growing pains” in children.
- The infused oil is also known to be excellent for its calming effects and reducing feelings of stress.
- Dandelion oil is also an excellent skin moisturizer, either on its own or in a salve or balm. Try adding it to a 2:1 mixture of shea or cocao butter and coconut oil in a double boiler. As the balm cools, it will solidify and become an excellent everyday moisturizer.
- Due to the healing properties of dandelion and it’s spring fresh fragrance, dandelion oil is an excellent companion for lavender essential oil. Use your infused dandelion oil as your carrier oil, add lavender essential oil and viola’ you have a wonderfully relaxing massage oil!
Not feeling particularly DIYish?
Simply not enough hours in the day? No yard? No place to get wholesome organic dandelions? No worries. I picked them for you. Every. Single. One.
Please, head on over to my Bushyhead Botanicals Shop where I sell this dandelion infused oil. While you are there, please look around at all of my other botanical offerings. I love making them for my family and for yours!
Visit this link for a materia medica on dandelion.