As with a lot of internet-based research, you can often end up with more questions than answers! Looking up Dandelion flower oil, there were the people who made it using the 'cold' sun-infused method and those who said heat or warm-infused was better! I asked my herbal mentor, Sarah Head for advice and she said try both - well that was the decisive answer I wanted!
There was more than one site that suggested that unless the flowers were dry, there was a strong chance of the oil going rancid before the flowers had infused properly if you used the sun method, so I took the cautious approach and just did the regular 'warm' double-infused method that I have previously used. The other advantage of this method is that it's all done and dusted in a few hours and can be used immediately - no waiting for weeks if you're the impatient type!
Preparing the flower heads.
Heating the flowers in oil.
Oops - nice colour though!
In a nutshell, the method is as follows:
- Take your harvest (in this case, Dandelion flower heads) and divide it into two equal piles.
- Put one pile into a bain-marie or double-boiler (I used a glass bowl inside a pan of boiling water) and pour on enough oil (I used Olive oil in this instance) to cover the plant material.
- Heat for 2 hours, keeping an eye on the water level in the bain-marie or base pan, to ensure it doesn't boil dry (the reason for the bain-marie is to ensure the oil does not get too hot and burn which would ruin the infusion).
- Pour the oil/plant material through a sieve and discard the plant material.
- Put the remaining plant material back into the bain-marie and pour the single-infused oil over it, topping up if necessary with fresh oil.
- Heat again for 2 hours.
- Again, pour the contents through a sieve and discard the plant material (onto your compost pile?).
- You can then bottle the oil, but be aware that there is likely to be some water/moisture at the bottom of the oil which will reduce the lifespan of the oil if not decanted.
- Once cool, label your container and enjoy your oil!
What's it good for?
Dandelion flowers are said to contain a mild pain reliever, so the oil has been used as a folk remedy for painful, swollen joints, as a healthy breast massage oil (it is said to be excellent at softening breast tissue), and as an all-around gentle and soothing massage oil. Being male, it's use as a breast massage oil is of limited use to me, but my wife knows it's there if needed, but I do sometimes get a little bit of joint pain. It's also an excellent general massage oil and is said to increase your self-worth - something I could do with.
Greenwoman's blog commented, "Dandelion oil is also a lovely pain reliever, helpful in soothing arthritic joints, back tension, sinus headaches, stiff necks, and weepy swollen skin sores. I personally can attest to the way it soothes sore muscles, especially in the neck, as I just used it last night after a day of carrying around heavy potted plants. It doesn’t have a numbing effect–rather, it helps the body relax a bit, easing that tightness that can be so painful."
I've used it on my skin were I have some eczema and it's been helpful, although in fairness, other herbal treatments have been more effective for me, but using it does help tremendously with relaxation. It's a very luxurious oil to use - sort of 'heavy' aroma (that's not a bad thing), rich in colour and readily absorbed into the skin.
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