Dandelion Herbal Infused Oil and the Role of Bitter Herbs
On a Saturday just a hair short of perfect, where I felt enmeshed and enlivened by the doing of my being, I ventured out into the yard to brew some magic. There were brownies baking in the oven and yogurt fermenting. I drop my consciousness down into my heart and reach out to dandelion.
Casting out my senses, I see their bright golden flowers, so happy and dynamic in the green grass; their roots diving deeply into the ground. Their bitter leaves, brilliant for spring detoxing and clearing. I want the flowers, their rays of sunshine for a face cream, skin cream. Their energy is soothing.
I feel the vitality of the day and see an image of them closing at night and opening in the morning. Their medicine can be used to assist us with aligning to our internal rhythms. Their bitter secretions detoxifying the blood and cells. Supporting the skin in becoming vibrant and supple. Skin Nourished and Soothed, Clean and healthy.
I sense dandelions desire to assist in evolution and growth, seeing what’s next. I see a vision of a dream I had several years ago of being guided by what’s happening in the garden, in Nature. I feel supreme joy for the way that is unfolding here with dandelion!
I walk through the yard, harvesting these yellow bursts of sunshine, feeling the sun on my back, watching the chickens work the soil and hunt for bugs and other delicious treats.
Moving back into the house, I clean up the flowers slightly and place them in a clean jar of the appropriate size. I love watching the oil, organic olive oil here, coat the flowers. Slowly, small bubbles of air rise to the top, leaving only the oil and the flowers. I will infuse this oil for about a week.
Alternately it’s suggested that you give dandelion flowers a quick rinse and let them wilt for 12-24 hours to release some moisture and allow any bugs to disperse from the flowers to reduce moldy, yucky oil. I didn’t have any ill effects from using them right away but this might be a better protocol!
Making Dandelion Herbal Infused Oil
We make herbal infused oils to extract the nourishing healing fats and fat soluble healing constituents from the plant. Plants store toxins and pesticides in their fat. You will be using this oil on your skin so it’s best to use organic oils to insure you are not inviting toxins and pesticides into your nourishing oils. Extra virgin olive, avocado, almond and sesame are great oils to start with. Get a sense of which oil is best paired with the plant material you are using. Here I have used organic extra virgin olive oil. I use Kirkland Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil for cooking and making nourishing herbal oils. Samrin Nasrat, chef, author and host of Netflix’s series, Fat, Salt, Acid Heat says it is super delicious and super inexpensive, a great recommendation!
To make a pint of dandelion oil
Harvest your plant material if using fresh. Do this midday on a day without rain when the plants will be as dry as possible and oils are active.
Before harvesting, connect with the consciousness of the plant, seeking permission to work with the plant. This may look like silently or quietly asking the plant if it is willing to work with you. Agreement comes in many forms, an increased sense of joy, attraction are often messages of assent.
Once harvested, leave the tops for a day on a screen or baking rack to allow any unwanted bugs to leave. Using fresh herb material- fill the jar ⅔ full of the slightly wilted dry dandelion flowers. If Using dry plant material- fill the jar ⅓ full of the dry material.
Pour the oil over the plant material- there are many options for oils- Remember to use a quality of oil that you would ingest even if that’s not your purpose here. This is an infused oil for external topical use only. Herbal infused oils for cooking are created differently. Make sure the oil completely covers the plant material. Close the lid tightly. Swirl the jar in a circle, horizontally, to move the oil through all of the plant material, perhaps envisioning what you are hoping to do with this oil, what healing you are seeking.
Set the closed jar in a sunny window for a week to two weeks.
To decant the oil, pour the oil over a small mesh strainer, set over a clean jar, pressing down on the plant material to extract all the good healing oil.
Compost the used plant material.
You now have a wonderful healing dandelion oil to massage on your skin or use as part of a healing salve recipe.
Some additional herbal medicinal information about Dandelion:
Dandelion is part of the family of bitter herbs. Bitters can be used to strengthen and support the entire digestive system as well as the nervous system. Bitters increase the energy centers of the body. They act on the body to promote self healing.
Bitters are great for cleansing and detoxification, stabilizing blood sugar, reducing stress and increasing the bodies immune system responses.
Bitters are used for:
Poor fat digestion
Poor protein digestion
Weakness due to prolonged bacterial or viral infection
Loss of energy and vitality
Immune disorders where nutritional deficiency is present
Dandelion, when taken internally, stimulates the liver and promotes the flow of bile. The liver is the body’s detoxifying organ, removing excess hormones and toxins from the body, including those that contribute to acne.
Dandelion is anti- inflammatory and aids in killing the bacteria that leads to acne.
The leaves are vitamin and mineral rich and contribute to healthy and vibrant skin.
Dandelion Infused Herbal oil can be used in salves and massage oils for treating sore and achy muscles and to nourish chapped and dry skin. I included some dandelion oil in my summer face cream/body cream and have seen wonderful healing in the skin on my arms.
A wonderful summer easy home spa treat- soak your feet in warm Epsom salt solution infused with drops of your favorite essential oils- peppermint is wonderfully invigorating - for twenty minutes. Dry them and apply dandelion cream or salve to help heal summer cracked heels. Watching a movie or book reading is optional!!
Green Medicine and Traditional Herbal Healing by Mary Ann Copson, Evenstar Herbs
Wise Woman Wortcunner Journey by Mary Ann Copson, Evenstar Herbs