Dandelions were once a staple on the dinner table, but these days they are often seen as pesky weeds. However, dandelion flowers have been used for centuries in many different ways and continue to be a popular remedy today. In this post we will explore some of the historical uses of dandelions, their herbal benefits, and how you can use them for skincare or even make your own homemade dandelion oil!
Historical Uses and Benefits of Dandelions
Dandelion flowers have been used for centuries as a food, medicine, or herbal remedy. The Romans believed that the dandelion was sacred to Jupiter because it could be found in meadows where people had picnics on holidays such as Lupercalia (the Roman version of Valentine’s Day). In ancient times, the Greeks and Romans used dandelion flowers to treat fever, jaundice, and liver problems. They also steeped them in wine or water for a few hours before drinking as an antidote against snakebite!
Dandelions for Skincare
Beyond being a nutritious food source, dandelions also offer some benefits when used topically (on the skin). The antioxidants present in the plant are said to offer some protection against UVB rays, and dandelions have been used as a traditional topical remedy for skin problems such as eczema. Dandelion-infused oil is also an effective remedy for sore joints and aching muscles when used as a massage oil.
If you plan on picking your own dandelion flowers, do so only after it has rained and away from roadsides or areas that are treated with pesticides.
Making Dandelion Infused Oil
Dandelion oil is made from the leaves of a dandelion plant, which are used for their healing properties. Making your own oil can be a fun and creative way to take care of your skin. In this blog post I'll show you how to make a dandelion infused oil using these four simple steps: picking, infusing, straining and storing. Grab some friends or family members and have an enjoyable day in the sunshine!
- Sweet Almond oil, or carrier oil of choice
- Canning funnel
- Mason jar
- Pick a bowl or jar full of dandelion heads.
- Lay them on a towel to dry out over night.
- Add dried dandelion heads to a jar, and fill the jar with oil, to cover the dried dandelions.
- Set the jar in a sunny window for 1-2 weeks.
- Cut a cheesecloth about 8” x 8” and set it over the mason jar.
- Put a canning funnel into the jar, over the cheesecloth.
- Pour the dandelions that have been in the oil filled jar into the funner, into the other jar. Allow as much liquid through as possible, so you may want to let everything sit for 5 minutes or so.
- Discard dandelions, and put a lid on the jar that is now filled with oil.
- Use your homemade dandelion oil in numerous recipes.
Dandelion oil is a fun, herbal DIY you can make with plants from your yard. It’s great for your skin and soothing sore joints or muscles.
Want to try even more projects using dandelions? Check out these ideas:
- Dandelion + elder flower champagne
- Don’t Spray Your Dandelions! Do this instead.
- 5 edible + medicinal plants to forage this spring