Dandelions are one of my favourite plants to work with. Their medicine is abundant and so are their numbers. This year I was on the ball enough to make a batch of dandelion infused olive oil which I will in turn use to make healing salves. Infused oils are a simple, yet effective way to incorporate the healing power of plants into yours and your family’s life.
Foraging for Dandelion Flowers
Depending on where you live it might be too late to find dandelion flowers (they are just starting to go to seed here), but this concept can be easily applied to all infused oils. Because dandelions are in abundant supply you don’t have to be nearly as concerned about ethically wildcrafting and foraging. That being said, it still deserves to be mentioned. In general it is wise to not harvest more than 10% of a given population in an area. This avoids undue stress on the plants and ensures that the population will survive.
It is also a good practice to harvest your herbs from places you know are free from sprays and chemicals. Avoid harvesting off the side of the road or in areas where they are heavily sprayed (like large commercial farms).
What You’ll Need
These instructions are for making a 500ml jar of infused dandelion oil. Please keep in mind that once you press the herbs out you will have closer to 420ml. If you would like to make a different amount you can refer to the photo below for the proper ratios. Although the instructions say tincture, the amounts are the same for a medicinal infused oil. If you are using fresh herbs refer to the top chart, dry use the bottom.
- 87 grams of fresh dandelion flowers
- 1 cup of olive oil (or your oil of choice)
- 500ml mason jar
How to Make it
- Weigh your dandelion flowers and pick out any bug friends that might have come along with you
- Chop your herbs well. You want to avoid any large pieces.
- Place chopped herbs in your jar and make sure to wipe any off the rim (they will mold if left there)
- Fill your jar with olive oil. I use a chop stick to stir everything around and make sure there aren’t any air pockets
- Let your jar sit for 3-4 weeks. Because we are using fresh herbs it is important to not let them sit any longer than that as you will have the potential for mold, mildew and rancidity.
If you harvested fresh flowers you will need to decant any remaining water out of your oil before you press it. You can do this by tilting the jar on a 45 degree angle for the last week of infusing. If there is any water you will see it pool on the bottom. When you are pouring out the oil for pressing be careful not to pour this as well.
If you are using dried herbs you can skip the above step.
Strain out your flowers using cheesecloth. Once you’ve poured all your oil you can squeeze and ring out your cheesecloth, getting as much of the infused oil out as possible. I always pour the oil through a fine mesh strainer after this so I can get any small particulates.
Store your oil in a cool and dry spot until you’re ready to use it. Dandelion infused oil is a great addition to hand creams and healing salves or it can be used as a massage oil on it’s own.
In good health,