Dandelions are not Just for the Bees and Pollinators
Spring means that time of year when dandelions appear in every patch of grass - and that is a good thing.
Even if you love the appearance of a freshly mown lawn in your front or back yard, then consider leaving a section where you don't cut until the end of the summer for your own piece of wildflower meadow, providing extra nectar for bees and other pollinators.
Rewilding our garden, and our life, is one of the greatest steps we can take to get more nature + vitamin D in our system. We were never meant to be sedentary. We were supposed to be active.
But dandelions are not just for the bees, some can be spared for humans to use. Bees also have other sources of pollen and nectar during the early spring months. These sources, providing high quality nutrition, include:
- purple dead nettle
- ground ivy
- tree blossoms, particularly of willow, maple and fruit trees
You can make your own infused oil from handfuls of dandelions
Dandelion oil comes with these benefits:
- A soothing oil for garden and other related aches and pains in your muscles and joints.
- An oil for lubricating dry skin.
- An oil that can be added to herbal bath bombs.
How to make your own dandelion infused oil
You will need:
- Handfuls of dandelion flowers (enough to fill a small jar)
- Carrier oil (olive oil, grapeseed oil or almond oil for external use)
- A recycled glass jar
- A breathable lid (cheesecloth or lightly woven cloth) with rubber band
- Cheesecloth for straining
Gather your fully open dandelions on a sunny day, after all the dew has disappeared. Remove the dandelion heads off one-by one and leave them to wilt for at least eight hours but not more than twenty four. This can be done in the sun.
Fill the jar with the wilted dandelion blossoms before pouring your carrier oil of choice to completely cover the blossoms. Gently stir to make sure there are no air pockets.
Cover with cheesecloth and a rubber band, or put the lid on loosely.
Shake or stir your oil mixture every couple of days, steeping for two weeks but no longer.
After two weeks, with a double layer of cheesecloth over a clean small bowl (or jar), let it drip as long as it takes. Then squeeze out every remaining drop of oil and store in a sterile glass bottle in a cool, dark place. Be sure to add a label stating not only what is inside, but with the date too.
Make sure to use up the oil within 6-12 months as it could go rancid after a time.
Dandelion oil should not be digested but applied to your skin.
Five top uses for homemade dandelion oil
Dandelion salve is ideal for moisturizing dry and cracked skin, both on the hands and the feet. If you like to garden without gloves, this is the perfect remedy for treating those hard working hands.
Dandelion infused oil for the first aid kit to treat cuts, scrapes, sunburns and insect bites. Be careful not to apply to an open wound.
Dandelion oil for diaper rash either as a direct oil or a salve.
Dandelion massage oil used for a reflexology foot massage helps to relax the feet especially after standing and/or walking all day.
Dandelion-infused hand lotion can be made to help to treat dry or cracked skin on the hands.
Effects of dietary dandelion extract on the growth performance, serum biochemical parameters, liver histology, and immune and apoptosis-related genes expression of hybrid grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus♂ × Epinephelus fuscoguttatus♀) at different feeding period - ScienceDirect