Monday, May 6, 2013

Dandelions, Weed or Wonder Plant!?!?

Every spring those bright yellow flowers poke forth from the lawn and many people groan, but why? Why does everyone hate the dandelion? They are bright, cheerful and if you are a mom, they are one of the first bouquets of flowers your children will ever give you.

Instead of trying to banish them with chemicals, why not embrace them and do something with them. And let me tell you you, with a quick Goggle search you can find dozens of things you can do with dandelions, like bread, wine, salves and more. So, what is so special about a dandelion? Well you can pretty much use the whole darn thing!


  • Roots: The roots of the dandelion have long been used for medicinal purposes for everything from liver disease to gall bladder issues. It has been know to help with headaches and can be used as a mild laxative.
  • Leaf: The leaf of the dandelion is rich in vitamins and minerals.
  • Stem: The stem of the dandelion contains "sap" that is said to get rid of warts (when used for many weeks.)
  • Flower: The flower of the dandelion is said to have pain-relieving properties and be good for dry skin when made into an infusion or salve.

Now I am no herbal healer, but both my hubby and littlest country kid have some eczema. We have noticed using homemade soaps are much gentler on their skin, so I figured, we have lots of dandelions, why not try my hand out at infusing some oil to see if it will help them with their skin issues. Sometimes simpler is better. Who needs all those harsh chemicals of commercial product anyway!

So I did what any good mom would and I bribed my oldest to go pick dandelions for me! I offered him a penny a head. He attempted to renegotiate at a dime a head but as there are hundreds if not thousands in our neighborhood and yes he was picking the neighbors' yards (with permission) too, I thought in the best interest of my bank account I would stick with the penny a head offer! He quickly brought me 129! So glad I did not give him a dime a head.

Now I had read a few different ways to infuse dandelion oil. Each person claim theirs was "the best" or "the right way" to do it. I claim nothing, this is just how I did it. I weighed all the information out their and came up with a plan of attack. So after removing 129 stems, I laid my flowers out over night to dry. Why? Because of the high water content in the flowers, aka oil and water don't mix, so I let them dry out a bit before I started. I then sent my lovely assistant (aka my hubby) to get me some olive oil. I put the flowers in a mason jar and covered them with oil.

Now some people claimed you should warm the mixture, some said just let is sit in sunlight, some in a dark cabinet, no one seemed to agree. So I put mine in a water bath at medium temp for about an hour. I then covered it with a coffee filter and left it on the counter where it could get a little sun but not to much. Yes, I was hedging my bets on all sides!

Now I know it will take time to see results from using the oil, if any at all.  And I am toying with the idea of turning it into a salve (aka add beeswax) but what I do know is that at least I am trying something to help them that is natural and at the very least, will not cause more issues like the commercial products. (Make sure you gather your dandelions from an area that does not use chemicals to kill them.)

I will say, trying this has inspired me to want to try to do more things with dandelions. Maybe not wine as I am not a big fan of wine, but possible cooking up some leaves or making a bread with the blossoms...... I wonder if I can get away with a penny a plant.... maybe a nickle since I can get multiple uses from different parts.... hmmm, excuse me, I am off to negotiate with the boy!





6 comments:

  1. Both weed and wonder plant :)

    Weed if it is growing somewhere it is not supposed to, a great addition to a salad if you are growing them in the garden.

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  2. Great idea. I absolutely adore dandelions. They bring me cheer. Thanks for sharing on the HomeAcre Hop. Come back and visit us this week: http://everythinghomewithcarol.com/self-sufficient-homeacre-hop-4/

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  3. I made dandelion jelly----and it was gone before i could even get the jars into the cabinet. Then a few days later my neighbor deiced to try to make it and it ended up being a dandelion honey! Even better on biscuits!! YUMMY

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  4. The best way to attack dandelions is to kill the whole plant, taproot and all, and then keep new weeds from establishing themselves in your lawn.
    weed

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  5. Thanks for sharing this at Wildcrafting Wednesday. Interesting post. I know my rabbits love dandelions and will any and all we bring to them.

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