Dandelion Body Butter

dandelion body butterDandelion body butter can be made on your stove top with easy-to-find ingredients and basic kitchen equipment

Photo by HerbProfiles

Dandelions may be pesky weeds to some, but natural healers know better. Dandelion body butter is an effective skin repair cream and analgesic balm. While most people think in terms of drinking and eating — dandelion tea, dandelion wine and dandelion greens are all well-known – few consider the healing powers of dandelion for external use. This dandelion-infused salve is exactly what the doctor ordered for healing chapped and wind-burned skin. It’s also surprisingly effective in easing sore and stiff muscles and joints without the strong camphor/menthol smell of commercial muscle balms.

What You’ll Need to Make Dandelion Body Butter

  • 2-3 cups fresh dandelion heads
  • 7 ounces light olive oil (or your preferred light vegetable oil)
  • 1 ounce beeswax
  • 2 ounces shea butter (optional)
  • Glass jar with cover (Mason jars are great)
  • Non-reactive pot or double boiler
  • Electric mixer, egg beater or whisk
  • Large bowl of ice
  • Canning jar or container

A note on dandelions: Only pick dandelions if you are certain that they haven’t been sprayed with pesticide or herbicide. The infusion process will concentrate any amounts of pesticide that might be on the petals, so you REALLY want to be sure that you’re starting with clean dandelions.

  • Wash the dandelions under fresh water, then spread them on a flat surface to dry overnight. This will remove some of the excess water that can make your oil infusion sludgy and gross.
  • Lightly pack the wilted dandelion heads into a glass jar with a cover. If you like, you can use just the petals — they’re surprisingly easy to remove. Just grasp the entire fringe of petals between thumb and forefinger and gently twist while pulling away from the stem.
    • At this point, you can also add other herbs if you like. Some choices include:
      • Lavender, which has calming and healing properties of its own
      • Oregano, which has antibacterial properties and will act as a natural preservative
      • Citronella leaves, which are antibacterial and anti-fungal, and repel insects
  • Pour enough oil into the jar to cover the flowers/petals. If you’re using petals, the volume will be considerably less than if you use whole flowers. In that case, fill the jar.
  • Place the uncovered jar into a pot of water (preferably on a rack if you have one that fits the pan). Bring the water to a simmer and lower the heat. Let the jar sit in the simmering water for 2-3 hours, replenishing the water if needed. Let the jar cool to room temperature before covering.
  • At this point, you can continue with the recipe to make the salve, or you can increase the strength of the salve in one of two ways:
    • Strain the vegetable matter from the oil. Pack the jar with fresh dandelions and cover with the infused oil, then heat again.
    • Or… cover the jar and place it in a sunny window for up to 2 weeks.
  • Strain the infused oil to remove all the vegetable matter.
  • Pour the oil into the top half of a double boiler, or into a deep bowl in a pan of water (I like stainless steel, personally.)
  • Add shea butter and grated beeswax (or beeswax pellets or pastilles). Allow the oil to heat gently without stirring until the beeswax and shea butter are liquid. Remove from heat and allow to cool until you can comfortably handle the bowl.
  • Place the bowl into a bowl or pan of ice. Beat or whisk until the dandelion butter is light, cool and fluffy.
  • Spoon into clean jars and cover. Store in a cool place and use within 2 months.

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Posted in Heal by Deb Powers on September 3rd, 2013 at 3:43 pm.

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