Category Archives: Body Care

dandelion flower oil

Pesky Weed or Beautiful Loser? A Dandelion Flower Oil Answer

Part 1 of 2: Dandelion Oil Preparation

dandelion-oil--making-supplies

What you will need: oil, glass jar with lid, plastic bag, dandelions

There are so many uses for Dandelion plant, and the flowers are the most labour intensive, but therefore the most rewarding.  They are such a sunshine flower that they literally curl up and close when it rains out and open to the sun when it shines again.  Here’s the instructions for the making of a simple and lovely oil that can be used topically for many things.  (more on this later)

dandelion-bowl-of-happiness

Dandelion leaves, flower heads and plucked petals

You can find dandelions everywhere, with the flowers in early spring.  They didn’t originate here (Canada), they were “imported” via the ships bearing European people and seeds long ago, but they sure have taken over.  Instead of griping about ’em, let’s eat ’em!

Dandelion Driveway

I figure the harder a weed fights to grow somewhere, the more strength it has to pass on to me.

 Step 1:  Pick the flower heads, as many as you can.

Wildcrafting rules need not apply as there are always enough dandelions to reproduce, and they don’t exactly grow in the wild, they grow in previously used soil.

Step 2: Separate the petals from the green parts

This is the time consuming bit, but the green is where the bitter lies, and the flowers by themselves actually have a sweet scent and flavour.  (unlike the bitter leaves)

dandelion-petals-twist

De-greening the dandelion flower

dandelion-petals-after-twist

Grab all the yellow parts and give them a twist to separate from the green holder at the base of the flower

dandelion-petals-scissor-snip

Use scissors if you prefer, but you might find a little more green left behind.


dandelion-petals-after-scissor-snip

yay-dandelion-fingers

Plus no fun yellow fingertips!

Step 3: Fill clean glass jar with dandelion petals

I sterilize mine by pouring boiling water over it, letting it dry then a little vodka rinse for good measure.  Loosely pack the petals almost to the top.

fill-bottle-with dandelion-petals

Loosely fill jar to the top with dandelion petals (pictured here 3/4 full)

Step 4: Fill with oil

Olive oil is a nice choice, it has preservative qualities, the golden yellow merges with the blossoms nicely and if you buy quality organic (or at least extra-virgin) you can eat it later.  It’s a little heavy for use on the skin of the face, but I personally love the moisturizing qualities of it.

dandelion-fill-with-oil

Fill to the top (again) with oil.

 

Step 5: Stir to prevent bubbles

Use something non-reactive such as a wooden chopstick to make sure there are no bubbles hanging about… It can spoil faster if there is air or extra moisture trapped in the oil.

stir-dandelion-oil-wooden

Stir gently to get air bubbles out as they can cause oxidation of the final product

Step 6: Cut out insert for the lid

I re-use plastic bags for this, but wax paper would work.  This is to prevent the metal from the lid interacting with the oil.

plasic-cover-dandelion-oil

Use a plastic bag or wax paper as a barrier between the metal lid

Step 7: Close lid tight and let sit from 3-6 weeks.

That’s right, there is no exact science here, the longer you leave it the stronger it will be, but as it is a gentle oil to begin with, trust your instincts on this one.  (but resist the temptation to peek at it after the first day or so*)

*you might want to check after the first day and top it off with more oil, as the contents may settle and we don’t want extra air space at the top.

dandelion-oil-capped

Ta da!

dandelion-oil-steeping

Put it in a cool dark place to steep for 3-6 weeks.

Step 8: Check back here for the results!

In a few weeks: Straining the dandelion oil and what you can do with your new concoction.

 

 

my current hair update

The Rest of the Story:

(for the beginning of the story)

Well, i am now on month 5 and things are maintaining great!  I have tested my head in Vancouver weather (damp and cool), Toronto weather (cold, and dry with central heating), and touring through the midwestern states (sunny, cold and DRY), staying in hotels and swimming in chlorine.  My tendency towards dry flaky scalp remains relatively the same, reflecting more my neglect to take my winter Omega oils and stay hydrated..  I can't remember how staticky my hair was last year, so i will comment that it is slightly electric when subjected to toques, and i might try rubbing some light oil through my hair after showering next time.

In well water (hard water) it performed great, bar soap leaving more of a residue on my body than the baking soda and vinegar did on my hair. i should admit that i don't wash my hair all that often either…Maybe once a week, if that, rinsing in between for a pick-me-up! 

So far i have not got any hygiene comments from family, friends or the general public. My hair remains curly and full enough and brushing it is as much of a pain in the ass as it always was…

Baking soda and the hair

So Bridget has been washing her hair with baking soda for a while now, and her hair is Still dark and beautiful and shiny.  I figure i should really give it a go!  She found a soap free community online which is quite fascinating…  They call it no 'poo , and there are discussions about it here as well. 

(I remember my boyfriend in grade 10, his parents were talking about washing with only water and drinking martinis, not necessarily in that order)…at the time i thought they were crazy, now i will become one of the crazies myself! 

My hair is thick, curly, and on the reddish side of brown/blonde.  I tend to have dry scalp which gets out of control if i'm not careful, and if I don't brush my hair Every day it turns into matts which i just wanna cut off.  I figure if this works for me that is a very good sign…

I already use Apple Cider Vinegar as a rinse so i guess I am halfway there:  I find it helps with itchy/flaky scalp, softens the hair, and gets the scalp to the acidic pH our skin is supposed to be at (soap alkalinizes and brings it out of balance). 

Well i keep talking about it so i won't have to actually do it…sigh:

 

Day 1:  Assemble Supplies  (no, that is Not another way to procrastinate!)

baking soda

cinnamon

apple cider vinegar (i use raw organic)

plastic squeezy bottle

 

Day 2:  Create Sludge

WASH

1Tablespoon of baking soda, a dash of cinnamon (optional)  and 1cup of water

RINSE

1/8 cup Apple Cider Vinegar diluted in 1cup of water

 

NOTE:  mix cinnamon and baking soda together BEFORE you add water or the cinnamon will clump

ok, i didn't find a squeezy bottle, so i used a glass and just stirred it up while in the shower and then dumped it on my hair slowly….
doesn't really feel like much, cloudy water that you are massaging into your scalp.

Rinse with water.

Feels kinda squeaky and like straw, so i move on to the Apple cider vinegar stage using the same cup  (I am a laaazy showeree)

leave it on for as long as possible before rinsing off and

voila!!  Feels like straw that is less squeaky…

i dry my hair and wonder if i actually got all the baking soda out

hair half dry, actually feels pretty good.