Dandelions, previously known as ‘those yellow garden weeds’, make a fab skin care ingredient.
You can use them by infusing them in a plant oil.
Why do they deserve the new-found ‘fab’ status? Because they are naturally rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are the fixers of free radicals (**). Have you seen Pulp Fiction where the Harvey Keitel character cleans up the mess? Think of dandelions as the Harvey Keitel of the plant underworld.
Given this amazing ability you will surely want to know how to make a dandelion infusion.
Step 1: Take a bunch of willing little kids and tell them you are going to pretend to be Hobbits and go foraging. They learn a new word and also love spending ages trawling the field to pick your dandelion flower heads.
Step 2: Let the kids go back on the Ipad and take your dandelion flowers into the garden. Put them on a towel and leave them out in the sun for 12 hours. This is to let both the moisture and small critters escape. If you leave them any longer (like I did) you might notice how a good amount of them turn to seed heads. I was fascinated by the fact the flower could do this despite having been recently decapitated by a bunch of 7 year olds.
Step 3: Half fill your jar with the dandelion flowers. Cover the flowers with your oil of choice. I chose grapeseed oil because I like a fast absorbing oil and it’s also good value. After 12 hours it’s time to get the kids off the Ipad, get them on the trampoline instead.
Step 4: Add a splash (about 1%) of Vitamin E and give it all a good stir. Adding the Vitamin E staves off rancidity. As you are going to care for this little package for the next 4 weeks, it really is worth adding the Vitamin E so you aren’t disappointed by a stinky and unusable oil at the end of the process.
Step 5: Put the jar on a sunny windowsill for 4 weeks. Give it a shake occasionally.
Step 6: At the end of 4 weeks, strain the oil using a tea strainer. Really make sure you squeeze out those flowers and drain every last bit of oil. If the kids are still on the trampoline, you are in trouble.
Step 7: Filter the oil again through a coffee filter to ensure you remove all the tiny particles.
Finally, stand back and admire your prize and marvel how ‘yellow garden weeds’ are going to help you create a skin lotion or balm that not only fights free radicals and promotes healthy skin but also brings about world peace and makes you fluent in Mandarin.
**Have you bothered to work out what a free radical is? I hadn’t because I had consigned them to the category ‘marketing boswollox’. You know the typical scientific claptrap and inflated claims that companies throw at us in advertising to try to bamboozle us into thinking we NEED their product. Blah, blah, blah, insert scientific made up word, show pretty skinny lady with glowing skin and lustrous hair, blah, blah, blah. Well no, free radicals are real, to find out more, read this as I’m not going to pretend I’m clever enough to explain it in plain English.
I could explain it in Mandarin though.
I hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed making my dandelion infusion on a sunny day.