Get out in the garden and harvest those dandelions to make these homemade lotion bars. A perfect gift for Mom or Dad or anyone you love this spring!
It’s that time of year again – gardening season! The return of spring and the blossoms brings feelings of new hope and good things to come. There is lots of life to be observed right now right in your own backyard! I bet there are also many dandelions creeping out in clusters and “invading” your lawns. These are known to many as a nuisance plant but in fact, these eye-catching “weeds” are beneficial to the growth of lawns and gardens. Dandelions can be seen as a symbol of resilience – they are capable of growing through the most unlikely of places (concrete!) and thrive in these harsh conditions – much like what we are faced with now during a pandemic – let them be an inspiration!
There is a good chance that your child has come home and brought you a little bouquet of these short-lived but vibrant flowers as a little gift or picked one that has gone to seed and made a wish on it. Well, what if I told you that instead of spending time removing dandelions and working against nature, you can pick them and turn them into dandelion lotion bars? These would make a great gift this Mother’s Day and offer a chance to make a safe, natural product the whole family can use!
- Dandelions have a deep tap root system that actually assist with breaking up hard or clumped soil, help reduce erosion and fertilize your grass
- The presence of dandelions in your garden bed are in fact a sign that there is a lack of nitrogen which can be fixed by planting plenty of beans or adding nitrogen amenders to your soil. In addition, dandelions grow in bare garden beds to protect the soil with vegetation – – they have good intentions!
- Dandelions have been revered for centuries as a food source. The whole plant need not be wasted: the leaves can be harvested as an edible green in your diet, the petals are used in beverages, soaps and lotion bars and the root can be used in a tea (I recommend store bought varieties to be safe) as an alternative to coffee!
- The medicinal usage of the dandelion’s lion-toothed leaves ranges from that of physical ailments (toothaches, sores, fevers) and an aid for mental health (weakness, fatigue and depression).
Celebrate the Wonder of Nature at home and Make Dandelion Lotion Bars!
I tried out the following recipe over the weekend- – it is super easy, fun and the end product works great! The bars get softer the more you use them and become easier to moisturize your hands. I hope you have fun making it and sharing it as a gift from nature to someone you love!
You will need:
- 3 tablespoons of Coconut Oil (unrefined)
- ½ cup of Shea Butter
- ½ cup of beeswax (if you can, buy local to support small businesses)
- a bowl of hand picked dandelions
- a muffin tray (tin or silicone)
A word of caution: only harvest dandelions from your backyard if they have not been sprayed with fertilizers or from somewhere in the forest. Be sure to not pick them from a curbside where the plants are exposed to heavy car exhaust and pollution. Secondly, you will need to melt the beeswax (which is hard to wash out) so use a pot you don’t mind getting a little roughed up.
- Harvest your dandelions while they are at their peak—fully flowering and fully yellow. If they’re fuzzy that means they’ve gone to seed, and we don’t want that.
- Give your dandelions a rinse in lukewarm water (cold water will make them close up!) to remove any dirt or bugs. Lay them out on a towel for about an hour to dry up any extra moisture.
- Place the shea butter, coconut oil, and dandelion flowers in a pan and heat on low for 30-60 minutes to infuse the oils. You don’t want to boil this, the oil just needs to be hot to infuse the nutrients of the dandelions. If your stovetop burners are extra powerful, I would recommend using the “double boiler” method for this step.
- While your coconut and shea butter is infusing, melt your beeswax using the “double boiler” method. I have a pan that I keep separate for melting beeswax because it’s very hard to wash out, so I highly recommend doing this as well!
- Once your beeswax is melted and oil is infused, remove them from the heat. Using a cheesecloth or mesh strainer, strain the oil from the dandelions, squishing the flowers with a spoon or your hands in order to get as much oil out as possible. Once this is strained, combine the infused oil with the melted beeswax. If you want to add any essential oils for scent, now is the time to stir them in.
- Once your dandelions are strained out, combine the infused oil with the melted beeswax. If you want to add any essential oils for scent, now is the time to stir them in.
- Pour the liquid into your prefered molds—silicone ice cube trays or mini muffin trays work wonderfully for this! I use an old mini muffin tin for mine. While aluminum is not at all something I would recommend using (I don’t even cook in aluminum anymore!) sometimes you just have to use what you’ve got. Play around and see what works best for you.
- Let the bars cool for a few hours. Once they are firm, remove from the mold and store in a glass jar. To use, simply rub the bar through your hands as you would a bar of soap!
Recipe and video re-posted with gratitude from Calico + Twine