Updated: Mar 1
dandelions sure can warm the soul, and provide nourishment to the skin. imagine if everyone picked dandelion flowers and made their own infused oils, vinegar, ect. maybe we would stop spending billions of dollars on ecologically harmful herbicides, mostly in the name of eradicating dandelions. oh the pursuit of a perfectly manicured lawn. well here is my two cents when it comes to infusing fresh plant material in oil and tallow balm making. start with a sunny warm day........
first off i want to say, i live in a very dry climate. if you do not, you may possibly want to dry your blossoms a little bit first. there isn't a right or wrong way to practice herbalism, simply pick up a few tips here and there, then experiment. i place the blossoms on the counter for a while, basically to let the bugs vacate. start with a clean very dry jar. i inspect most blossoms on the way into the jar. getting rid of long stems, ect. i do not cut the green part off the bottom of the blossom like you would for foodstuff or winemaking. lots of people wilt the blossoms first or dry them completely, this all depends on your climate, how dry the day was you harvested, and how often you tend to your oil.
once the jar is about 3/4th full of golden delight, i fill the jar with olive oil. let's talk oil for a minute.......olive oil is nice for soap and salve making, so is safflower. avocado and jojoba are nice for body oils. i use a refined olive or pomace because they don't break down easily. the extra virgin expeller pressed oils are thicker, often are strong-smelling, and break down quicker. but again all of this is a personal preference.
here is the important part of fresh flower infusing, place a breathable top and rubber band. you can use a double wrap of cheesecloth, or any ol piece of fabric, dishcloth, or napkin. i sew a lot so fabric scraps are all over the place in my home.
i then place the jar in an undisturbed area, out of direct sunlight. now for the most important part of infusing fresh plant material, you must stir your oil at least every other day until the plant material falls to the bottom. this can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. this works with my lifestyle, this may not work for everyone. if you think this will be hard for you to do, i would suggest using dry plant material. now onto time, i let my oils infuse anywhere from six weeks to six months. again this is a personal preference. i strain through cheesecloth and use the oil in all kinds of body products. lip balms, salves, soaps, and my latest favorite whipped tallow balm.
tallow balms can be as easy or as complex as you like. i personally like to keep it simple.
i use 16 ounces organic grass-fed tallow, 8 ounces infused oil, and a few drops of essential oil is optional. i slowly melt the tallow and pour it into the infused oil. i then let it cool slowly in the bowl for around 20 minutes, then i whip continuously with the kitchen aid, and if i am adding essential oil, i put that in at the very end. i whip until the consistency is that of whip cream. spoon into jars. i also make an orange dandelion soap bar, it's wonderful. both of the items are available in the shop.
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