Dandelion infusions and tinctures have been used to garner the high nutrient content contained in the flowers, leaves, roots, and stems, and also to harness the potential natural medicinal properties the plant parts contain.
Making a dandelion infusion is neither difficult nor expensive, but it does require both time and patience on the part of the preparer. Before making the infusion you must collect and dry (or purchase dried) dandelions.
The herbal infusion process itself requires a minimum of two hours to several weeks to complete, depending upon the extraction method chosen.
What Is An Herbal Dandelion Infusion?
An herbal infusion is the process of drawing out the natural nutritive compounds contained in a flower plant, root, or herb.
Permitting the plant parts to infuse in a recommended natural solvent material for a designated period of time allows the possible natural medicinal compounds to be extracted.
By steeping the infusion liquid after straining away the plant parts, the liquid can then be used to create a variety of edible, “medicinal,” beauty, and hygiene products.
Is a Dandelion Tincture The Same As a Dandelion Infusion?
You can make several different types of herbal infusions. The difference between them, like a tincture and a straight infusion, is the ratio of the plant material to the liquid medium and the type of liquid being used.
The simple yet potent medium we will use in the straight infusion calls for a common carrier oil that is likely already in your cabinet – like olive oil or coconut oil.
Other carrier oils commonly used in making this type of infusion include sweet almond oil, apricot oil, vinegar, and vegetable glycerin.
When an alcohol (vodka or at least 90% rubbing alcohol) is used when making an herbal infusion, the result is typically considered to be an extractor tincture.
A tincture recipe generally calls for 3 parts alcohol to 1 part plant matter. An extract recipe directs the maker to use 1 part alcohol to 1 part plant matter.
An infusion with a less potent liquid medium is often used when more fragile parts of a plant, like a flower head or thin leaves are being used as opposed to a more substantial part of the plant that is being used – like the roots.
The general rule of thumb when making a base for herbal remedies, hygiene, and beauty products is to make an infusion when above ground parts of the plant are being used and to make a tincture or extract when below ground parts of the plant are being used.
All above ground and below ground parts of the dandelion plant are generally considered non-toxic and safe to use in topical and edible recipes. I am not a doctor or any other type of medical professional.
What wild edible one person can safely eat or use topically might cause a negative or allergic reaction for another. Always speak with your doctor before trying any type of wild edible or natural remedy recipe.
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Chlorogenic Acid
7 Dandelion Infusion Uses
- The chicoric and chlorogenic acid compounds in dandelion may help reduce blood sugar levels, as noted by a Healthline report.
- The compounds present in dandelions may help reduce cholesterol levels.
- Dandelions have also been used to reduce pain and swelling associated with bruising.
- Dandelion infusions can be used as a wound wash for minor burns and wounds.
- Salve made from a dandelion infusion has been used to treat joint pain and arthritis.
- The diuretic effect the potassium levels in dandelions often provoke may be beneficial in lowering blood pressure.
- Dandelions have been used to help relieve constipation.
Supplies and Ingredients
- Mason jar or similar glass jar with tight fitting lid – size depends on amount of tincture and salve you want to make.
- Dandelions – I recommend collecting and drying at least 1 cup
- Carrier oil – olive, coconut, almond, hemp, etc. You will need just enough to make sure ALL of the dandelions in the glass jar are completely covered.
Place enough dried dandelion flower heads in the Mason jar to fill it approximately a third to halfway full:
Pull in enough of your chosen carrier oil to completely cover the flowers. Some folks prefer to fill the jar to the rim with the carrier oil.
While I prefer the results of merely covering the flowers, which in my personal experience makes the tincture more potent, filling the jar all the way full of the liquid also works quite well:
The carrier oil covered dandelion flower heads must now be infused by using one of the recommended ways below.
Method #1: Windowsill
Place the closed jar in a windowsill or similar sunny spot for two to seven days. The heat from the sunshine coming through the windows will help speed up the infusion process.
But, do not store the infusion in the sunlight any longer than the recommended time or it can decrease its longevity, and cause the potency of the dandelions to fade far more quickly than it would otherwise.
Method #2: Double Boiler
Place the unsealed Mason jar in a cookpot. Fill the bottom of the pot with a couple of inches of water. On just a simmering heat, warm the infusion for about two hours:
You don’t need to stir the infusion, but you must keep an eye on it to ensure the water level does not evaporate down to below the flower heads. This is likely why some folks prefer to fill the jar all the way to the rim.
Remove the Mason jar carefully from the cookpot, and strain away the dandelion parts – keeping the liquid. You can use a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth – which I highly recommend:
Do not use coffee filters to run the infusion through because even the only simmered water will be so hot that it will disintegrate the coffee filters in mere moments.
If you don’t have cheesecloth you could also use a clean piece of burlap, cotton, or linen fabric.
Allow the infusion to reach room temperature before using it in a dandelion salve recipe or similar lotion, beauty product, or hygiene product recipe.
A hot infusion is prone to pulling out the enzymes and vitamins of the plant matter being processed. If you are working with dandelion roots, this is the recommended infusion method.
If you are using dandelion parts to make a natural fragrance, this may also be the best option because a hot infusion can bring out the natural scent of the plant parts more strongly.
Method #3: Shelf Sitter
Place the sealed Mason jar in a cool (but not cold) dark place like a pantry cabinet for four to six weeks. Shake the jar daily for about 60 seconds and replace it back on the shelf.
Follow the same straining instructions above once the infusion process has completed.
This method of making a dandelion infusion takes the longest, but it often tends to increase the longevity of both the infusion and the salve made from it – in my personal experience.
Regardless of the infusion processing method chosen, paying keen attention to the tight fitting nature of the lid is vital to the longevity of the liquid.
This same infusion process can be used if you are making an herbal remedy recipe that involves dandelions and other called for plant matter ingredients.
In addition to using the dandelion infusion as a base ingredient for a salve or other homemade beauty or health products, it can also be used alone as a hair cleansing rinse, a hot or a cold tea, for aromatherapy, and simply poured into bath water as a skin toner.