Danish Schnapps – Two Ways
If country wine isn’t your thing, perhaps a Danish schnapps sounds more appealing? Make it with the flower heads for a fresh, aromatic and mildly sweet taste which goes well with chocolate, sweet desserts and cakes. Or, for a dry, spicy and very aromatic drink, brew it with the roots. Enjoy the schnapps on its own or serve with roast meat and other robust flavors. The recipes can be found here.
For Health and Beauty
Dandelion’s properties extend beyond the dinner table – they can also be harnessed to reduce pain and inflammation, and treat minor skin maladies.
Pain Relieving Oil
Dandelions are one of the most useful plants to reduce joint pain and aching muscles. Infuse the flowers in an oil and rub onto sore muscles and joints, or anywhere pain strikes. To make, simply fill a small mason jar with fresh dandelion flowers and pour in a base oil – like sweet almond or olive – until the jar is full. Leave to infuse in a warm place for two weeks before straining the oil and decanting into a sterilized jar. Store in the fridge.
Pain Relieving Salve
For a more portable version of the pain relieving oil, go one step further and turn the infusion into a soothing balm – ideal for carrying in your purse or gym bag, or keeping in the car or office. Create a double boiler and blend beeswax with the infused oil. Pour this mixture into a jar or tin and allow to cool before using. Exact measurements and instructions are here.
These therapeutic lotion bars help the toughest cases of cracked, dry skin by adding moisture and alleviating inflammation and soreness. If you’re an avid gardener, or frequently do very manual work, rub the bar over your hands several times a day. It’s a lot less messy than salve! Blend infused dandelion oil with beeswax, shea butter and lavender essential oil for a silky, smooth healing bar. The full process is detailed here.
Dandelions are a natural wart remover. You’ve probably noticed that the roots, stems and leaves of the plant exude a white sticky resin – this is the secret weapon against warts. Apply this sap directly onto warts once, or several times, per day and they should soon disappear.
In the Home and Garden
Use dandelions to add a pop of color to your home, or some much needed nutrients to the garden.
Floating Table Centerpiece
Make a stunning and chic dandelion centerpiece simply using reclaimed wood and small nails. Assemble a box from the wood, hammer small finishing nails through the underside, and slide handpicked dandelions on top – creating a centerpiece that appears to be floating. Find out more here.
Natural Yellow Dye
Cook dandelion heads for an all-natural alternative to chemical-based dyes – which can contribute to water pollution. This is an especially useful tip for those who weave their own wool but can be used on any garment. Here is how you can use the dye to brighten up your fabrics.
A liquid fertilizer, or ‘weed tea’ is simple to make and will give your garden a boost of nutrients. Deep rooted dandelions are especially valuable weeds as they are so nutritious. Since you can’t toss them into the compost pile as their seeds are still viable, brew up this organic fertilizer instead and pour or spray it onto flower beds and vegetable gardens. Here is the simple process for making the fertilizer.
Feed Your Goats
If you keep goats then you’ll know that they need a diverse, vegetarian diet. Use your unwanted dandelion weeds to form a portion of that balanced diet. Research has shown that animals choose what to eat based on their individual nutritional needs so if you simply leave the dandelions for the goats, they’ll most likely munch on them and save you the job of weeding!
Save Some For The Bees!
Dandelions are the first food of the season for the bees. When picking the dandelions, make sure not to claim them all for yourself. Leave enough for the bees to enjoy.