Dandelion and Honey Soap
All Natural Dandelion and Honey Soap
Every spring when the world thaws out from a long winter’s rest, one of the first flowers that appears is the dandelion. Most people see this as a weed, but try telling that to the bees. Dandelions are the first source of nectar and pollen for our busy bees and essential for their health.
After doing more research on dandelions, I learned they have along history of medical use through out time and revered as a magical herb.
Dandelions are high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. “In folk medicine, dandelion is referred to as the elixir of life because it purifies the body of residues and negative energies. Because of its cleansing effect, it is also called blood purifier, laxative agent, liver cleanser and fatigue remover.” Raw dandelion greens contain high amounts of vitamins A, C, and K, and are moderate sources of calcium, potassium, iron, and manganese.
Because I am a soap maker and always looking to try something new, I wanted to capture some of the antioxidant properties of these wonderful weeds in a bar of soap. This past spring I went out into the yard and starting picking dandelions and wild violets. Wild violets look so dainty growing in the grass but don’t let them fool you. Wild violets also have many benefits to skin such as relief from dry, itchy skin. I wanted to utilize the whole plant in my recipe, so I uprooted a few whole plants. Don’t worry, I left plenty for my little bee buddies.
After cleaning the flowers and plant parts, I divided them into three groups, flowers, leaves and roots. The roots were thinly sliced and put on a parchment paper in a low heated oven and allowed to dry out. Once they dried, I crushed them by hand using my mortar and pestle. The roots would be added to the soap base to provide an exfoliant to the soap bars. I took a small handful of flowers and also dried them in the oven. I like to add a little decoration to my bars and would use these for that purpose. They need to be kept at low heat so they don’t burn.
The next step was to make a tea out of the leaves. I cut the leaves up and placed them in a pot of spring water, bringing the water to a boil and then letting them simmer for an hour until the water was a rich green color. The dandelion tea was used for the water part of the recipe. Since it would need to be mixed with lye, I measured out the water and placed it in the freezer until it was super cold, but not frozen.
To get the benefits of the flowers, I put them in the crock pot with olive oil and let them steep for several hours on low heat. When the flowers start to really wilt, you know its time to remove them. You are left with a flower infused olive oil which is part of the recipe. It actually felt real nice using this oil on my hands. It made them feel soft not to mentioned the nice floral scent.
I decided to go with a hot process recipe for this bar and got out my big crock pot. Following the standard soap making process, measure out your ingredients first and have everything ready. This is the part that I often remind myself of chemistry in high school. I never thought I would actually need to remember any of that stuff and here I am today wearing my safety glasses, smock and rubber gloves.
This recipe contains coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, safflower oil, sweet almond oil, honey and a pinch of himalayan pink salt. I added the honey to honor my little bee buddies. The oils and butter go in the crock pot, minus the sweet almond, to melt and get to temperature. The tea and the lye are mixed outside and allowed to cool to get to to temperature. I usually mix my oils and lye at around 120 degrees.
When the oils and lye are about the same, the lye water goes into the crock pot with the pinch of salt and blended until it reaches trace, a light pudding texture.
The most important thing about hot process soap is to never leave it alone. After the soap is ready, I added the dandelion root, the and the sweet almond oil, mixed with the honey and a tablespoon or so of water. The sweet almond oil and water keep the honey from burning in the hot soap. I added the essential oils at this point, stirred it up and in the mold it goes. The dried flowers go on top for decoration.
I think the best part about hot process soap is that it can be used right away because the reaction is completed in the crock pot. I always allow my bars to sit for a few weeks anyway. After 24 hours it was ready to cut and rack. I didn’t have to add any colorant to this recipe as you can see the bars came out a very nice yellowish brown color speckled with the crushed the dandelion root. I was very happy with the way this recipe came out. The bars are so creamy and really make my skin feel great. I made a couple more batches and have them available for sale in the store. You can purchase them here.
Thank you for following my dandelion journey and if you are interested in this recipe or learning how to make your own soap, just drop me a note.