You know what I like in organic skin care formulation? It’s that you’re seeing the vegetal world through new lenses and that you’re curious about everything. That’s how I rediscovered the simple plants in our gardens. We trample on them, we don’t see them, sometimes we get rid of them, yet they hold so many benefits! Once you’re done with this article, you’ll never mow daisies again!
What’s so good about them?
Oh la la, so many things!
- saponins – aka surfactants,
- tannins with astringent properties,
- flavonoids with antioxidant properties,
- an essential oil which components are antiseptic, hemostatic, anti-inflammatory and tonifying.
Okay, so what can we do with daisies?
Many things. You can eat them with a salad (too late, you made them dry), you can make tinctures, infusions…I won’t elaborate, this is therapeutic territory and not my line of work.
Saponins, tannins and flavonoids are soluble in water so you can prepare a glycerite to extract the antioxidant and the astringent properties. Daisy glycerite is admittedly not the most famous glycerite in the world, but why not?
You can make an oil maceration to extract the oil-soluble components. Bellis oil is definitely well known and I prepared a memo for your grimoire.
How to make Bellis oil
- Choose a carrier oil that is not prone to oxidation: olive, sweet almond, jojoba oils are great.
- Disinfect a glass jar with alcohol or vodka.
- Fill 3/4 of the jar with dried flowers. Check before that there is no humidity left or your oil would go rancid.
- Pour the oil and fill the jar.
- Add 0,5% vitamin E to protect the oil from oxidation and stir gently.
- Cover the jar with a cloth or greaseproof paper. We don’t close the lid to avoid condensation.
- Put the jar near a source of warmth. Macerates are often put behind a window where the sun will gently extract all the components from your plants. You will have to protect the oil from the light though. UVs would destroy the precious properties you’re trying to extract and they would oxidise the carrier oil. A paper bag will perfectly protect your preparation.
- The extraction process needs approximately 1 month to work its magic. In the meantime, stir the mixture every day.
- You can filter and replace the flowers 2 or 3 times during the process. A strainer will do.
- When the oil maceration is ready, filter the flowers with an unbleached coffee filter and do it as many times as needed to have a clear, plant residue free oil. Go make daisy necklaces in your garden, filtering takes time.
- Pour the oil into a bottle, label it and voilà! Your infused oil will have a shelf life ranging from 6 to 12 months, depending on your base oil.
Now, what do we do with our Bellis oil?
We make magic potions for eternal beauty, that’s what we do!
What about you? What do you have in your garden?
Sources and further reading
Bartram’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine
Les Bienfaits des Huiles Végétales, Michel Pobeda
Acta Pol Pharm. 2001 Sep-Oct;58(5):401-4. Qualitative and quantitative chromatographic investigation of flavonoids in Bellis perennis L. Nazaruk J(1), Gudej J.
How to make macerated oils – Formula Botanica blog.
Faire un macérat huileux, Althea Provence