Dandelions & magnesium oil combine in this powerful dandelion magnesium lotion that helps relieve leg cramps, back aches, growing pains, restless leg syndrome, & nerve pain.
I’m so excited to share this dandelion magnesium lotion recipe with you today!
I first created it for my print book, 101 Easy Homemade Products for your Skin, Health & Home.
It was an instant hit with everyone who tested it, relieving leg cramps, back aches, growing pains, restless leg syndrome and various related ailments. One relative with chronic nerve pain in her arm declared it the best thing I’d ever created!
Dandelions were chosen for this recipe because the flowers have traditionally been used for their mild analgesic (pain-relieving) properties, making them an excellent addition to products designed for sore muscles or various other external aches and pains.
Why magnesium oil?
Experts posit that much of the population does not get enough magnesium in their daily diet. This can lead to headaches, leg cramps and a host of other subtle ailments. Beside baths with magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) and magnesium supplements, another way to get more of this vital mineral is through application of magnesium oil to the skin.
Because the straight oil can be drying and irritating for some, it works well to incorporate it in a lotion or cream, especially one containing soothing aloe.
Dandelions + Magnesium Oil = Awesomeness
There’s something about the combination of the two ingredients that’s very synergetic, but if you’re allergic to dandelions, you could try arnica flowers, comfrey or goldenrod instead.
Step 1 – Gather & dry dandelions
First, you’ll need some dandelion flowers.
Where I live, they’ve just started popping up over the last two weeks. I like to leave most of those very first ones since they’re an important food source for many pollinators, but once other things are blooming and they’re at their peak, there are plenty enough dandelions for everyone to share!
A good rule of thumb is to leave at least 2 or 3 dandelion flowers, for every 1 that you pick. Or, if you know someone is about to mow their lawn, grab up all the flowers you can before they get chewed up by the lawn mower.
Once you gather a handful of dandelion flowers, they should be dried before infusing in oil. While some herbalists do infuse fresh dandelions, the high moisture content in them makes them more likely to spoil or grow bacteria. To be safe, I like to work with freshly dried plants in almost all cases.
Spread your dandelions in a single layer over a clean dishcloth or paper towels and allow them to air dry for a few days.
You may notice that some of your dandelions turn to fluff. That’s okay; they’re still usable.
Step 2 – Create a dandelion-infused oil
Once dry, place the dandelions in a glass jar and cover with around two to three times as much light carrier oil. Some suggested carrier oils that work well include: sunflower, sweet almond, olive, avocado and jojoba.
You have a few infusing methods to choose from, depending on how big of a hurry you’re in.
Quick infusion: Set your uncovered jar of dandelions and oil down into a saucepan containing a few inches of water, forming a makeshift double boiler of sorts. Place the pan over a low burner and heat for around 2 hours. Keep an eye on things while you do this, to ensure the water doesn’t evaporate out. The water shouldn’t simmer or boil. If it does, turn the heat down lower. After 2 hours, remove the jar from the pan and set aside to cool.
Traditional, slow infusion: Cap your jar of dandelions and oil and tuck it away in a cool, dark cupboard for 4 to 6 weeks, shaking occasionally. A cool, dark area is suggested since extended exposure to heat and light may begin to degrade the quality of the herbs and oils.
Sunny window infusion: Secure a piece of cheesecloth, coffee filter, scrap of old t-shirt or something similarly breathable over your jar of dandelions and oil. This layer allows any potential condensation to escape, but will keep dust and flies from contaminating your oil. Place the jar in a warm sunny window. Depending on how hot it gets, your oil may be sufficiently infused for use within 3 to 5 days. You can use it right away, or tuck it in a cabinet for a few more weeks, for a stronger oil.
Once your oil is ready, strain it and store in a cool, dry place until ready to use. Shelf life should be around 9 months to 1 year, depending on the quality and type of oil you use.
Step 3 – Now, you’re ready to make your dandelion magnesium lotion!
- 22 g (abt 2 tbsp) dandelion-infused oil
- 6 g (abt 3 tsp) emulsifying wax NF
- 32 g (abt 2 tbsp) magnesium oil
- 25 (abt 5 tsp) distilled water
- 14 g (abt 1 tbsp) aloe vera gel
- 2 to 3 drops lavender essential oil (optional)
- preservative of choice (see notes below)
Add the dandelion-infused oil and emulsifying wax to a heatproof jar or upcycled tin can.
In spite of its name, magnesium oil is actually water based, so measure it out with the distilled water and aloe and place in a half-pint (250 ml) canning jar.
Place both containers into a saucepan containing 1 to 2 inches of water, then set the pan over a medium-low burner for 10 minutes. This gives time for the wax to fully melt while the water, aloe, and magnesium oil combination reaches a nearly matching temperature. (Around 150° F or 66° C) Remove from heat.
Carefully pour the hot contents of the two containers into a heatproof mixing bowl or measuring pitcher. As they’re poured together, the two mixtures will begin to emulsify upon contact and turn a slightly milky yellow color.
Using a fork or small whisk, stir the lotion briskly for a minute, then set aside to cool for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. To speed the cooling process, place your mixing container in a bowl of ice water. Stir occasionally, for around 30 seconds at a time, as the lotion cools and thickens.
Stir in the lavender essential oil, if using. If you’re adding a preservative to help your homemade lotion stay fresh for several months, do so now as well. If you don’t add a preservative, shelf life is only around 1 week, if stored in the refrigerator.
I use Leucidal Liquid SF Max, a preservative naturally derived from lactobacillus ferment, plus AMTicide Coconut (for extra natural mold protection) in many of my lotions. For this recipe, you need to add 4 g of the SF Max + 2 g of the AMTicide Coconut. (You can learn more about natural preservative options in my Handmade Lotions & Creams Course.) For longer shelf life, you could use 1 g of Optiphen Plus instead. (It’s paraben-free and formaldehyde-free, though not considered strictly natural, but your lotion would still be 99% natural if you use it.)
Pour the lotion into a pump-top bottle or glass jar. The lotion may start off on the thin side, but will continue to thicken up some over the next 24 hours.
Yield is 3.5 oz (105 ml). Apply a small amount to legs, feet and back at night, or as often as needed throughout the day.
Do you sell this lotion? No, I no longer sell the products I write about. However, you can sometimes find a similar Dandelion Magnesium Lotion HERE on Etsy.
Where can I buy dried dandelions? You can also sometimes find those by doing a search like THIS ONE on Etsy.
Can I use beeswax instead of emulsifying wax NF? No, it won’t work the same. A beeswax emulsion can’t hold this much water, so you’ll end up a with a mess if you try this recipe that way. However, you might like my beeswax-based lotion for leg cramps, found HERE for similar effect.
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