Violet Viola spp
- Common Names
- Violet Leaf
- Botanical Name
- Viola spp
Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Violet Leaf
- Medicinal Uses: * Spring Tonics
- Properties: * * Anodyne * Antiscrofulous * Antitussive * Cathartic * Depurative * Diaphoretic/sudorific * Diuretic * emetic * Emollient * Laxative * Nervine * Refrigerant
- Parts Used: Flowers and leaves
- Constituents: alpha-ionone, beta-ionone, beta-sitosterol, eugenol, ferulic acid, kaempferol, malic acid, methyl salicylate, palmitic acid, quercetin, rutin, scopoletin, vanillin.
How to Use: Violet
February's flower, the violet, is a symbol of faithfulness, modesty, and simplicity. While we modern folks regard violets as nothing more than pretty garden flowers, violets have been used medicinally for ages, and are an important part of traditional folk medicine. Violets are a rich source of vitamins A and C. They also contain a type of antioxidant called an anthocyanin. The wild pansy became naturalized in this country from Europe and the principal changes in cultavation are seen in the immense varities, size and colors of the flowers.
“The common dark-blue violet makes a slimy tea, which is excellent for the canker. Leaves and blossoms are both good. Those who have families should take some pains to dry these flowers.“
American Frugal Housewife, 1833
“The use of the pansy in medicine dates far back in ancient medication, the first real experimentation with the plant is that of Starck in 1776 who wrote "De crusta lactea infantum ejusdemque remedis dissertatio, etc", in that year; the provings substantiate this use of the plant and show it to be useful in other forms of impetigo (skin infections). Its use in some forms of burrowing ulcers, tinea capits and scabies is also sanctioned. ”
Millspaugh, Charles F. "American Medicinal Plants" (1882) 20[20-2]
Preparation Methods & Dosage :The dried leaf is traditionally used as a tea, and the fresh leaf and flower is traditionally used in salads, soups and other food preparations. May also be taken as a liquid herbal extract.
Viola spp. Perennial wildflower
- Flowers:flowers are generally deep purple, violet like their name, but lilac, pale rose-coloured or white variations are also frequent
- Plant Class:Perennial Shrub
- Leaves: leaves are heart-shaped, slightly downy beneath
- Preferred Habitat: Cultivated
- Flowering Season:Spring
- Distribution: Worldwide, most species in the temperate zones of the Northern hemisphere
How to Grow Violet
The modern garden pansy (V. wittrockiana) is a plant of complex hybrid origin involving at least three species, V. tricolor (wild pansy or heartsease), V. altaica and V. lutea (mountain pansy).
Will tolerate light frost. Ideal for rock gardens, borders,and planters. Keep moist, and deadhead spent blooms. Sun to part shade.
History and Traditions & Folklore
Folklore lists the humble and simple violet among the powerful forces against evil, which is perhaps why the Greek city of Athens considered the violet its token flower.Legend says Jupiter changed his beloved Io into a white heifer for fear of Juno's jealousy, he caused these modest flowers to spring forth from the earth to be fitting food for her, and he gave them her name.
It is a fine pleasing plant of Venus, of a mild nature and no way hurtful. All the Violets are cold and moist, while they are fresh and green, and are used to cool any heat or distemperature of the body, either inwardly or outwardly, as the inflammation in the eyes, to drink the decoction of the leaves and flowers made with water or wine, or to apply them poultice wise to the grieved places; it likewise easeth pains in the head caused through want of sleep, or any pains arising of heat if applied in the same manner or with oil of Roses
Nicholas Culpeper, 1653
- W. T. Fernie ,M.D. 1897. "Herbal Simples Approved For Modern Uses Of Cure"
A conserve, called "violet sugar," prepared from the flowers, has proved of excellent use in consumption. This conserve was made in the time of Charles the Second, being named "Violet plate." Also, the Sweet Violet is thought to possess admirable virtues as a cosmetic. Lightfoot gives a translation from a Highland recipe in Gaelic, for its use in this capacity, rendered thus: "Anoint thy face with goat's milk in which violets have been infused, and there is not a young prince upon earth who will not be charmed with thy beauty." There is a legend that Mahomet once compared the excellence of Violet perfume above all other sweet odours to himself above all the rest of creation: it refreshes in summer by its coolness, and revives in winter by its warmth. The Syrup of Sweet Violets should be made as follows: To one pound of sweet violet flowers freshly picked, add two-and-a-half pints of boiling water: infuse these for twenty-four hours in a glazed china vessel, then pour off the liquid, and strain it gently through muslin; afterwards add double its weight of the finest loaf sugar, and make it into a syrup, but without letting it boil. Violets are cultivated largely at Stratford-on-Avon for the purpose of making the syrup, which when mixed with almond oil, is a capital laxative for children,  and will help to soothe irritative coughs, or to relieve a sore throat.