(Viola odorata)

A common herb found in backyards, gardens, fields and forests, this lowly plant is often overlooked as medicinal, but don’t let its small stature or quiet disposition deceive you. It’s full of nutrients and makes a lovely spring potherb, tea, and is a soothing, anti-inflammatory & detoxifying tonic.

Actions: vulnerary, lymphatic, alterative, emollient, expectorant, mild diuretic & mild laxative

Parts Used: Leaf & Flower

Energetics: cooling, moistening

Uses: Vioilet flowers are rich in vitamin C and the leaves are packed with Vitamin A (carotene). The leaves affect the nerves, lungs, immune & reproductive systems, with a special affinity for the breasts. Violet supports lymphatic circulation and mildly enhances bowel, liver & kidney function. Violet has a long history of being used in cancer treatment, in combination with other therapies. On its own, violet has been known to help dissolve tumors, cysts and some cancers, especially in the breasts. It essentially dissolves hard masses while relieving congestion of the lymphatic glands.

Indications: Breast congestion, cystic breasts, lymphatic congestion, dry or spasmodic cough, red, itchy & inflamed skin conditions. Hippocrates recommended violet for headaches, hangovers, bad eyesight, and excess of bile. Pliny said they induced sleep, strengthened the heart muscle & calmed anger. They have been used in Arabic medicine for constipation, tonsillitis and insomnia.

Preparations: eat the leaves and flowers in a spring salad, use as an infused oil for breast massage. as a salve or poultice for topical relief of irritations to the skin, as an infusion for a nourishing & detoxifying tonic, as a tincture for its alterative action, or as a syrup for coughs.

Cautions: no side effects or drug interactions found.

Dose: Tincture: 1-2 ml 3 x a day; as an infusion, use 1 cup of dried herb to 1 quart water. Steep 4-8 hours, then strain. Drink 1-3 cups a day.

Homeopathic Use: for breathlessness & spasmodic coughs, whooping cough and breathing problems associated with anxiety. It is also for headaches with burning of the forehead & pain above the eyebrows and vertigo. A Violet person easily gets tense & over-excited. It particularly suits thin, nervous girls.

Flower Essence: for profound shyness; suited for people who are delicate, sensitive and timid. Violet engenders a sense of warmth & openness.

Folklore: Violet has been grown commercially since Greek times. The blooms were sold in Athenian street markets. The Romans adored the flowers and used them to adorn the heads of poets, civic leaders and other officials. Both cultures wore garlands of violet to prevent drunkenness. It was also used in love potions.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.