Different Varieties of Violets as Medicinal Food

Nothing says spring like Violets! Not to confuse violets with the tropical African violets, Violas are also known as Wild Pansy. There are so many varieties of Viola, which is their Latin name, and what I prefer to call them, so that there is no confusion.

Sweet Viola is another herb that is a nutritive antioxidant, which is good medicinal food.

Violet leaves and flowers are edible, and are preferred fresh of course.  For tincture purposes using fresh Viola is also preferred.

Viola is a nutritious remedy, that detoxifies and decongests. Use all species of Viola interchangeably, because they have similar plant constituents and properties. For medicinal use, the wild varieties of Viola are preferred over the cultivated garden varieties.

Common   Name Violet
Latin Name Viola spp. Viola odoratasweet blue violet Viola tricolour-

Heartsease aka Wild pansy, Johnny jump-ups

Family Violaceae
Parts Used Perennial- flowers, leaves picked in spring to summer. Best if eaten fresh.
Target Organs Central Nervous System, Nerves, Cardiovascular, heart, lungs, lymphatic, skin, kidney, bladder
Common Uses Nutritive antioxidant Respiratory:   cough, bronchitis, colds, flu, Lymphatic Immune   tonic, Nervous system:   relaxant, pain, tranquilizer Toxicity   conditions: skin conditions- eczema, arthritis
Properties anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, cholagogue, diaphoretic,  diuretic, secretolytic expectorant,  depurative,   febrifuge, antineoplastic, nutritive, lymphatic, hypotensive, relaxant, nervine, vulnerary
Constituents Essential oils,   flavonoids: (anthocyanidins, violaquercetin,) methyl salicylate, salicylic acid, saponins, alkaloids, mucilage, tannins,

Minerals:   Calcium, magnesium

Cautions Heartsease is high in saponins. Prolonged full dose may cause nausea, diarrhea and   vomiting. Best used in a formulation if taken for long periods.
Dosage Best eaten fresh or used fresh in a salad. Fresh Tincture:   1-5ml best used in a formulation Infusion: 8-16g


Viola odorata- Blue Violet

Sweet Blue Violets

This variety of Violet- Viola odorata is more medicinal.

Sweet Blue violet herb and root has more expectorant, anti-tussive, antiseptic action than Heartsease, which addresses lung damp or dry heat. It also has more anti-tumor action. The heart shaped leaves address matters of the heart.

Blue violet seed is a diuretic that is good for painful urinary conditions.

Viola tricolour– Heartsease aka Wild Pansy, Johnny jump-ups

Heartsease aka Wild Pansy

Heartsease growing in rye fields has been known to help skin conditions, caused by too much rye wheat in the diet. There is a relationship there that I would like to explore more, as I curl up with my sweet blue violet fresh infusion, it is a reminder to make some Viola honey and syrups…mmmm


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