There are so many varieties of Viola, which is the Latin name of Violets. Not to be confused with the tropical African violets, they are also known as Wild Pansy. Viola is a nutritious remedy that has antioxidants, flavonoids, minerals and phytonutrients that make it good medicinal food. Viola leaves and flowers are edible and the fresh is preferred even for tincture and tea purposes, but the dried leaves are also used. The flower is too delicate to be used dried. Use all species of Viola interchangeably because they have similar plant constituents. For medicinal use the wild varieties of Viola are preferred over the cultivated garden varieties. Caution: Correct Plant Identification is important. When in doubt buy herbs instead of wild-crafting, or cultivate your own.
|Latin Name||Viola spp.Viola odorata– sweet blue violetViola tricolour- Hearteaseaka Wild pansy, Johnny jump-ups|
|Parts Used||Perennial- flowers, leaves picked in spring to summer. Best if eaten fresh.|
|Target Organs||Central Nervous System, Nerves, Cardiovascular, lungs, lymphatic, skin|
|Common Uses||Nutritive antioxidantRespiratory:cough, bronchitis, colds, flu, HBPLymphatic Immune: tonic,
Nervous system: relaxant, pain, tranquilizer
Skin: conditions- eczema,
|Properties||diaphoretic, secretolytic expectorant, depurative, antineoplastic, nutritive, lymphatic, hypotensive, relaxant, nervine|
|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 freshor used fresh in a tincture1-5ml best used in a formulationInfusion: 8-16g up to 8 flowers in a cup|
Viola odorata- Blue Violet
Sweet Blue Violets
Viola tricolour– Heartsease aka Wild Pansy, Johnny jump-ups
Time to make some Viola honey and syrups.
Viola Flower Honey
Flower scented honey was very popular in Victorian times in England and violet honey was a favourite. Use flavoured honey as a spread, for tea, mead, wine, to flavour sauces and desserts, and anyway that you would use honey. Flavoured honey is delicious, nutritious, and it is simple and easy to make. Just don’t overdo it.
Violet Honey Recipe:
1 cup honey
½ cup of sweet violet petals
Pour 1 cup of honey in a double boiler, or a heatproof bowl that is set on top of a pot of simmering water. Warm honey on low heat and stir in violet flowers. Cover and heat on low for ½ hour. Turn off heat and let cool slightly. Remove from heat and leave the honey to infuse, covered for a week or pour it into a mason jar.
After letting it marinate for a week slowly warm the honey again in the double boiler or a bowl over a simmering pan of water on low heat. (Do not overcook!) The warm honey will make it easier to pour. Strain out the flowers with a fine mesh strainer and pour the honey back into the jar.
Makes about 1 cup of flavoured Violet honey. Label jar or use a honey pot.
Rosemary is a popular breakfast preserve.
Infuse 4 springs of rosemary in 1 cup of honey.
Bibliography on Violet and Violet honey:
The Herb Bible Peter McHoy Pamela Westland
Quarto publishing 1994
The Energetics of Western Herbs Peter Holmes
Lotus press 1998
The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal David Hoffman
Element books 1997