Updated: Jul 5
For those who haven't yet met the charming little violet (Viola odorata), this delicate ground cover is a sight to behold. Growing in clumping pockets, its leaves and flowers are not only visually appealing but also edible. You can enjoy them as snacks or add them to salads. The flowers, in particular, have a delightful sweetness that makes them a wonderful addition to cakes and various dishes. Furthermore, the leaves possess a soft and moist texture, containing high amounts of mucilage constituents. These soothing qualities classify violet as a water element plant, capable of easing inflammation and restoring balance to an excess of fire.
Violet's medicinal properties are worth exploring, as it offers various actions such as being a lymphatic cleanser, alterative, analgesic, and respiratory and digestive demulcent. These actions find practical applications in many cases.
One of the uses of violet leaves is their ability to aid the lymphatic system and promote the movement of internal fluids, facilitating the elimination of toxins. They can help reduce blockages in the lymph and ducts, and even assist in reducing cysts and growths. If you observe the visible veins on the leaves, you'll notice their resemblance to our lymphatic system, with their tear-shaped appearance resembling water droplets. Research studies have also demonstrated the potential of violet in reducing the advancement of breast cancers.
Supporting our lymphatic system is a vital process for building immunity and maintaining cellular health. While many people associate lymphatic health with practices like sweating in saunas, dry brushing the skin, or receiving lymphatic massages, there is another crucial and often overlooked approach involving the consumption of alterative (blood and lymph) cleansing herbs. Violet leaf, in particular, is a remarkable alterative herb that gently cleanses the lymphatic system. It achieves this by stimulating lymphatic circulation, promoting the elimination of toxins, and supporting the overall detoxification process.
The flowers of the violet plant also possess their own medicinal properties. They have the ability to bring brightness, lightness, and joy to the heart, particularly after experiencing hurt or resentment. The plant actually flowers twice a year, but most people are familiar with the purple flowers, which are actually its false flowers. The colour purple in plants is often associated with improving skin health, offering a calming presence, and aiding in blood purification. You can make a fresh elixir with glycerin or honey from the flowers, enhancing their natural sweetness and capturing their beautiful essential oils. Flowers with a delicious feminine and floral flavor, such as rose or blue lotus, are often associated with boosting libido or sensual energy, and violet can have a similar effect.
Violets are frequently used to produce an essential oil with an incredible fragrance. However, due to their small size, a significant number of violet flowers are needed to produce even a small bottle of the oil. Violet essential oil is often used in treating insomnia, providing pain relief, enhancing libido, and managing eczema.
Now let's explore how you can utilize the whole violet plant as medicine:
Apply a fresh poultice on the breasts to reduce swelling of cysts or blocked ducts.
Take a tincture daily to promote the flow and drainage of the lymphatic system.
Regularly massage the breasts with violet-infused oil for breast health.
Drink a water infusion of violet leaf to soothe inflamed mucous membranes.
Use drop doses of violet flower elixir for joy, lightness, and love.
Enjoy eating the flowers straight from the garden.
Additionally, here are some other known therapeutic uses of violet:
Analgesic qualities that can help reduce muscular pain when used as a massage oil or applied as a fresh poultice to the affected area.
A soothing effect on the lungs when dealing with a dry or unproductive cough. Due to their high content of mucilage, violets soothe inflamed airways and help expel mucus.
Soothing the digestive tract and intestines, reducing heartburn and acid reflux. Violet grows all year round in temperate climes, but sometimes dies back a bit during the hottest summers. It flowers throughout winter and again in spring.
Here is my special violet flower, purple magic elixir recipe for joy and happiness (I often carry around a bottle in my bag to bring out at parties and to share with friends):
3-4 handfuls of freshly picked violet flowers
100mLs of filtered water
100mLs of glycerine
10mls of 40% alcohol
Fill a 250ml sterilized jar with fresh violet flowers.
Pour liquid over flower in jar, put lid on and shake.
Store in a dark, cool shelf for 2-3 week, shaking regularly.
Strain out violet flowers from liquid using cheese cloth or muslin.
Pour your medicine into amber dropper bottles
Take 10-15 drops up to three times daily, or whenever needed.
Violet flowers and leaves are relatively gentle on the body. There is no conclusive evidence to suggest that they are contraindicated during pregnancy or breastfeeding. A small amount in a tea or tincture would probably be fine once off, however, the roots and seeds contain saponins which may be harmful in large doses or long term. The leaves if eaten to excess can cause diarrhea.