Herb Article
Violet

By Rebecca Luna

violet Common Name
Violet

Latin Name
Viola odorata

Family
Violaceae

Parts Used
Leaf and flower

Violet carries a loving energy. I was recently pondering the violet and thought, "it's like a kiss from the earth". I try to hold on to some of their goodness by putting the fresh blossoms into honey or oil. True joy comes from eating a violet flower fresh or handing it to someone else to try. It's like tasting the color purple and sharing it with a friend.

I consider violet medicine to be a medicine of hugs. A deeply supportive plant, it's the one I probably use most on an energetic level. For me, a violet blossom steeped in honey is the medicine I want when someone has experienced deep grief. I'll make that person a cup of tea and add a teaspoon of honey containing one violet blossom. This is a gift of flower love, when words won't due justice to what you want to convey.

It is not just the flowers of the violet that hold the medicine. Violet leaves have been used throughout the centuries as a soothing, cooling, anti-inflammatory demulcent. They can be a very effective first aid remedy for hot, inflamed conditions of the skin. Simply chew up a fresh leaf and place it on the effected area. A remedy gentle enough for use with children, violet can also be used to soothe hot irritating coughs or headaches. At the time of this writing I am enjoying a cup of fresh violet leaf tea. It is lovely and has a soft green taste.

Violet seems to have a particular affinity for the breasts and lungs. It has long been used to shrink tumors and swellings. In Susan Weed's book Breast Cancer? Breast Health!, she recommends violet leaf poultices and drinking violet leaf infusion to shrink lumps in the breast. Hildegard of Bingen, a 12th century prophet, renowned for her herbal knowledge among many other things, wrote of dissolving lumps and cysts with a salve of violet. When I found a lump in my breast, I went to the doctor. I got it checked out, had a mammogram and am following up. In addition, I am embracing the violet. For me it is a preventative and a supportive. However, we cannot stress enough that the first action that should be taken when a lump is discovered is to contact your health care practitioner to see what is appropriate for you.

Fresh is where it's at with violet. Maybe through this, violet is teaching us to seize the moment. Because of this, we do not carry the dried flowers or herb. We do have fresh violet flower honey, violet flower infused olive oil, and a violet glycerite from Wishgarden Herbs.

This is a very special little plant that is currently blooming all over Boulder. I hope you get a chance to meet this lovely little being and to enjoy it as much as I do.

Preparations
Eat a fresh flower.
Fresh poultice — Just chew up the leaves and place them on the affected area.
Tea — Steep fresh violet leaves in hot water anywhere from 15 minutes to 4 hours.
Honey — Place the fresh blossoms in local honey and enjoy as needed.
Oil — Place the fresh blossoms in organic olive oil. Let them steep covered with cheese cloth for 2 weeks, checking in on it and stirring it each day. After 2 weeks strain out the blossoms and store the oil in a clean dark jar.

Sources
Breast Cancer? Breast Health!, Susan Weed*
Hildegard of Bingen's Medicine, Dr. Wighard Strehlow & Gottfried Hertzka, MD*
Flower Power, Anne McIntyre

*These are wonderful texts which we carry for sale at Rebecca's