The symbol of ancient Athens, the violet was believed to moderate anger, strengthen and comfort the heart, and promote refreshing sleep.
The plant contains aspirin like properties and The leaves, which have antiseptic properties, can be used in ointments or as poultices for bruises and, when made into a tea or syrup, have been taken for internal inflammations and coughs.
Violet flowers are slightly laxative and are also a gentle expectorant. Combined with vinegar, the roots can be used to make a liniment long recommended for spleen disorders and gout. The seeds are diuretic and are supposed to be a good corrective for gravel.
In addition to their medicinal uses, the flowers can be eaten in salads. added to vinegar to impart color and fragrance; made into a rare and delicate jelly; boiled, pressed, pounded, and mixed with milk, rice flour and sugar into a porridge; and even fermented to produce a sweet wine.
Since the blue color is released by infusion, violets have been used to create delicate eyeshadows and fragrant, tinted skin lotions.
Violets impart their odour to liquids, and vinegar derives not only a brilliant tint, but a sweet odour from having Violet flowers steeped in it.
The flowers should be used dried, the leaves used fresh.
Violets are said to help slep by steeping violets in water and soaking the keet up to the ankles in this water. I suggest a muslin sack full of the died flowers by the beside.
How to identify the plant-
Violets are fond of deep, humus-rich and slightly sandy soil, and prefer moist, shaded locations such as those found in open areas under trees. They are easily propagated from seed, cuttings or — more usually — by division of the creeping rhizome in spring or fall.
The familiar leaves are heart-shaped, slightly downy, especially beneath, on stalks rising alternately from a creeping rhizome or underground stem, the blades of the young leaves rolled up from each side into the middle on the face of the leaf into two tight coils. The flower-stalks arise from the axils of the leaves and bear single flowers, with a pair of scaly bracts placed a little above the middle of the stalk.
The flowers are generally deep purple, giving their name to the colour that is called after them, but lilac, pale rose-coloured or white variations are also frequent, and all these tints may sometimes be discovered in different plants growing on the same bank.
Violets are said to help slep by steeping violets in water and soaking the keet up to the ankles in this water. I suggest a muslin sack full of the fresh or died flowers by the beside.
The best form of administration is the Syrup of Violets.
The Syrup can be made as follows: To 1 lb. of Sweet Violet flowers freshly picked, add 2 1/2 pints of boiling water, infuse these for twenty-four hours in a glazed china vessel, then pour off the liquid and strain it gently through muslin; afterwards add double its weight of the finest loaf sugar and make it into a syrup, but without letting it boil. This is an old-fashioned recipe.
Syrup of Violets may be given as a laxative to infants in doses of 1/2 to 1 teaspoonful, or more, with an equal volume of oil of Almonds.
Syrup of Violets can be preventive medicine and aid in healing-
ague, epilepsy, inflammation of the eyes, sleeplessness, pleurisy, jaundice and quinsy are only a few of the ailments for which it was held potent. It has power to ease inflammation, roughness of the throat and comfort the heart, Help headaches and put you to sleep.
he flowers also have undoubted expectorant qualities. Use the syrup for congestion in the lungs.
The leaves are used in cooling plasters, oyles and comfortable cataplasms or poultices, And They are an old popular remedy for bruises.
A tincture is made from the whole fresh plant, with proof spirit, and is considered useful for a spasmodic cough with hard breathing, and also for rheumatism of the wrists.
it is stated that Violet leaves have been used with benefit to allay the pain in cancerous growths, especially in the throat, which no other treatment relieved, and several reputed cures have been recorded.
An infusion of the leaves in boiling water- administered in doses of 1 to 2 fluid ounces. A syrup of the petals and a liquid extract (tincture) of the fresh leaves are also used, the latter taken in teaspoonful doses, or rubbed in locally. The fresh leaves are also prepared as a compress for local application.
The infusion is generally drunk cold and is made as follows: Take 2 1/2 OZ. of Violet leaves, freshly picked. Wash them clean in cold water and place them in a stone jar and pour over them 1 pint of boiling water. Tie the jar down and let it stand for twelve hours, till the water is green. Then strain off the liquid into a well-stoppered bottle and the tea is ready for drinking cold at intervals of every two hours during the day, taking a wineglassful at a time till the whole has been consumed each day. It is essential that the tea should be made fresh every day and kept in a cool place to prevent it turning sour. If any should be left over it should be thrown away.
As a hot Compress, for external use, dip a piece of lint into the infusion, made the same strength as the tea, of which a sufficient quantity must be made warm for the purpose. Lay the lint round or over the affected part and cover with oilskin or thin mackintosh. Change the lint when dry or cold. Use flannel, not oilskin, for open wounds, and in cold weather it should be made fresh about every alternate day. Should this wet compress cause undue irritation of the skin, remove at once and substitute the following compress or poultice: Chop some fresh-gathered young Violet leaves, without stems, and cover with boiling water. Stand in a warm place for a quarter of an hour and add a little crushed linseed.
A concentrated preparation is also recommended, made as follows: Put as many Violet leaves in a saucepan as can boil in the water. Boil for 1/2 hour, then strain, squeezing tightly. Evaporate this decoction to one-fourth its bulk and add alcohol (spirits of wine 1 in 15); 1 1/2 OZ. or 3 tablespoon of spirits of wine will keep 24 OZ. for a month. This syrupy product is stated to be extremely efficacious, applied two or three times a day, or more, on cotton-wool about the throat. This will not cause irritation unless applied to the skin with waterproof over for a considerable time, as under such circumstances moisture will cause irritation.
For lubricating the throat, dry and powder Violet leaves and let them stand in olive oil for six hours in a water bath. Make strong. It will keep any time.
A continuous daily supply of fresh leaves is necessary and a considerable quantity is required. It is recorded that during the nine weeks that a nurseryman supplied a patient suffering from cancer in the colon - which was cured at the end of this period - a Violet bed covering six rods of ground was almost entirely stripped of its foliage.
Violet Ointment. - Place 2 OZ. of the best lard in a jar in the oven till it becomes quite clear. Then add about thirty-six fresh Violet leaves. Stew them in the lard for an hour till the leaves are the consistency of cooked cabbage. Strain and when cold put into a covered pot for use. This is a good old fashioned Herbal remedy which has been allowed to fall into disuse. It is good as an application for superficial tubercles in the glands of the neck, Violet Leaves Tea being drunk at the same time.
Tincture- Fresh plant flowers included washed in cold water and filled into a jar. Cover with 80-100 proof vodka leave in cool dark place for one month. Strain into bottle desired.