The Beautiful and Healing Viloet
1st picture top left: bowl of picked violets 2nd picture: handful of violets 3rd picture: violet and leaf close up 4th picture: flower fruit salad 5th picture: violet sugar
6th picture: violet bouquet 7th picture: infusing violet vinegar 8th picture: violet tea 9th picture: violet tea 10th picture: inspired violet painting
11th picture: violet, forsythia, dandelion, and cherry blossom Easter cookies
Do you love violets like me? Their beautiful purple blooms springing forth in the spring carpets the ground in a glorious way! I love to go violet picking in the spring...it brings such joy to my soul! I use these sweet flowers in a variety of ways...to enjoy with food and to use medicinally.
The violet, latin name: viola odorata, has demulcent (rich in mucilage and can soothe and protect irritated or inflamed internal tissue), alterative (Alteratives are herbs that gradually restore the proper function of the body and increase health and vitality), anti-inflammatory, and lymphagogoue (promote or increases lymph production or lymph flow) properties. Another name commonly found for violets is Johnny jump ups.
Violets usually grow in cool, moist places and they grow very close to the ground, creating a rich, beautiful, and purple carpet. They have 5 petals that can either be purple, blue, white, or yellow. The leaves are heart or kidney shaped and they have a light, sweet, and floral fragrance.
The flowers and leaves are violets are used medicinally. The violet is used to cool and moisten dry and irritated and inflamed tissues. Violet flowers and leaves have been used throughout history for stimulating lymph flow. It has been used to promote breast health, lymph flow, and can assist to aid with fibrocystic breast disease. Violets have also been used to assist with coughs, especially dry irritated coughs. The soft, moist leaves and flowers assist in systemic inflammation.
They are also a wonderful to soothe and calm the nervous system, especially with those who have hot tempers and have a tendency to scream until their red in the face!
Hildegard, a 12th century Abbess, recommended violets for anyone "oppressed by melancholy with a discontented mind, which then harms his lungs."
Next time you see some violets growing near you (as long as they are pesticide free) pick some, and bring them home to love and create some beautiful food and medicine! You can use these beauties to garnish salads, desserts, vinegars, jellies, teas, and tinctures.
Here are a few simple recipes for you to create with violets...enjoy! :)
dry 1 cup of violet flowers for 2-3 days on a screen in a room that has airflow, when dried, place in a mortar and pestle and grind with 1/2 cup of Monk Fruit Sweetener (white variety)...store in a jar with a lid and use to sprinkle on desserts, to sweeten teas, or wherever you need a little extra violet infused sweetness :)
Violet Infused Vinegar
take 1 cup of fresh violet flowers and place in a 1 pint mason glass jar, fill the jar to the top with raw unfiltered Coconut vinegar or a light good quality vinegar. Submerge the flowers. The lighter the vinegar, the richer and more exqusite violet color will be infused into your finished vinegar.
Let sit for 2 weeks out of direct sunlight, shake jar daily. If using metal lid, cover the jar top with a piece of parchment paper first, then screw on lid (to prevent corroding the metal into the vinegar). After 2 weeks, strain and bottle in a glass jar. Use to drizzle over salads, fruits, or mix 2 Tbsp into a glass of water, 1 tsp of honey, and a sprinkle of Himalayan or Celtic salt, and drink on a warm summer day to replace electrolytes.
Pour just boiled water (2 cups) over 1 cup of violet flowers and leaves. Let steep for 1-2 hours and strain. Drink to nourish and soothe dry coughs, inflammation, stimulate lymph, calm nerves, and to improve mood. May add honey if desired.
*For a deeper violet hue in tea, add juice of 1/2 lemon to tea.