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Violet Materia Medica

“Even if fall she must, it was to lie on the earth and moulder sweetly into the roots of violets.” ― Virginia Woolf, The Lady in the Looking Glass

Member of the Violaceae family, most often used medicinal varieties:

Common Blue - Viola Sororia Sweet Violet - Viola Odorata

Sweet I Bland I Cooling I Moistening

Mucilage I Vitamin C I Vitamin A I Flavonoids I Saponins I Minerals I Volatile Oils

Emollient I Demulcent I Vulnerary I Antiseptic I Expectorant Nutritive I Dissolvent I Laxative I Lymphagogue

Doctrine of Signatures suggest heart and pelvic medicine.


Strengthens and comforts the heart, relieves pain in the heart, love potions

Sore throats, cough, brings up phlegm, suitable for children Stomachache, constipation, suitable for children Supports youthful skin, gentle astringent

Headaches especially from lack of sleep, restlessness and overthinking

Relives pressure in head especially from hangovers and ancient Romans wore garlands to protect from intoxication

Slight sedative for anxiety and insomnia


Affinity for breasts, lumps, cysts, growths, inflammation, sore nipples, clogged ducts, soreness due to PMS

Sore or inflamed eyes, conjunctivitis

Stomachache, constipation, suitable for children Chest congestion, dry coughs, whooping cough, inflamed throat, dry asthma, tonsillitis

Inflamed gums, painful sores

Headaches, nerves

Any dry, hot skin condition, burns, boils, sores, warts, wounds, pimples, bites, growths including cancers due to high salicylic acid

Call on its flower essence for confidence and comfort in group settings

Fables & Folklore

of Violet

“You are the only person who loves me in the world," said Elizabeth. "When you talk to me I smell violets.”

― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Windy Poplars

The mythical creation of Violet is told in many varieties. At the core, a nymph (Io) was turned to a white heifer by her lover (Zeus, Jupiter) to protect her from his jealous wife (Hera/Juno) and Violets were created for her to graze on.

Persephone was picking Violets when Hades kidnapped her to live with him in the Underworld

Ruled by Venus and sacred to Taurus, its element is water.

Violet has been revered throughout history The flower of Aphrodite

Symbol of Athens

Sacred to the Fairy Queen

Favorite of Queen Victoria

Emblem of Imperial Napoleonic party

In floriography, or Victorian Language of Flowers, Violet signifies faithfulness

Violet is for faithfulness

Which in me shall abide

Hoping likewise that from your heart,

You will not let it slide

-William Hynnis

Symbolism includes simplicity, serenity, peace and good fortune

To dream of Violet predicts prosperity

Hung outside your door, Violet offers blessings on all who enter

Associated with death, especially that of the young, Violets were planted at graves of children

"Lay here i' th' earth, And from her fair and unpolluted fresh, may violets spring" Shakespeare

State flowers for Rhode Island, Wisconsin, New Jersey and Illinois

Violet is the birth flower for February Violets are God's apology for February -Barbara Johnson

Forage I Harvest I Make

with Violet

"Violets bloom out of sheer exuberance"

Native to Europe, there are 70 species growing wild in North America and one variety present in all 50 states.


Hardy to zone 5

Violet is most happy in rich, moist soil on shady lanes or the edge of woodlands, but it will grow very easily on lawns and in direct sunlight.

Violet is a "cleistogamous" plant, or self fertilizing, and a hearty self seeder.

The blooms we harvest are not technically flowers as they bear no seeds. Therefore, harvest to your heart's content, keeping pollinators in mind. Later in the season green flowers bloom below the foliage and are generally not observed by passersby.

A violet in the youth of primy nature, Forward, not permanent--sweet, not lasting; The perfume and suppliance of a minute; No more. Shakespeare

Flowers Harvest: in spring in full bloom Make: syrup, scented sugar, jelly, jam, honey, steeped oil, tincture, tea, decoration, candy, steeped wine, cosmetics, perfume

Leaves Harvest: spring through early fall when vibrant green and fresh, avoid thick, tough leaves Make: replacing any green raw or cooked, salad, soups, steeped oil, tincture, tea Roots toxic in large doses


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