The Violet leaf herb has long been known for its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Violet leaves also possess diaphoretic, diuretic, emollient, expectorant and even slight laxative qualities.
The violet is an annual or short-lived perennial European wild flower. It is a creeping plant that reaches a height of up to 15 centimeters. It has violet colored flowers although sometimes it can produce blue, white or yellow ones. The blossoms usually come out in April to September.
Also known as heartsease, violets have been admired for more than two millennia for its aesthetic beauty as well as its medicinal qualities. Inhabitants of ancient Greece believed that the violet had the ability to soothe anger and to cure sleeplessness. For his part, the ancient Roman naturalist Pliny said its roots, if steeped in vinegar, would cure gout.
The English made a syrup out of the blossoms and used it as a mild laxative for children. Folk medicine has also touted the plant as a remedy or cure for abnormal growths with the fresh leaves being hailed as a treatment for skin cancer. It is worthwhile to note however that this belief has virtually no scientific evidence to support it.
The dried violet leaf is traditionally infused as a tea while the flower, as well as the leaves, are traditionally included in salads, soups, jellies and jams.
Among the active constituencies of violet leaf are saponins, mucilages, carotenoids, eugenol, quercetin, kaempferol, rutin and beta-sitosterol.
To make violet leaf tea, simply pour one cup of boiling water onto 1 teaspoonful of dried violet leaves and let it stand for about 10 minutes. This is ideally drunk three times a day.
The following are some health benefits attributed to this brew:
- May help combat coughs, bronchitis, asthma, whooping cough, congestion and other respiratory ailments.
- Appears to help fight jaundice.
- Seems to assist in fighting certain cancers.
- May help fight pleurisy.
- May aid in fighting inflammation.