Sweet Violets

Viola odorata


L Violaceae

Other Violet Species:

arvensis,calcarea, canina, hirta, lutea, palustris, purpurea, sylvatica, tricolor


The name describes both the smell and colour of the flowers.

It has been cultivated for 2000 years as a colorant for syrups and drinks.

Violet scent is also obtained from Iris germanica , as the scent is very expensive to extract.

The rootstock is now the most commonly employed part.


Saponins,; a glycoside ; violarutin ; methyl salicylate ; mucilage ; vitamin C ; an alkaloid ; odoratine ; anthocyanine pigments ; an aromatic substance ionine or irone (which is the aromatic principle) ; salicylic glycosides (Viola - quercinin)


hot compress

candied violets

violet syrup

violet water, perfume

violet ointment


colouring agent and flavouring in other neutral or acid medicines besides laxatives

remedy for bruising (poultice)

homeopathic medicinal tincture for spasmodic cough ; rheumatism of the wrists

internal and external use in the treatment of cancer

To make a simple Violet Ointment:

(From A Modern Herbal)

Take lard like Crisco and place 2 oz in a container in the oven. Heat it until clear. Add about 36 fresh violet leaves. Stew them in the lard for about an hour until the leaves are the consistency of cooked cabbage. Strain (also filter through coffee filters) and place in a lotion jar. Use when cool and hardened for glands at the throat, or for rheumatism.


Of note: There are several quite complicated descriptions of medicines manufacture and medicinal uses of violets in:

A Modern Herbal by Mrs Grieve, Tiger Books International, London

Contra - Indications:

emetic and purgative in large doses

Companions Note:   Click to Medicinal Violets article

Current Column on Violets: Link Here

Also see Violets and Passover "Tansies"


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