There are over 100 species in the Viola genus found across the continent, many that can be considered medicinally, lots native to North America, and some endangered (as always, only harvest if you are Sure the regional ecology can support it!). Violet is a gentle, moist and cooling remedy that soothes inflamed mucosa. It has been used traditionally as a cough remedy, especially for children and dry coughs. Violet leaves and flowers are a demulcent, nutritive and tasty food rich in minerals like Vitamins A & C, and can be eaten fresh or taken in tea.
Violet is a gentle, subtle remedy that can bring great relief. Herbalist Jim McDonald recommends violet - especially fresh - in the case of constitutional dryness - be it constipation, dry skin / mouth / breathing passages, dry cough, hard lymph nodes, or an herbal formula that is too dry. Violet is known to be a useful remedy for eczema, especially with children and elderly where gentleness is a must.
Violet also has the ability to act on the lymphatic system, topically as a poultice, and internally as tincture or tea. In the case of hot, swollen glands, or older, hard congested glands, it can bring relief and movement. It is known to be especially helpful with breast swelling, from fybrocystic conditions, both internally and applied in oil with massage, and in combination perhaps with other herbs. Centuries ago violet was known to "ripen and dissolve swelling". In the emotional, plant-spirit context, violet has been associated with love for centuries, and is said to 'calm and strengthen the heart' and soften and soothe the spirit, espeically in stress due to hot, dry rigidity of the emotions or psyche- not unlike the physiological use!
contraindications: Caution with root/seeds, strong emetic and not advised for use.
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