Herb of the week-Violet
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|Sun, 07-06-2003 - 6:29pm|
VIOLET VIOLA ODORATA
A fine, pleasing plant ... of a mild nature, and in no way hurtful.
A perennial with heart-shaped leaves and large fragrant deep blue or purple flowers.
Where to find it.. Warm, sunny banks and edges of woods.
Flowering time: Late winter to mid spring.
Astrology. A plant of Venus.
Medicinal virtues: It is used to cool any heat or distemperature of the body, such as eye inflamrnations, or hot swellings in the matrix or fundament. The leaves and flowers are taken by decoction and also used in a poultice. A dram (1.7 g) by weight of the powdered leaves or flowers purges the body of choleric humours if taken in wine. The powdered flowers taken in water relieves the quinsy and the falling-sickness in children. The flowers of White Violets ripen and dissolve swellings. Taken fresh, the flowers or herb are effectual in pleurisy and diseases of the lungs and help hoarseness, hot urine and pains in the back or bladder.
Modern uses: The leaves are antiseptic and are used internally and externally for the treatment of malignancies. Research is required in this area, but an infusion of the leaves appears to reduce pain in cancerous cases. A strong infusion is made by using 2 oz (56 g) of leaves to 1 Pt (568 ml) of boiling water, which is left to stand overnight. It is then strained and taken in doses of 2 fl oz (56 ml) every two or three hours. The crushed leaves can be applied directly to the skin where an antiseptic is required. The flowers are expectorant and a syrup is made by adding honey to an infusion of them. This is an excellent remedy for coughs taken in dessert-spoonful doses. The roots and leaves are also expectorant, but the root tends to he emetic and has been used as an alternative to lpecacuanha. In combination with Vervain (Verbena officinalis), it is effective in whooping cough. Colt's Foot may also be added.