Tuesday, August 29, 2017 by Frances Bloomfield
Violet (Viola odorata), also known as sweet violet or garden violet, is an aromatic, evergreen perennial native to the woodlands of Asia and Europe, and naturalized in Australia and the United States of America. These small, short-lived plants bear flowers that are normally dark violet or white in color, downwards-pointing leaf stalks, and hooked styles.
Far from being simply ornamental plants, violets have a long history of use in herbal medicines. According to TheHerbalAcademy.com, violets have served as laxatives, expectorants, and anti-inflammatory agents for early herbalists.
Violets contain a diverse array of flavonoids, which are polyphenic plant compounds known to provide all sorts of health benefits through antioxidant actions and cell signaling pathways. The list of violent flavonoids includes such helpful nutrients as:
In addition to these flavonoids, violets are also packed with:
Violets have been and continue to be used as natural remedies for a variety of health conditions, like:
There are two ways violets protect against hypertension. First, some of the flavonoids present in violets have a diuretic effect that encourages the kidneys to remove sodium from the body. Normal sodium levels allow the blood vessel walls to relax. Second, the alkaloids act as vasodilators and let blood flow through blood vessels with ease.
Violets can ease the discomforts typically associated with arthritis thanks to its content of salicylic acid. This compound has been found to have anti-inflammatory effects similar to the active ingredients in aspirin, which makes it good for reducing arthritic pains.
The anti-inflammatory effects of violets extend into topical applications. Violets can soothe dry and itchy rashes, like those common to eczema.
The saponins and mucilage in violets are considered to be soothing expectorants, and thus make violets quite effective in treating chronic coughs, asthma bronchitis, and lung congestion. For the dryness of the upper respiratory tract, violets are often turned into and taken as a syrup.
In addition to decreasing blood pressure, violets can play an important role in keeping the heart healthy by supplying it with rutin. This particular medicinal constituent has an anti-inflammatory effect, strengthens the capillaries, and prevents the aggregation of platelets. These then result in a heart that is able to work properly.
Violets are considered to be depurative agents, and so they can help out the liver by assisting it in its natural cleansing function.
The wealth of antioxidants and antioxidant-acting nutrients in violets means they can support the immune system. Moreover, violets have laxative effects that can keep the digestive system healthy and expectorant qualities that prevent the lungs from becoming ill.
The most common way to reap the benefits of violets is to brew them in a tea. To make a simple violet tea, just take a teaspoon of violet leaves and steep them in 16 ounces of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain the leaves afterwards and drink the tea. This violet tea can then be combined with equal amounts of mint or dandelion to make an even more nutritious beverage.
Violets have culinary uses too. The flowers can be used to garnish soups and salads, or added to syrups and jams made from herbs. In addition to tea, violet leaves can be added to salads as an ingredient.
Violet liquid extracts can be purchased from health food shops and specialty stores.
Violets can nourish and protect the heart, lungs, liver, and stomach. They’re said to reduce the risk of arthritic pains, hypertension, rashes, and conditions relating to the lungs and respiratory tract.
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