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By: Jessica Godino, Red Moon Herbs


Today while I was taking a walk with my two-year-old, a tiny burst of color caught my eye. I looked more closely and realized joyfully that I had found my first Violet of the season. And not just one, for the ground was covered with dozens of sweetly nodding purple flowers. My son and I happily gathered handfuls of the delicate blossoms and tender green leaves, eating some as we picked and saving the rest for dinner.

Besides being a delight to the senses, the common wild Violet is a nutritional and medicinal powerhouse. There are dozens of species of Violet, in various colors that include blue, purple, white, and yellow.

Luckily, all species are edible and have similar medicinal value, so you don't have to worry about knowing out exactly which one you've got. Violet leaves and flowers are loaded with minerals and vitamins, especially A and C. The leaves are tasty both raw and cooked, with a bland mucilaginous flavor. I like to add a handful to fresh salads for a vitamin boost. The flowers are sweet and tangy, and make a gorgeous garnish on salads and desserts.

Medicinally, violet is a gentle but potent remedy. It is classified as an alterative (or "blood purifier"), which means it helps the body restore optimal functioning by aiding metabolic processes, especially the elimination of waste products. Violet stimulates the lymphatic glands, helping the body get rid of bacteria and other toxins. It is especially useful for swollen glands. Over time, violet can help clear stubborn problems like eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Taking Violet after a long winter is a wonderful way to get our bodies ready for a healthy and energetic spring.

Violet also supports the immune system, helping to clear infections of all kinds. Soothing and cooling, it helps reduce fever and inflammation. It can be useful in treating sinus infections, bronchitis, sore throats and coughs.

Violet leaves can even help to shrink tumors and cancers. They are most effective when taken both internally and used externally as a poultice. They are also helpful in clearing up other growths and lumps such as cysts, mastitis, and fibrocystic breasts.

Next time you are out walking, why not take a few moments to gather some wild Violets? You will be adding beauty to your life, and getting a dose of a potent cleansing remedy at the same time!

Created by Jessica Godino, 2002

Jessica Godino has been teaching people about herbal medicine for almost two decades. After training with Susun Weed she co-founded Red Moon Herbs, an herbal medicine company. Her deep love for the plants and easygoing teaching style makes learning about herbal medicine accessible to everyone. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina where she practices acupuncture and teaches herbal medicine. She can be reached at


Other Articles by Jessica Godino include:

Wildcrafting Guidelines - ten steps to follow
Spring Tonics - Stinging Nettle, Chickweed, and Dandelion
Calendula - useful on all external skin problems
Usnea - a versatile immune system tonic
Hawthorn - a gentle but powerful tonic for the heart
Vitex - a supreme hormonal tonic for women


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