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As the snow starts to recede, I am anxious to see where my spring plants will pop up. I have lived all over the country and violets are one of the wild plants that seem to survive wherever we go. Usually found along the edges of yards and gardens, many people consider them a weed, while I think violets simply need better marketing.

As is often the case, when violets are blooming in spring, many of us suffer from the leftovers of that last big winter illness. The dry, hacking cough that interrupts our sleep and just feels exhausting. Violets to the rescue!

Violets, with their vivid hues and delicate form, are more than just a feast for the eyes. These enchanting flowers harbor a wealth of benefits that have been celebrated through centuries in various cultures for their medicinal and culinary uses.

A Brief History of Violets

Violets have a storied past, intertwined with legend and lore. In ancient Greece, they were a symbol of love and fertility, often used in love potions. Medieval texts praise violets for their healing properties, especially in soothing headaches and healing wounds.

Culinary Uses: More Than Just a Pretty Flower

Beyond their visual appeal, violets are a delightful addition to the culinary world. Their flowers and leaves are edible, offering a slightly sweet and floral flavor. Violets make a lovely garnish on salads and desserts, and violet-infused syrups and teas are not only beautiful but provide a subtle, soothing taste that is perfect for relaxation.

Medicinal Marvels of Violets

Violets are not just about beauty and taste; they pack a punch in terms of health benefits. Rich in vitamins A and C, they are great for boosting the immune system. Herbalists value violets for their anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, making them an excellent remedy for skin conditions, such as eczema and acne. Additionally, violet tea is a traditional remedy for respiratory issues, aiding in the relief of dry unproductive coughs, and sore throats.

Violet Recipes

Violets, with their gentle fragrance and appealing color, are not just a visual treat but also a versatile ingredient in herbal recipes. They can be used in a variety of ways, from culinary to cosmetic. Here are some herbal recipes using violets:

1. Violet Syrup


  • 1 cup fresh violet flowers
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups sugar


  1. Place the violet flowers in a jar and pour the boiling water over them. Cover and let steep for 24 hours.
  2. Strain the liquid into a saucepan, pressing the flowers to extract as much liquid as possible.
  3. Add the sugar to the liquid and heat gently, stirring until the sugar dissolves completely.
  4. Bring to a low simmer and cook until the mixture thickens into a syrup.
  5. Pour the syrup into sterilized bottles. It’s perfect for adding a floral touch to cocktails, desserts, or pancakes.

2. Violet Infused Vinegar


  • 2 cups fresh violet flowers
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar


  1. Place the violet flowers in a clean jar and cover them with the apple cider vinegar.
  2. Seal the jar and let it sit in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks, shaking it every few days.
  3. After 2 weeks, strain the vinegar through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth into another clean jar.
  4. Use the infused vinegar in salads, marinades, or as a beauty tonic for skin and hair.

3. Violet Tea


  • 1 tablespoon fresh or dried violet flowers
  • 1 cup boiling water


  1. Place the violet flowers in a teapot or cup.
  2. Pour boiling water over the flowers and let steep for 10 minutes.
  3. Strain and enjoy the tea warm. It’s known for its potential to soothe headaches and relieve cold symptoms.

4. Violet Leaf Salve


  • 1 cup violet leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup carrier oil (such as coconut or olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup beeswax pellets


  1. Infuse the violet leaves in the carrier oil. You can do this by gently heating the leaves and oil in a double boiler for 2 hours or using a cold infusion method by letting them sit together in a jar for 4-6 weeks.
  2. Strain the oil through cheesecloth to remove the leaves.
  3. Add the beeswax to the infused oil and gently heat until the beeswax melts.
  4. Pour the mixture into small jars or tins and let it cool until solid. This salve is excellent for moisturizing skin, soothing irritation, and healing minor cuts and bruises.

5. Violet Leaf and Honey Cough Syrup


  • 1/2 cup fresh violet leaves
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup honey


  1. Simmer the violet leaves in water for about 20 minutes.
  2. Strain the leaves out, and mix the remaining liquid with honey.
  3. Heat the mixture gently, just until the honey is fully incorporated.
  4. Store in a clean bottle in the refrigerator. Take a tablespoon as needed to soothe coughs and sore throats.

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