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erbal Medicine Materia Medica

Sweet Violet

© David L. Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMH

Viola odorata


Names: Violet.

Habitat: Widely found in Europe and Asia.

Collection: The leaves and flowers are gathered in the spring, in March and April. Dry with care.

Part Used: Leaves and flowers.


  • Phenolic glycosides, gaultherin, violutoside(=salicylic acid methyl ester)
  • Saponins; myrosin and violin
  • Flavonoids; rutin and violarutin
  • Miscellaneous; odoratine, an alkaloid, 2-nitroproprionicacid, mucilage.
Actions: Expectorant, alterative, anti-inflammatory, diuretic.

Indications: Sweet Violet has a long history of use as a cough remedy and especially for the treatment of bronchitis. It may also be used to aid in the treatment of upper respiratory catarrh. With the combination of actions present, it has a use in skin conditions such as eczema and in a long term approach to rheumatism. It may be used for urinary infections. Sweet Violet has a reputation as an `anti-cancer' herb, and whilst this concept is inappropriate (see pg. 3-289), it definitely has a role in a holistic approach to the treatment of cancer.

Preparations & Dosage: Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water into 1 teaspoonful of the herb and let infuse for 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day. Tincture: take 1-2ml of the tincture three times a day.

About The Author
Whilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary......more
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