The pretty purple flowers are popping up all over my yard…do you see them in yours?
They are tiny, with richly-colored petals and curled, heart-shaped leaves. Both the leaves and flowers are edible and medicinal! They are one of the first flowers to pop up in the spring (alongside dandelions, another favorite). If you haven’t picked some yet, it’s definitely time to do so!
How (and Why) to Make a Violet Tincture
Historically speaking, violets — along with dandelions and elder flowers — were consumed in early spring for a good reason: natural detox. Our ancestors usually ate a very starch-and-salt-heavy diet during the winter months. Potatoes, grains, and salted meats, because that’s what was available to them off-season. Between this diet and the cold months stuck inside the home without much exercise (they didn’t exactly have gyms!), they were ready for some changes.
Violets are rich in a number of vitamins and minerals (especially vitamin C) as well as being an alterative — that is, a blood purifier. It helps to cleanse the body of all that heaviness and restore vibrant, energetic functioning.
Although we don’t have quite the same situation today — our diets are more stable year-around, and we do have access to gyms indoor activity and bright lights all winter — we could all use a little gentle cleansing and support. Unlike our ancestors, we’re exposed to a lot of environmental toxins in processed foods, water, and polluted air.
Violets are also good for minor pain and respiratory support (cough/cold).
This is also nearly free medicine, growing outside in your own yard! What’s not to love about that?
Ways to use violets:
- Add to salads
- Add to smoothies
- Make into violet lemonade (steep 2 cups violets in 4 cups near-boiling water for 15 minutes, strain; then add to your favorite lemonade recipe)
- Make into jelly
- Make a tincture!
My preferred method is a tincture, because it is minimal work (it took only about 2 minutes to make the tincture, not including picking time) and then it’s ready whenever I want it. I only have to make it once for the whole season!
DIY Violet Tincture
- About 1 1/2 cups loosely-packed violet flowers and leaves
- 3/4 cup filtered water
- 1 1/4 cup vegetable glycerin (look for one based on palm or coconut, not corn or soy)
Step 1: Add violets to a mason jar
Step 2: Mix glycerin and water and pour over violets
Step 3: Cap and shake to combine
Step 4: Let steep 4 – 6 weeks; OR put in a simmering pan for several hours
Step 5: Strain and use 10 – 20 drops per day or as needed!
If you don’t have glycerin, you can use vodka, ACV, or just make tea (1 tbsp. blossoms to 8 oz water). We can have more vibrant health with the plants that grow all around us. 🙂