Violets are not only lovely to look at, but are cooling and healing. The stems, leaves and flowers are all edible and are traditionally used in fighting chronic diseases such as oral cancer and fibrocystic breast disease.
They’re especially useful for soothing irritations and eczema when used on your skin.
Here are a few helpful links on identifying and foraging for violets. (You do NOT want to use African violet houseplants in any of these recipes as they are not related and are not edible or used medicinally.)
- Wild Violet – Edible Wild Food
- Viola (Plant) – Wikipedia
- Foraging for Wild Violets – Grow Forage Cook Ferment
Note: While violets are generally mild and safe for most people, if you have a question related to your particular health situation, be sure to check with your family health care provider for their advice. Violets have a mild laxative effect, so consume in moderation. Some links on this blog are affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I earn a small commission for sending a customer their way. This costs nothing extra, but helps support my family and lets me keep doing what I do. Thank you! :)
Once you’ve sourced some violets, here are 10 pretty and practical ways you can use them.
1. Violet Leaf Infused Oil
This violet leaf infused oil can be massaged directly onto dry, irritated skin or used as an ingredient in recipes for salves, lotions, creams, lip balms, soaps and lotion bars. Shelf life of strained, infused oil is around 1 year.
If you don’t have violet leaves where you live, you can purchase dried from Mountain Rose Herbs.
To make it, fill a canning jar about half-way with dried violet leaves. Cover with about twice as much as your favorite carrier oil, or to the top of the jar. (Suggested oils include sunflower, olive, sweet almond, apricot kernel, avocado, hemp and so forth.)
For a quick infusion: Set the uncovered jar down into a small saucepan filled with a few inches of water. Heat over a low burner for a few hours, keeping a close eye that the water doesn’t evaporate out. Remove from heat and strain. The quick infusion is the best way to infuse coconut oil.
For a slower, more traditional infusion: Cap the jar of dried violet leaves and oil and tuck away in a cabinet for around 4 to 6 weeks, shaking occasionally as you remember to. When the infusing time has passed, strain.
For an alternative option: You could also set the jar of violet leaves and oil in a sunny windowsill for several days to a week to jump start the infusion. (Don’t store for long periods in sunlight though, as it tends to fade flowers and herbs over time.)
2. Violet Leaf Balm
Violet leaf infused oil makes this balm extra soothing, moisturizing and toning.
Find out (HERE) how to make and use it for minor scrapes, rashes, eczema and fibrocystic breasts.
3. Violet Infused Aloe
This soothing gel can be rubbed over mild irritations such as sunburn, bug bites, rashes, dry skin, razor burn and minor scrapes. You can also incorporate it into lotion and cream recipes.
To make it, you’ll need 1/2 cup (about 3 g) loosely packed fresh violet petals and 1/2 cup (120 ml) bottled aloe vera gel. (You can purchase organic aloe vera gel from Mountain Rose Herbs, or check your local pharmacy for some.)
Place the flower petals and aloe gel in the bottom of a small food processor. Blend thoroughly, then press through a fine mesh sieve with your fingers to strain. (This part is messy!)
Store the pretty purple aloe gel in your refrigerator fora few weeks. For longer storage, freeze in ice trays and store the frozen cubes in freezer bags for 3 to 6 months.
(This recipe is from my print book, 101 Easy Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health & Home, available HERE.)
4. Violet Jelly
For this easy to make yummy jelly recipe, you’ll need fresh violet flowers, fresh lemons, sugar and some Sure-Jell pectin. The finished product is delicious with a taste similar to grape jelly.
5. Violet Vinegar
Violet vinegar is not only beautiful to look at, it’s really useful too!
6. Violet Ice Cubes
Dress up your spring lemonades and other beverages with pretty violet flower ice cubes.
To make, fill an ice tray about half way with water. Place a fresh violet flower or two in each section of the tray. Pop in the freezer and freeze until almost solid, then fill the rest of the tray with more water. Freeze until completely solid.
7. Violet Soap
This skin nourishing soap is made with violet leaf infused olive oil and colored a pretty natural green with chlorella powder.
8. Spring Tonic Honey
This spring flower infused honey is a wonderful treat for your skin or can be taken for seasonal allergies.
9. Violet Leaf & Honey Cough Syrup
Violet leaves can be used to make a super gentle cough syrup for mild throat irritations and coughs.
Find out how to make this yummy home remedy HERE.
10. Violet Flower Bath Soak
To make this lovely naturally colored bath soak, combine 1/4 cup fresh violet flowers with 1/2 cup sea salt in a mini food processor (like THIS ONE).
Blend well and spread in a thin layer over a sheet of wax paper to air dry overnight.
The next day, crumble the clumps of dried purple salt into a jar and mix with another 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra coarse sea salt or Epsom salts.
If desired, add 4 drops of an essential oil, such as lavender or clary sage for scent. Stir well.
To use, dump the bath soak into a tub as it fills with comfortably warm water. Note that your bath water may turn a pale shade of purple, depending on how many violets you use, but it won’t stain your tub.
For more natural bath soak and bath bomb ideas, be sure to check out my Natural Bath Care Package!
If you enjoyed reading about 10 things you can make with violet flowers and violet leaves, let’s keep in touch! Subscribe to my monthly newsletter HERE to receive my latest herbal ideas, DIY body care projects and natural soapmaking recipes once, sometimes twice, per month. (No spam ever, unsubscribe at any time.)