Violet for Skin Care and Medicinal Uses
The unassuming qualities of violet belie the true power contained within the leaves and blossoms. This coy little beauty is loaded with phytochemicals that offer a wide range of healing benefits. We’ll take a look at some of those traditional healing benefits, including violet for skin care and medicinal uses.
Sweet violet has a long history of use as a cough remedy, especially for bronchitis. In this capacity, it serves as expectorant and is naturally anti-inflammatory.
The Greek physician Hippocrates and the most famous physician of the late Middle Ages, Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, known as Paracelsus, were quite familiar with the healing properties of Violet. As were the monks of the Middle Ages who referred to it as “viola tricolor,” or the “Herb of the Trinity” (herba trinitatis) because they saw the three colors as a reference to the trinity.
From the 16th Century onward, violet’s use as a pain reliever was extensive, since it is among the few plants outside of willow to contain salicylic acid, an anti-inflammatory agent and the chief ingredient in aspirin.
Salicylic acid is also an active ingredient in many cosmetic and skin care products due to its keratolytic, comedolytic, and bacteriostatic properties. Which is to say, it removes warts and growths, prevents acne, and inhibits bacterial growth. Salicylic acid is a natural property found in violet cream.
Violet is moist, mucilaginous, and demulcent, meaning it feels slippery and wet and is therefore useful for dry skin conditions. Together with salicylic acid, these properties make it an ideal substance for dissolving abnormal skin cells, to relieve dry skin conditions like eczema, to curb growths, as an anti-fungal, burn salve, and as a wound healer in natural cancer treatments.
As a food and flavor additive, violets contain twice as much vitamin C as the same weight of orange and more than twice the amount of vitamin A, gram for gram, when compared with spinach.