Wild Pansy

Wild Pansy

Wild pansy, Viola tricolor, is a lovely small herb herbalists use for skin conditions, respiratory system, veins, joint inflammation and to stop pain.

FAMILY

Violaceae

OTHER NAMES

Viola, heatsease, heart’s ease, Jack-jump-up, garden violet, love-in-idleness, three faces in a hood, tickle-my-fancy, bird’s eyes

PARTS USED

Flowers

HABITAT

Wild pansy is native to Eurasia but it is found throughout the world.

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION

Wild pansy is an annual or biennial flowering plant with spreading stems.

Height: 10-15 cm (4-6 inches)
Width: 10-15 cm (4-6 inches)
Flowers: Tricolor, 1.5 cm (1/2 inch) with dark purple upper petals, pale purple or pale yellow middle petals and a dark yellow lower petal with dark streaks.
Leaves: ovate to lanceolate, dentate or serrate
Fruits: 3-valved capsule
Blooms: April to October

CULTIVATION

Hardiness: Zones 4-9
Propagation: Seed
Germination: 14-21 days. Sow in late winter or early spring.
Spacing: 10-15 cm (4-6 inches)
Soil: Well-drained, moist, sandy, clay or loamy
pH: Acid, alkaline and neutral
Exposure: Full sun and partial shade. Tolerates shade.
Pests and diseases: Slugs, snails, aphids, red spider mite, violet gall midge, powdery mildews, pansy leaf spot, rust and viruses.
Garden Design: Wild pansies look great in containers either by themselves or in combination with other plants. They also look good in flower beds and borders, in the vegetable garden, in a rock garden, as edging for flower beds and in a cottage garden.

HARVEST

Harvest wild pansy in a sunny and dry morning an inch above ground.

DRYING

To dry viola, lay it on a flat surface in a dark and well-ventilated room or use a dehydrator.

CONSTITUENTS

Up to .03% salicylic acid and its derivatives, 10% mucilage (35% glucose, 33% galactose, 18% arabinose, 8% rhambnose), 10% saponins, 2.4-4.5% tannins and flavonoids (quercitrin, rutin), anthocyanidin glycosides, caratenoids, coumarins, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and hemolytically active peptides.

PROPERTIES

Analgesic, antitussive, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic (disputed), expectorant, laxative, purgative, vulnerary

ENERGETICS

Cool, moist

TASTE

Mildly sweet, rich in mucilage

SCENT

Faint and characteristic

MEDICINAL USE OF WILD PANSY

Wild Pansy herb (flowers and leaves) is used externally and internally for several skin ailments such as psoriasis, eczema, impetigo, acne, pruritis, etc.
Viola spp is also used for the respiratory system because of its expectorant properties. The salicylic acid helps lower fevers and soothe rheumatism, arthritis and gout.

Used internally for:

  • Skin diseases
  • Whooping cough
  • Feverish colds
  • Catarrh of the respiratory system
  • Rheumatism, gout

Topic application for:

  • Infantile and adult eczema
  • Seborrhea
  • Skin irritation
  • Inflammation of the throat (gargle)

Recommended daily dosage

Tea: 1.5g dried herb
Sitz-bad: 2-3 tablespoons dried herb

HOMEMADE PREPARATIONS
  • Infusion
  • Sitz-bath
  • Compress
  • Ointment and salves
  • Powder
CULINARY USE

Delicious when added to salads

SIDE EFFECTS

None

CONTRA-INDICATIONS

None

Wild Pansy

References
Bühring, U. 2015. Alles über Heilpflanzen. 3rd ed. Stuttgart: Ulmer.
Wichtl M. 2004. Herbal drugs and phytopharmaceuticals – A handbook for practice on a scientific basis. 3rd ed. Stuttgart: medpharm Scientific Publishers
Royal Horticultural Society. “Viola tricolor”, https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/19017/i-Viola-tricolor-i/Details
Flowers in Sweden, “Viola tricolor” http://www.flowersinsweden.com/Violatricolor_page.htm

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