Violet/Pansy (Zi Hua di Ding)
Botanical Name: Viola (Largest genus in the family violacea contains 525-600 species)
Often thought of as only an ornamental flower for the garden, the violet is also edible and medicinal. The candied flowers are a culinary treat for decorating cakes and other baked goods.
Below is an overview of violet, combining and interpreting the best of Western science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), shamanism, folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of violet.
Western Name: Violet
Also Known As: Viola Pansy, and Hybrid Pansy
Organs/Systems: Immunity, Intestines, Nervous System
Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Antioxidant and Anthocyanin (which show strong antioxidant characteristics), Uterotonic, Anticancer, Cathartic, Emollient, Laxative, Nervine, Antitussive, Antiscrofulous. Spring tonic used for scabies and burrowing ulcers. According to the American Frugal Housewife in 1833, the common dark-blue violet makes a slimy tea excellent for treating cancer.
Pin Yin: Zi Hua di Ding
Also Known As: N/A
Meridians: Heart and Liver
Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Clears Heat, Releases Toxins and Resolves Masses. Used externally to treat skin conditions such as boils and carbuncles, also snake bites. Can reduce inflammation. The plants ability to clear heat, detox, and subdue swellings is considered equivalent to dandelion, so it is often used in combination with it. Very good at detoxing. Used to treat cold deficient syndromes.
Flavors: Bitter, Pungent, and Cold
Caution: None noted.
History/Folklore: Wild viola often considered a weed. Violet thrives in partial shade. When newly opened, it is used used to decorate cakes, salads, poultry, and fish. Young leaves are edible, raw or cooked. Candied violets are preserved with a coating of egg white and crystallized sugar. This process involves pouring hot sugar over the fresh flowers and stirring the mixture till sugar is crystallized and the mixture has dried.
Acids, quercetin; rich source of Vitamins A and C; also contains the antioxidant, anthocyanin.
Australians celebrate Violet Day in honor of WWI soldiers.
Young leaves are edible, raw or cooked.
Crème de Violette
The French are known for their violet syrup, Crème de Violette.
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