Heartsease - Viola tricolor

(garden violet, pansy, johnny jump-up, step-mother)

This is an annual plant with an angular, soft, hollow stem. The alternate leaves are ovate and toothed. The flowers are usually yellow, blue, violet or two-coloured and bloom from March to October.

The properties of heartsease include anodyne, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, laxative and vulnerary. An infusion is useful for skin eruptions, diarrhea and urinary complaints. It is commonly used for jaundice, gout, rheumatism, anteriosclerosis, bed wetting and nervous complaints as well as hysteria and cramps in children. It contains mucilage and salicylic acid which aid in the treatment of chest and lung inflammations. The dried and powdered plant helps to heal wounds, and when mixed with honey can be used externally.

Excessive or prolonged external use can lead to skin problems.

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