Violet Weed Walk
I was walking up the pathway to the front of the house yesterday and noticed all the fresh blooming violets in the garden beds and along the rock borders. How beautiful! Spring is really here! The common wild Violet is a nutritional and medicinal powerhouse. There are dozens of species of Violet, in various colors that include blue, purple, white, and yellow. I immediately thought to gather these gorgeous little leaves and flowers and put into a salad for dinner.
Yep! I go around the yard picking and gathering weeds and herbs to incorporate in our meals and diet. With the cold, harsh winter we had, I am so excited that Spring is here offering up fresh food for the picking. This is better than anything that you can purchase in the grocery stores or farmers market right now. When your food is FRESH, nothing is better. The nutrients are so potent. Your body takes in the life force of the plant and in turn, feeds and raises your energy. I always give thanks to the plants I harvest for their gift and offering.
The most IMPORTANT thing to remember that if you’re going to start eating violets (or anything for that matter), please make sure wherever you harvest them, they haven’t been sprayed with any chemicals or by the family dog.
Violet leaves and flowers are loaded with minerals and vitamins, especially A and C. Both of these important vitamins are associated with increased immune function and wound healing. Violet roots reach way down into moist spring soil and pull up vital nutrients and minerals such as Calcium and Magnesium. The leaves become little green vitamin tablets – a phytonutrient powerhouse. The leaves are tasty both raw and cooked. The flowers are edible, sweet and tangy, and make a gorgeous garnish on salads, smoothies and desserts. The leaves have a mucilaginous (slippery) quality when chewed and apparently can be used to thicken soups and stews.
Violet is a gentle but potent medicinal remedy. Violet is a strong blood purifier. Violet leaves have been used throughout the centuries as a soothing, cooling, anti-inflammatory demulcent. Violet also supports the immune system, helping to clear infections of all kinds. They can be a very effective first aid remedy for hot, inflamed conditions of the skin. Simply chew up a fresh leaf and place it on the effected area. A remedy gentle enough for use with children, violet can also be used to soothe hot irritating coughs or headaches. Just make a hot tea of the leaves and sip slowly.
Violet leaves can even help to shrink tumors and cancers, specifically those in the breasts. They are most effective when taken both internally and used externally as a poultice. They are also helpful in clearing up other growths and lumps such as cysts, mastitis, and fibrocystic breasts. Susan Weed’s excellent book Breast Cancer? Breast Health! details the use of violet for various breast conditions. Violet is also a gentle lymphatic tonic, aiding the body in removing waste products from the bloodstream.
Violet propagates itself by seed and throwing out scions, or runners, from the main plant each summer after flowering, and these in turn send out roots and become new plants, a process that renders it independent of seed.
I like to add a handful of violet leaves to fresh salads for a vitamin boost. Take a bowl and scissors and go out into your yard (or a neighbor’s – with their permission, of course and NO chemicals) and begin harvesting fresh cut greens for a salad. Other amazing wild herbs and greens coming up right now are yard onions, dandelions, chickweed, plantain – just to name a few. Mother Nature is saying “Come and get it folks!” She is providing food to assist us with the changing of seasons. Bitter, astringent, chlorophyll rich greens that will help us reduce excess water in the body, cleanse, detoxify, boost immune system, purify the blood, and so much more.
Salad last night consisted of fresh violet leaves, organic baby spinach, yellow and red bell peppers, hemp seeds, fresh sprouts, scallions with a creamy hemp seed dressing. It was wonderful!
Another fantastic use for these bountiful greens is to use in smoothies. I made up this low-glycemic Spring green smoothie this morning with produce that is IN SEASON.
- 1 small organic pear
- 1 small organic granny smith apple
- 1/2 lemon, peeled
- 1/2 cup organic parsley leaves
- 4 cups organic spinach, kale, swiss chard (or combination of all)
- 1/2 cup fresh violet leaves (toss in some flowers too!)
- 1/2 avocado
- 2 cups water
- sweetener of choice ( I used raw honey)
- Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender (I use a Vitamix) and blend till smooth and creamy - about 30 seconds. Add toppings of choice - I used fresh, local bee pollen and a few violet flowers (eat them first). Enjoy!
Violets are bountiful right now freshly emerging with vibrant green leaves that are probably right next to your door and in your yard. Seek them out and you will be rewarded delightfully with nutrition and healing medicine straight from Mother Nature herself.
Get your SPRING greens on!
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