Botanical Ingredient Spotlight: SWEET VIOLET
Roses are red, violets are blue… well they’re purple actually, but let’s not mess with tradition. You probably know sweet violets from this old rhyme, but do you know much else about them?
Flowering starts early for this little plant – we’ve seen the shy little flowers peeking from under leaves since mid-January in our Freyaluna Herb Garden. Interestingly, it is the leaves and not the flowers which we use as an ingredient for our skincare products. Harvesting in spring, the leaves are picked, washed, and then left to dry completely before use.
Skincare benefits of Sweet Violet
Violet has been used medicinally for centuries. It used to be recommended to wear a garland of the flowers to prevent headaches and dizziness. While I can’t say whether there is much use for that particular treatment method, sweet violet can have wonderful effects for our health and wellbeing.
This unassuming little plant is loaded with nutrients that offer a wide range of healing benefits. Sweet violet is naturally anti-inflammatory and so can be helpful for those with eczema and other dry skin conditions. In fact, it has been used very successfully, in a blend with other herbs, to treat severe childhood eczema at a hospital in London.
It can help to soften hard skin like corns (we have it on good authority from a customer that this really does work!), warts and calluses, and is useful for healing acne, spots, and wounds that won’t heal. This plant is even used in natural and holistic treatments and therapies for skin cancers.
Fragrance has benefits for our wellbeing, too
If you know anything about me and the work I do, you’ll know that I absolutely love fragrance and all of the wonderful effects it can create for our wellbeing (note: here I’m talking about natural fragrances, synthetic fragrance is not good for us).
The scent of violet leaf has a green, earthy, leafy note with a gentle floral undertone. It is dry, sweet, and somewhat hay-like. So what are the benefits of the scent of sweet violet?
Mental & emotional effects of violet
This fragrance has comforting and calming properties and can be used to help ease many conditions. It is said to be able to reduce headaches and migraines as well as dizziness, anxiety and nervous exhaustion… perhaps that old recommendation of wearing a garland of violet flowers was right, after all.
There is also some benefit for those suffering insomnia.
With this being the most common sleep disorder that reduces quality of life, a 2014 study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of violet oil in the treatment of chronic insomnia… and the results were quite impressive. Improvements in sleep were significantly greater in patients after a month of receiving violet oil drop in each nostril, in comparison with before starting treatment.
It has spiritual effects, too
Like the shy little violet flowers who hide under the leaves (talk about hiding your light under a bushel), the scent of violet is for those who are timid and shy - for those too timid to step into the light, to speak their truth, or to share their magic with the world… the scent of violet offers understanding, empathy, and love.
This plant may not be the most striking at first glance, but it certainly holds a lot of power for one so small.
You can benefit from Sweet Violet's skincare effects with our Calendula & Violet Soothing Salve, a targeted herbal salve for dry, irritated, and flaky skin. It's a customer favourite!