Violets, Good for You as well as Your Garden

I am the type of gardener that likes to have every bit of soil covered. I am also the type of gardener that likes a diverse lawn. Nothing better than walking through the yard and seeing varied plant life and flowers. Violets are one of those plants that come with some strong emotions…love ’em or hate ’em. I would say most of the time, they are considered a weed, but I welcome them in my yard. As a kid, I remember my mom telling me about her mother walking through the woods to collect violets for her garden. That image has stayed with me, and when I walk through the violets of spring, I feel like it is a pleasant reminder of the matriarchs of my family.

Violet with Ajuga

Violets do spread quickly by rhizome and seed which makes them an easy ground cover. Wherever there is space, expect them to fill in. If they get in the way, the are relatively easy to dig out and move or compost.

Needless to say, pollinators love them. They are a host plant to many of the fritillary butterflies.

This fall, I gathered some violet leaves to dry and infused them in oil with yarrow leaf and arnica flower. This oil is a great addition to my skin routine. I am fair skinned and prone to a lot of issues, and I bruise easily. It is helping me through the blustery months we have had so far.

Violet leaf benefits:

“Topically, violet is used as a poultice, compress, infused oil, and salve for dry or chafed skin, abrasions, insect bites, eczema, varicose veins and hemorrhoids. It is cooling, soothing, and anti-inflammatory. ” –JULIET BLANKESPOOR of The Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine

With yarrow helping minor wounds heal (open dry skin) and arnica helping bring circulation to the skin (healing bruises), the addition of violet leaf seemed like a no-brainer when making my infused oil.

Violet with Spring Beauty

Quick oil infusion recipe:

1/4th cup of dried plant matter and cover with your carrier oil (I use coconut oil and olive oil most often) bringing the full volume to 1 cup.

Create a make shift double boiler by using a sauce pan and a canning jar.

Bring the water to just about a boil and then simmer 30 min to an hour.

Let cool.

Use on skin.

Chances are you may have violet in your space already, but if not, head to Prairie Moon to get some seed.

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