Updated: Apr 30, 2021
We are Violets blue,
For our sweetness found,
Careless in the morning shades,
Looking on the ground;
Love’s dropp’d eyelids and a kiss,
Such our breath and blueness is.
Io, the mild shape,
Hidden by Jove’s fears,
Found us first i’ the sward, when she
For hunger stooped in tears;
Wheresoe’er her lips she sets
Said Jove, be breaths called Violets.
April showers us with all manner of beautiful plants here in North Carolina. One of my favorites is
the common Violet, (ours is Viola sororia) which can be found in bounty in most backyards, woodland paths, & overgrown gardens in this region. Violet's resilient & unassuming beauty comes in many shapes, shades, & species... but all can be used interchangeably for a lovely & gentle nutritive tonic.
Beyond their beauty & subtly sweet flavor, Violets are full of nourishing minerals & vitamins such as Vitamins A + C. One of the best ways to receive these nutrient-rich qualities from Violet is to eat or drink them! Or you can make an infused-vinegar, an oxymel (honey + vinegar extraction), or a shrub. Violets also make a lovely infused honey, tincture, & even an infused oil. They are such a versatile plant to make all manner of medicines & foods with.
Violets make a delicious addition into smoothies, salads, pestos, & cakes. And vinegar is able to extract vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, essential oils, & alkaloids from plants. Plus, vinegar assists in the uptake of calcium & iron into our cells, so there is even more health benefit to sipping on some infused-vinegars.
No matter the form your Violet medicine takes, this lovely plant immediately connects us to our feelings, while simultaneously connecting us to the earth, its bounty, & its magic. Thus it makes a beautiful companion for those who need to feel held in order to allow for their emotional bodies to express. I find that the sororia species in particular allows us to feel we are part of a “sisterhood” with this plant, with the earth, & our ancestresses.
Violet gently grounds us but also gives us a moving remedy to our inner waterways: our lymph & plasma, our emotions & feelings. It encourages us to keep those waters moving & flowing freely, unobstructed: helping to dislodge any stagnancy/blockages that may be present which contribute to feelings of despondency, sluggishness, & vague depression, or disconnect from our inner feminine nature.
Cooling, soothing, & relaxing it also has an affinity for the heart & nervous system, providing a comforting compress to both of these places & a loving hand for any wounds that may persist there.
I love calling upon the flower essence of Violet to help dissipate old hurts that were never fully tended to, that were left to gather clutter & debris. It makes a perfect essence for those who are non-reactionary or passive when hurt or violated, but internalize it, moving forward with life as though nothing happened, often leading to resentment.
Violet's energy detangles, meanders through & in-between the dams created by avoiding/putting off the confrontation with emotion, pain, anger, or sorrow. It gently helps us deal with old hurts piece by piece, releasing us from carrying their weight. Ultimately, violet teaches us about forgiveness… the release from the burden of carrying pain which is not ours, which was inflicted upon us, which lingers & wisps about the spirit. It is not about making excuses for the other, but about giving ourselves the permission to move onward, freely, without shame, with love.
Violet's medicine nourishes us, it brings us down to earth, literally & medicinally, it helps touch the earth, bending our knees to it in reverence. It reminds us to release what we may have let grow stagnant or what grows in a stagnant environment in order to truly thrive.
Find two of my favorite Violet recipes below:
: Violets Are Blue Oxymel :
-- fresh & gently rinsed Violet flowers, stems, & leaves -- any of the species will do*
-- a good handful of (organic) blueberries
-- raw, with the mother apple cider vinegar
-- raw (local) honey
-- mason jar
-- parchment paper
*please make sure you properly identify your Violets before picking them! The best way is to ask a friend who knows their plants or to get an illustrated field guide for your area. Once you get to know Violets, they will be unmistakable, but until then, don't be shy when it comes to identifying them. Always give thanks & offering to your plants before, during, & after you harvest them ~
-- collect your Violets & place them in a mason jar along with your Blueberries
-- pour equal parts honey to vinegar over everything until they are fully submerged + then cover the lid of your jar with parchment paper & the lid*
-- as my friend Suzanne says, let your preparation sit out on the counter over night--the fey will come to test out the flavor the first night you make your medicine to let you know if you need to add more of your honey or vinegar the following day
-- let your medicine infuse in the vinegar for one lunar month, shaking it when you remember to
-- after that time, strain the liquid into a separate jar or bottle
-- give it a label, & enjoy!
*one little note: you do not have to do equal parts honey : vinegar, you can certainly play around with this ratio! less honey will be less sweet medicine, more honey will be more sweet ~ so, follow your instinct & taste preferences
-- as is, directly on the tongue
-- added into still or sparkling water
-- on salads or other vegetable dishes
-- a few drops into your facial toner
: Springtime Smoothie :
-- a good handful of fresh & gently rinsed Violet flowers, stems, & leaves
-- frozen berries, peaches, &/or bananas
-- nut butter of your choice
-- milk of your choice (I tend to like oat or cashew)
-- 3 drops of a flower essence of your choice
-- optional: other fresh vernal herbs like chickweed or peppermint; powders like pearl or cacao
-- add all of your ingredients into a blender (ratios should be to your taste)
-- blend until smooth & creamy