Herb Information - Sweet Violet | Viola Odorata

Sweet violet, Viola odorata

Viola odorata Violaceae

A herbaceous perennial, sweet violet call be found in damp, shady places ill most temperate regions if the world, About 10-15cm high, its bright green leaves form a rosette around the base of the long, erect,power stems, The young leaves are kidney-shaped, taking on their familiar heart shape and becoming slightly downy as they mature, From late February to late April sillgle violet-blue to whitish flowers.

Parts used

  • Whole plant
  • The leaves, flowers and stems are picked in spring, and the rhizome (rootstock) in August and September.
  • Sweet violet is used to prepare infusions, tinctures and syrups.


The sweet violet plant contains phenolic glycosides, saponins, flavonoids and mucilage.

Medicinal uses

Sweet violet has long been used to treat respiratory tract illnesses and inflammation of the intestines. It has been the subject of research that has demonstrated the anti- nflammatory, analgesic and expectorant powers of its constituents in helping to dissolve mucus, loosen phlegm, reduce fever and ease pain.

These soothing powers have also been harnessed to treat mouth infections and certain skin conditions, such as cracked skin.

Recent studies in Sweden suggest suggest its potential to treat cancer as well. Peptides from sweet violet were shown to have a cytotoxic effect, inhibiting the growth of certain types of malgnant tumours


When taken in large doses preparations containing sweet violet rhizome can cause vomiting.


Sweet violet is grown by dividing a mature plant, or from seeds sown in spring, or from cuttings planted in autumn. It thrives in moist, welldrained, soil in a sunny location, but must have some shade in summer.


For internal use

TO TREAT congestion of the respiratory tract
INFUSION Add 2-4g of dried flowers to a cup of boiling water. Cover. Infuse for 10 minutes. Drink 3 cups a day. SYRUP Heat together 100g of dried flowers, 500g of sugar and 300g of water until boiling, then leave to cool. Take 1 tablespoon two or three times a day at mealtimes.

TINCTURE (1:4 in 2S% alcohol) Take 20 drops with a small amount of water three times a day, after meals.

For external use

TO TREAT cracked skin, including cracked nipples CREAMS, OINTMENTS Apply products containing 3% sweet violet to the affected area.



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