Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sweet Violet

In November each year, we place our plants under the benches and stairs and protect them with a poly shield so they can over-winter safely. Most of them do survive to bring us joy and health in the Spring and for the rest of the growing season.

Last year, I planted some sweet violets. Though they didn't flower, they did produce a prolific crop of leaves. I did several fresh tinctures of the leaves and was rewarded by my efforts.

The tincture colour is the greenest of greens and the taste is sweet and green all at the same time. It gently develops on my tongue and immediately clears my head and uplifts me. I feel this clearing go all the way through my body.

The fresh leaves are edible in salads. Flowers have been known to be candied and placed on cakes and other confectionary items. Flowers can also be made into a jelly.

This plant's leaves are indicated for respiratory complaints such as coughing, congestion, and sore throat. A soothing syrup can be made that is also good for kids.

The dried root can be decocted for use as a laxative.

Today, Feb 18th, it is blooming. The smell of the Sweet Viola is also a sought-after aroma by Natural Perfumers. Descriptors include: fresh, sweet, gentle, alluring.

Alas, it will remain in our dreams as we relentlessly pursue of a doppleganger of this beloved scent though the creation of myriad scent similars.

This year, I'm going to try my hand at enfleurage of this tiny delicate flower. If I am successful, I will post my notes and photos here.