Violets, Dinda'skwate'skï 'they pull each other's heads off'; are dainty and humble little things that often go unnoticed- yet they are powerful medicine. These flowers are often the color of royalty (purple) and it's well deserved. Though they do come in other colors such as white, yellow and mixtures of the first two with some occasional blue in there. They aren't overfly flavorful which means they are a nice touch to just about anything. This is a blessing as they are very good for you. Violets are an excellent source of Vitamin C and Iron which means they promote a healthy immune system and blood production which in and of itself not only boosts the bodies ability to fight disease - it makes your whole system much more efficient. The Cherokee would regularly drink violet water for these reasons. In addition, they would be used to treat flu, colds, and digestive ailments.
Look for a butterfly pattern with a fifth petal pointing downward. The fifth petal will generally have visible "veins" coming down from the center. The petals will be irregular in that they rarely close to being symmetrical with one another. The purple ones are the most common - hence the name.
Let violets soak in water and then simply drink the water. Doing this will give you water with added health benefits. Warmer water will help with adding flavor though this is generally meant to be less potent and more easily prepared than the tea. Carrying violets with you to add to water throughout the day is a easy yet effective way to maintain nutrition.
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp. dried violet leaves
1 tsp. dried violet petals
(chamomile and lemon balm can also be added- measure to liking)
Put the plant material into the oven at 150 degrees until moisture is gone. Store in a hermetically sealed container to preserve until ready for use. Bring the water to a boil and add the plant material - steep for about 10 minutes or till desired strength. You can sweeten the mix with Violet Honey substitute with regular.
Take a mason jar and fill it with violets. Afterward, fill it with honey, preferably harvested locally. Let sit for six weeks to become fully infused. The Violets will condense and rise to form a top layer. Stir well for even distribution of the mixture. Honey is nature's vaccine as it contains pollen yet does not allow for active allergens. It is therefore, important for it to be locally harvested so hat it contains the the pollen found in your environment. Both violets and honey sooth the throat, treating cough and flu and are a potent remedy-especially when added to tea. If used to to treat cold or flu be sure to add chamomile and lemon balm to the tea for bed-rest.
4 cups of violets
4 cups vinegar
Pour the vinegar over the violets and allow the mixture to stand in the sun for a 4 to 5 day period; this will bleach the violets causing the the vinegar to become pale lavender. Strain and keep till needed.
Alternatively- for a less potent mixture for salads, marinades and such, alter the mixture as not to exceed 1:4 of violets to champagne vinegar. Push the violets down into the container of vinegar and make sure it is hermetically sealed. Turn the bottle upside down and back until the violets are well immersed. Do this daily for four to five days. Strain and recap, and store in a dark, dry place; should be good to taste for up to one year.