Violets are one of those flowers, herb really, that found me. From a young age I’ve been intoxicated by their smell. I lost touch with them, and back at the beginning of the pandemic, I caught a whiff which sent me into an olfactory memory tailspin. For me, violets make me think about playing dress up in clothes with their lingering perfume or soap scent and carefree days of creativity.
But violets are incredibly medicinal. It’s said with most, if not all plant medicine magic, the plant usually finds you. Just like a book cover that may pop off the shelf and scream, pick me up, read me, there may be a reason that all of a sudden you are hearing the name of an herb, see a flower, or ingredient. Don’t ignore these signs.
In addition flowers and plants that arise during different seasons are tuned for the seasonal symptoms we might face in those regions. Violets are an early spring flower that pop up with the heavy rains. As Ayurveda and TCM will tell us, Spring is full of the heavy wet energy that can upset and trigger symptoms of stagnation, and compromise our ability to detoxify with ease.
Violets to the rescue. They work with our nervous system, lift the mood, ease inflammation in the gut and respiratory system, help with insomnia, and the list goes on.
I will forever be drawn to the unique and complex floral flavors of flowers. Medicinally they are magic, but showcasing their flavors are also a joy, and this syrup aids in the delivery of their properties while enhancing their sweet flavor in an equally complex flavor composition and additional benefit of wildflower honey. It can be used as a medicinal syrup or incorporated into a cooling beverage. I personally love to add a couple tablespoons to a ginger soda (pictured), but it also makes a unique twist on a spritz.
2 cups sweet violets
1 ½ cups boiling water
¼ teaspoon lemon juice acts as a preservative and to help draw out properties and color from the violets
½ cup raw honey
If you don’t have fresh violets, dried will work as well, though won’t be as potent. I encourage you to do a little research and find seasonal edible flowers such as dandelions or roses that you could use instead of sweet violets.
Gently rinse fresh picked flowers and add them to 1 ½ cups of boiling water with the lemon juice. Cover and keep at room temperature for 24 hours.
Strain flowers and keep the now blue/purple violet-infused water. Add to a soup pot and heat on low.
Add the ½ cup honey and stir until well dissolved. Don’t be tempted to increase the heat.
Once dissolved, add to an airtight container and store in the fridge.
Add a couple tablespoons to beverages or take as is.