Herb of the week for 3rd August
By Lynn Kirkland
Viola odorata is the botanical name of
the sweetly scented violet which blooms
beautifully in the middle of winter.
Violets have been loved throughout the
ages as a fragrant herb as well as a herb
used for healing and in the kitchen.
It is always such a pleasure to be in
the garden on a cold winterís day and
come across a patch of sweet violets in
I love to pick a posy and bring them into
a room where close to a source of heat
they will release their delicate, elusive
but oh so beautiful aroma.
Violets are an edible flower and can
be crystallised and stored for decorating
cakes for a special occasion or they can
be scattered over salads to look gorgeous
and surprise diners who are new to eating
In the past violets were grown in monastery
gardens and used in syrups to soothe coughs
and as sweeteners in herbal medicines.
Infused in fats they were used in ointments
to soothe troubled skin.
Also infused in wines or vinegars where
they impart a mauve hue. Infused in milk
they would give a pampering and soothing
bath to those who could have afforded
The scent of violets is elusive and can
be difficult to capture but a lovely way
to use an abundance of blooms is to pick
them when they are dry and cover with
liquid honey and either warm in a water
bath or in the hot water cupboard. Strain
the flowers and repeat with fresh ones
for a stronger scent. Strain the flowers
from the honey by warming the honey and
pouring through a sieve. Bottle and use
on toast, crumpets, muffins or in herbal
Six to ten flowers infused in a cup of
boiling water and left covered for five
minutes is said to make a lovely sleep
Sweet dreams from a sweet scented herb.
lynn another great read.
The HerbFarm Website: