Thursday, April 7, 2016

Sweet Violet Syrup and other Recipes

Who are the violets now That strew the green lap of the new Come spring?
                                                                      Richard II

Within Christian symbolism the violet stands for the virtue of humility, or humble modesty, and several legends tell of violets springing up on the graves of virgins and saints. European folktales associate violets with death and mourning.

The leaves are tasty both raw and cooked. They are a wonderful addition to fresh salads for a vitamin boost. The flowers are sweet and tangy, and make a gorgeous garnish on salads and desserts.

Medicinally, violet is a gentle but potent remedy. It is classified as an alternative (or "blood purifier"), which means it helps the body restore optimal functioning by aiding metabolic processes, especially the elimination of waste products. Violet stimulates the lymphatic glands, helping the body get rid of bacteria and other toxins. It is especially useful for swollen glands. Over time, violet can help clear stubborn problems like eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Taking Violet after a long winter is a wonderful way to get our bodies ready for a healthy and energetic spring.

Violet also supports the immune system, helping to clear infections of all kinds. Soothing and cooling, it helps reduce fever and inflammation. It can be useful in treating sinus infections, bronchitis, sore throats and coughs.

Violet leaves can even help to shrink tumors and cancers. They are most effective when taken both internally and used externally as a poultice. They are also helpful in clearing up other growths and lumps such as cysts, mastitis, and fibrocystic breasts.

Making Violet Syrup

The first step is gathering violet flowers.  Fill a one quart canning, packing loosely.

Pour boiling water into the jar, over the violet flower and filled it to the top. Put a plastic lid on it and let it sit to cool for a while. Once it was cool enough to handle put it in the fridge to cool over night. 

Strain the water from the violet flowers using a fine mesh strainer, measuring and pouring into a large kettle as you go along.

I averaged about 2 and 1/4 cups to 2 and 1/3 cups from each one quart jar I strained.

Use equal amounts of sugar to make a light syrup. You can use any kind of sugar you like. I used raw cane sugar to make my syrup.

Add the sugar to the strained liquid and bring to a boil, continue on a light boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

At this point you may either preserve your syrup in canning jars according to the manufactures instructions or you may put it in a clean and sterilized jar or bottle of your choice to refrigerate for near future use.

You can use your Violet Syrup over pancakes, scones, waffles, you can add it to your tea, or use it on Derby Day and make some Violet Julips.

Violet Julip

1.5 ounces bourbon
1.5 ounces Violet Syrup
1.5 ounces lemon juice
4-6 Violet flowers

To a tall glass add bourbon and violet syrup. Fill with crushed ice and garnish with violet flowers. 

In the same fashion you can make
Violet Vinegar.

Fill a pint jar, loosely packed, with violet flowers. In a small sauce pan heat a cup plus a splash more of apple cider vinegar to boiling. When hot remove from heat and pour in jar over the violet flowers. Cover with a plastic lid. Cool and place in a cool dark place from 1 to 6 weeks until desired color is reached.
Strain and decant into pretty clean and sterilized bottles.

  • Full strength on a cotton ball is very cooling and good to relieve bug bites and itchy spots. 
  • Makes a lovely hair rinse; assists in soap removal, can help control dandruff.
  • Add 1/2 to 1 cup to bathwater for some softening, skin soothing and anti inflammatory properties. If you add Epsom Salts to the mix the synergy becomes more powerful; add equal amounts of both. 
  • Dilute to half strength and store in a micro mist spray bottle in the fridge for sunburn.
  • Micro mist spray on your face for Rosecea.
  • Mix: 3 parts Witch Hazel to 1 part Violet Vinegar for after shave splash.
  • Sooth tired achy feet in a foot bath.

Violet Vinaigrette

  • 3 Tablespoons light oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Violet Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon crumbled bacon
  • 1/2 teaspoons chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • salt and pepper to taste

Shake together in a covered jar and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld together. Shake again and pour over salad. Recipe may easily be multiplied.

Note: Violet Vinegar should be stored in a dark cabinet as the light will fade the beautiful color. It will keep at least a year though the color is most brilliant during the first months.

Thank you for reading. I would love to hear from you. Please note that the information here is not to be used in place of professional medical advice from your Doctor. I am not a medical practitioner but a woman who loves nature.  Do you have any other recipes and uses for violets that I could add to this page? Do you like to use natural ingredients? What are some of your favorites?

Keep Scrolling for the Iroquois Legend of the Violet...

Many Moons before the white man came to the land of the Red Indian, there lived a young warrior who was the pride of his tribe; for dangerous deeds had he accomplished for the good of his people. He had slain the Great Heron that destroyed their children, and he had brought back from the Mountain of the Witches the healing roots that cured the plague.

Once when he led a band of warriors against another tribe, he saw in the lodge of one of his enemies a maiden so gentle and lovely that he longed to have her for his wigwam. But because of the strife between the two tribes, he could not buy her with quills of the Wampum Bird.

So after he had returned victorious with his warriors to his own village, he often thought of the maiden, and how, unless he could light his wigwam with the brightness of her eyes, he would no longer lead out his young men to battle.

At last he went forth alone, and hid in the woods near the village of his enemies. There he watched patiently for the maiden whose eyes had softened his heart.

He sang her praises so often that the little birds took up his song and carried it in their flight, over valley and meadow. The Bear, the Fox, and the Beaver heard him murmur her name in his sleep, and thought that a bright new flower had been born in the woodland.

With the calls of the song-birds, he wooed the maiden from her lodge, and lifting her, bore her away toward the hunting-grounds of his people.

But, alas! a suitor of the maiden saw her carried swiftly off upon the shoulder of the dreaded warrior. He dared not follow, but fled to the village and gave the alarm. The braves left him—a coward—in the hands of the women, and hastened in pursuit of the maiden and her lover.

They followed them over mountains and plains all through the dark night. And as the morning dawned, they found them in the forest. And when the braves saw the maiden, they were filled with anger, for she had plaited her hair about the neck of the young man, to show that she was a willing captive and had given him her heart.

Then her people, enraged at their foe for his daring, and at the maiden because she had deserted her tribe, killed them both, and left their bodies lying where they fell.

And from this spot in the forest sprang up the first Blue Violets. And the winds and the birds carried the seeds of the flowers and scattered them over all the Earth. So they did, that in the Springtime youths and maidens might pluck the little blue flower that breathes of constant love.

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