Violets are European perennials. They are now naturalized throughout North America, and can be found growing in most any soil or situation. In India it is found in Kashmir and west Bengal. Earlier it was imported from Iran, it is the original one. In India in place of original one it’s other varieties viola cineria and viola serpens are cultivated.
Chemical Constituents: Violine, Cyanin, Odoratin.
The herb is known as Banafsa, Banafsha or Banaksa in India, where it is commonly used as remedy to cure sore throat and tonsilitis.It is used for medicinal purposed. It acts as cough expectorant, Anti-hypertensive, Blood purifier, Sedative, Anti-pyretic .When used externally it acts as analgesic, anti-inflamatory and kills germs. Flowers cause nausea when taken orally. The sweet, unmistakable scent of this flower has proved popular throughout the generations, particularly in the late Victorian period, and has consequently been used in the production of many cosmetic fragrances and perfumes. Medicinal and edible, the flowers and leaves of viola are made into syrup used in alternative medicine mainly for respiratory ailments associated with congestion, coughing, and sore throat. Flowers are also edible and used as food additives for instance in salad, made into jelly, and candied for decoration. Large doses of the root contain an alkaloid called violine which is emetic (causing vomiting).
A decoction made from the root (dry herb) is used as a laxative. Tea made from the entire plant is used to treat digestive disorders and new research has detected the presence of a glycoside of salicylic acid (natural aspirin) which substantiates its use for centuries as a medicinal remedy for headache, body pains and as a sedative. The plants constituents are being studied and show these uses to be valid. Eugenol, Ferulic-acid, Kaempferol, Quercetin, Scopoletin, also show promise in the treatment of many kinds of cancer, arthritis, AIDS, gum disease and more. Used externally the fresh crushed leaves reduce swelling and soothe irritations. As a bath additive the fresh crushed flowers are soothing to the skin and the aroma is very relaxing. The Ancient Greeks considered the Violet a symbol of fertility and love; they used it in love potions. Pliny recommended that a garland of them be worn about the head to ward off headaches and dizzy spells.