Violets Family


This is one of my studies, it was for painting therapy at Emerald Foundation, I made as an assignment paintings from violets, for the pictures look at portfolio and this the document that belongs to it. (from 2006) It is from before the study phytotherapy.

In a way it is very global, I am aware of it.

By translating, I made some adjustments. GOUDA, September 22nd 2017.

Violets Family – Violaceae

The genus name ‘Viola’ means ‘the overwhelmed’ but ‘vion’ also means ‘good-smelling’ and ‘ion’ stands for ‘the smallest part’.

The species name ‘viola tricolor’ is composed from the words ‘tri’ what stands for ‘three’ and ‘color’ means ‘colour’.

English some other names: pansy, wild pansy, heartsease, violet pansy, our lady’s delight

French: pensée sauvage, violette

German: Dreifarbiges Veilschen, Stiefmutterchen, Veilschen, Dreifaltigkeitsblume, Samtblümlein

The words pansy and pensée both are coming from the French word ‘penser’ it means thinking.

In former days the violet tricolor was the symbol of remembering, for this reason it was planted on many graves.

Common names Dutch: achertumkiekertje (what looks back), akkerviooltje (fieldpansy), blauw engeltje (little blue angel) drievuldigheidsbloem (trinity flower) , eksteroog (corn on toe literally), glazen muiltje, (glass shoe from Cinderella) liefdeszaligheid (love salvation) and a few others.

Violets were associated with different concepts in different cultures and a summary contains contradictions.

These little merry coloured flowers stand for virginity as well as fertility, for modesty and wealth like from paradise, for meekness, hope, for temptation and playful love.

The aspects of meekness, virginity and innocence are Christian associations, which originated by making violets to Maria Flower and the garden violet to the symbol of trinity.(Herba Trinitatis)

In ancient Greek were these flowers a symbol of love, and in Victorian England one knew this and made very quickly of this ‘pure innocent love’.

In Greek mythology they are there countless times. For instance when Goddess Persephone ) or (Kore) annually arises from the underworld to fertilize Earth, these flowers grow on every place were she puts her feet.

Also violets symbolized Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and sexuality and one of her nicknames was “she who is hairy with violets”.

In Phrygia, present Turkey, it was believed that the first violets originated from the blood flowing on the Earth when the fertility Attis castrated himself.

More recent was Napoleon a lover of these sweet little flowers, what is quite a paradox considering all that happened by this man.

He even got called Corporal Violette and father of the violets.

These violets he even made them an imperial symbol.

Nowadays violets are also flower emblems like of the Republic of San Marino, the Canadian State New Brunswick and also from states in the USA, Illinois, New Jersey end Rhode Island.

Bit more concerning the history this sometimes cause confusion about the name of the ‘violet’ and this is understandable when one knows that the Greek, who used the word ‘ion’ and not only comprehended it for violets but also for other plants (leucoion).

Most confusion comes from viola tricolor and viola odorata.

Rempert Dodoens (a Flemish physician and botanist 1517-1585) is referred to as the one who first described the tricolor violin as an herb, as a natural remedy.

I did not indulge it enough (2006), but I am convinced that Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) is likely to have mentioned this plant. (I’ve looked up now (2017) and she has mentioned Viola Odorata.)

There is a whole range for which this Viola Tricolor can be applied regarding herbal natural remedy. The herb is slight hairy and this indicates healing properties for skin and mucous membranes. Yellow and white violet flowers or a combination of it means there is a harmonizing working and purifying working qua effects on digestion.

Purple and blue flowers or a combination of it means they have a calming effect on the nervous system.

The appearance is fragile and sweet and radiant, appealing to children (among others)

For people with a strong emotional life, the herb reflects the mental well being, seeing the skin as a mirror.

A further summary from Dodoens for this Viola Tricolor: a fine herb for child diseases and respiratory tract disorders. For children with transition problems. For vulnerable people who get easy out of balance. For people with weak constitutions occurring with skin problems.

In England it was used for heart diseases, chest cramps, thoracic inflammation.

Mellie Uyldert (Dutch herb woman from more recent date) :

Actually it is repeating previous. What is mentioned additionally is lymphatic system.

And that the substance salicyl works on the skin especially face including the already mentioned mucous membranes. She speaks about a velvet skin. Referring the German word for it Samtblümlein, for her own velvety

It can be applied as tea; one can drink it or apply it in compresses. In sit baths.

Uric acid is strongly excreted. They used to make syrup of it and used it for gingivitis.

Feet mould is mentioned, even Crown’s disease. Insomnia. Pancreatic disease.

I think and I am more of that convinced Now (2017), when we speak in terms about how it is working on very specific disease and on who, meaning it is very individual.

More common seems the working with skin problems and I dare to say as a means for purification.

But it can also be used in cosmetic, care products, like soap and perfume. Disinfectant and even as laxative.

You can use it in the kitchen for meals, mostly decorating, but you can eat it, and here also syrup as making taste.

There is something about what to use and how; all is used from above the ground.

I call it mother tincture and tea from more of the greens (that is what is saying).

Oil from flowers, we already spoke about the colours.

Something about harvesting, very carefully and accurate and preferable in the early morning when dew has risen and before they are wilted and lost crown leaves.

Only in dried form they keep their colours in a lockable preservative.

(There are more modern techniques now)

The gender is female; the associated element is water. Astrologically, it is under the rule of Venus, some name Saturn as planet.

The forces lie in love, rain magic and love divination.


When you are wearing it, it attracts love, these lovely flowers grow in heart form and when they

are growing rapidly it will be with love.

Dr. Vogel and VSM and also others who use homeopathy and phytology are using this genus of violets.

I looked at anthroposophy; I don’t have the right means to indicate the use.

(Again, I looked on the Internet Now 2017 and it is used there too.)

Well known is Bach’s system remedy of 38 flowers, there is applied water violet.

There is much information available.

From the plant and herbal world there is still much hidden from us. The truth.

Known names are mentioned like Emil Schlegel, Paracelsus, van Helmont, Dodoens, von Bingen, de Cleene and Jeune, Mrs. M. Grieve, David Hoffman, Dr. Chen You-wa, Schultes and Hofman, Scott Cunningham and many many others and also of course Rudolf Steiner.

Intuition and mysticism play a major role, and in and by this plant and herbal world is manifesting wisdom and beauty.

Sources (sorry all Dutch books/but also internet):, door Gonnie van Elteren

Lexicon der Geneeskruiden door Mellie Uyldert

Magie der bloemen door Eva Sawada

De kleine Dokter van Dr. Vogel

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