Common English name: heartsease, pansy, wild violet, love-in-idleness.
- Spanish: pensamiento, trinitaria, pensí, pincel, suegras y nueras.
Scientific name: Viola tricolor L.
Family: Violaceae - Violet Family
Habitat: uncultivated land, fields, etc.. In gardening hybrid varieties are grown for ornamental purposes.
Annual or biennial plant with a woody stem 10-20cm. high.
Shaped leaves with toothed margins and long petiole (with stipules), which is narrowing in the upper leaves.
Flowers stalked, axillary and large size. Calyx with 5 sepals and 5 petals separate and unequal. The petals are white, yellow or purple, or a combination of the three colors (hence the name Viola tricolor).
Pansy was first used in the sixteenth century, when the treaties of John Gerard says that, applied externally, is a good vulnerary remedy for wounds, helping them heal.
Mucilage can be found in this plant in a high proportion, giving it anti-inflammatory and emollient properties suitable for treating lung inflammation and ulcers.
It also possess diuretic, tonic, sudorific, emetic, laxative and purgative properties.
Small amounts of salicylic acid and salicylates, together with flavonoids, make it an excellent antirheumatic. The root of pansy , like violet root, is emetic for its wealth of bitter principles.
Internal preparations with pansy plant
- Respiratory diseases: Because it contains mucilage, it has soothing , antitussive and anti-inflammatory properties, useful to treat bronchitis and inflammation of the lungs. It also contains salicylic acid and salicylates, effective analgesics to treat pain. Methyl salicylate, one of its components, has properties to reduce fever. The plant contains some antibiotic principles to help treat infectious diseases. Among all the possible respiratory disorders that can be treated with pansy, we can point out the following:
- Bronchitis: The properties of pansy are suitable for treating bronchitis because its mucilaginous fiber helps remove secretions, reduces inflammation and soothes irritated throat . (Infusion of a spoonful of dried plant in 1 cup of water, three times a day. Combine with expectorants such as eucalyptus or mint).
- Cough: Pansy has great value as an antitussive plant, because, due to its richness in mucilage, it soothes and calms irritated throat and helps to treat coughing. (Infusion of a teaspoon of flowers in 1 cup of water, three times a day)
- Asthma: The properties of pansy to reduce inflammation and relieve cough are very suitable for asthma sufferers. Its flavonoids have antiasthmatic properties (quercetin, scopoletin) able to reduce coughing and make you breath easier. (Infusion of a spoonful of dried plant in 1 cup of water, three times a day).
- Fever: the flowers of pansy are used to treat fever because they are the richest plant in salicylic acid and salicylates (methyl salicylate). So, this plant helps reduce fever and has analgesic properties for pain. Suitable for feverish conditions, colds, flu, , etc.. (Infusion of a teaspoon of flowers in 1 cup of water, three times a day).
- Purifying plant: Pansy purifies the blood and fights inflammations and infections that affect the urinary tract such as cystitis. In this respect, its demulcent power is due to the large amount of plant mucilage which this plant possesses. It helps dissolve kidney stones.
- Gastritis: Pansy provides demulcent and astringent properties, also anti-inflammatory principles that help reduce inflammation and treat gastric mucosa in case of gastric or duodenal ulcers.
- Skin conditions: the plant is widely recognized as a vulnerary remedy to treat numerous skin conditions. It is applied to wounds, boils, sores or abscesses to soften skin and promote healing of wounds. In botanical treatises Weiss (1950) warns that this remedy should be applied continuously to observe its effects. (Poultice of crushed fresh leaves and flowers with cold milk).