Wild violets (viola odorata), also known as common blue violets, are edible plants with beautiful purple flowers that pop up in the early spring. This herb can add great medicinal value and a beautiful purple hue to your kitchen and apothecary. Let’s talk about turning these flowers into a wild violet tea!
How to Forage Wild Violets
When foraging for violets or any other wild edible flowers, you will need to make sure that you are collecting them from an area that hasn’t been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides. It is best to avoid roadsides because they are usually sprayed.
Only forage for violets when the flowers are blooming. There are other plants with similar heart shaped leaves so violets are much easier to identify when in bloom.
**The lesser celandine is the violet look alike to watch out for. Its flowers are nothing like violets, but the leaves are very similar. Lesser celandine is toxic so only gather violet leaves when the flowers are visible.
If you are just wanting the flowers, pick them off at the top of the stem and place them in a jar. If you want to gather violet leaves as well, pick at the base of the plant.
Gather enough fresh violet flowers to make your tea. If you pick more than needed, simply dehydrate them for late use.
**African violets are not to be used in place of the common blue violet for wild violet tea or any other recipe.
Health Benefits of Wild Violets
The common blue violet is a wild medicinal herb that has anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used to ease skin conditions like sunburn, varicose veins, bug bites, etc.
Wild violets have been known to ease sore throat and congestion as well as improving breast health. Violets are also high in antioxidants and vitamins a & c.
**The statements made about specific plants on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.
Wild Violet Tea Recipe
Make a simple wild violet tea with common blue violet flowers to drink or to use in other violet products like lemonade and jelly.
Common Blue Violet Tea Ingredients
- 2-3 cups fresh Violet Blossoms
Violet Tea Instructions
The first step to making wild violet tea is to gently rinse the violet flowers. You don’t want dirt or ants in your herbal tea.
Boil about 2 cups of water in a saucepan, just enough to fill a pint sized mason jar.
Place 2-3 cups of clean violet flowers in a pint size mason jar.
*Use 4 cups of flowers and extra water if using a quart sized canning jar (as shown in photos). A 1:1 ratio of equal parts flowers and water is what we are going for.
Warm the jar by running it under hot water, then pour the boiling water over the blossoms. Let the flowers steep in the covered jar overnight in a dark place at room temperature.
Add raw honey or cane sugar to taste. Note that adding honey will change the color of the wild violet tea.
The violet lemonade in this photo was sweetened with honey.
You can enjoy hot wild violet tea or pop in a few ice cubes for a cool & refreshing springtime drink.
- This violet tea recipe will make a dark blue tea. If you want a purple color, add a couple drops of lemon juice. Wild violets are a pH indicator so the color changes when acid is added.
- Sweetening with honey will darken the tea.
- The African violet houseplant should not be used in place of the common blue violet.
Other Uses for Common Blue Violets
1. Violet Infusion
Violet Infused Honey
Wild Violet flowers can be infused in honey to help ease sore throats or to add a floral flavor to this natural sweetener
Violet Infused Aloe vera
Infuse violet leaves and flowers into aloe vera to help ease sunburns.
Violet infused oil can be used on its own or to make salves and balms.
Add sugar and pectin to wild violet tea to make a violet flower jelly. Process in a water bath canner for storage.
4. Violet Sugar
Make a pretty purple violet sugar to dress up your desserts and to add a purple hue to sweetened drinks.
5. Wild Violet Syrup Recipe
Make a simple syrup from wild violet tea to use in coffee, make cocktails, or to pour over pancakes.
6. Violet Vinegar
Wild violet vinegar can be used as a hair rinse (great for people who use shampoo bars), on the skin to soothe sunburn, to relieve pain from stings, or to use in food dishes in place of regular cooking vinegar.
7. Violet Leaf Salve
Violet leaves can be made into a salve that can reduce inflammation and heal dry skin.
8. Violet Lemonade
Violet lemonade is a refreshing and beautiful summertime drink. Violets are a natural pH indicator so when you add lemon juice to the dark blue tea, it turns into a gorgeous purple!
9. Herbal Violet Bath Salt
Add dried and crumbled violet flowers to homemade bath salts for a relaxing bath before bed.