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Featured Herb: Violet

In looking to herbal aids for people I always look first to the herbs that are abundant in many locations, can be gathered fresh over a long period and are mild-acting (which doesn't mean ineffective) and nutritional. Along with an amazingly versatile herb like Plantain, I would place Violet herb. Violets grow in many garden, lawn and abandoned homestead locations in fertile soils. Violet has the potential to take over some of our herb beds, but it seems to behave when boundaries start to be set, and can make a good ground cover, spreading from its rhizomes.
There are many varieties of Violet, all of which are used interchangeably more or less. The variety we will speak of is the Blue or Garden Violet. The Violets begin to emerge and bloom in the early spring, and the leaves can be gathered throughout the summer. They are one of my favorite greens, the young leaves being gathered and added raw to salads (best), or lightly cooked as a green. The leaves are high in minerals, trace minerals and Vitamin A and C (especially raw). The flowers have some of the highest concentrations of Vitamin C in the plant kingdom, and add beauty to a salad, with a sweet, nutty flavor. Violet is a cooling, dispersing and de-toxifying herb. It is a lymph system de-toxifier. p>

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