Viola odorata

A small perennial plant species belonging to the genus Viola, violet has its origin in Asia and Europe. Now, it has been introduced to Australia and North America, where it grown widely.

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Violet is a partially evergreen species that has a tendency to form clumps. It is grown for its sweet scented white or purple flowers that bloom towards the end of winter and beginning of spring. Although the flowers have a sweet aroma, the fragrance encloses ionine, which deadens the sense of smell for a brief period after inhaling its scent. Hence, it is advisable that you always inhale it only once at one time.

This petite perennially growing plant is a member of the Violaceae family and grows to a height of anything between four inches and eight inches. Violet produces deep green leaves and bears small flowers that come in various colors, subject to the plant variety. The flowering season of this species extends from late winter to early spring. Violet is indigenous to China, England, France, Greece and Italy.

Violet essential oils are obtained from the dried out flowers and leaves of the plant by means of a process known as solvent extraction, which involves placing the relevant plant parts in a closed vessel containing an organic solvent that liquefies the plant parts to yield an extract or oil. Subsequently, the solvent as well as other mixtures are removed, leaving behind the final residue.

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Violet essential oil possesses a number of therapeutic properties, but they are subject to the oil's chemical composition. The major chemical constituents of violet essential oil comprise viola quercitin, ionone, bezyl alcohol, hexyl alcohol, parmone and nonadienal.

As an herb, violet has been effectively used for various therapeutic purposes in folk medicine since long. This herb has mainly been employed for treating whooping cough and cancer. Violet encloses a chemical called salicylic acid, which forms an active ingredient of aspirin. Hence, this herb as well as the essential oil extracted from its flowers and leaves are effectual in treating conditions like headaches, insomnia and migraine. The entire violet plant possesses anti-inflammatory, diuretic, diaphoretic, expectorant, emollient and laxative properties. Generally, the essential oil of violet is used orally for treating conditions related to the respiratory tract, including asthma, bronchitis, coughs, and respiratory catarrh. Internal use of this oil is also said to be useful in treating various forms of cancer, such as lungs, breast and digestive tract. Topical use of violet and its essential oil helps to treat infections of the mouth and throat.

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The violet plant can be used both fresh as well as dried. You may harvest the plant when it is in bloom, dry the entire plant and store it for used when needed. The flowers of this plant possess emollient and demulcent properties. Violet flowers are employed for treating problems related to the lungs and cure biliousness (excessive secretion of bile).

The petals of violet flowers are used to prepare syrup, which is employed for treating various health problems suffered by infants. Compared to the other parts of the violet plant, its roots are more potent as an expectorant. However, the roots also enclose the alkaloid violine, which when taken in elevated doses works as a potent purgative and emetic. The roots are collected during autumn, dried out and stored for later use. Violet seeds possess diuretic and purgative properties and have been employed traditionally for treating problems related to the urinary tract. In fact, the seeds of violet are believed to be an excellent remedy for stones in the urinary tract. The entire fresh violet plant is also used for preparing a homeopathic remedy, which is used for effectively treating spasmodic coughs as well as rheumatism of the wrist. An essential oil extracted from violet flowers is also employed in aromatherapy for treating skin complaints, fatigue and problems related to the bronchial tract.

It has been found that the essential oils of violet are an effectual natural alternative to alleviate pain. Compared to the non-prescription analgesic available at pharmaceuticals, violet essential oils do not cause any adverse side effects and, hence, can be used regularly without the fear of overusing them. These essential oils possess analgesic, decongestant and expectorant properties, making them especially effective for treating various types of pains and aches.

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Many people suffering from arthritis have found violet essential oil to be highly beneficial, as application of this oil to the affected areas helped to alleviate the excruciating pain accompanied by this condition. This essential oil can also be used effectively to lessen swelling as well as inflammation by massaging it onto the affected areas thrice or four times daily. Therefore, when you have a painful bruise or sprain next time, you may try using this natural oil instead of taking aspirin. This essential oil will not only help to reduce the pain and swelling, but also facilitate the healing process. In addition, it will not cause any adverse side effect, unlike using synthetic drugs.

Violet essential oil may prove to be effective in alleviating the pain associated with some headaches, particularly if the headache is related to sinus. Just put a few drops of violet essential oil in an oil burner and inhale the vapours and the pain will be gone. In case you cannot avail an oil burner, you can put a few drops of this natural oil in a pan containing steaming water and inhale the vapour. This method of relieving headaches is also a good substitute to using eucalyptus oil, which many people may find to be therapeutic. Whenever you suffer from a cold or endure any type of stiffness, you can use violet essential oil to provide immediate relief from the problems. This oil possesses expectorant properties and, hence, it can facilitate in drawing phlegm from the lungs and clear the respiratory tract. This, in turn, will help you to recuperate from your ailments rapidly.

Violet essential oil has multiple therapeutic uses. It is used in baths, for massage and inhalation. Adding some drops of this oil to your bath water will clear your thinking and improve your concentration. You may also use this oil in any beautifying facial massage. Dilute violet essential oil; rub it smoothly onto your skin every morning and night to invigorate any complexion. This oil also helps to alleviate headaches and lift the mood, preventing one from becoming emotionally upset.

To inhale this essential oil, place a few drops of it on a tissue paper and inhale its aroma for a few minutes. Alternatively, you may add some drops of this oil to a bowl of steaming water, cover your head using a towel and inhale the oil deeply for quite a few minutes bending over the bowl.

If you wish to use violet essential oil in your bath, you just require adding a few drops of it to a tub full of hot water. Then lie back in the bath tub and soak yourself in the water for about 15 minutes to absorb the nutrients of violet essential oil.

Violet essential oil is also excellent for massage. Add some violet essential oil to suitable carrier oil like sunflower oil to dilute it and then rub it right away onto the skin.

General properties

  • analgesic
  • anti-inflammatory
  • anti-rheumatic
  • anti-septic
  • anti-spasmodic
  • aphrodisiac
  • calmative
  • demulcent
  • diaphoretic
  • diuretic
  • emetic
  • expectorant
  • febrifuge
  • hypnotic
  • laxative
  • sedative
  • stimulant
  • uplifting
  • vulnerary

Blends well with

General uses

  • arthritis
  • bruises
  • cold
  • emotional upset
  • headaches
  • inflammation
  • pains
  • skin problems
  • sprains
  • swelling


Generally speaking, violet essential oil is safe for use by most people, as it does not cause any adverse side effects. However, similar to several other essential oils, it should not be prescribed for women during pregnancy. Even children should not use this essential oil. Use of several essential oils often results in allergic reactions or skin irritations, especially in people with susceptible skin. Therefore, it is advisable that you should undertake a patch test prior to using any essential oil on a regular basis.


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