Want to learn about the health uses of heartsease? Continue reading this article and find out how to use heartsease as medicine, and what heartsease are good for when it comes to health.
The apparently trivial heartsease (Viola tricolor) is in fact one of the most powerful medicines in nature’s arsenal. Heartsease’s specialty is detoxification. Its gentleness makes this medicinal plant a mild natural detoxifier that has amazing results in very diverse conditions when used in long-term cures. Before we get to the health uses of heartsease, here’s how to identify it in the wild and how to harvest heartsease to make medicine.
How to Identify Heartsease
Heartsease grows spontaneously through mountain meadows, but also in fields, green spaces, and roadsides. A great lover of light and humidity, heartsease sometimes forms delicate fields of flowers. The variety that grows on plains has light lemon-yellow flowers, with white spots on the inside, while the heartsease growing at higher altitudes is blue to purple, with a yellow middle. The plant rarely grows taller than 15 centimeters, its flowers are small and the leaves are oval, with a serrated edge.
Good to Know
There are two varieties of pansies: the wild pansy or heartsease (Viola tricolor), which grows spontaneously in meadows or fields, and the garden pansy (Viola x wittrockiana), which is cultivated as a decorative plant. Both varieties can be used as medicine, but wild pansy is more potent and has better healing properties.
How to Harvest Heartsease
Heartsease blooms from late May to September, when it can also be harvested. Collect the flowering stems with leaves, but leave the roots in the ground. Heartsease is usually very soft and breaks very easily, so you don’t need a knife to harvest, only in plain areas, where heartsease grows very tall, and a knife or a sickle is needed to harvest the plant. Layer the plant in a thin layer, in a shady and very well-ventilated spot. Turn it over once a day, especially if the room does not have good ventilation. When it snaps and no longer has any elasticity, it has completely dried.
Store the whole dried plant in glass jars or paper bags until later use (roughly break it only right before use). Heartsease can also be used fresh (the juice from the leaves and stems), but for most remedies, you need the dried plant. From 1 kg of the fresh plant, you get around 120-150 grams after drying. The shelf life of the dried plant is two years maximum. Now let’s get to the health uses of heartsease.
Important! Heartsease is an annual plant, meaning it grows back from its own seed, from one year to another. Thus, harvesting the plant extensively can lead to its extinction, as there is no source of seeds left for the year to come!
The Health Benefits of Heartsease
Heartsease (Viola tricolor) is among the most powerful herbal detoxifiers in the world’s medicinal flora, not surprisingly that its therapeutic uses are extremely diverse. There are no less than twenty therapeutic substances that have been discovered in the flowering stems of the wild pansy, each of which can be considered medicine in itself.
There are the main health uses of heartsease, due to its rich content in flavonoids, triterpene saponins, mucilages, rutin, anthocyanosides, namely:
- The yellow petals are filled with flavonoids that have powerful antiallergic properties, effective in both internal and topical treatments, regardless of the cause of allergy (pollen, dust, detergents, metals, medical drugs, etc.);
- The pigments in the purple petals of heartsease have both an immune-regulating effect and an anticancer effect (they act as a cytostatic in skin, lung, and breast cancer);
- The stems of the heartsease have a composition very close to that of aspirin, can reduce inflammations of the respiratory tract (including bronchitis, COPD, and asthma), and also soothe rheumatic pains;
- Emollients (mucilages) from the leaves of the wild pansy calm cough, eliminate excess bronchial secretions, and prevent asthma attacks;
- Has anti-inflammatory properties and has traditionally been used in skin diseases (scabs, itching, ulcers, eczema, or psoriasis);
- Contains active ingredients that stimulate the activity of the kidneys to eliminate the metabolic waste, thus draining excess water from the body or targeting the microbes and parasites that cause infectious diseases.
- Heartsease is an excellent remedy for chronic intoxication in the body caused by excess sugar, animal proteins, and fats, leading to acne, food poisoning, gout, skin conditions, etc.
Now that you know the key health uses of heartsease, here is how you can make heartsease medicine at home, following simple recipes that have been passed on from generation to generation.
7 Ways to Use Heartsease as Medicine with Recipes
1. How to Make Heartsease Tea
To prepare the heartsease tea (infusion) scald 2 tablespoons of dried and coarsely minced whole heartsease plant in a cup (250 ml) of boiling water and steep covered for 30 minutes. Strain and sweeten to taste with honey.
2. How to Make Combined Heartsease Infusion
Put two tablespoons of dried heartsease leaves and flowers (slightly crumbled) in a cup (250 ml) of room-temperature water and soak overnight. The next day, strain the cold maceration and scald the same plant in a cup of boiling water. Allow the tea to cool off for half an hour at room temperature, and strain the infusion. In the end, combine the cold maceration with the cooled hot infusion, and the combined infusion is done.
3. Heartsease Cold Maceration Recipe
Soak 2 tablespoons of coarsely chopped heartsease flowers in 150 ml (2/3 cup) of room temperature water for 3 hours. Strain and sweeten to taste.
4. How to Make Heartsease Decoction
Boil 4 tablespoons of dried and coarsely chopped whole heartsease over low heat for 30 minutes in 2 cups (500 ml) of water, preferably in a stainless steel or enamel pot. Strain while hot using a piece of clean gauze. Before use, pour in plain water to make for the part that has evaporated while simmering, so in the end, you have exactly 2 cups of decoction. Sweeten with honey and the heartsease decoction is ready.
5. Heartsease Powder Recipe
Finely ground the dried heartsease flowers using a coffee grinder, and store the powder in a sealed glass jar. The regular dose is a flat teaspoon or a pinch with a little honey and water on an empty stomach (before meals). Hold under the tongue for a few minutes before swallowing. You can also make a cataplasm with heartsease powder, by adding a little bit of warm water to 2-3 tablespoons of powder. Stir constantly, until you obtain a fine paste. Apply on the affected area for an hour, then remove and allow for the skin to dry.
6. How to Make Heartsease Tincture
Pour 100 ml of food alcohol or other homemade distilled spirit over 20 g of dried and coarsely chopped whole plant in a glass bottle. Soak for 10 days, shaking 3-4 times a day. Strain through a piece of gauze, and leave to decant in the refrigerator for 6 days, for complete clarification. Gently transfer the clear part to an amber tincture bottle with a dropper, leaving out any residue that has settled on the bottom of the vessel. The shelf life of the heartsease tincture is 2 years from the date of preparation. Shake before use.
7. How to Make Heartsease Cream
To make this soothing cream, you will need the following ingredients:
- 2 tbsp (20 g) of heartsease flowers, without stems
- 2 tbsp (20 g) of dried chamomile flowers
- 1 cup (250 ml) of boiling water
- 1 teaspoon beeswax
- 2 tablespoons almond oil
- 1 teaspoon vitamin C – powder
- 1 teaspoon glycerin
- 2 teaspoons glyceryl stearate
- one 5oz cream jar with a lid
Scald the heartsease and chamomile flowers in a cup of water and steep for 10 minutes. Pour the infusion (together with the flowers) into a suitable saucepan, to use later as a steam bath. Put the rest of the ingredients in a small glass bowl and melt on bain-marie on low heat in the saucepan where you put the infusion. Simmer for 10 minutes and stir continuously until all the solid ingredients are melted and well-combined.
Strain the infusion and gradually incorporate it into the melted ingredients, until you obtain a cream the consistency of mayonnaise. Pour the cream into a dark glass jar and seal with a lid. The heartsease and chamomile cream can be kept in the fridge and has a shelf life of 6 months.
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12 Natural Remedies with Heartsease
Heartsease remedies are very effective, but the results show over time. So, if you want to get rid of a pollen allergy, for instance, you need to start the cure at least a couple of weeks before the pollen season, so that the results have time to show.
Heartsease flowers have been used for centuries to cure all sorts of skin conditions, including eczema. Actually, this is one of the main health uses of heartsease. In this case, a combination cream with heartsease and chamomile is the best topical remedy. Chamomile has antiseptic and antihistaminic properties (soothes allergies), while heartsease successfully fights eczema. You can find the recipe for this natural cream above. Apply the cream in the morning and evening on the affected areas, immediately after bathing, so it penetrates the skin deeply. Alternatively, apply a poultice with chamomile flowers and heartsease to the area. In addition, you can take 6-8 grams of heartsease powder daily for 60-90 days.
Heartsease is one of the most effective natural medicines for allergies, no matter the cause. The most common symptoms of allergies are skin itching and rashes, erythema, itching eyes, swollen eyes, tearing, sneezing, nasal obstruction, rhinorrhea (“runny nose”), cough, or even shortness of breath. In this case, 4 tsp of heartsease powder a day over the course of 45-60 days is recommended. Pause for 10-15 days and resume if needed. Ideally, the treatment is best to start at least 30 days before pollination season, or before coming into contact with the presumed allergens.
For mild respiratory allergic reactions, you can have 3 cups of heartsease infusion a day, after a meal, or 50 drops of heartsease tincture, 3 times a day, in a cup of lukewarm linden tea.
There are many health uses of heartsease in case of allergic skin reactions. In this can, drinking one liter of combined heartsease infusion a day, over the course of 30 days is the recommended cure. This is also effective in case of atopic dermatitis, acne, and psoriasis when follow for at least a month, as heartsease infusion has a strong purging effect and eliminates toxins through the stool, urine and perspiration. It also has hormonal regulatory effects. For psoriasis in particular you can also have 4 to 6 tsp of heartsease powder a day, follow a predominantly raw vegan diet and bask in the morning and evening sun.
Additionally, you can make a topical cataplasm by adding a little bit of warm water to 2-3 tablespoons of heartsease and chamomile powder to make a paste. Apply on the rash, leave it on for one hour and wash off afterward and leave the skin to dry.
Heartsease is, in the long run, one of the most effective natural remedies for asthma, due to its expectorant (it helps to eliminate excess secretions from the bronchi), antispasmodic, and antiallergic effects, that help fight and prevent asthma attacks. In this case, you can supplement with 4-6 teaspoons of heartsease powder per day for 30 days, followed by a 10-day break, after which treatment is resumed if needed. When you feel the onset of an asthma attack, you can also supplement with 60-120 milligrams of natural vitamin C (extracted from acerola or rosehip) right away. Inhaling the scent of peppermint oil can also help, due to its strong bronchodilator effect.
For faster results, we should also adjust our diet and lifestyle. In this sense, have plenty of leafy greens, salads, raw root vegetables, and dietary fiber, while minimizing the saturated fats, animal products, and synthetic food additives. This is one of the key health uses of heartsease.
4. Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
One of the main health uses of heartsease is in URTIs. Heartsease helps to thin the bronchial secretions and eliminate them from the lungs, speeds up the healing process, prevents superinfections, and, last but not least, prevents the onset of asthma attacks. In this sense, heartsease is effective in treating pharyngitis, laryngitis, tracheitis, bronchitis, broncho-pneumonia, and asthma. For these conditions you can use one of the following heartsease medicine: cold maceration (2 cups a day, in the morning and in the evening at bedtime), infusion (3 cups a day after a meal), or tincture (50 drops, 3 times a day, dissolved in a cup of lukewarm linden flowers tea, after a meal).
The powder is also recommended for URTIs, especially for bronchitis, while the combined infusion helps relieve rhinitis and sinusitis, as well as whooping cough, as you can see below:
- Bronchitis – For this condition, the dosage is one teaspoon of heartsease powder four times a day, in cures of 30-60 days, followed by a 10 to 21 days break. Resume if needed.
- Chronic rhinitis/sinusitis – You can drink a liter of combined heartsease infusion daily over the course of 90 days, followed by 15 days of pause. Resume if needed. In addition, do inhalations with hot heartsease infusion, in which you add 2-3 drops of tea tree essential oil in the evening, for its strong antibiotic effect.
- Whooping cough – You can drink 3 cups of the combined infusion a day, and, in addition, gargle with this infusion. The active ingredients in heartsease have emollient effects, reduce respiratory tract irritation, and have direct antitussive and anti-inflammatory effects. This treatment is also recommended as an adjunct to pneumonia.
One of the least known heartsease uses is in UTIs, namely catarrhal cystitis, pyelitis, and nephritis, as a diuretic. For these urinary tract inflammations, one can use the heartsease infusion (3 cups a day), the cold maceration (2 cups a day, morning and evening, at bedtime), or tincture (30 drops, 3 times a day, added to a cup of dandelion tea).
6. Skin Conditions
As mentioned above, one of the top health uses of heartsease is in all sorts of skin conditions. In addition to eczema, psoriasis, acne, and atopic dermatitis, heartsease is also very effective in other allergic skin reactions, namely urticaria, pruritus (itching skin), prurigo, neurodermatitis, and even scleroderma. In this case, you can use heartsease medicine both internally and topically. For these skin problems, one can use the heartsease infusion (3 cups a day, after meals), or tincture (50 drops, 3 times a day, added to a cup of lukewarm marigold tea, after a meal). Topically, you can use the heartsease and chamomile cream or heartsease powder poultices.
For scleroderma, the remedy is one teaspoon of heartsease tincture, four times a day, for 3 months, followed by a 30-day break, and resume. In addition, apply a heartsease poultice once every other day to the affected areas. This treatment has a strong detox, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory effect.
7. Food Poisoning
One of the less-known health uses of heartsease is in treating food poisoning of all sorts. In this case, drinking 1-1.5 liters per day of heartsease infusion can alleviate the symptoms of food poisoning. This remedy has been shown to be a surprisingly powerful antibiotic against bacteria (such as Campylobacter jejuni) that cause gastrointestinal infections and also protects the mucous membranes of the digestive tract from aggressions. In addition, heartsease tincture, 30 drops, 3 times a day, added to a cup of field bindweed tea (Convolvulus arvensis L) has powerful laxative effects.
In case of severe food poisoning or other intoxications, the dried root of heartsease is used in a single dose of 1 to 4 g. If you’re using freshly harvested root, you can have up to 8 g. Heartsease root contains an alkaloid called violin, which has very strong and rapid emetic and purgative effects, helping to promptly remove toxic substances from the digestive tract until reaching a hospital.
Gout can be improved and even healed with a combined herbal infusion with heartsease and horsetail. The reason is that one liter a day of this healing tea doubles or even triples the flush-out rate of the excess uric acid from the tissues, alleviating gout symptoms. In addition, both these herbs have an anti-inflammatory and mild sedative effect, that act rapidly on reducing the intensity of gout attacks.
9. Frail Capillaries
This remedy works for capillary conditions, capillary fragility, and broken capillary vessels in the lower limbs. Heartsease infusion (3 cups a day) or heartsease tincture (30 drops, 3 times a day, added to a cup of periwinkle tea (Vinca minor) both after meals are the recommended long term herbal treatment for these affections.
10. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Heartsease has a strong detox action, flushing out accumulated toxins and pathogens that target healthy tissue, making it seem that the immune system is attacking itself, which is a modern medicine myth. Moreover, this plant contains anti-inflammatory substances, similar to aspirin, which significantly reduce joint pain and stiffness. The dose is 1 to 2 grams of heartsease extract, per day, in a 60-day course.
11. Diaper Rash
Heartsease decoction is used in the form of general, local baths, or in compresses for various skin diseases. In addition, you can also add to the baby’s bathwater to alleviate the frequent allergies caused by diapers, the so-called “diaper rash”, which is a form of contact dermatitis. In this case, a lower concentration decoction is needed, as follows. Boil 2 tablespoons of coarsely chopped heartsease in a liter of water for 2-3 minutes. Strain and pour the decoction over the lukewarm water prepared for bathing into the baby’s bathtub.
Prepare a very concentrated combined heartsease infusion (4 tablespoons per cup of water) following the recipe above. Use the lukewarm combined infusion to make vaginal douches once a day, for seven days in a row. This simple remedy has strong antibacterial properties and thus helps repair the skin tissue affected by the infection, and reduce the discomfort and itch related to leukorrhea.
4 Ways to Use Heartsease as Adjuvant Treatment
Researchers from Upsala, Sweden were the first to discover a group of small proteins, called cyclotides in Viola tricolor species. These special proteins have strong cytotoxic properties, selectively targeting malignant tumor cells. In traditional Chinese medicine, two plants belonging to the same family, namely heartsease (Viola tricolor) and its Asian cousin Viola yedoensis have been used with great success to treat cancer. Recent studies at the State Phytochemistry Laboratory in Yunnan, China, have shown that indeed heartsease, as well as violet (Viola yedoensis) contain extremely strong substances with cytostatic action.
Heartsease powder can be used as an adjunct in the treatment of cancer. For breast cancer, the dose is 6 teaspoons a day, for 30 days, with a 7-day break and resume. In the case of lung cancer, the dosage is the same three-month course, followed by a 3-4-week break. The same treatment has been shown to be effective in treating gastric cancer as well as bowel cancer.
2. Erythematosus Lupus
In this case, heartsease powder (one teaspoon, 4-6 times a day, in a 40-day course, followed by 10 days break, resume) is a very powerful adjuvant. During breaks, drink herbal teas made from horsetail, and burdock, root. To restore the tissues affected by collagenosis, royal jelly, combined with natural supplements of zinc, selenium, and silica is recommended. We cannot claim that this treatment cures the disease alone, but correlated with a vegetarian/vegan diet with many raw foods, can have spectacular effects in relieving symptoms.
The combined infusion is administered, one liter per day, until healing. This remedy has a moderate antibacterial effect, but the most important is its emollient, diuretic, and anti-inflammatory action. Heartsease remedy is especially recommended to reduce pain and stinging when urinating, speed up healing, and prevent recurrences of kidney-urinary tract infections.
4. Epilepsy in Children
Half a teaspoon of heartsease powder is administered three times a day. For adults, the dose is increased 2-3 times. This is a simple home treatment, extremely widespread in folk medicine in the United Kingdom and in northern European countries. There are known cases in which the administration of this plant has led to improvement and sometimes even to the curing of this condition.
How to Use Heartsease for Detox
Heartsease has an amazing detox action, and if we combine it with dandelion, chicory, licorice, and poplar extracts (tinctures), we make a very powerful and complex body detox.
- heartsease tincture – powerful antiallergic effect
- dandelion tincture – kidneys detox effect
- chicory root tincture – liver detox action
- licorice root tincture – digestive tract cleanser
- poplar buds extract – general immunostimulatory action
The combined extracts/tinctures of these plants can be used as follows: 30 drops, twice a day, after meals. The treatment lasts for 30 days and can be resumed three times a year.
Natural Remedy for Cats and Dogs
Cats and dogs love heartsease, especially cats who love eating the beautiful flowers of this tiny yet powerful medicinal plant. Fresh heartsease flowers, heartsease infusion, or powder are all great natural remedies for cats and dogs, that can help with alopecia, and other chronic skin conditions, including pemphigus. To give you an idea, for medium-sized or large dogs 2 cups/day of heartsease infusion is safe, in long-term treatments (a few months) until the skin condition is completely gone.
Heartsease Safety and Precautions
Although it is such a powerful medicinal plant, heartsease is almost free of side effects or counterindications. On very rare occasions, some people have an allergic reaction to using this plant. For this reason, when first using heartsease remedies it’s best to start with very low doses, to make sure that you don’t have any allergic reactions. Heartsease is a powerful diuretic and detoxifier, which is why, when following a cure with this plant, drink at least 2 liters of water a day.
Do not overdose. If more than 18 grams (adults) or more than 4 grams (children aged 4-12 years) of heartsease powder are taken daily, you may experience unpleasant symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and loss of appetite.
The Legend of The Heartsease
In Central and Eastern Europe, there are countless traditions, enchantments, and beliefs related to the supernatural powers of heartsease. Legend has it that once upon a time there was an emperor who had three beautiful and brave sons, who all set out to fight, to defeat a fearsome dragon, which had frightened their father’s subjects for years. When the three warriors were on the verge of defeating the dragon, he told them that if they did not spare his life, a great calamity would befall them. But brave as they were, the emperor’s sons did not back down and eventually killed the dragon.
Immediately after the dragon give its last breath, their faces and the entire skin of the warriors were filled with blemishes, and there was nothing left of their radiant beauty. Shocked by their new appearance, they knelt down and began to pray for their suffering to end. God listened to their prayers and turned them into a flower with a tender stem and a mild scent, which heals all skin conditions. That flower is the heartsease, which in Romanian is literally translated into “three spotted brothers“, from the three colors making the wild pansy flower.
If you’ve enjoyed learning about the health uses of heartsease, how to make heartsease medicine at home and how to use heartsease preparations for various illnesses, please share this article on social media so more people can use this information. Stay healthy and happy, naturally!
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