Viola tricolor. N.O. Violaceae.
Synonym ► Wild Pansy. Habitat ► Cultivated fields.
Features ► Stem short, square, smooth, branched. Leaves ovate-lanceolate, crenate. Flowers in June, petals of differing sizes, usually wholly yellow but occasionally purple upper petals with dark stripes on lower; single, violet-like flower to each flower stalk. Three carpel fruit.
Part used ► Herb.
Action ► Diaphoretic, diuretic.
The mildness of action makes it applicable in infantile skin eruptions, for which the ounce to pint infusion is given in doses according to age.
It has been said that the medicine will ward off asthmatic and epileptic convulsions, but there would appear to be no reliable confirmation of this. The claim may have originated with Culpeper, who writes, concerning Heartsease ► “The spirit of it is excellently good for the convulsions in children, as also for falling sickness, and a gallant remedy for the inflammations of the lungs and breast, pleurisy, scabs, itch, etc.”