Viola odorata. N.O. Violaceae.
Habitat ► Damp woods and other shady places.
Features ► This is, perhaps, best known of all wild plants, with its long-stalked, heart- shaped leaves, and delicate, characteristically-scented and coloured flowers.
Part used ► Leaves and flowers. Action ► Antiseptic and expectorant.
Remarkable claims have been made for violet leaves in the treatment of malignant tumours. The case of Lady Margaret Marsham, of Maidstone, was reported in the Daily Mail for November 14th, 1901. This lady, suffering from cancer of the throat, used an infusion, which was left to stand for twelve hours, of a handful of fresh violet leaves to a pint of
boiling water. After a fortnight of warm fomentations with this liquid the growth was said to have disappeared.
The same newspaper, under date March 18th, 1905, told its readers that violet leaves as a cure for cancer were advocated in the current issue of the Lancet, where a remarkable case was reported by Dr. William Gordon, M.D. Such accounts as these, although interesting, should be read with considerable reserve.