Johnny Jump Up – Viola tricolor

Johnny Jump Up or Heart's Ease
Johnny Jump Up or Heart’s Ease

Native to a wide European range including Britain, from Scandinavia south and east to Corsica, W. Asia, Siberia, Caucasus but brought to North America where it has naturalized and can be found in many waste places and areas of disturbed ground.

Like other plants in its family the flowers and leaves are edible and relatively high in Vitamin C. When the flowers and leaves are added to soups or stews they will thicken the broth, much like okra does. The leaves make an interesting tea, and the flowers are added to salads as a very pretty garnish!

According to Plants For A Future….”Heartsease has a long history of herbal use and was at one time in high repute as a treatment for epilepsy, asthma, skin diseases and a wide range of other complaints. In modern Herbalism it is seen as a purifying herb and is taken internally in the treatment of skin complaints such as eczema. The herb is anodyne, anti-asthmatic, anti-inflammatory, cardiac, demulcent, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, laxative and vulnerary. Being expectorant, it is used in the treatment of various chest complaints such as bronchitis and whooping cough, whilst its diuretic action makes it useful for treating rheumatism, cystitis and difficulty in passing urine. It is also used as an ointment for treating eczema and other skin complaints and is also useful in cases of rheumatism, bed-wetting etc. The plant is harvested from June to August and dried for later use. The root is emetic. A homeopathic remedy is made from the entire plant. It is used in the treatment of cutaneous eruptions.”

Depending on mordant usage, the flowers can produce yellow, green or blue-green dye.


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