Viola canina L. Violaceae Distribution: Europe. Culpeper (1650) writes 'Violets (to whit the blew ones, for I know little or no use of the white ones in physic) ... provoke sleep, loosen the belly, resist fevers, help inflammations, ... ease pains in the head, help the roughness of the windpipe, soreness in the throat, inflammations in the breast and sides, pleurisies, open stoppings of the liver and help the yellow jaundice'. 'Violet leaves, they are cool, ease pains in the head proceeding of heat, and frenzies, either inwardly taken or outwardly applied, heat of the stomach, or inflammation of the lungs.' It still has the same reputation in modern herbal medicine, and while its safety is not known, it is regarded as edible and flowers are used to garnish salads. Larger quantities are emetic – make one vomit. Not licensed for use in Traditional Herbal Medicines in the UK (UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)). Photographed in the Medicinal Garden of the Royal College of Physicians, London.

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