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Pansy


    Scientific Names

    Pansy
    Pansy
    • Viola tricolor L.
    • Violaceae
    • Violet family

    Common Names

    ivyButterfly flower
    ivyCull me to you
    ivyGarden violet
    ivyHeartís-Ease
    ivyJohnny jumper
    ivyJohnny-jump-up
    ivyLove-in-idleness
    ivyPancies
    ivyStepmother
    ivyThree faces in a hood
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    Parts Usually Used

    Leaves
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    Description of Plant(s) and Culture

    The pansy is an annual plant; the soft, angular, hollow stem, 4-12 inches high, bears alternate, ovate to lanceolate, toothed leaves on the lower part of the plant. Stipules are large, leaflike, and strongly divided. The solitary, axillary flowers may be yellow, blue, violet, or two-colored, the flowering time is from March to October.
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    Where Found

    Widely cultivated as a garden ornamental but is also found wild in fields and meadows, heaths, moors, sunny banks, and along the edges of forests in North America, northern Asia, and Europe.
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    Medicinal Properties

    Anodyne, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, laxative, vulnerary
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    Biochemical Information

    Mucilage, salicylic acid, saponins, a flavonic glycoside called violaquercetin
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    Legends, Myths and Stories

    Although pansy is known as heartís ease, there is another herb known as heartís ease or ladyís thumb (Polygonum persicaria L.). Ladyís thumb is of the buckwheat family and has no similarity whatsoever to the pansy.

    Legend has it that the flowers, originally white, were turned purple by one of Cupidís arrows, thus the basal leaves are heart-shaped.

    Used medicinally since ancient times; once used in love potions, hence the name of heartís ease.
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    Uses

    An infusion is useful for skin eruptions, diarrhea, and urinary problems, fevers, mild sedative, blood purifier, asthma, heart palpitations, jaundice, gout, rheumatic problems, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, dry throat, pleurisy, itch, cough, blemished skin, psoriasis, acne, sebhorrheic skin (scaly) diseases, cradle cap in infants and children, convulsions, epilepsy, sores, ulcers, varicose veins, prevents colds, bedwetting, retinal hemorrhages, tendency to bruise easily, hives, diaper rash, nervous complaints, hysteria, chest congestion, lung inflammations, and cramps in children. The dried and powdered plant can be applied to wounds or made into a salve with honey for external use.
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    Formulas or Dosages

    Harvest while flowering.

    Infusion: steep 1 to 2 tsp. plant in 1/2 cup boiling water. Take 1 cup a day, a mouthful at a time.

    Cold extract: soak 2 to 4 tsp. plant in 1 cup cold water for 8 hours. Take 1 cup a day, a mouthful at a time.
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    Warning

    Contains saponins; may be toxic in larger doses. May induce nausea and vomiting.

    Excessive doses or prolonged, continuous use can lead to skin problems.
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    Bibliography

    Buy It! American Folk Medicine/i>, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

    Buy It! The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

    Buy It! Culpeper's Complete Herbal & English Physician: Updated With 117 Modern Herbs, by Nicholas Culpeper, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1990, (reprint of 1814)

    Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

    Herbal Gardening, compiled by The Robison York State Herb Garden, Cornell Plantations, Matthaei Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan, University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley., Pantheon Books, Knopf Publishing Group, New York, 1994, first edition

    Buy It! The Healing Plants, by Mannfried Pahlow, Barron's Educational Series, Inc. 250 Wireless Blvd., Hauppauge, NY 11788, 1992

    Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

    Buy It!The Magic of Herbs, by David Conway, published by Jonathan Cape, Thirty Bedford Square, London, England. (Out of print)

    Buy It! The Nature Doctor: A Manual of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel; Keats Publishing, Inc., 27 Pine Street (Box 876) New Canaan, CT. 06840-0876. Copyright Verlag A. Vogel, Teufen (AR) Switzerland 1952, 1991

    Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

    Buy It! Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

    Buy It! The Rodale Herb Book: How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature's Miracle Plants (An Organic gardening and farming book), edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

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