This herb is the whole plant (including root) of the perennial herb, Viola yedoensis Mak. (Family Violaceae). It is collected in spring when the fruit is ripe, washed and dried in sunlight, cut into segments and used unprepared.
Properties: Bitter and pungent in flavor, cold in nature, it acts on the heart and liver meridians. The function of the pungent flavor is dispersing. The action of the cold property is purging and clearing away heat and acting on the heart, liver and blood. The potency of clearing away heat, detoxifying and of subduing swellings and dissolving lumps is equivalent to that of the dandelion herb. So it is often used in combination with the latter to reinforce each other's action in treating sores due to noxious heat. The herb is especially powerful in detoxifying hence being an important medicine for treating furunculosis.
Effects: Clearing away heat, detoxifying, treating boils and dissolving lumps.
1. For sores, furunculosis, swellings, acute mastitis with swelling and pain, it is used in combination with heat-clearing and detoxifying herbs, such as dandelion herb, wild chrysanthemum flower and honeysuckle flower, or applied externally on the affected part with the fresh herb pounded to pieces.
2. For treating the snake-bite, it is taken orally with the freshly pounded juice, or applied externally in combination with a small amount of realgar.
Dosage and Administration: 10-30g. Double the dose when the fresh herb is used.
Modern Researches: The vitro tests reveals that the herb can inhibit the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Shigella dysenteriae, Staphylococcus aureus, Diplococcus pneumoniae, dermatophytes and Leptospira. Besides, it possesses antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory functions.
Michael's comments: Closely related to the Western violet, it is a common herb easily grown in most gardens. In fact the leaves when steamed make a delicious pot herb and at least a good alternate to spinach. In the West only the leaves are used but in China, the entire herb including the root is used. As stated, it is synergistic and combines well with dandelion. Both are detoxifying and two of the more important anti-cancer herbs. Violets have in fact a long history of use in the West for cancer dating before the time of Culpepper (16th century). They were recommended by the mystic Hildegard of Bingen for cancer. They are in the category of herbs that detoxify, soften and dissolve hard nodules.