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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Illinois State Flower=== The Violet

One thing you may notice if you take a walk in the park in Illinois are violets. They seem to be very present. It is also the official state flower and has been since 1908. School children selected the violet out of a lineup including goldenrod and wild rose. Inspiration of selecting a state flower was the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. However Illinois is not the only state that selected the violet as state flower as New Jersey, Rhode Island and Wisconsin also host the violet as state flower.

While common in Illinois the violet or Viola sororia is native to most of central an eastern North America. They re found in yards, gardens, sidewalk cracks and along trails in the woods. Southeastern part of the United States may notice the Viola sororia has white flowers with blue streaks. No matter the look of the violet did you know that the plants flowers and leaves are edible and hold many medicinal properties.

The sweet violet or Viola odorata can be found in many medicinal and culinary specialties in Europe. There are 550 species of violets found around the world. Beware that while many violets are edible the yellow flowered species is not.

The heart shaped leaves of the violet are familiar to most of us. There are many look alike violets and many of them are inedible or poisonous. It is best to wait til the flower of the violet is present so that you can be sure they are violets. Violet leaves along with flowers can be found in salads, pesto and sandwiches. The root of the violet should not be eaten. Violet leaves can be sauteed or steamed or stirred into soups to offer a bit of thickener. The violet flower can be used as garnish on salads, cakes or pancakes. Perhaps you would love them candied or frozen in ice cubes.

Violet leaves contains soluble fiber and are helpful in lowering cholesterol levels and helps the intestines. The leaves are high in vitamins A and C as well as contains Rutin. Offering an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and blood thinner. Rutin also can work as remedy for hemorrhoids and varicose veins.

Violets are used internally as a blood cleanser and lymphatic stimulant. Often served in tea or a syrup with no worry as violets can be consumed in large quantities. Violets are safe for elders as well as children. Violets have been used to soothe hacking cough such as bronchitis as well as whooping cough. Violets are traditionally used in the treatment of cancer of the lymphatic system.

Was you aware that violets held so much useful power?? I was quite surprised myself as I simply saw them as pretty flowers

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