Archive for the ‘violets’ Category


This was our five generation picture taken when my mom and her mom were both still alive and my first born grandchild, Evan, was a wee one, about 8 years ago. We lost my mom to cancer 4 years ago today, and G.G., as my vain grandma liked to be called (lol), the very next spring. That is my beautiful, and only, daughter Michelle Elizabeth holding her son.

My mom would have just loved all the natural healing and herbal knowledge I have been learning these last few years. The family used to tease her as she read her wisdom garnered from sources such as Prevention magazine, and others. I always listened to her though, (in those matters;-) ) , and always had a bent toward our natural world. If she were here today I can see us truly finding our common ground, besides family, with herbal/plant medicine and also with the foraging for wild foods, that I doing more and more. Well, mom this post is for you, in honor of the strong, warm, loving, giving person you were. I miss you so much!

I read herbal and wild foraging books constantly and even my dreams have me walking through woods and fields searching for the knowledge I am sure other women in my family had at some time. Some how it was lost a few generations back and I crave to recapture it, to share with all those following in my footsteps. Life is busy with so many things, so finding the time to apply what I have been learning is sometimes hard. I am trying to make it a point to do a few things every week.


Tonight, after getting home, I went out in the gardens and gathered some whole plants of violets. Roots, leaves and flowers for a tincture. I am going to use the tincture, at times, for fevers, to break up mucous and respiratory complaints. The pretty yellow jar is dandelion flowers in safflower oil. I have some infusing in olive oil and thought some in safflower oil would be pretty and useful also. These both will make nice moisturizers and massage oils, that help release tension and emotions in the muscles. I also started some plantain tincture. This tincture will be good for gastric complaints, ulcers, and also for diarrhea. It will also be soothing for any complaints throughout the urinary system. As plantain is a relaxing antispasmodic to the mucous membranes, coughs, asthma, and other bronchial problems, are another way this tincture will be used.

Last week I managed to sneak in a few medicine making moments also.


I made angelica root tincture and honey. Licorice tincture, concolor fir oil, dandelion vinegar, and peppermint oil.

Mom would just love all this and I think of her often as I learn more and more about our natural world and her gifts to us. We just need open our eyes and our hearts to what she has to tell us!


I have found this book by herbalist Gail Faith Edwards, to be most helpful in my herbal journeys. I love what Gail has to say in her forward

These words are the ripened seeds that spill from my wild heart to the dark moist soil within your own.”

I highly recommend this book to those of my readers who are on their own herbal journey. Gail writes with a warm, welcoming style that encourages me with its insightful, yet non complicated information and uses of many herbals and trees. I have found this book to be another that is right here in the kitchen while I make herbal medicine, on my bedside table at night, and in my backpack at all other times. Gail has shared with us what it took her many seasons of intimate contact with the plants, to learn.  And yes, I do especially recommend it to those of you, who like me are at the beginning of our herbal journeys, although it is certain to be of benefit to the experienced herbalist also.

big herbal and honey hugs to all of you who take the time to visit here at Comfrey Cottages


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The first thing you need to do is find some violets from a spot that you know hasn’t been exposed to chemicals. A few years ago I transplanted a few violets around my little pond.



It is okay to mix in some of the white violets if you have those also. Next I fill mason jars with violets and then pour boiling water over them, seal and let steep 24 hours. If you want to be more precise than me use about 1 cup boiling water for each packed cup of violets.



assemble your canning tools. Make sure all your jars, lids and rings are sterilized.


You will need to then use a jelly bag and strain off your violet infusions. These are the proportions I use for my jelly

4 cups violet infusion

1/2 cup lemon juice or the juice of 2 lemons

8 cups sugar (less if you are using reduced sugar pectin)

1 package of dry pectin or use the liquid type if you prefer that

Pour 4 cups of violet infusion into a pan and then add the lemon juice. Enjoy the color change!



Stir 1 box of pectin into the infusion and bring to a boil. I put in 1/2 teaspoon of butter to reduce foaming.


After this comes to a full rolling boil, quickly add the sugar and return to a full boil for exactly 1 minute. Skim off any foam and then ladle into your jars, cap and process in the canner for 5 minutes. The yield is about 8 jelly jars


I have used the reduced sugar pectins and those work well also. This jelly keeps well. I just gave away for a birthday present my last jar of last years violet jelly in March, and it was still beautiful! Enjoy!


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saturday, my brother eric and granddaughter taylor and i went to my friend ron’s house to pick up our new nucs. eric and i both got one. ron goes down to florida and works at a bee farm there for a few weeks each spring, and then brings back in his truck nucs for all of us who have ordered them. these bees are carniolans and i just love them. very hard workers and gentle too! within an hour of being hived these girls were busily bringing in pollen. it was so much fun as it was taylors first time getting to help and she had a blast! she also spotted the queen for me. this year the queen is marked with a green dot. each year is a different color. after we got the bees hived we made some more violet jelly! seems everyone wants a jar to try and i gotta get cracking and get some more made to keep up with the demand! lol love and hugs to everyone who visits here at comfrey cottages!!

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Our weather is still erratic! Cold again, with rains and even hail yesterday! But, the violets and dandelions are still up and don’t you think violet and yellow together are so pretty? The children and i managed to take advantage of the decent weather on saturday and harvested many of both. we also dug some of each for transplanting to other spots. my brother wanted some of the white with violet edged violets and i am going to start a dandelion bed in my gardens! yup you heard me right, a dandelion bed! not only does their color please me, bees love it, i use the dandelion root dried for teas,eat their leaves and fry their heads!lol going to make some dandelion jelly soon also. so thanks to help of my little helpers we harvested enough for both some violet jelly and some fried dandelion heads saturday nite. yum! the boy in the pictures is my 8 year old grandson evan, my daughter michelle’s boy. hugs all around!:)

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