The medicinal power of the tricolor violet

You can drink tea from the tricolor violet, but you should not drink too much of it because then you will feel like vomiting. One and a half grams is enough for a glass of tea and drink a maximum of one liter per day. The tricolor violet belongs to the edible flowers; you can put them in salads and on top of cakes. Only use a few flowers due to the side effects. If you weigh them you will see that it takes a long time to reach the maximum of one and a half grams. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.

Botanical drawing tricolor violet / Source: Johann Georg Sturm (Painter: Jacob Sturm), Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)


  • Naming tricolor violet
  • Pansy Tricolor and the Stepmother
  • Tricolor violet from the 16th century to the present
  • Active substances tricolor violet
  • Tricolor violet for kidney problems and skin conditions
  • Tricolor violet for lung and mucus problems
  • Other medicinal uses
  • External use tricolor violet
  • Consult a herbal therapist


Naming tricolor violet

Scientists use Latin names for plants among themselves so that everyone can be sure they are talking about the same plant. Almost every plant has a different name in every language. The Latin, official name of pansy tricolor is Viola Tricolor . There are four possibilities why this plant species was given the name ‘viola’:

  1. Viola means ‘violet’ and that is the main color of the flower,
  2. Viola means ‘violence’ which is because this plant helps against the consequences of violence; for example, babies get dewworm after being suckled by an evil stepmother,
  3. Viola comes from ‘vion’ which means fragrant, a property of the flower,
  4. Viola comes from ‘via’ which means ‘road’ because this flower frequently grew along the road in the Roman Empire.

The name ‘tricolor’ is easier to explain; it simply means ‘three-colored’; the flower of this violet species has three colors. Dutch has several alternative names for this cheerful flower: Field violet, Dune violet, wild violet, Wilde pensée, Passijntje, penseebloem, Hondsfleuetten, Field violets, Stepmother, Trinity flower, Grilkieker, Pansee, Achterumkiekertje, Blue angel, Zevenkleurbloempje, Little violet, Glass slipper, Swallow, Trinity Flower, Shoe and Slipper, Cornflower and Magpies.

Pansy Tricolor and the Stepmother

In the past, all kinds of stories circulated about the tricolor violet in relation to a stepmother. People thought they recognized the face of an old lady or stepmother in the flower or fruit. In addition, the bottom leaf is said to symbolize a stepmother while the side leaves represent the real daughters. The stepmother sits on two chairs or sepals. The real daughters each sit separately on a chair (sepal) while the top leaves, the stepdaughters, have to sit together on one chair. Father (the pestle) has turned a white head from anger.

Pansy tricolor / Source: H. Zell, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

Tricolor violet from the 16th century to the present

Unlike other violet species, the tricolor violet was a late addition to the arsenal of medicinal plants. In the 16th century, Rembert Dodoens, the pioneering herbalist, was one of the first to describe it. He recommended it to purify the lungs, in case of fever, heating and convulsions in children. Abraham Munting discovered that it was good for loosening mucus. He used it for ‘internal heating’, cramps and epilepsy. In folk medicine, this plant became a common remedy for itching, ulcers and rashes. In addition, it was often used for fevers and to stimulate the expulsion of sweat.

Active substances tricolor violet

The root of the tricolor violet is rarely used. Usually only the above-ground part of the plant is used. The most important substances in this medicinal plant are: five types of mucilages, 13 types of flavonoids including violanthin, vincenine and quercetin, anthocyanins such as violanine, salicylates such as salicylic acid, the biological counterpart of the synthetic aspirin and phenolic acids. To a lesser extent, the plant contains gentisic acid, protocatechinic acid, vitamins E, C and K, carotenoids, violaxanthins, minerals, saponosides, tannins, the alkaloid violine and coumarins.
The tricolor violet comes in several variations. The flowers always have the colors white, purple and yellow.

Tricolor violet for kidney problems and skin conditions

Pansy tricolor is a diuretic and uric acid propellant. That also makes it a blood purifying plant. The kidney function-stimulating substances such as flavonoids, saponosides and gaultherin provide a detoxifying effect; the body is cleansed of toxins. Vitamin E acts on the skin as an antioxidant, even when taken orally. The salicylates provide an anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect. Almost everyone knows this effect from aspirin. Pansy Tricolor actually contains natural-organic aspirin. This effect makes the colorful plant a rheumatic medicine. The kidney-stimulating effect ensures that kidney stones are prevented. All these medicinal properties make tricolor violet an adequate natural medicine that can be prescribed by herbalists for the following indications:

Pansy tricolor / Source: H. Zell, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

  • Infant eczema, dewworm, diaper eczema, child dermatoses,
  • Eczema, acne, boils, sores,
  • Herpes, impetigo favus or headache, hives, pruritus,
  • Psoriasis, flaky skin conditions,
  • Spring cures, blood purification cures, spring fatigue,
  • Adjuvant for kidney and bladder infections,
  • Painful urination, edema or fluid retention,
  • Prevention of kidney stones and kidney stones,
  • Adjuvant for prostate inflammation
  • bedwetting,
  • Adjuvant for arthritis, osteoarthritis and gout,
  • Increased uric acid levels.


Tricolor violet for lung and mucus problems

Saponins in pansy tricolor make coughing up mucus easier. The mucilages guarantee a soothing effect on the respiratory tract. Due to these medicinal properties, herbal therapists can use this violet species for:

  • Bronchitis, both chronic and acute,
  • Tough slime,
  • Cough, whooping cough.


Other medicinal uses

  • Because the salicylates provide an antipyretic effect, it is used for infectious diseases associated with fever and glandular tumors.
  • The mucilage makes tricolor violet a mild laxative, so it can be used for constipation.
  • The antispasmodic effects may be a reason to prescribe it for irritable bowel syndrome.


External use tricolor violet

The salicylates make violet tricolor an anti-inflammatory agent. The tannins provide an astringent effect. It has a soothing effect on the skin and mucous membranes due to the mucilages it contains. Moreover, it is a wound healing agent, due to the combination of these three effects. That is why it is prescribed by herbalists for the following indications.

Compress, infusion with cloth or gauze bandage:

  • Infant eczema,
  • Dewworm, diaper eczema, children’s skin diseases,
  • Tricolor violet / Source: Johan Spaedtke, Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)


  • Fat skin,
  • Acne, blackheads, pimples, boils,
  • sores,
  • Herpes headache, hives, pruritus,
  • Psoriasis.

Mouthwash, gargle:

  • Oral mucosal inflammation,
  • Gingivitis,
  • A sore throat,
  • Tonsillitis.


Consult a herbal therapist

Anyone who wants to use tricolor violet as a medicinal remedy is recommended to consult a herbal therapist. Tricolor violet extracts and medicines in the form of mother tincture, powder, dried herb, liquid extract and decoction should only be used on the prescription of authorized persons. A herbal therapist can tell you more about this, as well as about possible side effects and interactions with other medicines or herbs. There are also beneficial combinations with herbs. Some herbs can enhance each other’s effects; that’s called synergy. All medicinal effects of this medicinal herb mentioned in this article are based on scientific research and come from Geert Verhelst’s Large Handbook of Medicinal Plants, a standard work in the field of healing plants. The book is used in phytotherapy.

Scroll to Top