Several years ago, I attended an herbal seminar at a retreat in the Arkansas Ozark mountain area. One of the classes I attended was about the health benefits of pansy water. The instructor gave a short lecture on how to grow this delicate flower, some folklore and the herbal healing properties of pansies. After the lecture, we went outside and she demonstrated how to make pansy water.
The pansy plant is an annual that can grow up to 10 inches high and blooms from May to early summer and again in the fall. It is a relative of the violet family, and prefers cool weather while in full sun to partial shade. It grows the best in loose, rich organic soil. The flowers are white, purple and yellow, and can grow up to four-inches wide. They are also referred to as field pansy, Johnny-jump-up, Ladies’-delight, and heartsease.
The colors of the pansies have specific references such as purple stands for memories, yellow for souvenirs and white for loving thoughts. It was once believed that if pansies bloom in late autumn a plague would follow. Picking a pansy during a drought was sure to bring storm clouds. Because of its three colors, it is often considered a symbol of the Holy Trinity.
Pansy Health Properties
Pansy petals and leaves are high in vitamins A and C. It has been used to treat disorders of the skin such as eczema, psoriasis and acne. It is a great anti-inflammatory helping to cure whooping cough and bronchitis. Is has been known to help with urinary problems, gout, hypertension, and edema. It is an excellent diuretic and mild laxative.
Making Pansy Water
To make pansy water add two cups of pansy flower petals to a glass bowl filled with one quart of water. Stir lightly and set in full sun for eight hours. With the sun’s help, the essence from the petals will mix with the water. Store the pansy tincture in a glass jar. To use, add 25 to 30 drops of the tincture to eight ounce of water three times a day.
Sources: Personal Experience, Ozark Folk Center