All violets, including garden verieties, are edible. Most leaves are tender and sweet, making them an excellent addition to salads or eating on the go. The leaves can also be cooked and added to soups. The flowers are also edible and can be a lovely garnish to any dish including deserts. Both leaves and flowers of violets can be used to make a tea or even wine.
Voilets are high in vitamin A, even containing more vitamin A than spinach. Violets also contain Vitamin C, 1/2 cup of violets can be equivalent to four oranges. Some violet species contain as much as 4000ppm of salicylic acid which is similar to aspirin. The flowers contain rutin, a compound that strengthens capillary blood vessels. Violet plants have a laxative effect, which is believed to be stronger in the yellow-flowered species.
Please use violet in moderation. The leaves in large quantities can cause digestive issues. Only the leaves, stems and flowers should be eaten – not the roots. Violet roots, seeds, and rootstocks contain toxins that can cause severe stomach upset and intestinal problems. Always use caution when identifying and eating and plants you are unfamiliar with or that are growing wild.