by erin stewart -1012

Violet Flower Herbal Shrub Recipe

When Violets (Viola odorata and Viola spp.) begin popping their sweet little heads up above their green covers in late winter to early spring, we know warmer days are well on their way. Violets are one of the first plants I start working with in spring because they are one of the first to wake up and send their colorful light out into the world. After a gray and dreary winter, those pretty purple shades are welcome, both calming and energizing as my focus starts to shift back toward the tending of the garden.

One of my favorite things to do with the first batch of Violets is to infuse the flowers in vinegar, then use the vinegar to make a shrub. Around here, we like to use vinegar shrubs in homemade salad dressings, Ginger ale recipes and all kinds of popsicles when the days start to warm up. This shrub recipe is like a sweet tonic for the winter-chilled soul. I love it.

To make your own, you will need:

  • fresh Violet flowers
  • organic blueberries
  • Raw apple cider vinegar
  • Raw honey

Gather your Violet flowers (leave some for the critters) and place them in a mason jar along with your blueberries. Pour your raw apple cider vinegar over the berries and flowers until they are covered and then some. Stick the jar in the fridge and allow the flowers and berries to macerate in the vinegar for 1-2 weeks (up to 4 weeks if you want a stronger flavor). Then strain them out of the vinegar and stir in some raw honey, to taste. Some people like to add equal parts honey to vinegar, while others prefer to leave their shrubs less sweet. Taste as you add until it seems just right to you.

You can also use Viola tricolor (Heartsease) for this recipe if you don’t have Sweet Violets near you. Both are easy to grow, so I’d recommend sowing a few packets of seed throughout your garden (or your lawn!) if you can.

Are the Violets blooming where you are? Let me know in the comments section below.

Much love,

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Erin Stewart is an herbalist, NAHA certified aromatherapist, organic gardener and urban homesteader. She grows over 150 kinds of aromatic and medicinal plants for her own apothecary and distills essential oils and hydrosols in her PNW garden. Erin is the founder of Floranella and of AromaCulture’s herbalism + aromatherapy magazine.

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9 thoughts on “Violet Flower Herbal Shrub Recipe”

    1. Erin Stewart

      Hi Geraldine! I’ve never tried it with kombucha vinegar, so I can’t speak from experience about that. If you do try it, I’d love to hear how it turns out. =)

  1. Hi! I have a newbie question. What is a shrub? I’m just now learning about herbs, and I haven’t run across this term before. Love your site.

    1. Erin Stewart

      Hi Corlia! A shrub is a vinegar infused with fruit and then mixed with honey. In the herbal realm, the vinegar is often infused with some kind of herb as well. Once everything has finished infusing, small amounts of the shrub can be used to flavor drinks, popsicles, salad dressings, etc.

    1. Erin Stewart

      Strictly Medicinal Seeds carries Viola odorata seeds, but they’re out of stock for them for the year. You may be able to find them elsewhere.

  2. Pingback: Sweet Violets: An Herbal Monograph (Viola odorata) – Floranella

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