Pansy or Heartsease
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Botanical:  Viola tricolor
Family:   Violaceae (violet)

Other common names:  Heartsease, Field Pansy, Garden Violet, Wild Pansy, Johnny Jumper,

Johnny-Jump-Up, Jupiter, Stepmother, Ladies' Delight, Herbe de Pensée Sauvage

Pansy may be a colorful addition to our salad bowls and ancient love potions, but more importantly, Pansy is a soothing expectorant that has been used to treat lung problems (bronchitis, dry cough and asthma), as well as numerous skin problems (diaper rash, cradle cap and weeping eczema).

The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Pansy is a pretty flower that is native to Europe and is widely cultivated as a garden ornamental, but it also grows wild in fields, meadows and along forest edges in the temperate regions of North America, Asia and Europe.  The Pansy is sometimes called a cultivated weed with hollow stems, bearing lanceolate leaves and solitary flowers of yellow, blue-violet; or it may be dual-colored with white.  The plant thrives in well-drained, moisture-retentive soil in sun or partial shade and flowers from May to September, growing to a height of about fifteen inches.  The name, Pansy, is thought to be derived from the French word, penser, which means "to think," and the Pansy's three colors (purple, yellow and white) represent "memories, loving thoughts and souvenirs," all of which are said to ease the hearts of separated lovers, recalling one of the flower's common names, Heartsease.  Pansy is a member of the violet family, and its use in herbal medicine may be traced to ancient times.  Homer told us that Athenians used it to moderate anger, while the Roman, Pliny, recommended it to prevent headaches and dizziness, and it was also used in love potions.  In Gerard's"Herball" of 1597, he recommended Pansy for infantile convulsions and for chest and lung inflammations, as well as for scabs, itching and ulcers - uses that are continued in herbal medicine to this very day.  It is interesting to note that the Chinese used Pansy in herbal medicines throughout history in all the same ways as they were employed in the West.  In the seventeenth century, North American tribes treated boils and swellings with Pansy, and by the late 1800s, it was being employed as a remedy for a variety of skin diseases, such as scabies.  Pansy was once included in the United States Pharmacopœia and has continued as an important factor in herbal medicine in modern times. Some of the constituents in Pansy include mucilage, resin, alkaloids, flavonoids, volatile oil, violine, a bitter principle, salicylic acid and saponins.

Beneficial Uses:
Pansy has been used for centuries as an effective expectorant that has been helpful in easing chest problems, such as bronchitis, asthma, whooping cough, lung inflammation and dry coughs.  It is said to help loosen and expel phlegm.  The mucilage in Pansy acts as a demulcent that soothes mucous membranes and eases painful coughs, and the salicylic acid content acts as a pain reliever to ease the pain of lung inflammation.

It is believed that the blood cleansing properties of this modest little plant are hardly excelled by any other and are said to be especially useful for scrofula and skin eruptions in children.  When taken internally, it is said to rid the body of toxic products that cause skin problems, including acne.

As a diuretic, Pansy promotes the flow of urine and expels toxins and waste through the increased urine; and as a diaphoretic, it helps to promote sweating, which not only cools the body and reduces fever, but it will also further rid the body of toxins through the skin.

Pansy is said to strengthen the blood vessels and stabilize capillary membrane fragility and act as a gentle circulatory stimulant.  These qualities are said to help combat arteriosclerosis by improving blood flow and also help in cases of varicose ulcers.

As a mild sedative and calmative, Pansy has been used to soothe nervous complaints, including hysteria, and it is also considered an anodyne or substance that relieves pain or promotes general comfort.

Pansy is considered an old and reliable treatment for skin diseases of all kinds.   Used as a topical treatment for skin diseases in lotions and poultices, it is said to treat wounds, scabies, boils, itching, rashes, impetigo, acne, swellings and weeping eczema.  Recent research has supported some of the historical uses of Pansy for skin conditions, particularly with respect to the skin complaints of infants.  Taken internally, a handful of fresh Heartsease that had been boiled in milk was said to be very effective in treating Crusta lactea, or "cradle cap" (or scald head, as it is sometimes called), which is seborrhea of the scalp that is common in nursing infants.  It may also be similarly applied topically in a poultice for the same condition.  Heartsease is also said to help ease diaper rash.

Pansy Herbal Supplement should not be used in excessive amounts (many times the recommended dosage) nor for prolonged periods of time, as large doses may cause skin irritations, nausea and vomiting (as the root and seeds are thought to have emetic and purgative properties).  Pansy should not be used in conjunction with prescription diuretics nor with medications for asthma.

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