Vanapsa – Viola odorata Uses, Research, Side Effects

Banapsa – Viola odorata is used in treating cough, asthma, fever with burning sensation, bodyache etc. It is used as an ingredient in many herbal cough syrups. One of its chemical components – Cycloviolacin O2 has anti-cancer potential.

Botanical name- Viola odorata Linn.
Family- Violaceae (vanaphsha kula)

Sweet violet
Sweet violet

Vernacular names

Names in different languages:
Hindi name- Banafsa, Banafsha, Vanafsha
English name- wood violet, sweet violet, common violet, garden violet
Tamil name- Vayilethe

Chemical constituents

Viola odorata chemical constituents: Roots& Rhizomes- Odoranite
Cycloviolacin O2 (CyO2), a cyclotide from Viola odorata (Violaceae) has antitumor effects and causes cell death by membrane permeabilization. Read more

Viola odorata flower with leaf
Viola odorata flower with leaf


Found in Kashmir and western Himalayas

Substitutes and adulterants

Viola cineria
Viola serpens pilosa

Viola odorata plant

Medicinal properties

Sweet violet medicinal properties
Rasa (taste) – Katu (pungent), Tikta (bitter)
Guna (qualities) – Laghu (lightness), Snigdha (oiliness, unctuousness)
Vipaka- Katu – Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
Veerya – Ushna – Hot potency
Effect on Tridosha – Vata Pittahara – Balances Vata and Pitta Dosha.

Part used, dosage

Part used- Flower, whole plant
Dosage- Powder 3-6 g

How to use:
Dried flower powder – 1 – 2 grams is administered along with water once or twice a day.

Sanskrit verse

Viola odorata uses


Tvachya – good for skin
Sara – induces mobility, causes diarrhea, purgation, relieves constipation
Indicated in –
Sheetajwara – useful in fever with cold
Kasa – cough, cold
Shwasa – asthma and chronic respiratory disorders
Shvayathu – Swelling, inflammation

It is useful in
Burning eyes, burning sensation while passing urine
Leaves are used for treating swelling, inflammation, jaundice, headache, body pains.
The fresh leaves  are made into paste and applied locally to relieve pain and inflammation.
Dried flower powder is also useful to induce sleep.

Ayurvedic medicines

Ayurvedic medicines with Viola odorata as ingredient: 
Gojihwadi Kashaya – It is used in the treatment of fever, cough, bronchitis etc
Mincof syrup – It is used in treatment of cough, sore throat etc.
Biocivas Syrup and capsules – used in the treatment of all types of cough.

Side effects

Seek medical advice for its use during pregnancy and lactation.
It can be used in children in small doses.

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

Sthanika karma (Systemic Acton)

Externally –Anti microbial, Anti inflammatory in nature. External application of its paste is indicated in Headache, Skin disorders etc. Oil is used in Insomnia for external application.

Digestive system –Pacifies pitta dosha, Anti microbial, Anti inflammatory. Sweet prepared out of its flowers is given in liver disorders. Flowers have mild purgative action. Root has both purgative and emetic properties.

Respiratory System – pacifies kapha dosha. Indicated in kasa (Cough), breathing difficulty etc.
Circulatory system – Root decoction is indicated in Hypertension. acts as a blood purifier.

Tvak – Indicated in skin disorders. Increases sweat production.

Tapak rama – Jvaraghna

2 comments on “Vanapsa – Viola odorata Uses, Research, Side Effects


    23/04/2015 - 3:58 pm

    Sir, Thank U for your article on the important herb. But since it is grown in Himalayas, availability and utilisation in South India is not practicable.
    If there are herbal stores who are able to supply this type of important herbal powders, the purpose of learning about this type of great herbs would be fulfilled.

    Reply to comment
  • Amit Sharma

    05/03/2018 - 11:01 am

    We are located in Himachal and we are supplying Banafsha in bulk .

    Reply to comment

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