This article is by Dr M S Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu) PhD.
Most appreciated plant of Violaceae family is Viola odorata. This is commonly known as Banafsha. In English it is called Wild violet or Sweet violet. The flowers of the plant are commonly known as Gulbanapsa.
The plants are generally found in high altitude regions of Kashmir and western Himalaya. In India, it is also imported from Iran.
Banafsa flowers are usually used in the treatment of high Pitta disorders. The flowers are sweet in taste and cold in potency. It is Vata-pittahara in nature.
The plant is used in Homeopathy, Unani and aromatherapy. Germans use it as a good cosmetic agent for skin care and psychological disorders.
Read related: Vanapsa – Viola odorata Uses, Research, Side Effects
Hot infusion of the plant for headache and gastritis:
The flowers (even the roots) are made into coarse powder and hot infusion is made. (1 part of the herb is added to 4 parts of hot water, macerated, filtered). This is administered in its lukewarm condition. This helps to reduce the bilious headache, acid peptic disorders, mouth ulcers etc.
Scar, acne spots
Flowers for skin scar and acne spots:
Fresh flowers are made into fine paste; while making the paste little rose water may be added. This paste is applied over the discoloured skin lesions and acne scar areas.
Read related: 4 Remedies For Blackheads, Pimple Scars Using Saffron, Turmeric
Fever, cold, asthma
Decoction of the whole plant for fever, thirst, cold, asthma etc:
The whole plant is taken and its decoction is made. This is administered by adding a pinch of ginger powder. This is effective in fever, thirst, cold, asthma etc.
General method of preparation of decoction (kashaya) – 1 tablespoon of powder is added with 2 cups of water, boiled and reduced to 1 cup, filtered.
Flower decoction for cough and sphutum of the children:
The flowers are soaked in water for 1-2 hours and its decoction is made. To this decoction, little honey is added and administered/sipped 5-6 times a day, especially in children. Useful in dry and wet cough.
Root paste for headache:
Roots are washed well and fine paste is made by rubbing against a stone. This paste is applied over the forehead. It relieves stress and tension headache.
Digging out the medicinal qualities of a drug and its judicial use is not mere the science; but a good art too. The flowers of Banapsha is usually wasted in thousands together trees at the end of the season. Proper care and apt collection methods can help to market this potent herb in its maximum extent. Also the drug Banafsha is having very good market if it is popularised for its best cosmetic effect and its utility in aroma industry and in cosmetics.
Consult Dr Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD