Viola odorata / Maarts viooltje

Over de teelt en ecologie van maarts viooltje

Zaaiadvies:
Dit is een koude kiemer. Dit zijn soorten die een periode van kou nodig hebben om te kunnen kiemen met meestal vooraf een periode van warmte. Veelal zijn dit zaden die al vroeg in het jaar afrijpen en in of op de grond vallen. Om te voorkomen dat de zaden als kwetsbare zaailingen de winter in gaan, zullen ze niet eerder kiemen dan in het volgende voorjaar. De zaden moeten eerst vocht op kunnen nemen in een warme periode (2 tot 5 weken). Waarna een periode van kou (temperaturen +5 tot -5) de kiemrust doorbreekt. Hoe lang zo'n periode moet zijn is per soort verschillend. Temperaturen lager dan -5 verlengen de periode omdat dan het proces stil komt te staan. De natuurlijke winteromstandigheden zijn meestal het meest effectief voor het doorbreken van de kiemrustperiode. Klik hier voor algemeen zaaiadvies.

Gebruik:
De bloembladeren kunnen gekonfijt worden en  gebruikt om cakes, ijs en pudding mee te versieren. Ook  kunnen de verse bloemen worden gebruikt in een salade of de bloemen invriezen in een ijsblokje voor een bloemrijk zomerdrankje. In de Flora Batava wordt nog vermeld dat de bladeren in de lente als moeskruid kunnen worden gebruikt.
"Violetten in water ghesoden ende ghedroncken sijn goet tseghen die heete cortsen ende tseghen alle verhittinghen van der levere ende van alle inwendighe leden/ ende iaghen af duer den camerganck die heete geele cholerijcke vochticheden. Tselve doen oock/ dat sap/ syrope ende conserve van Violetten" Schrijft Rembert Dodoens in zijn Cuydeboek van 1554.
 
Zaadvorming
Een merkwaardig verschijnsel wat we bij dit viooltje aantreffen is cleistogamie. Een eigenschap van sommige planten  die ontdekt werd in 1732 door Johann Jacob Dillenius. Cleistogaam is een samentrekking van twee Griekse woorden: kleistos = gesloten en  gamos = huwelijk.
Een eigenschap die we vaker aantreffen bij Viooltjes maar ook bij Klaverzuring (Oxalis acetosella) en andere planten. In het voorjaar bloeien de Viooltjes met normale bloemen maar na deze bloei en zaadzetting blijft ze zaaddoosjes produceren. De bloemen zien we meestal niet (meer) doordat deze niet verder ontwikkelen dan een soort knopstadium. Ze bestuiven zichzelf waarna er een 'normale' zaaddoos ontstaat.
Onderzoek heeft uitgewezen dat de daglengte hiervoor vaak van invloed is. Zo ontdekte Carolus Linnaeus al dat de door hem gekweekte Zonneroosjes (Cistus sp.), die afkomstig zijn uit het meditarrane gebied rond de Middellanse zee,  in Zweden geen bloemen gaven maar wel zaaddozen produceerden.


Geschiedenis van het maarts viooltje

Napoleon Bonaparte verhief het plantje tot familiesymbool omdat Josephine er zoveel van hield en om te concurreren met de lelies van de Bourbons. Om een geur te verkrijgen moet men enfleurage toepassen.
De legende wil dat Adam en Eva, verjaagd uit het aards paradijs, hete tranen huilden. De engel die ze naar de aarde vergezelde, kreeg medelijden en veranderde de tranen in viooltjes om het veld te verfraaien waarop ze hun huis zouden bouwen.
De bloem was bij de Grieken zeer geliefd omdat ze dachten dat het afstamde van de nimf Io, de geliefde van Zeus. In Griekenland werd het 400 voor Christus al verbouwd en verkocht op de markt in Athena. De Romeinen aromatiseerden er hun wijn mee.
In de Middeleeuwen werden viooltjes het symbool van de hoofse liefde.
Tijdens de regering van Koningin Victoria 1837-1901, werd het viooltje gekweekt als snijbloem en voor gebruik in dure parfums. Toen verschillende geurstoffen werden gesynthetiseerd liep de kweek sterk terug.

Over de geur
Het Maarts viooltje is inheems in Europa en Azië. Het wordt nu over de gehele wereld gecultiveerd en voor de parfumindustrie gekweekt in China en Frankrijk.
Het Maarts viooltje ruikt het lekkerst van allemaal. In de oudheid vlocht men er kransen van, die om het hoofd gedragen werden tegen de “crapula”of kater. De wortel is braakwekkend, hetgeen bij Hippocrates, Dioscorides en andere kruidkundigen tot in de 12 e eeuw nog niet bekend was. In de middeleeuwen werd dit ontdekt door Arabische artsen. In de 12e eeuw werd de plant door Hildegard van Bingen aanbevolen tegen kanker. Toch is er iets aan de hand met de geur van viooltjes, waarschijnlijk door de aanwezigheid van de component ionon. De geurharen, cilia, worden verlamd door de geur van het viooltje, zodat je hem niet meer ruikt. De stof ionon verlamt ons reukorgaan. Als je de ruimte verlaat en je komt weer terug, ruik je de geur weer wel. 


Dodonaeus over Viola  
Cruijdeboeck deel 2 capitel 1, bladzijde 183-184
Van Violetten.   Cap. i.

1   Der Tamme ende welrieckende Violetten cruyt/ cruypt lancx der aerden ghelijck Eerdtbesien cruyt tot veel plaetsen daer aen hakende/ ende heeft rondachtighe bruyn gruene bladeren den bladeren van Veyl ghelijck maer minder/ ronder/ ende teerder tusschen de welcke voortcomen schoone liefelijcke bruyn peersche Violetten/ elck bloemken op een besonder cleyn dun teer steelken wassende/ ende in vijf bladerkens ghesneden/ van den welcken dat middelste ende onderste met geel in dmiddel besprenght es. Naer dese bloemkens wassen daer ronde bollekens of huyskens/ vol saets/ die als zy rijp sijn in drijen onsluyten. Die wortel es teer ende veeselachtich.
Van desen welrieckende Violetten wordt een ander gheslacht in sommighe hoven gevonden/ dat bloemkens van veele bladeren ende seer dobbel voortbringht. Item noch een derde dyens bloemkens heel sneewit sijn dat seer selden ghevonden wordt/ anders den schoonen peerschen Violetten van bladeren/ wasse/ ende in alle manieren ghelijck.

2   Dat wildt gheslacht es den Tammen ghelijck/ maer die bladeren sijn veel minder. Die bloemen somtijts meerder/ veel bleecker/ somtijts bynaer wit ende sonder rueck .

Naem
Die schoone liefelijcke Violetten worden in Griecx gheheeten Ion Porphyroun/ in Latijn Viola nigra, en Viola purpurea. In die Apoteke Viola. In Hoochduytsch blauw Veiel/ of Mertzen violen. In Franchois Violette des mars. Dat cruyt van den Violetten wordt gheheeten in die Apoteke Violaria ende Mater violarum.

Oirsaecke zijns Naems
Violetten als Constantinus die keyser scrijft/ hebben hueren naem in Griecx Ion/ naer die Joncfrouw Io/ die welcke Jupiter bevrucht hebbende verandert heeft in een coe/ om dat Juno sijn huysvrouwe niet ghewaer worden en soude dat hy huer beminde/ tot wyens eere ende voetsel dat eerdtrijck duer tghebet van Jupiter die Violetten voort ghebracht heeft/ die Jupiter naer den naem van sijn beminde Io/ in Griecx Ion ghenaempt heeft/ daer naer zy oock in Latijn als sommighe scrijven Violae quasi vitulae gheheeten worden. Nicander scrijft dat den naem Ion den Violetten ghegheven es naer die Nymphen van Ionien/ die alder ierst Jupiter die Violetten ghegheven ende ghetoont hebben.

Natuere
Violetten sijn cout in den iersten graedt/ ende vochtich tot in den tweeden.

Cracht en werckinghe
A   Violetten in water ghesoden ende ghedroncken sijn goet tseghen die heete cortsen ende tseghen alle verhittinghen van der levere ende van alle inwendighe leden/ ende iaghen af duer den camerganck die heete geele cholerijcke vochticheden. Tselve doen oock/ dat sap/ syrope ende conserve van Violetten.
B   Syrope van Violetten/ es goet tseghen verhitte longhene ende borste/ ende es goet in dat Pleuris is en tseghen den hoest ghebruyckt/ ende tseghen die cortse sonderlinge van den kinderen.
C   Die selve Syrope gheneest alle verhittinghen ende rouwicheden van der keelen alsmense dicwils in den mont neempt. Tselve doen oock dat suycker/ conserve ende tsap van Violetten.
D   Tgeel dat middel in die bloemkens wast in water ghesoden es goets tseghen die squinantie ende ghezwel van der keelen daer mede ghegorgelt/ ende tseghen die vallende sieckte van de ionghen kinderen ghedroncken.
E   Violetten ghestooten ende alleen oft met olie vermenght op thooft gheleyt leschen ende nemen af/ die hitte ende versueten die pijne des hoofts/ ende verwecken tot slapen/ ende maken die hersenen vochtich/ ende midts dyen sijn goet tseghen die verdrooginghe van den herssenen/ melancolie/ swaericheyt ende diepe ghepeysen.
F   Violetten ghestooten ende met meel van gersten mout ghemenght/ sijn goet gheleyt op alle heete gheswellen ende apostumatien/ ende ghenesen die verhittinghe ende pijne der ooghen/ ende die heete sweeringhen ende swellinghen/ ende dat uutgaen des eersderms.
G   Tsaet van Violetten met wijn oft water gedroncken es goet tseghen die steeck van den Scorpioenen.
H   Tcruyt van den Violetten es goet ghebruyckt tseghen die heete cortsen/ ende verhittinghen van der levere/ ende verweckt den camerganck.
I    Die wilde Violetten sijn den welrieckende van crachten wat ghelijck maer veel onsterckelijker/ ende daer om oock in der medecynen niet oorboorlijck.


Monograph Viola odorata 

History/Folklore/Tradition
This sweet little plant with its pretty little flower that hides beneath the leaves, is a symbol of shyness and modesty. It flowers, but briefly, in woods, forests and hedges in spring. There are many myths and legends about the origins of the violet that may have given rise to such phrases as “blushing violet” or “shrinking violet”. One Greek myth tells how the nymph Ianthis was chased by the amorous Apollo. The frightened virgin fled to the woods and sought protection from Diana, who advised her to hide away where Apollo could not find her. Diana changed the nymph into the violet so that she could escape Apollo’s importunities. Another version says that violets were created for lo, beloved of Zeus, to honour her beauty. lo’s name remains in the word for the flower violet, and in Greek io means violet.

Violet is also the symbol for steadfastness and loyalty. Shakespeare was clearly fond of the violet and used it as a symbol of humility and constancy in love in his writings. In Medieval times violet symbolized Christ’s humility. It was cultivated extensively in monastery gardens to protect against all forms of evil. Necklaces of violets were said to protect from deception and inebriation. Garlands of violets were worn by the Ancient Greeks and Romans to dispel the odours of wine and spirits and thus prevent drunkenness. Violets were also used in love potions.

Violets have been valued as medicine at least since the time of the Ancient Greeks. They were mentioned frequently by Homer and Virgil as they were used then to ‘to moderate anger,’ to procure sleep and ‘to comfort and strengthen the heart.’  Hippocrates recommended them for headaches, hangovers, bad eyesight, melancholia, excess bile and inflammation in the chest. Pliny said they induced sleep, strengthened heart muscle and calmed anger. Violets were used by the Arabs for constipation, tonsillitis, insomnia and liver troubles. It was also used historically to relieve pain due to cancer, to relieve anxiety and lower blood pressure. The roots and seeds of sweet violet can also be used and are more purgative. The seeds are diuretic and are used for urinary problems including stones and gravel.

Modern Medicinal Uses

Nervous System:
With their affinity for the emotional heart and the nervous system, violet is recommended for easing stress and anxiety, lifting the spirits, cooling anger, reducing grief & heartbreak and to improve memory. It is an ideal remedy to reduce excess sadhaka pitta which gives rise to impatience, irritability, anger, perfectionism and low self-esteem. Violets can help one to be more sweet, kind and loving to oneself. They have also been used to promote a good night’s sleep and to relieve headaches caused by lack of sleep. They have a gentle analgesic effect.
Respiratory System:
The combination of mucilage and saponins make violet a soothing expectorant for relief of harsh irritating coughs & chest infections, pleurisy, chronic bronchitis, whooping cough, tonsillitis, asthma, and chronic catarrh. Violet reduces excess pitta and vata in pranavahsrotas. Made into delicious tasting syrup, violets are popular as a children’s cough syrup for dry coughs and sore throats. Taken in hot infusion, it brings down fevers, clear colds & catarrhal congestion.
Digestive System:
Violet is a soothing remedy for the gut, cooling pitta type heat and inflammation and can also be used for vata children’s constipation as it is a gentle laxative.
Immune System:
In Chinese medicine violet flowers, leaves and root are used together for helping to resolve hot swellings, cysts and tumours. They are used in the treatment of cancer (breast, lung, digestive tract, skin, throat, tongue). The antimicrobial action helps the body to ward off infections including fungal infection such as Candida. It has also been found to be active against Pseudomonas aeruginosa which is primarily an opportunistic pathogen that causes infections in hospitalized patients such as those with extensive burn sepsis. Such bacterium is an important pathogen especially in hospital casualty because of its innate resistance to many antibiotics.
Circulatory System:
With its antioxidant, vasodilatory and diuretic activities, violet can be helpful in reducing blood pressure and also has the ability to lower cholesterol. Thus is can play a role in preventing cardiovascular disease.
Musculo- Skeletal System:
With its cooling effects, and the presence of salicylates, violet reduces heat & inflammation, and can be useful for arthritis and gout as well as inflammatoey skin problems such as abscesses and boils.
Urinary System:
Violet exerts its soothing effect throughput the genito-urinary system, relieving excess pitta and inflamed & painful conditions, such as cystitis, vaginal infections like trichomonas, urethritis and urinary tract infections.

External Uses:
Externally, a warm poultice can be applied to hot swellings, and to soothe and heal sore cracked nipples and inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema. Its antifungal actions make violet good in creams and lotions for fungal skin conditions and thrush. An infusion can be used to bathe sore eyes. Violets have a reputation as a cancer remedy, particularly for tumours in the breast, lungs, throat and intestines. A compress or poultice can be applied to treat boils, conjunctivitis, breast cysts, tumours and haemorrhoids and a cloth soaked in violet infusion can be applied to the back of the neck to ease headaches. It can also be used as a gargle for sore throats and a mouthwash for inflamed gums. An inhalation with steam is worth doing for coughs, colds & sore throats. Combined with vinegar, the roots were traditionally used to make a liniment for arthritis and gout.

Recipe/Herbal Suggestions:
Violets have been widely popular for flavouring wines and syrups and in confectionary – crystallised leaves and flowers were used to decorate cakes and puddings – and in perfumery. Fresh violet flowers can be used to make scented water. The flowers and young leaves can be eaten in salads and look beautiful. They can be added to vinegar to impart colour and fragrance and mixed into rice and porridge. The leaves can be added to soups and to thicken stews.
Violet Syrup
Place violet flowers in a clean jar, cover with a layer of sugar and then place another layer of flowers, cover with sugar and so on. Leave to macerate for a two weeks and then press through a sieve and discard the flowers. The syrup can be used in desserts such as ice cream or sorbet.
Violet Ointment
Melt 50g ghee in a bain marie and add as many flowers as you can.  Leave on the heat for a few hours and then strain. When cool pour into covered pots and use for skin problems and problems such as bruises, aching joints, cysts and sore nipples.

Modern Research:
Studies have shown the antihypertensive and antidyslipidemic activities of Viola odorata leaves extract and also showed reduction in body weight and antidyslipidemic effect which may be due to the inhibition of synthesis and absorption of lipids and antioxidant activities. Thus, this study provides a pharmacologic rationale to the medicinal use of Viola odorata in hypertension and dyslipidemia. Hasan S Siddiqi, Malik H Mehmood,Najeeb U Rehman, and Anwar H Gilani. 2012 January 10. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-11-6.

A study showed that the essential oil of Viola odorata L. flowers had strong antifungal activity against Botrytis cinerea. So, the essential oil of Viola odorata L. could be used for management of this pathogen as a potential source of sustainable eco-friendly botanical fungicides. (Inès Hammami, Nesrine Kamoun and Ahmed Rebai; Scholars Research Library. Archives of Applied Science Research, 2011, 3 (5):44-51; Biocontrol of Botrytis cinerea with essential oil and methanol extract  of Viola odorata L. flowers.

Violet has also been found to be active against Pseudomonas aeruginosa which is primarily an opportunistic pathogen that causes infections in hospitalized patients such as those with extensive burn sepsis. Such bacterium is an important pathogen especially in hospital casualty because of its innate resistance to many antibiotics (Thamer M. Jasim Ph.D., Suhad F. Hatem MSc., Ayad M. Raauf Ph.D., Rawaa Assad MSc. Department of clinical laboratory science, College of Pharmacy, Al-Mustansiriya University, Baghdad, Iraq.Department of Pharmacy chemistry and Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, Al-Mustansiriya University, Baghdad, Iraq. Effect of Viola odorata extract on Pseudomonas aeruginosa produce β-lactamase enzyme).



Chem Biodivers. 2014 Jun;11(6):843-60. doi: 10.1002/cbdv.201300387. Volatile compounds of Viola odorata absolutes: identification of odorant active markers to distinguish plants originating from France and Egypt.
Saint-Lary L1, Roy C, Paris JP, Tournayre P, Berdagué JL, Thomas OP, Fernandez X.
Absolutes isolated from Viola odorata leaves, valuable materials for the flavor and fragrance industry, were studied. Violets are mainly cultivated in France and Egypt and extracted locally. The absolutes of the two origins showed different olfactory profiles both in top and heart notes, as evidenced by sensory analysis. The aims of this study were i) to characterize the volatile compounds, ii) to determine the odorant-active ones, and iii) to identify some markers of the plant origin. Two complementary analytical methods were used for these purposes, i.e., headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) using different fiber coatings followed by GC/MS analysis and gas chromatography - olfactometry/mass spectrometry (GC-O/MS) applied to violet leaf extracts. From a total of 70 identified compounds, 61 have never been reported so far for this species, 17 compounds were characterized by both techniques (with seven among them known from the literature), 23 compounds were solely identified by HS-SPME GC/MS (among them only two being already mentioned as components of violet absolutes in the literature), and, finally, 30 compounds were only identified by GC-O/MS. According to the HS-SPME GC/MS analyses, ethyl hexanoate and (2E,6Z)-nona-2,6-dienol were specific volatile compounds of the sample with French origin, while (E,E)-hepta-2,4-dienal, hexanoic acid, limonene, tridecane, and eugenol were specific of the samples with Egyptian origin. Additional compounds that were not detected by HS-SPME GC/MS analysis were revealed by GC-O analyses, some of them being markers of origin. Pent-1-en-3-ol, 3-methylbut-2-enal, 2-methoxy-3-(1-methylethyl)pyrazine, 4-ethylbenzaldehyde, β-phenethyl formate, and 2-methoxy-3-(2-methylpropyl)pyrazine revealed to be odorant markers of the French sample, whereas cis-rose oxide, trans-rose oxide, and 3,5,5-trimethylcyclohex-2-enone were odorant markers of the Egyptian samples.

Efficacy of Viola odorata in Treatment of Chronic Insomnia
Zohre Feyzabadi 1 ; Farhad Jafari 2, * ; Seyed Hamid Kamali 3 ; Hassan Ashayeri 4 ; Shapour Badiee Aval 5 ; Mohammad Mahdi Esfahani 6 ; and Omid Sadeghpour 7
Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal. 16(12): e17511 , DOI: 10.5812/ircmj.17511

Objectives: Due to side effects of hypnotic drug and the increasing demand for alternative medicine substitutes, violet oil (VO) was used in this study. VO is a known medication in Iranian traditional medicine that induces sleep in insomniac patients.
Patients and Methods: This study was conducted as an experimental pretest-posttest evaluation on VO efficacy in 50 patients with chronic insomnia in Iranian Traditional Medicine Clinic of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran. Treatment consisted of intranasal drop of VO, two drops containing 66 mg of VO in each nostril nightly before sleeping for one month. All patients were asked to complete an Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) questionnaire before the start of the trial and after one month of treatment.
Results: Improvements in sleep and ISI scores were significantly greater in patients after a month receiving VO drop in comparison with before starting treatment (P < 0.05). A few patients reported some complications about VO consumption, most of which were mild and no serious adverse event was encountered.
Conclusions: VO can be presented as a safe, well-tolerated, and effective herbal preparation in patients with chronic insomnia.

Journal of Herbs, Spices & Medicinal Plants Volume 17, Issue 3, 2011 Free Radical Scavenging Activity of Viola odorata Water Extracts
Free radicals cause the oxidation of biomolecules (e.g., protein, amino acids, lipid, and DNA), which leads to cell injury and death. The cytotoxic effect of free radicals is deleterious to mammalian cells. Fresh flowers of spicy violet, Viola odorata (Violaceae), were collected from two different locations—Vranje and Belgrade—in Serbia. The flowers were extracted with water and the suspension filtered and lyophilized for 3 days. Extracts were evaluated on their antioxidant potential using scavenging of 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical. Results showed that water extracts of flowers from both locations possess concentration dependent free radical scavenging activity

Nat Prod Res. 2012;26(9):802-9. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2011.558013. Epub 2011 Oct 20.Composition of essential oil and biological activity of extracts of Viola odorata L. from central Iran. Akhbari M1, Batooli H, Kashi FJ.
Essential oil composition of the leaves of Viola odorata L. growing wild in Kashan, central Iran, was extracted by hydro distillation-solvent extraction method and analysed using GC-MS technique. The analysis revealed the presence of 25 identified compounds, representing 92.77% of the oil with butyl-2-ethylhexylphthalate (30.10%) and 5,6,7,7a-tetrahydro-4,4,7a-trimethyl-2(4H)-benzofuranone (12.03%) being the two main components. Several components were identified for the first time in this chemotype of V. odorata. Antioxidant and antibacterial activities of the oil, methanol and chloroform extracts were also evaluated for the first time in this research work.

Articles for the Flavor and Fragrance Industries
PubMed : Volatile compounds of Viola odorata absolutes: identification of odorant active markers to distinguish plants originating from France and Egypt.
PubMed : Comparison of the antimicrobial effects of semipurified cyclotides from Iranian Viola odorata against some of plant and human pathogenic bacteria.
PubMed : Studies on the antihypertensive and antidyslipidemic activities of Viola odorata leaves extract.
PubMed : Composition of essential oil and biological activity of extracts of Viola odorata L. from central Iran.
PubMed : A liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry method for quantification of cyclotides in plants avoiding sorption during sample preparation.
PubMed : Analysis of the constituents and quality control of Viola odorata aqueous preparations by HPLC-DAD and HPLC-ESI-MS.
PubMed : Anticancer and chemosensitizing abilities of cycloviolacin 02 from Viola odorata and psyle cyclotides from Psychotria leptothyrsa.
PubMed : The cyclotide cycloviolacin O2 from Viola odorata has potent bactericidal activity against Gram-negative bacteria.
PubMed : Measurement of melatonin in alcoholic and hot water extracts of Tanacetum parthenium, Tripleurospermum disciforme and Viola odorata.
PubMed : The anthelmintic activity of the cyclotides: natural variants with enhanced activity.
PubMed : A novel suite of cyclotides from Viola odorata: sequence variation and the implications for structure, function and stability.
PubMed : Variations in cyclotide expression in viola species.
PubMed : Primary and 3-D modelled structures of two cyclotides from Viola odorata.
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