• Name : Banafsha
  • English Name :Sweet Violet
  • Scientific Name :Viola odorata



The herb is native to Europe and Asia but is being cultivated in North America and Australia as well.


Morphology Description (Habit):

Prostrate, acauline annual to perennial herb with erect scapes. Rhizome long, pointed, branched, slender, giving rise to a stoloniferous stern. Leaves 2.0-3.5 x 1.5-3.0 cm, broadly ovate, obtuse, hairy, cordate, serrate, 5-7-veined, sinus deep, petiole covered with deflexed hairs, often twice or thrice the length of lamina, upto 15 cm long; stipules free, broad lanceolate to ovate, acuminte, fringed or fimbriate. Flowers odorous, violet, upto 2.0 cm long on upto 20 cm long peduncle. Sepals 4.0-7.0 x 1.0-3.0 mm, ovate, obtuse, entire, cuneate. Petals obovate-oblong, obtuse, entire, up to 12 mm long, c. 5.0 mm broad; lateral petal 11-16 x 7.0 mm, large, oblong, obtuse, entire, spur straight or subcurvate, obtuse, c. 4 mm long. Ovary globose, 2.5-3.0 x 1.0-2.0 mm, glabrous, style 3.0-4.0 x 0.5-1 mm, laterally compressed, stigma beaked, beak directed forward. Capsule globose, 3-6-angled.1


Parts Used:

Herb, primarily Flowers



Viola odorata contains alkaloid, glycoside, saponins, methyl salicylate, mucilage and vitamin C.2


As per Ayurveda:

           Rasa (Taste)                 : Pancharasa (Lavana Varjit) i.e. sweet, sour, pungent, bitter and astringent

           Guna (Property)           : Heavy, rough and cold

           Veerya (Potency)         : Cold

           Vipaka (End Result)      : Sweet


Pharmacological Actions:

The primary pharmacological actions of this therapeutic herb are summarized as under:


Central Nervous System: 

i. The extract has better sedation and pre-anesthetic effects than diazepam but dose-dependently.2


Respiratory System : 

i. Possesses excellent antimicrobial activity against respiratory tract pathogens.3


Digestive System: 

i. Exhibits hepatoprotective activity.4

ii. Exerts laxative effect.5


Cardiovascular System: 

i. Banafsha has been observed to be useful in hypertension and dyslipidemia.6


Urinary System: 

i. Exhibits nephroprotective activity.4

ii. The aqueous extract of the Viola odorata aerial parts (200 and 400 mg/kg, p.o.) showed significant diuretic activity.5


Others : 

i. Rich in cyclotides with robust cytotoxicity that may be promising chemosensitizing agents against drug resistant breast cancer.7

ii. Exhibits analgesic activity.8

iii. The flower extract exhibits concentration dependent free-radical scavenging activity.9

iv. Cyclotides from Iranian V. odorata have potent antimicrobial activity against gram-negative, plant pathogenic bacteria.10



Cough, Bronchitis, Bronchial Asthma



1. http://eol.org/pages/584573/details

2. Monadi A, Rezaie A. Evaluation of Sedative and Pre-Anesthetic Effects of Viola odorata Linn. Extract Compared With Diazepam in Rats. Bulletin of Environment, Pharmacology and Life Sciences. 2013; 2(7): 125-131.

3. Gautam SS, Navneet, Kumar S. The Antibacterial and Phytochemical Aspects of Viola odorata Linn. Extracts Against Respiratory Tract Pathogens. 2012; 82(4): 567-572.

4. Elhassaneen Y, Sabry S, Musalum T, et al. Effect of Sweet Violet (Viola odorata L.) Blossoms Powder on Liver and Kidney Functions as well as Serum Lipid Peroxidation of Rats Treated with Carbon Tetrachloride. Journal of American Science. 2013; 9(5): 88-95.

5. Vishal A, Parveen K, et al. Diuretic, Laxative and Toxicity Studies of Viola odorata Aerial Parts. Pharmacologyonline. 2009; 1: 739-748.

6. Siddiqi HS, Mehmood MH, Rehman NU, Gilani AH. Studies on the antihypertensive and antidyslipidemic activities of Viola odorata leaves extract. Lipids Health Dis. 2012 Jan 10;11:6.

7. Gerlach SL, Kumar RR, Chakravarty G, et al. Anticancer and chemosensitizing abilities of cycloviolacin O2 from Viola odorata and psyle cyclotides from Psychotria leptothyrsa. Peptide Science. 2010; 94(5): 617-625.

8. Anil V, Kumar P, Kannapan N, et al. Evaluation of the analgesic activity of Viola odorata aerial parts in rats. 2011; 2(1): 24-27.

9. Stojkovic D, et al. Free Radical Scavenging Activity of Viola odorata water Extracts. Journal of Herbs, Spices & Medicinal Plants. 2011; 17(3): 285-90.

10. Zarrabi M, Dalirfardouei R, Sepehrizade Z, Kermanshahi RK. Comparison of the antimicrobial effects of semipurified cyclotides from Iranian Viola odorata against some of plant and human pathogenic bacteria. J Appl Microbiol. 2013 Aug;115(2):367-75.

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Herbal Cough Tea , Kesharprash