It grows in Kashmir and other parts of western Himalayas, in India, in altitudes between 1500m and 1800 meters high. It is frequently cultivated in gardens (cultivated varieties).
Morphology Description (Habit)
It is a glabrous or pubescent herb, rarely more than 15 cm. in height, arising from a rootstock. Rootstocks are stout and stolons are slender. The leaves are tufted, broadly ovate-cordate and crenate. Flowers are nodding, deep violet inside with a bluish white base, solitary axillary and also forming a central flowering rosette and sweet scented. The capsules are round, bluntly 3-angled, downy and often purplish.
Violin is an emetic principle present in all parts of the plant. It also contains an emetine like alkaloid1.
It was found to be effective against induced inflammation, similar to ipecac extract1.
In large doses the leaves as well as the roots are cathartic, and the seeds are poisonous.
The Flowers form a component of the Unani herbal medicine `Joshanda', which is used in the treatment of cold and cough2. The flowers are credited with emollient and demulcent properties, and are used for the preparation of 'sherbat', which is used as a household remedy for coughs and sore throat, hoarseness, and ailments of infants. The leaves are official in some pharmacopoeias.
- Anonymous, 1998, The Wealth Asia CD, CSIR, New Delhi.
- Pillai et. al., Indian J Nat Prod, 1992, 8 (1), 16.