January 25, 2010

PANSY - the Heartsease

There's pansies , 
that's for thoughts.
in Hamlet (Act IV, Scene V)

Botanical Name: VIOLA TRICOLOR

The name of this most mysterious tricolor flower, Viola Tricolor - Pansy, is derived from the French word pensée meaning thought. The flower resembles the human face and for its animated traits it was seen in  Disney's classical Alice in Wonderland, a chorus of singing pansies. This beautiful flower is also the flower of Osaka, Japan.

In Christian symbolism, an eye surrounded by a collar of radiating light was a sign of the trinity and hence the colored lines on Pansy's petals were seen as a reference. Pansy was long been considered to be a sign of loyalty in European countries. After 1810 the Pansy was a rage in Britain, it was cultivated in many variety of forms and in different colors in English gardens.

Infusions made from the leaves of the Pansy can work as a remedy for epilepsy and  prevention of cramps. The sap having anti-inflammatory properties was also said to cleanse the blood and strengthen the powers of the memory. The flowers are considered beneficial for heart diseases and hence the name, heartsease.

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