Snapdragons are native to the rocky regions of North Africa, Europe, and the US. The plant derives its name from the tiny flowers it bears which resemble small dragon heads. When squeezed at the back and released, their snout-like parts open and close, which also explain why they are fondly referred to as snapdragon flowers, dragon flowers or dog’s mouth.
[Note: The Right Flowers is not a medical site. Knowledge of and information about the therapeutic benefits and applications of flowers, while known through the ages, does not constitute medical advice. If you are having health issues, you should consult with a physician.]
The snapdragon genus, antirrhinum, is a Greek word meaning ‘unlike the nose’ or ‘opposite the nose’. Basically, your nasal perception is closely tied to your taste glands. But when you taste this sweet-smelling flower, you get the very opposite of what your smell glands informed your mind as the blossoms taste bitter or bland depending on where they were grown, unlike their sweet fragrance.
Snapdragons thrive in dry areas and on old concrete walls. These flowering plants are quite hardy and can survive in places with minimal moisture.
Dragon flowers come out in a wide variety of bright and fancy colors ranging from yellow to red which explains why they are cultivated for ornamental purposes. Normally, they bloom in the cool of the spring, fall, and winter. Apart from being showy flowers, snapdragons also have several health benefits which are easily harnessed by drying and turning them into poultices and decoctions.
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These benefits include:
Snapdragon flowers have been used for years to treat and manage piles, also known as hemorrhoids. The herb is renowned for encouraging blood circulation and easing inflammation. This brings relief to the swollen and painful blood vessels in the anal area.
Treats abscesses and boils
Snapdragons have anti-inflammatory and astringent properties which make them ideal for treating abscesses and boils.
Snapdragon extracts consumed as an infusion, commonly known as tea, have diuretic properties. This means they can be used to get rid of toxins from the body. These diuretic properties are not only good for cleaning the blood but also come in handy for helping the liver function optimally.
Prevents and heals minor wounds and skin infections
In places where the snapdragon is native, the herb has been used in poultices for topical application on wounds, bruises and skin infections. This is because snapdragon has astringent and anti-inflammatory properties which not only promotes healing but also reduces pain in the affected areas.
It is rare to find flowering plants that are hardy and which can do well in dry areas, yet which are also beautiful and beneficial. But that is what sets apart dragon flowers from other flowering plants.