Indigenous to the rocky areas of Europe, North Africa and US, snapdragon got its name from the fact that the tiny flowers it bears resemble little dragon heads. When the back of the flowers are squeezed and released, the snout-like parts tend to open and close. By the way, snapdragon is known as “dragon flowers” and “dog’s mouth” in some places.
Snapdragon loves to thrive on old concrete walls or just about any other dry area. Needless to say, they can survive even in places where minimal water is available. The flowers come in several different colors — ranging from red to yellow — and that is why snapdragons are usually cultivated for ornamental purposes.
Aside from having brightly-colored and fancy-looking flowers, snapdragon also offers a number of health benefits. Both the leaves and flowers of snapdragon can be used for various medicinal purposes. Usually, they are dried and turned into decoctions and poultices in order for their superb anti-inflammatory properties to be employed.
Here are just a few of the perks offered by snapdragon:
It Helps Treat Hemorrhoids
One of the most popular uses of snapdragon in the world of traditional healing is for the relief of hemorrhoids, or also sometimes referred to as “piles”. The herb is known to ease inflammation and encourage blood circulation, thus reducing those painful and swollen blood vessels that are situated in the anal region.
It Prevents Skin Infections
For many years now especially in places where snapdragon is native to, decoctions and poultices out of it are used for promoting wound healing. That’s because the leaves and flowers of snapdragon have astringent properties. As a bonus, their anti-inflammatory properties also help reduce pain in the injured areas of the skin.
It Alleviates Minor Burns
Snapdragon is also known to be very good at alleviating minor skin burns. The application of snapdragon decoction or poultice on the affected areas of the body helps provide relief from the throbbing pain that comes with burns. Needless to say, snapdragon is also good against sunburns.
It Treats Boils and Abscesses
Traditional healers also rely on poultices out of the dried leaves and flowers of snapdragon in the management of boils and abscesses. Again, such is made possible by the herb’s impressive astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. With the help of snapdragon, it’s possible to ward off boil and abscess complications, some of which are serious.
It Detoxifies the Blood
When decoction out of snapdragon is consumed, urine production is increased. It’s exactly due to this reason why snapdragon is commonly used for the removal of waste products and poisonous substances that have accumulated in the blood. Speaking of the blood, the diuretic properties of snapdragon helps lower blood pressure.
It Purifies the Liver
Aside from impurities in the blood, toxins that have collected in the liver may also be eliminated with special preparations out of snapdragon. It’s of utmost importance to keep one’s liver in an excellent shape because the said organ carries out so many important roles, from neutralizing poisons to breaking down fat.
It Relieves Urinary Tract Infections
Thanks to the mild diuretic properties of snapdragon, the herb is also sometimes used for the treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs). It works by promoting urine production, thus flushing out bacteria in the urinary system before they have the chance to multiply and cause further damage.
It Helps Reduce Fever
Another very popular use of snapdragon in traditional healing is for lowering the body temperature. The dried leaves and flowers of snapdragon are turned into decoction that a person with fever may take. Sometimes, the same decoction is recommended for those who are feeling weak because of its stimulating properties.