SNAPDRAGON: Uses and Benefits

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Common Names: Snapdragon,  Lion’s Mouth, Antirrhinum, Dog’s Mouth, Dragon Flower

Species: Antirrinum Major

Family: Plantaginaceae

 

Snapdragons are attractive ornamental plants which have some health benefits too. Its flowers resemble to the face of a dragon that opens and closes its mouth when laterally squeezed, hence the name. An appreciated garden plant, perennial, widely cultivated from tropical to temperate zones as a bedding, herbaceous border or pot plant.

CULTIVATION

This peculiar flower can repeat bloom throughout the season, but do best in the cool of spring and fall and throughout the winter, in mild climates, in full or partial sun, in well drained soil although they do require regular watering. Surface sow March in a greenhouse; seeds usually germinate in 10 – 21 days at 18 degree Celsius. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer; can be propagated by cuttings of half-ripe wood in September.

MEDICINAL PROPERTIES AND USES

In addition to growing the plants for cut flowers, the seeds have been used to extract edible oils, particularly in Russia, while the leaves and flowers are anti-inflammatory and stimulant. Snapdragon plant has been employed in poultices on skin tumors and ulcers. It is effective in the treatment of all kinds of inflammation. The plant is normally harvested in summer and dried for later use. A green dye has also been extracted from the flowers. Flowers are edible and can be added to green salad rather than infused, despite their bitter taste are a great source of Vitamins.