January’s Birth Flower

Did you know that January’s birth flower was considered a bad omen? When people would see these flowers they would expect death to come their way! This delicate flower is often the first to poke through the snow in late winter and is now seen as a sign of hope and beauty rather than something of death.

 

Photo: Kleines Schneeglöckchen – Galanthus nivalis. Aufgenommen in Mannheim-Vogelstang, Baden-Württemberg, Deutschland. Usage Rights

 

Snowdrop: A Short History of the December Birth Flower

Snowdrops (Galanthus) have been written about for many generations with its earliest notation around 400bc. In 1597 is was first put into a classification. In 1763 the flower was then assigned a family. This flower was first thought to be from Great Britain but was later traced to the middle east and southern Europe.

Folklore –

Picture this; an epic battle between the Winter Witch and Lady Spring fighting to take control of the year, the Winter Witch is cut on her finger and a drop of blood falls to the ground melting the snow. Just then a pure white flower grows out of the ground where the snow has melted and this signifies the victory of Lady Spring bringing in the warmer months. This story is told in the early Moldovanian folklore.

In the 1800s in England, it was believed that if you came across a snowdrop it was a bad omen. They believed that seeing one would bring death and bad luck to themselves. The reason behind this was cause they were commonly found in graveyards.

Some believe the ‘Moly’ herb mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey was a reference to the Snowdrop.

The Meaning Behind the Snowdrop – Galanthus

What does a Holly represent? Well, lots of things. As you learned above many cultures used it for different purposes but mainly for protection, eternal life, and fertility.

Poinsettias are said to represent success and bring well wishes during celebrations!

Medical Uses of Snowdrop – Galanthus

Not much of the plant can be used raw. However, the plant does contain an alkaloid called Galantamine. First extracted from the plant in the 1950s. This alkaloid is used to help with confusion in dementia patients and as a memory booster with Alzheimer’s disease. The bulbs and the rest of the plant are poisonous.

Learn more about monthly birth flowers HERE!

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*All content on theheadedwest.com  is not intended as medical advice, herbal healing, diagnosis, or treatment. We simply share information and history. Do not try herbal remedies at home without talking to a trained professional! Always seek a professional doctor for help.*

References:

https://www.floraqueen.com/blog/snowdrops-their-history-symbolism-and-care#:~:text=Originally%20believed%20to%20be%20a,other%20names%20in%20early%20history.

https://www.ecoenchantments.co.uk/mysnowdropmagicpage.html

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/an-irishwoman-s-diary-1.622228

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