Everything you need to know about the plant Mandrake Root.
Mandrake is native to the Mediterranean region. It is a perennial herb with a large root and poisonous fruits. One of the oldest references to mandrake is from the Bible and probably dates to 4,000 B.C.
The Greeks also used it as an aphrodisiac, steeping the root in wine or vinegar—mandrake is known as the “love-apple of the ancients,” and is associated with the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. Similarly, the ancient Hebrews believed the mandrake could be used to induce conception.
Mandrake is a mysterious plant with a long, thick taproot that resembles the human body. At one time, people believed that the mandrake plant would shriek when uprooted, emitting a scream so powerful it could kill the unfortunate person who attempted to harvest the plant.
- Origin: The Mediterranean
- Growth: 0.1 m (0ft 4in) tall and 0.3 m (1ft) wide.
- Plant family: Solanaceae
- Scent: A strong red apple.
- Colour: They range from purple to yellow-green.
- Harvesting: Mandrake root can be harvested after three to four years.
- Endangered: Not endangered.
In the past, mandrake was often made into amulets which were believed to bring good fortune and cure sterility. As a plant with the shape of a human body, the mandrake was believed to exercise control over the body: it could induce love or conception, or bring good fortune, wealth and power.
Fresh or dried root contains highly poisonous alkaloids and is cathartic, strongly emetic, hallucinogenic and narcotic. In sufficient quantities it induces a state of oblivion and was used as an anaesthetic for operations in early surgery. It was much used in the past for its anodyne and soporific properties.
Having some mandrake root to carry with you as a charm, is thought to protect the bearer from psychic possession and to bring good health. The root is sometimes displayed upon the mantle of the fireplace to bring success, wealth, and joy to the entire home. Mandrake root is also a fertility charm, attract love and used for casting spells. Mandrake holds sexual energy and can enhance activity and attraction in the room.
Mandrake can increase psychic abilities and creativity.
- Sandalwood is connected to the element of Earth
- Associated with the Zodiac sign Virgo
Mandrake Root has some attributes for medicinal purposes. Warning: This plant can be poisonous! The leaves can be used as an ointment and are harmless.
The leaves can be boiled in milk and used as a poultice for external ulcers.
The root is a powerful emetic and hallucinogen and if used internally, only with great caution, if at all. It is said in large doses to incite delirium and madness, though it was once used as a sleep aid, for those who were in too much pain to sleep. Pieces were also given patients to chew when they were about to undergo surgery.
Externally, the roots combined with alcohol make a rub for rheumatism. Great to place in a pouch, under your bed to aid sleep and relaxation.