Name: Mandrake

Scientific name: Mandragora officinarum

The other names: Mandrake

Summary: Witches' magic plant.

Description: Long-lived plant with forked root, big leaves without stalks and with white and purplish flowers and with yellow fruits.

Environment and culture: Native from Mediterranean region in Europe,it grows mainly in the flat broke bed of rivers.

Used parts: Root.

Constituents: Alcalo´des (hyosciamine, hyoscine, pseudo-hyosciamine, mandragorine, scopolamine...).

History: Mandrake, as belladona is a " witch's plant". According to the pharmacopoeia(codex) juliana, the Greek botanist Dioscoride received mandrake as the magic remedy of Heuresis's hands, discovery's goddess. The powerful mandrake's narcotic effects and its root sometimes having the shape of a human being, confers its magic properties. According to a legend the root was so dangerous to dig up; mandrake is pushed a so powerful shout which it could kill whoever tried to dig it up. It was then a dog attached to the plant that took care to dig it up. Moreover according to faiths, it would die from it most of the time. One used it mainly in witchcraft for predictions, cures... It is used him it to cure some madness. A lot of faiths and superstitions on this subject were questioned since, but the European folklore did not stop deforming and maintaining its superstitions. The others part its fragrant fruits of yellow colours, the called " love's apples", or Aphrodite's golden apples.

Manners: Some people used mandrake against cramps (enterocolites, haemorrhoids), asthma and hay fever. It is prescribed in the form of cataplasm to look after rheumatisms and after athritic pains. It is also effective against stomach ulcers. It would be also soporific and aphrodisiac.

Effects: narcotic, antispasmodic, moderating reflex.

Warnings: Mandrake is a very toxic plant, and are needed few of it to feel the powerful narcotic effects being able to be very strong.

Preparation: Decoction, paint alcoholic, cataplasm, ointment.


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