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European mandrake is an herb that is the subject of lots of superstitious notions. Some individuals think that it has wonderful powers. The root and leaves are utilized to make medicine.

People take european mandrake root for dealing with stomach ulcers, colic, constipation, asthma, hay fever, convulsions, arthritis-like discomfort (rheumatism), and whooping cough. It is likewise used to trigger throwing up, trigger sleepiness (sedation), decrease pain, and increase interest in sex.

European mandrake fresh leaves and leaf extracts are applied straight to the skin for dealing with skin ulcers. [2]

About mandrake history

The history of mandrake plants and their use and legends goes back to ancient times. Ancient romans, greeks, and middle eastern cultures were all familiar with mandrake and all thought the plant had magical powers, not always for good. Mandrake is native to the mediterranean area. It is a seasonal herb with a large root and toxic fruits. Among the earliest recommendations to mandrake is from the bible and probably dates to 4,000 b.c. In the story, rachel used the berries of the plant to develop a kid. In ancient greece, mandrake was noted for being a narcotic. It was utilized medicinally for anxiety and depression, insomnia, and gout. It was also utilized as a love potion. It was in greece that the resemblance of the roots to a human was first recorded. The romans continued most of the medicinal usages that the greeks had for mandrake. They likewise spread the tradition and use of the plant throughout europe, including britain. There it was unusual and pricey and was frequently imported as dried roots. [3]


The genus madragora belong to the nightshade or potato family solanaceae, a taxon of blooming plants in the solanales order. Members of this household are characterized by five-petaled flowers, and alternate or alternate to opposite leaves. This household likewise is are understood for possessing a varied range of alkaloids, which for people can be harmful, helpful, or both. For the plants, they minimize the propensity of animals to consume the plants.

Mandrakes, making up genus madragora, are herbaceous, seasonal plants native to locations of the mediterranean and the himalayas.

The most well known mandrake is mandragora officinarum. This plant has a parsley-shaped root that is often branched. This root emits at the surface of the ground a rosette of ovate-oblong to ovate, wrinkled, crisp, sinuate-dentate to entire leaves, 6 to 16 inches long, somewhat looking like those of the tobacco plant. Springing from the neck are a variety of one-flowered nodding peduncles, bearing whitish-green flowers, nearly two inches broad, which produce globular, succulent, orange to red berries, looking like little tomatoes, which ripen in late spring. The plant grows grow natively in southern and central europe and in lands around the mediterranean sea, along with on corsica. This plant is called by the arabs luffâh, or beid el-jinn (” devil’s eggs”).

Tropine alkaloids

One of the most essential groups of alkaloid substances found in members of the mandragora genus are tropane alkaloids, which likewise are found in the solanaceae genera atropa (the belladonna genus), datura, and brugmansia, as well as lots of others in the solanaceae family. Chemically, the molecules of these compounds have a characteristic bicyclic structure and include atropine, scopolamine, and hyoscyamine. Pharmacologically, they are the most powerful known anticholinergics out there, implying they hinder the neurological signals sent by the endogenous neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. Symptoms of overdose may include mouth dryness, dilated students, ataxia, urinary retention, hallucinations, convulsions, coma, and death.

All parts of the mandrake plant are poisonous. The fruit also causes poisoning in livestock. The arab name mandragora suggests “painful to cattle”. [4]


The root is hallucinogenic and narcotic. In sufficient quantities, it causes a state of unconsciousness and was used as an anaesthetic for surgery in ancient times. In the past, juice from the finely grated root was used externally to relieve rheumatic discomforts. It was used internally to treat melancholy, convulsions, and mania. When taken internally in big doses it was stated to thrill delirium and madness.

In the past, mandrake was typically made into amulets which were believed to bring good fortune, treatment sterility, etc. In one superstition, people who bring up this root will be condemned to hell, and the mandrake root would shriek and weep as it was pulled from the ground, killing anyone who heard it. Therefore, in the past, people have actually tied the roots to the bodies of animals and then utilized these animals to pull the roots from the soil. This folklore referral is integrated into part of the portrayal of the imaginary mandrake seen in harry potter and the chamber of tricks.

The ancient greeks burned mandrake as incense.

In the bible

Two recommendations to דודאים (duda’im, plural; particular דודא duda)– literally indicating “love plants”– occur in the jewish scriptures. The septuagint equates דודאים as μανδραγόρας (mandragóras), and the vulgate follows the septuagint. A variety of later translations into different languages follow septuagint (and vulgate) and utilize mandrake as the plant as the appropriate meaning in both the book of genesis 30:14– 16 and tune of songs 7:12 -13. Others follow the example of the luther bible and supply a more actual translation.

In genesis 30:14, reuben, the eldest child of jacob and leah, finds mandrakes in a field. Rachel, jacob’s infertile 2nd partner and leah’s sibling, is desirous of the דודאים and barters with leah for them. The trade used by rachel is for leah to spend that night in jacob’s bed in exchange for leah’s דודאים. Leah hands out the plants to her barren sis, but soon after this (genesis 30:14– 22), leah, who had previously had 4 sons but had been sterile for a long while, conceived once again and in time gave birth to 2 more sons, issachar and zebulun, and a child, dinah. Just years after this episode of her asking for the mandrakes did rachel handle to become pregnant.

And reuben entered the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mom leah. Then rachel said to leah, provide me, i pray thee, of thy son’s mandrakes.

And she stated unto her, is it a small matter that thou hast taken my hubby? And wouldest thou remove my son’s mandrakes also? And rachel stated, for that reason he shall lie with thee to night for thy son’s mandrakes.

And jacob came out of the field at night, and leah headed out to fulfill him, and stated, thou should be available in unto me; for certainly i have actually employed thee with my child’s mandrakes. And he lay with her that night.

Sir thomas browne, in pseudodoxia epidemica, ch. Vii, suggested the duda’im of genesis 30:14 is the opium poppy, because the word duda’im might be a referral to a lady’s breasts.

Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine thrive, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will i offer thee my likes.

The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of enjoyable fruits, brand-new and old, which i have actually laid up for thee, o my cherished.

Magic and witchcraft

According to the legend, when the root is collected, it shouts and kills all who hear it. Literature consists of intricate instructions for collecting a mandrake root in relative safety. For instance, josephus (circa 37– 100 ad) of jerusalem provides the following directions for pulling it up:.

A furrow must be dug around the root until its lower part is exposed, then a dog is tied to it, after which the individual tying the pet should get away. The pet dog then endeavours to follow him, and so easily pulls up the root, however dies suddenly instead of his master. After this, the root can be handled without fear.

Excerpt from chapter xvi, “witchcraft and spells”, of transcendental magic: its doctrine and ritual by nineteenth-century occultist and ritualistic magician eliphas levi:.

The natural mandragore is a filamentous root which, more or less, presents as a whole either the figure of a male, or that of the virile members. It is a little narcotic, and an aphrodisiacal virtue was ascribed to it by the ancients, who represented it as being looked for by thessalian sorcerers for the composition of philtres. Is this root the umbilical vestige of our terrestrial origin? We dare not seriously affirm it, but all the same it is particular that man came out of the slime of the earth, and his first appearance should have been in the kind of a rough sketch. The examples of nature make this concept necessarily admissible, a minimum of as a possibility. The first men were, in this case, a family of massive, sensitive mandragores, animated by the sun, who rooted themselves up from the earth; this assumption not just does not omit, however, on the contrary, favorably supposes, innovative will and the providential co-operation of a first cause, which we have factor to call god. Some alchemists, impressed by this idea, hypothesized on the culture of the mandragore, and experimented in the synthetic recreation of a soil adequately worthwhile and a sun adequately active to humanise the said root, and hence develop men without the concurrence of the female. Others, who regarded humankind as the synthesis of animals, despaired about vitalising the mandragore, but they crossed monstrous sets and forecasted human seed into animal earth, just for the production of outrageous crimes and barren deformities.

The following is taken from jean-baptiste pitois’ the history and practice of magic:.

Would you like to make a mandragora, as effective as the homunculus (little guy in a bottle) so applauded by paracelsus? Then discover a root of the plant called bryony. Take it out of the ground on a monday (the day of the moon), a little time after the vernal equinox. Cut off the ends of the root and bury it during the night in some country churchyard in a dead man’s tomb. For one month, water it with cow’s milk in which 3 bats have actually been drowned. When the 31st day arrives, secure the root in the middle of the night and dry it in an oven heated with branches of verbena; then wrap it up in a piece of a dead man’s winding-sheet and bring it with you all over.

In medieval times, mandrake was considered a crucial ingredient in a wide range of witches’ flying lotion dishes in addition to a main element of magical potions and brews. These were entheogenic preparations utilized in european witchcraft for their mind-altering and hallucinogenic results. Starting in the late middle ages and thereafter, some believed that witches applied these ointments or consumed these potions to help them fly to gatherings with other witches, consult with the devil, or to experience bacchanalian carousal. [5]

How to grow mandrake

There are multiple methods to grow mandrake. The first method is to start the plant indoors from seed. Recognize, mandrake is understood for having spotty germination.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to begin a few more seeds than you desire in plants. You might purchase the seeds or collect them from overly ripe fruit in late summertime or fall.

In either case, make sure you plant mandrake seeds within 6 months as they do not store well. Prior to planting the seeds, they must go through a stratification procedure.

You complete this procedure by saving the seeds in a freezer bag that’s filled with wet sand. Seal the bag and keep it in the fridge for one month.

When the stratification process is complete, the seeds need to sprout within two weeks. You may enable the seeds to sprout in the bag or in soil.

Mandrake has a long root which does not take pleasure in being interrupted. For this reason, it’s advised to start the seeds in a naturally degradable pot after they have actually gone through stratification.

Fill each pot with loose, nutrient-dense soil that’s well-draining. Ensure the seeds are grown in a warm place. When the seeds have actually grown, move them beneath a grow light.

A grow light is suggested as it will provide both light and heat. If you provide light from a window, this might leave space for drafts to take place which would be counterproductive to the growing procedure.

When the plants are large enough, you might move them to an outdoor growing area or plant them in a container.

If you move the plants outdoors to grow in the ground, select an area with all the essential growing conditions.

Dig a hole deep enough to support the biodegradable pot. Location the pot in the ground, backfill the hole with soil, and press securely around the base of the plant.

The next approach for growing mandrake is to position fresh seeds into a perfect growing area in the fall. This technique only works if you reside in a moderate environment.

By directly sowing them into the growing place, the seeds will naturally go through the stratification process.

Make certain to till the area going as deep as a foot or foot and a half. The seeds need to be planted a 1/2 inch deep beneath the soil. Ensure you leave one foot of area between each plant.

Our next approach to growing mandrake is in a container. It’s best to begin the seeds inside and move them to a container once they’re mature sufficient or purchase a mature mandrake plant online.

Dig a hole deep enough to support the root ball of the bought plant or the eco-friendly container the seedling was started in. When growing in a container, choose one that’s 2 times the width and depth of the plant.

The planter can be put outdoors and brought inside to overwinter, or you may grow mandrake inside year-round as long as it’s in a place which receives complete sunlight.

Be mindful that mandrake plants which are grown in containers, may fall dormant during the hottest portions of the year.

The final method to growing mandrake is by means of propagation of the plant’s root. This approach shouldn’t be attempted on plants younger than three years of ages.

Assuming that your plant is grown in a technique where it won’t go inactive until winter season, this is the perfect time to harvest a few of the root.

Dig around the edge of the plant and get rid of a slice of the root. Strongly press on the soil around the plant once you’re done getting rid of as numerous pieces of the root as you want. This will make sure the initial plant continues to grow.

Take the pieces of the root and plant them in a prepared bed or container. If you grow them in a container, fill it with moist sand.

If growing mandrake in a garden bed from a piece of root, guarantee the bed remains weed totally free. Keep the growing area (the bed or container) equally moist throughout the growing process. The new mandrake plants will not be ready to gather for another 3 to 4 years.

Mandrake is a plant which takes persistence to grow. However, you have many techniques to choose from. Choose the option that works finest for your convenience and skill level if you desire to add mandrake to your landscape.

Caring for mandrake

Mandrake is a low-maintenance plant that chooses to be left alone for the most part. The only things it will need from you is fertilizer and water.

You must only fertilize mandrake one time per year. Utilize a balanced fertilizer and use it in early spring to offer the plant the increase of nutrients it needs to flower.

When watering mandrake, it’s best to utilize the deep watering approach. This is very important due to the fact that excessive water can cause disease.

Therefore, by using bigger amounts of water, fewer days of the week, you lessen the danger of this occurring.

Don’t apply anymore water to the plant without evaluating the soil first. When the soil is dry to your second knuckle, it’s time to water the plant deeply once again.

This is all that’s needed of you to look after a mandrake plant appropriately. Enjoy this low-maintenance plant as they’re rare.

Garden insects and illness which might impact mandrake

Mandrake is a harmful plant. For this reason, you should take care where you plant it to prevent unintentionally hurting family pets or children.

Nevertheless, their harmful trait serves them well when deterring bugs in the garden. The only pests which are understood for bothering this plant are snails and slugs.

They delight in chomping on the young blooms of the plant. You can prevent these pests by spraying mandrake with an insecticide.

You might also sprinkle diatomaceous earth or coffee grounds around the base of the plant. The caffeine in the coffee hinders the bugs while diatomaceous earth creates a hard terrain for crawling.

Mandrake also deals with concerns with fungal illness such as root rot. This typically occurs because the plants aren’t grown in ideal conditions.

It’s vital that mandrake is grown where the soil drains pipes sufficiently and gets sufficient sunlight. Fungal disease grows in areas with cold, damp soil. Prevent these conditions and your mandrake should be fine.

As you can inform, mandrake doesn’t face many risks. Yet, it’s vital that you remain alert to these possible threats to guarantee your plant remains healthy.

How to harvest mandrake

I want to be clear, again, in this portion of the article. Mandrake is a toxic plant. You need to never gather this plant with the intent to ingest it.

However, i did wish to cover how you can gather the root and leaves must you want them for other purposes.

Plus, it is essential to deal with some of the reports around harvesting mandrake. To begin, mandrake root is gathered by digging around the base of the plant.

When the soil is loose, you need to be able to carefully remove the root from the ground. Brush the dirt from the root and shop it in a cool, dry, safe location up until you’re ready to use it.

You may also collect the leaves of mandrake by gently plucking them from the plant. They, too, must be kept in a cool, dry, and safe location.

It’s wise to wash your hands and wear gloves anytime you’re gardening. This is specifically crucial when dealing with a harmful plant.

Now, to attend to the reports around collecting mandrake. Mandrake has a dark history. The root is said to look like a human. Individuals as soon as gathered it since it has hallucinogenic results.

Several years earlier, prior to the advancement of modern-day medication, medical professionals would prescribe percentages of mandrake to prepare somebody for surgical treatment.

Nevertheless, if you took excessive of the root, it might cause death.

When people would collect the root, it was said that the root would shout. Whoever heard the scream, would instantly pass away.

People would even go to the length of having an animal dig the root up for them, so it would die and not an individual.

In truth, the root doesn’t yell and there are no contemporary reports of anybody diing due to collecting the plant.

You now know how to grow, plant, care for, and even harvest mandrake. This plant produces a quite bloom and lively, though inedible, fruit.

Mandrake should be treated with respect because it’s a harmful plant. Nevertheless, if you wish to grow a plant with a rich history, mandrake could be for you. [6]

Conventional uses and advantages of mandrake

  • It is also used to treat travel sickness.
  • Fresh or dried root includes extremely dangerous alkaloids and is cathartic, highly emetic, hallucinogenic and narcotic.
  • In adequate amounts it causes 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.
  • In the past, juice from the carefully grated root was applied externally to relieve rheumatic discomforts, ulcers and scrofulous growths.
  • It was likewise utilized internally to treat melancholy, convulsions and mania.
  • When taken internally in large doses, however, it is said to excite delirium and insanity.
  • Leaves are safe and cooling, it has been used for ointments and other external applications to ulcers etc.
  • In the past, mandrake was often made into amulets which were thought to bring good luck and treatment sterility.
  • Natural mandrake was believed to have great powers and was used to cure nearly any disorder, from constipation and colic to convulsions.
  • It is a fantastic home remedy to treat stomach ulcers.
  • People with the problem of whooping cough, hay fever, or asthma can eliminate the symptoms with this plant.
  • It is a wonderful remedy for irregularity.
  • This root is also helpful to lower discomfort, consisting of arthritis-related pain.
  • It is also efficient for increasing interest in sex.
  • Its many usages include the treatment of jaundice, bilious along with fever.
  • Mandragora is likewise used to treat cancer, therefore making it a good natural cancer remedy.
  • It is among the very best herbal treatments for liver diseases, bowels conditions as well as inflammation, varicose veins, promote sex drive and ulcers.
  • The herb was likewise utilized internally to treat depression, spasms as well as fascination.
  • Dehydrated bark of the plant’s root was likewise provided to patients as a strong emetic.
  • They primarily utilized the herb to acquire rest and sleep when suffering from relentless discomfort.
  • The ancients likewise used the herb in small dosages to treat maniacal issues.

Other truths

  • In one superstitious notion, people who pull up this root will be condemned to hell, and the mandrake root would yell as it was pulled from the ground, eliminating anybody who heard it.
  • In the past, individuals have actually tied the roots to the bodies of animals and after that used these animals to pull the roots from the soil.
  • An extract of the roots is used as an active ingredient in business cosmetic preparations as a skin conditioner and tonic.
  • Sale of mandrake is restricted in some nations, and modern-day uses for mandrake are restricted.
  • Centuries earlier, however, females thought this bizarre-looking plant might induct conception, and baby-shaped roots were positioned under the pillow.
  • Utilizes for mandrake consisted of anticipating the future and offering defense for soldiers going into battle.
  • Natural mandrake was likewise utilized as a love potion and aphrodisiac.
  • It was commonly implemented in spiritual practices and to drive away evil spirits or poison one’s enemies. [7]

How do you use mandrake root for fertility?

Utilizes: use as a poppet or to stuff poppets, bring in a mojo bag, put on mantle for protection, location under pillow to promote fertility, use to dress spell candles, or as a casting herb. [8]

Is a mandrake hazardous?

European mandrake is possibly unsafe and must be avoided. It can trigger numerous adverse effects, consisting of confusion, drowsiness, dry mouth, heart problems, vision problems, overheating, problems with urination, and hallucinations. Big doses can be fatal.

Can mandrake root eliminate you?

Mandrake toxicity is high enough that it could get a newbie or even professional user eliminated or in the health center for a prolonged stay. It is best to admire the plant however make no strategies to ingest it.

How much mandrake is fatal?

As low as 3– 6 mg is lethal for a grownup. It causes quick start of signs of death due to cardiovascular collapse and respiratory paralysis.

Can i touch mandrake?

” in europe we have things like mandrake and henbane and deadly nightshade, so solanaceae in europe are baddies, they are not to be touched and not to be eaten and not to be meddled with.

Does mandrake truly shriek?

According to the legend, when the root is collected, it screams and eliminates all who hear it. Literature consists of complicated instructions for collecting a mandrake root in relative security. … after this, the root can be managed without worry. [9]


Drying medications (anticholinergic drugs) interaction rating:

Moderate beware with this combination. Talk with your health supplier.

European mandrake contains chemicals that cause a drying effect. It likewise impacts the brain and heart. Drying medications called anticholinergic drugs can likewise trigger these results. Taking european mandrake and drying medications together may trigger side effects including dry skin, lightheadedness, low blood pressure, fast heartbeat, and other major negative effects.

Some of these drying medications consist of atropine, scopolamine, and some medications utilized for allergies (antihistamines), and for depression (antidepressants).

Medications taken by mouth (oral drugs) interaction ranking:

Moderate be cautious with this mix. Talk with your health company.

European mandrake appears to decrease the bowels. Taking european mandrake together with medications taken by mouth might increase how much medication your body absorbs. Increasing how much medicine your body soaks up can increase the results and side effects of your medicines. [10]

Special safety measures and cautions

European mandrake is possibly unsafe and should be avoided. It can cause many adverse effects, consisting of confusion, sleepiness, dry mouth, heart issues, vision problems, getting too hot, problems with urination, and hallucinations. Big dosages can be fatal. It is risky for anybody to utilize european mandrake, but people with the list below conditions are specifically most likely to experience harmful negative effects.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: don’t take european mandrake by mouth if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. It can trigger serious and even fatal side effects.

Children: don’t provide european mandrake to children because they are specifically sensitive to the harmful chemicals it contains.

Down syndrome: don’t offer european mandrake to people with down syndrome due to the fact that they are particularly sensitive to the damaging chemicals it contains. [11]


The best-known types, mandragora officinarum, has long been known for its dangerous homes. In ancient times it was utilized as a narcotic and an aphrodisiac, and it was likewise thought to have certain magical powers. Its root was thought to be in the power of dark earth spirits. It was believed that the mandrake could be safely uprooted only in the moonlight, after suitable prayer and ritual, by a black pet connected to the plant by a cable. Human hands were not to come in contact with the plant. In medieval times it was thought that as the mandrake was pulled from the ground, it said a squeal that eliminated or drove mad those who did not block their ears against it. After the plant had been devoid of the earth, it could be utilized for beneficent functions, such as recovery, inducing love, facilitating pregnancy, and offering calming sleep. Mandrake is still used sometimes in natural and herbal remedies and has applications in modern-day witchcraft and occult practices. [12]


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