Mandragora - magical plant shrouded in mystery

This is an old legend says that if you pull the mandrake root from the ground, it shall so terrible shriek that those who hear it, they will come in place of the intellect or even die. Perhaps no other plants, that would be so entwined with mysterious tales and superstitions ..

Mandragora Medical is a beautiful plant occurring primarily in the southeast of Europe. Leaves and flowers grow in rosette form directly from the root, the flowers are purple to whitish, and shaped like the bell of them then form yellow berries, shaped like a small apple. Mandrake root, as well as ginseng root, strikingly resembles the shape of the human body. Since ancient times, he attributed magical properties and was part of the witches potions.

Mandragora as an ancient aphrodisiac
Greeks dedicated it to the goddess of love Aphrodite, believed that the mandrake is an aphrodisiac and inspires love. Extracts from the root to acquire for example, by soaking the root, peeled and cooked in vinegar or wine to drink and then to achieve the state of intoxication. Even in the Bible there is mention of Mandragora, its fruits are apples there called love. People believed that aphrodisiac plants are so strong that it affects not only humans but also animals. Somewhere even rumored that he deliberately sought some animals, eating and also offer His chosen. Women wore dried mandrake root as a talisman, it was believed that it can cure infertility.

Store the root was very lucrative, because often there to fraud. People have used the underground parts of other plants, from which carved imitation mandrake root, you then dearly sold, either whole or pieces thereof.

Devil's plant or guardian home
In some cultures mandrake was associated with the devil and evil, the other served as a protection against negative energy, disease and obsession. The dried root was a guarantee of a happy home, was to ensure the welfare and protect the household from disease and evil spirits, for this purpose, hung in the house. Witches can also use the exorcism and evil spirits and protect against them.

Rumors, tall tales and ghost stories
Rumors of mandargoře is truly countless. One says that mandrake grows from seed to torture a man of broken bike, the other from the urine of a man hung for stealing, another that grows from seed hanged and who dig, awaken the devil or evil spirits and summon your death. Apparently when pulling mandrake root from the ground, it shall so terrible shriek that those who hear it, they will come in place of the intellect or even die. Therefore, should the root of the land mine, so that the rope is tied to the tail of a black dog that pulled it on the spot and died. One can yet have ears spray wax or pitch to hear terrible mandrake scream and thus himself rescued destruction. These and other stories arouse fear in people and respect for the plant and its root.

Effects mandrake - healing and life-threatening
Mandrake effects on the human body are not mere superstition. The plant contains substances, mainly alkaloids, which have a demonstrable and powerful effect on our bodies, even in overdose is deadly poisonous. The juice of the root, and sometimes from the fruit was used at lower doses as a remedy for insomnia, higher then as a sedative and narcotic analgesic for pain suppression eg operations or severe pain. Even with heavy lung diseases and herbalist healers used extracts mandrake, soothing persistent cough, decreased secretions in the lungs and help the patient to sleep and relax. The leaves or juice is produced tiles on inflammatory and ulcerative skin disease, the swelling and the like.

Mandragora was also one of the basic ingredients of potions witches, magicians and perhaps some shamans. Root was added to various ointments and drink with hallucinogenic effects, which benefited from its narcotic and hallucinogenic effects. Such drinks and potions were used such as fortune telling, revealing causes of illness and healing and magic and incantations, allowing travel to other worlds unknowns common perception and vision. Ripe yellow fruit I ever ate for achieving deep sleep, accompanied by strong visual dreams.
The laity, therapeutic or other use mandrake today strongly discouraged because the consequences of overdose may be really tragic!

Her name is forever linked to us in time of witches, ancient kořenářek, magicians and alchemists, mandrake is a symbol spells, magic and psychedelia that influenced man in his spiritual development and deserves our respect.


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References: Magical plants (Volvox Globator)

[2007-03-21]
The author Mandragora - magical plant shrouded in mystery: Michaela Vorlová