Atropa Mandagora.—It is an exotic; but began to be cultivated in England, 1560. Superstition has said much about it. Its root sometimes dividing into two below and shooting on each side, give a resemblance to a man, and aided by art, this resemblance became so complete as to deceive the multitude. It was said to be death to dig up the root; that screams were heard when these became wounded; and that they were to be drawn out by a dog, which perished; and in this way only could they be extracted. —As an amulet, it was once placed on Mantel-pieces to avert misfortune, and to bring prosperity and happiness.

The Mandrake has no stalk; the large leaves rise immediately from the root, a foot long, four inches broad, of a dusky green colour, and disagreeable smell. The flowers stand upon foot-stalks four inches high, slender and hairy, and rise immediately from the root; these flowers are large, of a dingy purplish colour, and of a bad smell. The fruit is of the size of a small apple, like a small pear, yellow when ripe. The root has been described. By designing people the roots are taken up, shaped like a man, and then put back to grow, and thus people are deceived.

Herbal Remedies and Medicinal Uses of Mandrake:

Mandrake is narcotic, and soporific. Some say that even the smell of the plant produces sleep. It was employed by the ancients in maniacal cases, and Pallas mentions its frequent use in dreadful chronic disorders which require alleviation by some powerful drug. In scrofulous or glandular affections, the leaves boiled with milk are reported by Boerhaave as beneficial. The root finely scraped into a pulp, and mixed with brandy, has been found efficacious in chronic rheumatism. The berries eaten, above two or three, are dangerous; five have been known to produce syncope, and other dangerous symptoms.

Important Disclaimer:   The information contained on this web site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. Any information presented is not a substitute for professional medical advice and should not take the place of any prescribed medication. Please do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consultation with your physician.

This page and the rest of the encyclopedia of medicinal herbs was reproduced from old herbals written in the 1700 and 1800s. They are of historical interest to show the traditional uses of various herbs based on folk medicine and ancient wisdom. However the traditional uses for these herbs have not been confirmed by medical science and in some cases may actually be dangerous. Do not use the these herbs for any use, medicinal or otherwise, without first consulting a qualified doctor.

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