Mandrake (mandragora officinarum)

A stemless perennial with a fleshy taproot and broadly ovate leaves; small white to blue-white, bell-shaped flowers are borne at ground level in spring, followed by aromatic yellow fruits. One of the most written about plants in history with whole books devoted to its properties and its ability to scream when pulled from the ground. It is a relative of deadly nightshade so contains the tropane alkaloids, notably hyoscine and atropine; the effects are hallucinogenic, narcotic, emetic and purgative similar to deadly nightshade and henbane. Mandrake root is supposed to look like the male form (having two legs, a body and often a hairy top) and, under the Doctrine of Signatures, its use ‘would give a man that power which men are always willing to spend a lot of money to get!’ Its high price was maintained, in part, by the difficulty of harvesting it.

Magical propensities for magical uses include protection; prosperity; fertility; exorcising evil. Carry to attract love. Wear to preserve health.

Sources: By Wolfsbane and Mandrake Root

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