While researching for a job, I came across the interesting historical details regarding mandrake, which in Biblical times, was given to Rachel to bring about fertility. Ever since, this natural treatment was regarded as possessing the ability to assist barren women conceiving children. As I further skimmed the information about mandrake, I decided to share my findings.
For starters, mandrake is a common name given to plants belonging to the nightshade family. The interest in the roots of this plant begins with its shape, which interestingly resemble a male and female, and sometimes interpreted as the male genitalia. Due to its shape, it was a common item used throughout a variety of magic rituals, and is noted throughout neopagen religions, such as Odinism and Wicca.
The appearance of the plant (as a whole) is rather attractive. One crop of flowers springs forth from mandrake, which offers a lovely showing of whitish-green blooms. Berries are also part of this magical item, which are orange to red in color. Some describe these berries as resembling small tomatoes, which reach maturity during the later parts of the spring season.
There is also a curious legend that caught my attention. As the story goes, apparently, if you pull this plant from the ground, it emits a sound that can be mistaken for a “shriek of pain.” Some believe that this sound is so maddening that it possesses the ability to deafen ears, as well as lead to the death of those who happen upon the plant in an unprotected state. While skimming the pages of occult literature, you will find a series of complicated instructions that make harvesting the root of the mandrake a painless experience. For some, it is all in the way you dig your way around the plant.
When it comes to what the plant actually has the power to do, it is well known that it has a history of acting as an anesthetic. This means the plant can block the feeling of pain in some cases. There is a tale involving Roman fighters who drank wine tainted with mandragora, which led to their oblivious state when attacked by returning Carthaginians, who had purposely left the wine as a combat tactic.
Mandrake is also thought responsible for an inhalant, which brought about instant sleep to those who came in contact with it. This was a common concoction that thrived throughout the mid-12th century. The inhalant could knock people out into a deep sleep, and could be used on patients who were getting ready to undergo an operation. In Europe, there is a kind of mandrake that was used to induce hallucinations, as well as create a state of mania or delirium.
Perhaps this article was enough to whet your appetite regarding the curious plant, mandrake. Maybe you’d like to conduct your own research to uncover the connections that mandrake has with the Hebrew Bible, as well as the New Testament. You won’t be disappointed.