Mandrake is a perennial herbaceous plant with ovate leaves arranged in a rosette, a thick upright root, often branched, and bell-shaped flowers followed by yellow or orange berries. Its natural habitat includes sandy hills, forest clearings and macchia. It is indigenous in the Mediterranean region. Flowering from December to March.
a. In Airs Waters Places:
a. The mandrake root is suggested against manic depression.
b. In Fistulas:
a. Is recommended against inflamed fistulas.
c. In Diseases of Women 1:
a. Is described as a strong emmenagogue.
Mandrake has a long history of medicinal use, although superstition has played a large part in the uses to which it has been applied. The root is hallucinogenic and narcotic. In sufficient quantities, it induces a state of unconsciousness and was used as an anesthetic for surgery in ancient times. In the past, juice from the finely grated root was applied externally to relieve rheumatic pains. It was also used internally to treat melancholy, convulsions, and mania. When taken internally in large doses, however, it is said to excite delirium and madness. In the past, mandrake was often made into amulets which were believed to bring good fortune and cure sterility. In one superstition, people who pull up this root will be condemned to hell, and the mandrake root would scream as it was pulled from the ground, killing anyone who heard it. Therefore, in the past, people have tied the roots to the bodies of animals and then used these animals to pull the roots from the soil.