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Mandrake (Mandragora officinarum)


Mandrake (Mandragora officinarum)


sleep-inducing (up to eternal sleep), aphrodisiac, consciousness-altering

Areas of application:

Osteoarthritis, biliousness, articular cartilage inflammation, heat development on the skin, cold feet, sciatica, whooping cough, stomach ulcers, pain, trauma, toothache, sleep disorders, depression, anxiety, psychological oppression, anesthetic, in difficult deliveries, narcotic, aphrodisiac, hallucinogen

Plant parts used:

root, leaves

Collection time:

Root on the full moon night of the solstice

To find:

In northern Italy, Dalmatia, Romania and Bulgaria


Hyoscyamine, Scopolamine, Atropine, Solandrin, Mandragorine


It is used as an incense plant for headaches or to drive away evil spirits (exorcism).

🛑 Attention: If the dosage is too high, the critical threshold can quickly be exceeded, as this varies from person to person. It can cause delirium and ultimately fatal respiratory paralysis. For this reason, we hereby expressly warn against self-experiments with mandrake root!!!

The queen of magical herbs

The leaves were boiled and used as an antidote when someone was apparently "enchanted" - that is, no longer themselves, but another being. Hardly any other plant has stimulated people's imagination over thousands of years as much as the mandrake. The myth was only recently revived in Harry Potter stories and has lost none of its fascination. The reason is certainly not just the mind-altering (and highly toxic) substances in the mandrake, it is the lucky properties that are attributed to it. The mandrake is both terrible and merciful. The human-like looking root, up to 60 cm long, gives the owner luck in love and abundance of wealth, but only if he treats it carefully and digs it up even more carefully at the right time. If not handled properly, it screams in loud, screeching tones that can drive you mad or kill you.

(Excerpt from the book "The herbs in my garden")

Despite the numerous legends surrounding the mandrake, people were aware of its actual healing properties from an early age. In the Ebers Papyrus, the famous healing text of the ancient Egyptians, which dates back to the period between 1700 and 1600 BC. Dating back to the 1st century BC, there are numerous recipes containing mandrake that are said to help against all sorts of ailments. Hippocrates, father of so-called empirical medicine, i.e. medicine based on experience, and one of the most important doctors of antiquity (460-375 BC), prescribed it against sleep disorders, depression, fears and psychological anxiety.

Many of those condemned to death by fire as witches tried to ease their torment by drinking mandrake wine beforehand.

Traditional excavation ceremony:

On a full moon night, around the solstice, preferably on a Friday, an hour before midnight, go to the plant and make three crosses over it. Three complete circles are drawn around it with the left hand. Then you dig at a distance as deep as the root is long; it must not be touched nor should it move. In the absence of a white or black dog, to whose tail the root was tied in earlier times so that it would pull it out and thus incur the killing curse, the root is pulled out with a white or black cloth, with the ears closed with plugs be. If the root is removed from the ground without injury, there is no longer any risk of disruption.

As an amulet, you wash and dress them and keep them in a safe place. It is important in tradition to pass on the root before death, and always cheaper than when you bought it yourself.

Hildegard von Bingen: Man is driven by the mandrake according to his wishes, be they good or bad. When it has been dug out of the earth, it should be quickly placed in a spring for a day and a night, so that all the evil and the corrupting juice will be drawn out of it, so that it is no longer suitable for magic. Whoever has a pain in the head, let him eat from the head of the root, whoever has a pain in his hand, let him eat from his hand, whoever has a pain in his back, let him eat from his back.

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