Wild Cretan Mandrake Root (Mandragora Officinarum)
Mandrake or Cretan Wild root or Satan’s apple - as it is popularly known - is a native of Southern Europe, but cultivated around the world. It was used in the ancient world mostly for its soporific and anodyne properties.
It is well recognized for its analgesic, anesthetic, soporific, emetic, purgative, and anodyne properties. As a medicinal plant, it was used to treat fertility, scrofulous tumor, rheumatic pain, convulsion, and melancholy. It is also known to be effective in treating depression, convulsion, and melancholic moods.
Mandrake, if taken in larger doses can cause delirium and madness. Moderated correctly it is an excellent analgesic, sedative, and anesthetic. Ingested boiled in milk, it is believed it can cure ulcers.
In ancient times, it was believed that Mandrake root had the ability to protect against demonic possession. This stems from the belief that demons hate the smell of this herb, and neither can bear to see it.
The reference to this medicinal root as “the Satan’s apple” is because the plant’s root does resemble a human being and that overall is quite freaky. If given in certain quantities this root can induce blackout, forgetfulness, and disorientation.