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Mandrake Herb Health Benefits

Mandrake herb originates in the eastern Mediterranean region and is distributed throughout southern Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa, where it grows in waste places and abandoned fields in sandy and rocky, well draining soil.

 

The perennial plants form a leaf-rosette with no stalk. The leaves can grow up to a foot in size and are between 4 – 5 inches wide with a sharply pointed apex.

 

When they first emerge they stand erect, but gradually flatten out. The star like flowers is five pointed and somewhat bell-shaped.

 

The officinarum variety is yellow-greenish; the autumnalis variety is purple.

 

The flowers are born on separate stalks, which emerge from the centre of the leaf-rosette. 

 

They later give rise to the golden yellowish fruits that are often referred to as ‘apples’, which they resemble, though their size approximates more that of a crab-apple or Mirabelle.

 

The fruit of the mandrake has been called the devil’s apple and indeed, it smells rather like an apple, even though it doesn’t really look like one.

 

It follows the flowers which can be purple or white tinged with purple at the tips of the petals.

 

Mandrake roots have been used for fertility problems for thousands of years.

 

A classic case is found in the Bible, in the story of Rachel and Leah. Rachel tried for years to conceive, and felt great despair when she continued to be unsuccessful.

 

She moaned to her husband, “Give me children, or else I die!” She finally ate mandrakes, and ended up conceiving (Genesis 30).

 

The root also has pain-killing properties and has been used for toothaches and as a sleep inducer for those who were in prolonged pain.

 

Small doses were given to cure depression (melancholy) and mental disturbances, although overdoses actually drove people crazy.

 

Mandrake root causes delirium and hallucinations. In high doses, it can even send the user into a coma. This herb should not be used before consulting a health care provider.

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