Mandrake (plant)

related topics
{god, call, give}
{specie, animal, plant}
{food, make, wine}
{son, year, death}
{math, energy, light}
{film, series, show}
{album, band, music}
{woman, child, man}
{math, number, function}

Mandragora autumnalis
Mandragora officinarum
Mandragora turcomanica
Mandragora caulescens

Mandrake is the common name for members of the plant genus Mandragora belonging to the nightshades family (Solanaceae). Because mandrake contains deliriant hallucinogenic tropane alkaloids such as atropine, scopolamine, apoatropine, hyoscyamine and the roots sometimes contain bifurcations causing them to resemble human figures, their roots have long been used in magic rituals, today also in neopagan religions such as Wicca and Germanic revivalism religions such as Odinism.

The mandrake, Mandragora officinarum, is a plant called by the Arabs luffâh, or beid el-jinn ("djinn's eggs"). The parsnip-shaped root is often branched. This root gives off at the surface of the ground a rosette of ovate-oblong to ovate, wrinkled, crisp, sinuate-dentate to entire leaves, 5 to 40 centimetres (2.0 to 16 in) long, somewhat resembling those of the tobacco-plant. A number of one-flowered nodding peduncles spring from the neck bearing whitish-green flowers, nearly 5 centimetres (2.0 in) broad, which produce globular, succulent, orange to red berries, resembling small tomatoes, which ripen in late spring. All parts of the mandrake plant are poisonous. The plant grows natively in southern and central Europe and in lands around the Mediterranean Sea, as well as on Corsica.

Contents

In the Old Testament

In Genesis 30, Reuben, the eldest son of Jacob and Leah finds mandrakes in a field. Rachel, Jacob's infertile second wife and Leah's sister, is desirous of the mandrakes and barters with Leah for them. The trade offered by Rachel is for Leah to spend the next night in Jacob's bed in exchange for Leah's mandrakes. Leah gives away the plant to her barren sister, but soon after this (Genesis 30:14-22), Leah, who had previously had four sons but had been infertile for a long while, became pregnant once more and in time gave birth to two more sons, Issachar and Zebulun, and a daughter, Dinah. Only years after this episode of her asking for the mandrakes did Rachel manage to get pregnant. There are classical Jewish commentaries which suggest that mandrakes help barren women to conceive a child though.[citation needed] Although she ate the mandrakes, it states in the Old Testament that Jehovah brought it about that Rachel should have a child.

Full article ▸

related documents
Sea serpent
Bunyip
Kraken
Methuselah
Amunet
Ceryneian Hind
Shelob
Warg
Mi-go
Bes
Khoikhoi mythology
Sothis
Tooth fairy
Camazotz
Sobek
Itzamna
Puss in Boots (fairy tale)
Hina (goddess)
Mictlantecuhtli
Mares of Diomedes
Triptolemus
Kokopelli
Niobe
Samuel (Bible)
Arion
Stormbringer
Vamana
Brigid
Ancient of Days
Enyalius