On the margin: Mandrakes | They were here and might return | Scoop.it

Mandrake was, of course, far from being the only plant with an anthropomorphic root.

 

Mandrake's use as a surgical anaesthetic was first described by the Greek physician Dioscorides around AD 60, and its use as a tincture known as mandragora, or in combination with other herbs such as opium, hemlock and henbane is described in documents from pre-Roman times onwards4.

 

It was the presence of this alkaloid, as well as the shape of the root, that led to the mandrake's association with magic, witchcraft and the supernatural.

 

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