The mandrake is an herb which formerly were attributed magical properties. It has a stem so short that the strain is reduced to underground, which takes a great way of turnip root and spreads it around a rosette of large leaves, green and slightly hairy. The flowers are in the middle of the rosette, each with its pin, and have a length of no more than 3 cm. The fruit is a globose berry orange-yellow.
It breeds in lowlands, wetlands, around the southern peninsula from Malaga and Jaen to the Algarve in Portugal.
Mandrake starts flowering in late summer and flowering can continue throughout the winter. Collection of interest for therapeutic purposes the root and rhizome: getting both sides are set to dry quickly. Once dry cut into slices and stored in sealed containers. Before turning to applications, remember that is a potentially toxic plant of the same family as henbane and belladonna. Collection should therefore be left to people who understand.
Both the rhizome and root contain active ingredients frankly bitter taste. One of them is rather a mixture of several compounds, is the mandragorina. It also contains typical in many solanaceous alkaloids such as hyoscyamine, scopolamine and atropine metilesculetina. Besides these substances are many, although not well defined.
As for the virtues of this plant, but little can be said that are the same as those of henbane and belladonna, more or less modified. This plant was very popular during medieval times, but their use gradually fell into oblivion until they are completely neglected. According to some authors, the mandrake tincture as alcohol acts as a sedative and spasmolytic, even better than the two plants mentioned above. But in folk medicine should never be used because of its high toxicity could result in more of a disappointment.
In conclusion, we discuss some peculiarities that cited about this plant our ancestors for their collection was important that the wind did not give them head on, and before they had to tear them with a sword 3 circles around it. Also said that small doses acted as a soporific. The managed against snakes and there were those who drank the juice mixed with wine. Finally, as we said at the outset, it is a plant surrounded by much mystery, but ultimately it has been shown that the only mystery enclosed is to be a toxic as many others.
This plant should not be used in any way. Although the alcoholic tincture has been widely used, the dose that cure is very close to the dose that kills, so you should not play with it.
HABITAT: Andalucia and Portugal
PART USED: Root
CASTILIAN: Mandrácola, uva de moro
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