1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
    PLEASE HELP

The Solanacae II: The Mandrake (Mandragora officinarum); in League With the Devil (2006)

The Solanacae II: The Mandrake (Mandragora officinarum); in League With the Devil (2006)

  1. Jatelka
    Journal of The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh 2006; 36: 278-285

    Lee, MR

    ABSTRACT In this second article on the plant family, the Solanaceae (the mandrake) is discussed. This plant (Mandragora officinarum) was well known to the ancients, including the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs and Hebrews. Regarded by them all as having magical powers, it was thought to be possessed by a Satanic spirit. In order to gather it safely, a number of elaborate rituals were developed by these different ethnic groups. It was also thought to be propagated at scenes of execution where the body of the felon released urine and semen. In later medieval times, these superstitious beliefs were rejected but the mandrake was still highly valued as a powerful anaesthetic and had considerable use as one constituent of the soporific surgical sponge. Eventually, nitrous oxide, ether and chloroform consigned the mandrake to obscurity. Nevertheless, its story remains one of the most fascinating in the history of medicine.