Mandrake’s side effects are gentler than datura and belladonna, but it still packs a potent punch when used to treat severe pain caused by injuries or chronic conditions. It excels at relieving muscle and joint pain and is the most effective medicinal nightshade for treating migraines. Apply a mandrake ointment to the temples, the forehead, the back of the neck, and the shoulders. The person should then lie down in a dark room and allow time for rest and recovery.
Mandrake’s effectiveness for anxiety and depression seems to go beyond simply its euphoric attribute. A study is very much needed to show which of the alkaloids or combination thereof help and why. In the meantime, we have some validation from ancient physicians for mandrake’s use in treating anxiety and depression in early texts such as The Hippocratic Corpus.
Mandrake ointment is the one we recommend most for aphrodisiac use because of its happy, pleasant euphoric effects but also because it is the only ointment we make that is safe to contact mucous membranes (aka your mouth and genitals). Apply two hours before love-making and the aphrodisiac effects can last for 4-6 hours.
Made with mandragora officinarum roots, wild harvested poplar buds (populus balsamifera), sunflower oil (helianthus annuus), and beeswax.
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The mandrake used in this ointment is mandragora officinarum. There are only a handful of species in the Mandragora genus and all of them have a similar medicinal content and effects. Mandrake is another infamous witches’ herb found in flying ointment recipes of the Middle Ages to the Early Modern Period and blamed for the debaucherous, intoxicated behaviour at witches’ sabbats.
In ancient Egypt the mandrake was sacred to Hathor and was most heavily venerated as a sacred plant during the Amarna Period when the fruits and flowers were used as offerings to the dead and to deities. During this time containers of ointments were worn in the hair and applied to bring oneself close to the gods. In ancient Greece it was used to spike wine for the wild celebrations of the ecstatic cults of Artemis and Dionysus and it was held sacred to Aphrodite, goddess of love and sex. In the ancient epic The Argonautica (aka Jason and the Argonauts) the witch Medea, who learned the poison path from the titan Prometheus, makes an infusion of mandrake root to give supernatural powers to the hero once he rubs it on so he can steal the golden fleece.
Mandrake has been used for millennia in folk magic for fertility and love magics. Mandrake roots also have a long history of being used as mannikins or alrauns – carved dolls imbued with a spirit and used for luck, healing, and prophecy. These Mandrake dolls were usually kept wrapped in cloth or stored in a small coffin-like box and hidden from the view of anyone but the owner. They were considered a great responsibility to own and had to be fed in order to remain potent. Such mannikins were passed down through families for generations before they were outlawed by the Catholic Church.
In modern folk magic we can use mandrake ointment for protection, purification, holy communion, sex magic, ecstatic rituals, astral travel, lucid dreaming, shapeshifting, and enhancing divinatory arts.