Mandrake Myth, Magic and Folklore

Regina Amandrakina, © Wiebke Rost 2011

I am filled with the seed
Of thy noble spirit,
A glowing spark
That is embedded
Deep in Matter;
For thou hast set
The soul in the world,
And hast, O my ruler,
Through this soul,
Set my spirit in my body.
Kindl therefore, O my Lord,
Lights that will lead me on high,
Let the brightness shine forth
And blaze as a fire.
Magnify the tiny spark
Within the crown
Of my head.

– Synesius

Mandrake Names:

  • Dudai’m – Hebrew, ‘love apples’
  • Baaras – Hebrew, ‘the burning’, ‘the fire’
  • Sirag-el-Kotrub – Arabian, ‘devil’s lamp’
  • Abdul selam – Arabian, ‘servant of health’
  • Bayd al-jin – new-Arabian, ‘balls (testicles) of the demon’
  • Tufah al-jinn’ – new-Arabian, ‘root of the demon’
  • Tufhac el shaitn – Arabian, ‘devil’s apple’, ‘Satan’s apple’
  • Luffah Manganin – Arabian, ‘romp-apple’
  • Sag-kan – Persian, ‘dog-dug’
  • Mardum-giâ – Persian, ‘man-plant’
  • Namtar Ira – Assyrian, ‘the plant of the god of plagues’
  • Siradsch Elkuthrub – Andalusian, ‘the root of the demon Elscherif’
  • Anthropomorphos – Greek, ‘man-like’
  • Mandragora – Greek, related to Mandragoritis (also a name of Aphrodite and Hekate)
  • Circaeon – Greco-Roman, ‘herb of Circe’
  • Herb of Prometheus
  • Aglaophotis – Greek, ‘bright light’
  • Lunaria – Latin, ‘moon-plant’
  • Mala canina – Roman, ‘dog’s apple’
  • Mala terrestria – Roman, ‘apple of the earth’
  • Morion – Roman, ‘root of folly’
  • Pevenka trava – Russian, ‘the herb that screams’
  • Thjofarót – Icelandic, ‘thief’s root’
  • Alraune/ Alruna – Germanic, ‘who brings all secrets’
  • Folterknechtwurzel – German, ‘torturer’s root’
  • Galgenmännlein – German, ‘gallows man’
  • Erdmann – German, ‘earth manikin’
  • Zauberwurzel – German, ‘magic root’
  • Königin der Zäuberkräuter – German, ‘queen of witch herbs’
  • Drachenpuppe – German, ‘dragon puppet’
  • Mandrake – English, ‘man-dragon’ (possibly a corruption of the Latin mandragora)
  • Maindeglorie – French, ‘hand of glory’ (16th century, originally a piece of mandrake root)
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