Our Friend The Mandrake Root, by Lorraine a' Malena
Is there a plant more shrouded in mystery and magic than the Mandrake Root? The name itself seems to invoke nothing so much as mystery. Deep mystery. A plant that screams when uprooted? Avoided, wrapped in myth and half truths? How many people grow it in their backyard, and more important, know it's secret?
The real magic. Of all growing things.......
Sit in on a bit of Lorraine and Malena conversation...
M: DEV!! My Mandrake roots are growing! Two years have passed since I planted them and they are finally up!!!
L: That's great Div! Wait. You sound REALLY happy and it is not dark yet. Your Mandrake are growing??? Div,who died. Wait, I Do Not Want To Know. He probably deserved it.
(there are legends about where the Mandrake grow, and how. Emily, if you do not know in five years, I will tell you. Don't worry about it until then, it's way worse than Voodoo Wasps...The rest of you, be gentle, remember our younger readers!)
Here is The Now Famous Root..(well, the leaves of the Famous Root.)
Let's look at the history of Mandragora officianarum. It has been around a long time, and a quick search of the Internet tells us it has been used medicinally for, well, pretty much EVERYTHING. Sick? Here, have a Mandrake Root, you will feel better in NO time!
M: He did, don't WORRY, the moon was full, and I was hungry, and ......
L: I SAID I do not want to know!!!!!!!
M: I can't wait till they are bigger, I do so love the way they scream when you pull them up!!!!
L: Doesn't bother you, I know. Drives humans quite mad. Record it when you do and we will put it on the next cd....
Deep Purple recorded a song called, simply "Mandrake Root" here are the lyrics in their entirety:
I've got a Mandrake Root
It's some thunder in my brain
I feed it to my babe
She thunders just the same
Food of love sets her flame
Ah, stick it up
I've got the Mandrake Root
Baby's just the same
She still feels a quiver
She's still got the flame
She slows down, slows right down
I've got the power
Which makes a lot more sense than what we found in Genesis. You know the bible has some pretty wacky stories (it makes on wonder how many of the far right Christian types, who are always objecting to things people do, and quote God from it, have actually READ it, but that's another blog..)
“And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, "Give me, I pray thee, of thy son's mandrakes." And she said unto her, "Is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? And wouldst thou take away my son's mandrakes also?" And Rachel said, "Therefore he shall lie with thee tonight for thy son's mandrakes." And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, "Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son's mandrakes." And he lay with her that night. And God harkened unto Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob the fifth son. “
• Genesis 30:14-17
L: SO what are we going to DO with these roots?
M: OH! I have the best idea, you know next time you are out...
And that, my nocturnal Friends is where we will leave our conversation with Lorraine and Malena. So concludes our report on "Our Friend, the Mandrake Root. We will leave you , of course, John Donne...
GO and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the devil's foot,
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy's stinging,
Serves to advance an honest mind.
Sweet Dreams, of Nightime Gardens,
Lorraine and Malena