Monday, July 14, 2008

Tools Of Fortune Tellers - Mandrakes

There are two supernatural beings that share the name mandrake. Both are very much different from each other. There’s the Mandrake or mandragora that is a familiar demon that appears to look like little man without beards. Mandrakes are said to be dolls or figurines given by the devil to sorcerers and could be consulted upon when in time of need.

Mandrakes existed throughout history. 16th century Hispanic writer wrote about an incident that happened during a trial. The accused sorcerer summoned a mandrake during the trial and the judge, who doesn’t believe that such entity existed, caught it and threw it into the flames. Yet the mandrake escaped unharmed.

Historically, Mandrakes have been used by self proclaimed prophets and fortune tellers as part of their act to convince their customers of their powers. Just like any familiar spirits, mandrakes are said to serve their masters and at the same time bewitch their enemies.

Then there’s the medieval mandrake plant that has human-shaped roots that would shriek whenever it is pulled from the earth. It has great medicinal value although caution must be used when extracting it from the ground. When a person hears its shriek, that person might go mad or worse, die instantly. One way to pull it from the ground is to tie a hungry dog to the plant and place a piece of meat out of its reach. The dog’s master must be safely out of the hearing range.

Mandrakes shine at night which makes it easy to spot in a distance. It is said to be the cure for six ailments. First it can be used to cure headaches that make sleeping difficult. For this ailment, a salve must be made out of the mandrake juice and then applied it to the forehead as plaster.

You can use the mandrake if you feel pain in the ears. For this, the mandrake’s juice must be mixed with oil of nard and poured into the ears. It is also a cure for severe gout attack. You must get the right arm and leg of the mandrake root and grind it into powder. The powder would then be place into wine and be given to the patient for seven days. It would be seen that the swellness and contractions of muscles will be lessen after the said period.

Mandrake can also be a cure for epilepsy. The body of the root would be boiled in water and given to a person suffering from spasms. Lastly, it is also a cure for viral colds that can affect the whole household. Although it is murky as to how the plant can be a cure for this type of ailment.

Experts say that there are two varieties of the mandrake plant, the white mandrake, which is the male and the black mandrake, which is the female. Its leaves would be narrower than the lettuce. The leaves of the female variant is much broader the male. It also has a hairy stem.