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Mandrakes
        

The Atropa mandragore, of the order Solanaceae, allied to the deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna); a stupefying narcotic with broad dark green leaves, flowers purple, and green apples which become pale yellow when ripe, with a tuberous bifid (forked) root. Still found ripe in wheat harvest (May) on the lower parts of Lebanon and Hermon (Genesis 30:14). The apples produce dizziness and exhilaration. The ancients believed them calculated to produce fecundity. Their Hebrew name, duwdaim, "love apples," agrees with their being used as aphrodisiacs to conciliate love; Rachel had this superstitious notion (Genesis 30:14-17). The odor is too strong to be agreeable to Europeans, but Orientals value strong-smelling things; Dioscorides calls the apples "sweet-scented." Song of Solomon 7:13, "the mandrakes give a smell." The root was fancied to resemble man, and to form a potent magical spell, and to emit a human groan on being torn from the ground!


Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew Robert M.A., D.D., "Definition for 'mandrakes' Fausset's Bible Dictionary".
bible-history.com - Fausset's; 1878.

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