Mandragora autumnalis Spreng

Synonym ► M. microcarpa Bertol. M. officinarum Linn.

Family ► Solanaceae.

Habitat ► Mediterranean region.

English ► Mandrake.

Ayurvedic ► Wrongly equated with Lakshmanaa, a fertility promoting herb. (In Indian medicine, Panax quinquefolium Linn. and Panax schinseng Nees have been equated with Lakshmanaa.)

Action ► Anaesthetic, narcotic, poisonous. Alkaloid pattern similar to Atropa belladona. A sample of roots from Morocco contained atropine (0.2% at flowering stage).

In India, Panax sp. are perceived as fertility and vitality promoting herbs, which have been attributed to Lakshmanaa. Mandrake exhibits anticholinergic effects.

English Mandrake and American Mandrake are equated with Bryonia alba and Podophyllum hexandrum respectively.

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