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The great attention given to Mandrake throughout history and in different parts of the world, has spurred the search for the etymology of its name, in relation to different cultures at which was using. According to some, the name of the plant is derived from the term hand of Dragon, referring in this case both the appearance of the root that sometimes can actually remember the hoof and claws of a dragon, both at the surface of the leaves, characterized by fleshy pads of skin like a reptile. Since its first appearance in the tenth book of the Odyssey of Homer (donated by God Hermes to Odysseus as a talisman of protection against spells of Circe), the herb moly was celebrated in several occasions the Greek and Latin authors, and has influenced the imaginations of many medieval authors. According to some scholars, derives from the Sanskrit mandros “sleep”, and agora, “substance” or mandara, “paradise”. Other commentators arguing for a Sumerian origin, from nam-tar, “plant of the God of Doom”, or medieval German, mann-dragen, “figure of man”, or mardumgià, from Persian, “grass man”. Dioscorides, De Materia Medica, call themselves antimelon, archinen and motion, while in Latin is Mandragoras. Aelian, De Natura Animalium, called cynospastos, “pulled by a dog, and says that shines at night, also known as aglaophotis,” shining “, a term later taken over by Pliny the elder’s Historia Naturalis. Other scholars argue that derives from Greek and means “dangerous to the cows”. Jews call it the dudaim, dum, love. Known by Arabs as “Satan’s Apple”, in the past has always been the subject of strange superstitions, both in southern Europe than in the Levant. In any case, because of its peculiar shape, many claim that over time the fascinating and fun were given as epithets: Anthropòmorphon, Semi-Homo, Devil’s Apple, bearded old man or even old lady. Columella called “human” seeds and the Arabs called it “pomo of Djinn”, i.e. of the FAE. Also the founder of medicine, the Greek physician Hippocrates, he remained fascinated and asserts that his name is derived from Persian (mehregiah). In Asia, in the folk medicine of India, the Mandrake is known as Lakshmana, “who owns lucky signs.” In France, the Mandrake was known as main de gloire, “hand of glory”, or mandragloire, perhaps from the Union of the words mandragora and Magloire, the latter name of an Elf of French folklore, personified as a Mandrake root worked. From all this it follows that is a plant that besides all his magical and esoteric properties, healing, also has the power to bewitch men in the complicated task of searching for the origin of its name, it kidnaps all with mystical charm.


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