English: White Bryony, European White Bryony, English Mandrake
Latin: Bryonia alba
English: Red Bryony, White Bryony, English Mandrake
Swedish: Röd Hundrova
Latin: Bryonia dioica
The scientific medicine of our days does not use it, and it has come to light that it is poisonous, but nevertheless the Bryony is one of Europe’s oldest medicinal herbs. Against gout it has been used so much that it was called “giktrova”, gout turnip, in Swedish. During years of famine people also made bread of the roots, and as to why they were not poisoned from eating it, that’s because the poison disappears during the process of making it into flour.
But it has played a much greater role as a magical herb. It was planted along house walls and barns, both to scare away witches and to prevent lightning from striking, and in England it was revered as the mighty Mandrake…
Notice translated from Swedish Poisons Information Centre:
The plant contains irritants.
Symptoms: Stomachache. In case of a large amount being eaten there may be other symptoms.
What to do: Give some drink. If more than 5 berries or other parts of the plant have been eaten, give activated charcoal and check the risks with the Poisons Information Centre.
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