Attributed with many magical powers, Mandrake root (Podophyllum peltatum) was placed on the mantelpiece to guard against misfortune and to bring health and happiness to the household. The Hoodoo religion use the mandrake root glued and tied together to form a doll, the name of the beloved is written on paper and tied around the middle, this doll is then used to win in love. Magical uses for Mandrake root include: excorsism of evil spirits, fertility, prosperity,protection, to enhance magical workings and to attract wealth.
Lore says Mandrake can be found growing beneath the gallows of murderers and believed that death befell anyone who dug the root and pulled it screaming from the ground. Dogs were often tied to the root and used for the excavation for this reason.