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Thought to promote passion (but also sterility). Once used as an aphrodisiac and also as an anaesthetic hopefully not at the same time. It was somewhat feared as a plant as it's root which is long and forked was said to embody an evil demon, and that if it was pulled from the ground a terrifying shriek would be heard. Anyone hearing the shriek would die. Hence the custom was developed for dogs to dig up the root by tying the hungry animal near to the plant and placing some meat near to the plant. The idea was that the dog would eventually make a grab for the meat uprooting the plant, and no-one had to witness this. The dog would die when the root was dug up which theoretically was due the shriek (but could it have been from poison). The plant is rare in Britain.