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Biological Name: Phytolacca decandra, Phytolacca americanapoke

Family: Phytolaccaceae

Other Names: red ink berries, Poke, American nightshade, Pokeweed, pocan bush, red weed, Virginia polk,  red ink plant, coakum, garget, scoke, pigeon berry

Elements Applied: The commonly used elements are berries, leaves and roots.

Active Components:

  • phytolaccosides E, D, C, B, and A, triterpenoid saponins. Includes aglycones phytolaccicacid and phytolaccagenin.
  • Lectins; a combination called pokeweed mitogen, which includes several glycoproteins

Used For: The remedy is used to treat scurvy, digestive system disorders, like constipation, stimulates the digestives system, induces vomiting, acts as a resolvent, cures syphilis. Used to soothe rheumatic pains.

Warning! You should carefully purify the plant before taking it. It should not be consumed fresh or uncooked. Boil up the root and pour the water out, then boil it up again in clean water, and pour the liquid out. Only boiled twice in clean water the root can be consumed.

Poke is widely applied in herbal medicine. It’s commonly used to cure the diseases occurring in the upper parts of respiratory system, fighting colds and treating the lymph nodes. When it comes to lymph nodes, the remedy is effective wherever applied, as well as in case of mastitis, used either orally or locally. Poke is also effective in treating rheumatic pains, particularly those appearing on a regular basis. You should carefully measure the dose you take, as in great quantities the plant may produce a strong laxative effect and cause vomiting. External application is suitable for skin parasites like scabies.

Warning! Taken in large quantities the herb may produce a strong laxative effect and lead to vomiting.

Commonly mixed with: To treat lymph node inflammations, the herb is combined with Blue Flag or Cleavers.

Preparation and Intake: In form of decoction small doses are applied. A teaspoon quarter of plant roots is boiled up in a glass of water, and then kept on average heat for 15 minutes. The decoction is taken 3 times per day.

In form of a tincture only a quarter of a milliliter is applied on a daily basis.

Safety: Warning! Produces a strong laxative effect and causes vomiting when taken in large quantities. Carefully measure your dose before use.

Fruit seeds, contained inside the berries, may produce a poisonous effect and should thus be removed. Also follow the directions with regard the plant preparation for use.

There is no more data concerning the plant’s safety level. It is possible that the herb interacts with your chemical medicines. Speak to your health-care provider before applying it.