POKE (Phytolacca americana) root
About this Herb
Poke root (Phytolacca Americana): Poke is a very strong cleansing herb. Its actions are concentrated in the lymphatic and glandular systems. It relieves lymph congestion and is anti-viral and anti-tumor. I call it “The Exorciser” because it swiftly and strongly, almost forcefully, removes toxins from the body. In fact, it can be harmful in large doses when taken internally. For this reason, I mostly use poke externally in the form of a massage oil or a salve. If you wish to take poke internally, only do so under the supervision of an experienced herbalist
How To Eat
Poke leaves, when very young and tender, are boiled and eaten as “poke salet’.” Most folks say “poke salad” and buy the stuff in a can. It is common in the south. Doug Elliott, in his book Wild Roots, talks of taking small bits of the root, giving it enough room to sprout in a cellar or basement, enjoying the young shoots all winter.
Poke Root Physical Properties
The plant has an amazing physical stature. The bright red stalks are fibrous and hollow and amazingly strong. The berries begin a bright green, then turn to a blazing purple. These berries are “toxic” when eaten unless you’re a bird. They seem to like the very bitter fruit. The Cherokee people used these berries as a lymphatic tonic before winter set in by consuming berries in a prescribed manner. A healthy lymph system is critical for good breast health. And…they make a lovely natural ink or dye.
The root has a very specific role in good breast health. It is known, when applied topically as a poultice or a salve, to be helpful in dissolving fibrous or cystic areas in the breast. It is anti-inflammatory so may relieve congestion and swelling.
Poke should be used with care by nursing mothers. Though it may be helpful for congestion or inflammation in the breast, it is too “potent” and extremely toxic for a baby. We should teach our children that the berries are beautiful but not to be touched nor should the leaves be eaten.
Other Uses and Warnings for Poke Root
Use caution but DO use this plant. It has so many beneficial uses particularly when infused in oil. This can be helpful for breast massage or massage over fibroids in the uterus. It is beneficial in lymphatic cleansing, urinary tract cleansing, colon cleansing and the breaking up of “cysts” or “fibroids” or other congestion in the body. Applied topically it is relatively safe. Used internally it can be extremely toxic if not used wisely. Consumption of the root, in just a small dose, will create intense vomiting, sweating, and explosive bowel movements and urinary tract cleansing. I know as I mistakenly ate some once thinking it was burdock. Whew!!!! I felt “clean as a whistle” and good, but this is not a “cleanse” for the weak of constitution. I did feel better then I had in a very long time, but that was after 72 hours of some intense stuff. Worth every minute of it!!!
POKE (Phytolacca americana) root C/s
These ingredients have been tested and carefully selected by a certified herbalist.
All tonics, loose teas, herbal leaves, and powders should be refrigerated after seal is broken for longest potency and freshness of herbs. Herbal compounds such as tinctures and capsules doesn’t need to be refrigerated and should be stored in a cool, dark place out of direct light. These methods will guarantee the longest potency and freshness. All herbal compounds will have expiration dates on the item packages effective immediately. If Stored correctly these herbal compounds will last far longer than the recommended expiration date.