Also known as- Phytolacca americana, Pokeroot, American Poke, Pokeweed, Inkberry, and Pigeon Berry.
Poke is a visually attractive 8 to 10 foot (250-300 cm) perennial with dark green leaves, purple stems, and bright red to bluish-black berries. This common understory tree is native to the temperate regions of the United States east of the Mississippi. Poke was a common herbal remedy long before Europeans settled North America. The Mohegan Indians used a poultice of mashed pokeberries to relieve breast pain. The Delaware Indians reportedly used the poke root teas and poultices to relieve the joint pain. During the first half of the nineteenth century, American physicians promoted poke root as a topical application to combat cancer. A poultice of root or compress of its tincture was used to treat inflammations. After the Civil War, poke root was more commonly used internally as an "alterative" (a substance that favorably alters the course of an illness) for arthritis and skin conditions. Poke root was widely believed to relieve constipation, and it was used to induce vomiting to treat certain kinds of poisoning. In the 1890s, a Dr. W. W. Baxter even made one of the first "diet pills" from pokeberries. Scientists continue to search for new uses for this potent herb: Pokeweed antiviral protein shuts down the ribosomal "energy generators" in cells infected by HIV. Phytolacca mitogens stimulate the production of B and T cells by the immune system. They also, however, increase sensitivity to the lectins of foods. The triterpene saponins in poke root have been shown to counteract swelling and edema caused by acute allergic response.
Constituents: Primarily jagilonic acid (diuretic), oleanolic acid (antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory), tannins. According to herbalist Todd Caldecott, also contains betalain type alkaloids (betanidine, betanine, isobetanine, isobetanidine, isoprebetanine, phytolaccine, prenetanine), triterpene saponins (phytolaccosides A-1, D2, O and associated aglycones), and at last five immunostimulant, cysteine-rich glycoprotein lectins also known as pokeweed mitogens (PWM) Pa1 through Pa5. Other constituents include genins (esculentic acid and phytolaccagenic acid), histamine (accounting for its anti-allergy effects), GABA, isomamericanin A, PAP (pokeweed antiviral protein), spinasterol, sterols, starch, saccharose, and potassium salts.
Parts Used: Pokeroot is safe for herbal use. Poke leaf is not. Consumption of poke leaves can cause gastroenteritis with intense vomiting and frothy diarrhea.
Typical Preparations: Usually used as a tincture in a dosage of one drop (that's right, one drop) per day. Do not overdose. Most often found in topical applications like creams, ointments, and oils.
Pokeroot is for treatment, not prevention. Take pokeroot tinctures for up to 2 weeks at a time to overcome the symptoms of colds, flu, sore throat, mastitis, or tonsillitis. Use 5 drops of tincture in 3/4 cup (60 ml) of warm to soak a 5" x 5" (12 cm x 12 cm) to treat skin inflamed by eczema or psoriasis up to 3 times a day for up to 2 weeks. Use of pokeroot to treat lymphedema, testicular inflammation, or ovarian pain, or as an alterative for cancer, should be medically supervised.
Precautions: To be used only under the supervision of an expert qualified in the appropriate use of this substance Not to be used while pregnant. Not recommended for internal use. Not to be taken if you have severe liver or kidney disease. Do not apply to broken or abraded skin.
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Information contained in this shop is for educational purposes only.
This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
please be advised: you should always consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet!!
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