Pokeweed – Phytolacca americana

A personal experience with American native Pokeweed.

These magnificent Pokeweed roots were harvested, rinsed and displayed side by side to show the developmental differences one year can make. The darker root on the left is two years old. Importantly, it has overwintered sucessfully and is now much more powerful than the tender yearling on the right.

Pokeweed Root
2 year old Poke on left next to 1 year old

All precautions should be taken when handling or working with either root, but from personal experience, and I am not one to over exaggerate warnings of any type, I suggest an abundance of caution with this plant. I ingested a 1gm dose of the fresh two year old root on the left and and suffered for three days. A primative and ill-advised assay easily avoided by patiently testing topicial application and careful observations. Poke had some instantaneous effects but most develop over several days. Keep your notebook handy and clock your observations. Micro dosing is advised. I found Susun Weed’s advice most accurate.

For starters this a good source of general information on Pokeweed https://www.naturalremedies.org/pokeweed/

Henriette’s list of Poke classics https://www.henriettes-herb.com/search/node/poke

You may ask, Oh but why would you want to? in my case – rheumatoid arthritis. I’m now testing a roll-on. I prepared coconut oil infused with dried Poke root 48 hrs. @ 90°F mixed half/half with olive oil infused with dried Cayenne fruit 48 hrs. @ 90°F

drug free arthritis help
roll-on oil infused with Pokeweed & Cayenne and a high mileage foot

When the berries are ripe I have to fight the Catbirds, Cardinals and Mockingbirds for them. Everyone says the berries are good mountain medicine. Old timers in Appalachia swear they’re good for joints. They say you can make a permanent ink by adding ammonia to the berry juice and that in fact, the US Declaration of Independence was scribed in Poke ink on hemp paper. The government has been against hemp since the companies took over America. Anyone remember The Truman Show?

Ripe inky Pokeweed berries in August
Ripe Pokeweed berries

Author: herb guy

Just another Blacksmith who retired after way too long and got back to the garden in just the nick of time. My organic herb garden is my pride and joy. Ask me about Lyme disease. I spend most of my time nibbling my way through my garden while chatting up my chickens.

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