Friday, September 8, 2017


Let's talk Poke -- often referred to as Pokeweed or Pokeroot, aka Virginian Poke or, in the Homeopathic pharmacopeia, the Latin name is Phytolacca Decandra (syn. P. Americana). 

I have a big patch of Pokeweed growing at the lower edge of our hillside open space (it's pictured to the far left in the photo), so I've been researching it's history as a native plant of the Americas. There is a good article on this plant at; the author of the article cautions about side effects, which is advisable due to the toxic nature of the plant, so if you should decide to try the Homeopathic remedy on your own, please use a potency of 30C or higher and NOT a lower potency.

First, please note that Pokeweed is poisonous unless properly cooked (boil it down numerous times, pour off the water each time). Indigenous people used it mostly for medicinal purposes, but there are also ways to cook the early spring shoots, leaves, and even the juice of the berries to make them safe.

Pokeroot tea was used for a variety of ailments, including rheumatism, by many people in the Ozarks (of Missouri and Arkansas). Boiled Pokeroot was also sometimes used to cure "the itch" but most old-timers said the cure was worse than the the ailment (the way it was administered topically "burned like fire".* Since Poke is an American plant, chances are good that these remedies originated from the indigenous people, and settlers took it up from them.

The Homeopathic remedy Phytolacca Decandra is made from the root (Pokeroot) and can assist the body system to heal from a variety of symptoms including the one that works like magic for me (remember that remedies are individualized): sore throat. Whenever I feel the first tinge of a sore throat coming on, I take a dose of Phytolacca 30C and, 99% of the time, the sore throat never worsens and often disappears entirely within a few hours. In relation to the throat, this remedy may work well, also, for mononucleosis or strep throat; one of the beauties of Homeopathy is that it addresses similar symptoms and, since mono and strep often feel the same and produce very similar outward symptoms,  Phytolacca might help the body system to relieve either or both, depending upon the individual.

Please feel free to contact me if you want to learn more about Phytolacca Decandra (Pokeweed) and how it might help you heal.

* Ozark Magic and Folklore by Vance Randolph (1947).

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