Poke - Phytolacca Decandra

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This Poke (Phytolacca decandra) monograph is an excerpt from the 1999, first edition of Dr. Sharol's book "Herbal Medicine From The Heart of The Earth." You can purchase the 2020, third edition of this book with an expanded materia medica/monograph section, herbal formulas and directions on making herbal products in Dr. Sharol's Book Store. You receive free shipping in the USA.

Poke - Phytolacca decandra (in the Phytolaccaceae or Pokeweed family)

Part used: Root mostly, berries without seeds .

Taste/smell: Acrid.

Tendencies: Cooling.

Dosage: 1:1 fresh strength liquid extract: 1-10 drops 1-3 times per day.

Mental picture and specific indications: Poke is specific for a congested lymphatic system with hard, swollen lymph nodes. There is a tendency to be large, flabby, slow moving, tired and often an indifference to life or social etiquette. If accompanied by a high fever, the glands may be swollen and painful, the skin may be dry with purple coloration in stagnant areas and a fast pulse. Poke has an affinity for red swollen inflamed tissue of the throat, mammary glands and testicles.

Use: (a) Lymphagogoue, (b) Alterative, (c) Anti-inflammatory, (d) Emetic, (e) Cathartic, (f) Antifungal.

Poke promotes removal of catabolic wastes. It is indicated for tonsillitis, mastitis, mumps, orchitis, boils, stomatitis, eczema and psoriasis. The berries are used for rheumatic complaints and arthritis. Externally, the fresh root is used as a fresh poultice and the infused oil is used for mastitis and swollen lymph nodes in general.

Contraindications: Direct contact with the fresh plant may cause external skin irritation and can be toxic when used internally in excessive doses. An overdose can cause nausea, vomiting, oral and gastric irritation, cramps, slowed respiration, drowsiness, tingling over the whole body, weakness, sweating, tetanic convulsions and reduced blood pressure and pulse. Death is possible due to respiratory paralysis. Poke should only be used under the guidance of a qualified health care practitioner. It is contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation.

If you are looking for directions on making teas or tinctures, please see our "Making Herbal Products" page.

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Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.

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