Pokeweed - Thytolacca americana


Sweets from Trees

Havesting Wild Grains

Wild Grain Types

Wild Plants

Other Wild Herbs

Wild Meat           Frog's Legs       Crayfish             Turtles 

Home Brews           Step-by-step Beer    Ale and recipes

Wild Winemaking

Winter Garden

Distill at home:        Wild wood teas-    Flower extracts-  Herbal Oils-

The pokeweed is an amazing perennial shrub that covers much of the eastern United States as a weed. It goes by many names including: Coakum, red weed, inkberry, poke root, red ink plant and a host of other names. It many uses, including food, medicine, as well as poison.

The pokeweed produces stems that are green when it's young and purplish later. It's branches reach from 4-12 feet in length, with a diameter of one inch. It's leaves are simple oblong or ovate-lanceolate and acute.

Pokeweed Preparation- Directions for harvesting and cooking poke sprouts and leaves which are similar to asparagus. 

I've always looked at it from a food perspective, but after conducting research, this has turned out to be a quite impressive plant. I encourage everyone to read up on the medicinal properties of this plant in more detail than I can cover on this page.

Pokeweed highlights

  • Anti Cancer
  • Anti Inflammatory
  • Immune Stimulant
  • Anti-Aids
  • Anti Viral
  • The list goes on...

 The berries steeped in gin have long been popular as a remedy for chronic arthritis. The leaves and berries possess some medicinal activity, but the root is the part principally used.

Phytolacca slows the heart's action, reduces the strength of the pulse, and lessens the respiratory movements. It is a paralyzer of the spinal cord, acting principally on the medulla. In poisoning by this agent tetanic convulsions may ensue. Death results from carbonic acid poisoning, the result of respiratory paralysis.

Therapeutically, phytolacca is emetic, cathartic, narcotic, and alterative.   It is best suited to chronic arthritis, and syphilitic and rheumatic joint affections. Preparations of the root are excellent for the removal of those severe pains of several illnesses and has been shown to be more effective than opium.

In diseases of the mouth and throat phytolacca is highly esteemed. It is useful in acute and chronic mucous affections, and especially in those affections where such as diptheria.

Pokeweed Preparations