?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Herbs: Phytolacca (Poke Root)


FAMILY: Phytolaccacaea (phyton = plant, lacca = crimson lake)
--two species common in N. America: americana (stronger dt mitogen & antiviral) and decandra
COMMON NAME: Poke root
GENERAL: perennial growing 5-8 feet tall, alternate oblong leaves, flowers in racemes, roots white and succulent with distinctive cross section, common invasive weed in central and SE US, I grew up with this one, always knew the berries are poisonous but we used them to paint our faces as children-->be savages. The constitution of the US was written with poke berry ink on hemp paper.


PART USED: root, best fresh ground in oil, irritating!, pungent/acrid taste, burning/numbing sensation on tongue with fresh root, use gloves when processing, avoid inhalation when grinding dry root. Leaves can be eaten if you boil them a long time and change the water.

MEDICINAL ACTIONS (root):
--alterative
--anticatarrhal
--lymphagogue
--antirheumatic
--emetic, purgative
--fungicide, parasiticide
--antiviral, antibacterial

CONSTITUENTS:
--alkaloids: phytolaccine, phytocaccanin
--triterpenoid saponins: sapogenin (soapy, bitter, also in fenugreek seeds)
--poke weed antiviral protein (PAP): in leaves and sees of P. americana
--poke weed mitogen (PWM): a lectin found in P. americana
--phytolaccic acid, resins, tannins
--in young shoot only: beta carotene, Fe, Vit C, Ca

INDICATIONS**see homeopathic notes below:
--for upper lymphatics esp breast
--lymphatic alterative
--rheumatic joints
--recurring infx esp sinusitis, bronchitis, tonsilitis
--chronic skin conditions
--breast lumps, mastitis

HOMEOPATHIC:
--indications similar to herbal
--proven by Hale and Burt, early US
--"much of its action comes to light through the homeopathic provings" because it is so toxic
--described as "vegetable mercury" because of syphilitic relationship
--bones, glands, throat
--pallid mucous membranes with ulcertaion
--sore mouth with small blisters
--sore lips, blanched, with separation of epidermis
--hard, painful enlarged lymph glands esp cervical
--mastitis
--orchitis, parotitis, apthae, sore mammaries with impaired resp
--faucial, tonsilar, or pharyngeal ulcertaion
--secretions of mouth give white glaze to mouth sfcs (used for dyptheria)
--cough or resp difficulty
--worse: cold, damp, on R side
--pain @ insertions of tendons, bones
--"pokiness" tired, fatigue
--heavy set, slow, large breasts
--old, tired, worn out, indifferent, depressed glandular fx
--chilly and cold or hot and red
--worn out nursing mothers, flabby obese teens, elderly

DOSING:
--decoction of fresh root: 1 tsp/cup, 1 cup TID
--powdered root: .3g TIC
--tincture of fresh root: 1:10, 45% Etoh, sig .2-.6 TID, 10ml/week MAX
--poultice: caution, can cause blistering
--homeopathic: probably best as this plant is generally irritating/toxic

TOXICITY:
--effects include: vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, dizziness, hypotension, decreased resp, headaches
--use gloves or mask when working with the plant
--avoid inhalation

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
calizen
Jan. 24th, 2009 03:48 am (UTC)
Oh you take me back to my days of walking through woods and meadows in the Midwest and coming upon the poke root. Never knew what it was, only that it was such a pretty purple plant.
liveonearth
Jan. 24th, 2009 04:03 am (UTC)
Did you grow up in the midwest?
calizen
Jan. 24th, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC)
Yep. Suburb of Indianapolis.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

Profile

moon
liveonearth
liveonearth

Latest Month

April 2019
S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930    

Tags

Page Summary

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by chasethestars