Herbs Guide

American Nightshade

Family Name: Phytolaccaceae

Botanical Name(s): Phytolacca decandra

Popular Name(s): Poke, Phytolacca Berry, Phytolacca Vulgaris, American Spinach, Poke Berry

Parts Used: Dried root and berries

Habitat: American nightshade is found in North America and in Mediterranean countries

Description: American nightshade is a shrubby perennial which grows up to a height of 8 feet. The plant possesses a large white taproot and green or red hollow stems. Its leaves are large, simple, alternate and ovate-lanceolate. Its flowers are white in colour and fruits are in the form of purple to almost black berries

Uses: American nightshade has narcotic properties. It is used in chronic rheumatism, haemorrhoids and granular conjunctivitis. It is used in skin diseases too.