Herbs Guide

Poke Root

Family Name: Phytolaccaceae

Botanical Name(s): Phytolacca Decandra

Popular Name(s): Phytolacca, Poke Root, Shang Lu

Parts Used: Root

Habitat: It is a native of North America.

Description: The perennial root is large and fleshy, the stem hollow, the leaves alternate and ovate-lanceolate, and the flowers have a white calyx with no corolla. The fruit is a deep purple berry, covering the stem in clusters and resembling blackberries.

Uses: It is used to treat lymphatic congestion, swollen lymph glands, edema, mastitis, abnormal congestion of all glands of the body, and severe ascites of the abdomen. The fresh herb is irritating to the gastrointestinal tract. Externally, it can be applied as a poultice to inflamed sores and infections. Resolves lumps and tumors, is anti carcinogenic.