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Phytolacca americana

American Pokeweed

Commonly known as American Pokeweed, is a perennial herbaceous plant found in North America. Although poisonous raw, Phytolacca Americana is used in foods and medicine and has several health benefits.  
Phytolacca americana


American pokeweed, pokeweed, poke sallet, pokeberry, dragonberries, and inkberry




Pokeweed is a relaxant alternative, anti-rheumatic, mild anodyne, emetic, fungicide, anti-parasitic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, lymphatic, mild analgesic, immunostimulant, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, anti-catarrhal, expectorant, bitter, purgative (high dose), and diuretic.


Pokeweed can be used to help fight symptoms of psoriasis and has antiviral properties to combat HPV and warts. It also has many anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.


    Phytolacca americana is believed to have several health benefits ranging from treating conditions such as arthritis to antiviral properties that treat HPV and warts. The anti-inflammatory properties of pokeweed are used to combat the symptoms of psoriasis, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis. It can also treat infections such as the flu, sinus, and fungal infections. Lastly, pokeweed has been used as a medicinal approach to treating cancer.


    Pokeweed is known to be a toxic plant due to its phytolaccatoxin and pokeweed mitogen compounds, which can be harmful when ingested. However, when proper caution is administered by cooking the plant, pokeweed can be consumed in the form of herbal medicine, tea and in agents directly used on the skin. Each part of the plant has a use, too. The root can be used to treat sprains and swellings, the leaves can treat acne and the fruit can be used as a remedy for arthritis. 


    Phytolacca americana has been used in America for hundreds of years. The indigenous people of North America, specifically the Cherokee and Houma tribes, used this American pokeweed plant for medicinal purposes. It has so much cultural significance that in some regions, Phytolacca americana inspired folklore, songs, and festivals. While used widely for medicinal purposes, pokeweed is a host plant for larvae of butterflies and provides certain bird species, that can handle toxins, a source of food via the berries.

When Phytolacca americana Helps With

“I use nothing but homeopathic remedies, for my girls as well.”

Mariel Hemingway