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Poke Sallet

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Peanut

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Yesterday I saw poke sallet sprouting, Phytolacca Americana. It’s a toxic plant. I won’t process the root without wearing gloves. Some people can’t take poke tincture at all. Some, like me, can take it for a month or two then have to stop for a couple of weeks (it can cause gastritis). Poke doesn’t bother other people at all, they can take it without interruption.

Poke is a wonderful anti-inflammatory. I take it for Osteo-arthritis and I’m pain free. My 84-year-old dad takes it for his arthritis without problems along with a dozen or so relatives and neighbors.

Poke has another wonderful property that is rare in the plant world. It’s an “Immunomodulator”. There are immunomodulators in the pharmaceutical world that have uses despite the fact they keep the immune system suppressed.

Poke does something a little different, it resets the immune system which allows it to begin functioning normally instead of remaining in an “overwhelmed” state.

You folks remember a couple of years ago there was a big Ebola scare in Africa. I believe a few cases made it here to the states. While this was going on some of the best herbalists in the country were having an internet debate about how to treat it. I watched the posts with fascination. The consensus was that poke, as an immunomodulator, should be the first tincture used.

Several months after this the CDC announced they would begin using immunomodulators in hopes of getting control of the Ebola outbreak. They worked, within a couple of months Ebola disappeared from the news…

Poke also contains several antiviral compounds. I’m going to paraphrase a section of a book by Dr. Stephen Harrod Buhner “Herbal Antivirals” on the subject of poke sallet.

Poke Sallet, Phytolacca Americana, has a number of similarities to elderberry including its medical actions. All parts (leaves, root and berries) contain a tremendously potent antiviral compound, pokeweed antiviral protein (PAP). That is broad-spectrum against a wide range of viruses. Used in its purified form it has inactivated the HIV virus in mice, making them HIV free. The poke plant itself could very well be a potent broad-spectrum antiviral and should be examined in depth for this purpose. As well, the root is a very strong lymph system herb, one of the few I know of besides redroot, so it also helps clear the lymph system of viral and bacterial debries…

Poke, a wonderful medicinal plant and one of the most powerful in my arsenal. It’s why I haven’t had a cold or the flu in 10 years. Neither I or my elderly dad got this year’s nasty flu bugs. My elderly mom had to hospitalized with it. She refuses any of my plant medicines.

Here is Darryl Patton talking about poke sallet as medicine

Here Darryl talks a good bit more about the edible properties of poke and using the berries as medicine.

Poke (3)_v1.jpg
 

Peanut

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I have known about poke all my life, but as always I learned a few thing today.
So did I! I had never seen the second video of Darryl, so I learned something about poke I didn't know. I've heard darryl teach a certain plants 4 or more times and every time I learned something new. He know so much about every plant he can't remember it all at one time. :)
 

NannyPatty

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Me, too! I have heard about "poke salad" since I married and moved to Okla over 40 years ago. But, because many people told me how poisonous it was, I never looked for it. I didn't even know what it looked like until 2 years ago. I had some growing around my place and sent a picture to a friend who told me what was. That's when my adventure started. I cooked the leaves the way I was told to and finally ate it. Very tasty!! I still par boil it 2 or 3 times, but I don't know if it's really necessary.

I'm interested in what other things it can be used for. It grows almost every where here.
 

Peanut

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Have had people tell me to stay away from elderberries because they thought I might not know the difference.
Thanks funny, poke and elder in no way resemble each other. Other than color their berries aren't similar, the way they form on the plants are different and poke berries are twice as big than elder berries.

Those videos are great! I'm a little smarter now!
Darryl is a great teacher, a walking encyclopedia of plant knowledge. I've been learning from him for about 10 years. At first is was through a plant forum then I started going up there several times a year and learning in person. I wish I could be a full time student but it's just not possible.

Edited to add about my original post... I though it was funny that herbalists in this country figured out how to treat Ebola a couple of months before the big brains at the CDC. :D
 
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Meerkat

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@Meerkat ... exactly poke salad Annie
Yea down south anyway,lol. I had to delete Elvis he got a little too X rated in that version. I didn't watch it all till after I posted it.

But one of the most beautiful versions of Danny Boy was dome by Elvis I never heard him sing so many notes in a song as in that one.
 

NannyPatty

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Ok, my question was how is the stalk of the Polk plant prepared and eaten? I hate to toss it, but I’m unsure how to prepare it. Does anyone know the answer to this?
 

SouthCentralUS

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Just a bit of trivia: Tony Joe White wrote that song, and for a real treat, listen to him sing it.

The American Indian used to hollow out a pumpkin, put in poke berries and dye thread and material in it. It was a beautiful shade of red.
 

Peanut

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Ok, my question was how is the stalk of the Polk plant prepared and eaten? I hate to toss it, but I’m unsure how to prepare it. Does anyone know the answer to this?
Don't eat the stalk... In fact it's helpful to remove the major vein in the leaves. Go back up and watch the two videos I posted at the very start of this thread. This question is covered in the videos... :)
 

Grizzleyette___Adams

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A little more Poke trivia:

Letters that were written with Pokeberry ink by soldiers in the Civil War are still legible today.

It is easy to make a feather quill pen (Google/Youtube)! For a little fun, crush the juice from Pokeberries for ink and write a letter to your great-great-great grandchild.
 
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NannyPatty

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Don't eat the stalk... In fact it's helpful to remove the major vein in the leaves. Go back up and watch the two videos I posted at the very start of this thread. This question is covered in the videos... :)
I watched them. I also know that the stalk is edible to many people I trust have said that they have eaten it. I just found a recipe and also a recipe for Polk berry jelly. I just needed to know if the stalk should be par boiled like the leaves. One says yes and the said no. So... what’s a gal to do. BTW, there is no pink in the stalks I saved. I’m still uncertain if I want to try it or not.
 

Peanut

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For those wishing to make poke tincture there are lots of video's to watch on youtube. The uses are detailed in the books listed here - https://www.homesteadingforum.org/threads/herbal-medicine-books-peanut-recommends.6745/ as well a techniques for precisely making tinctures. I recommend buying one or more of these books.

A few tips... Poke roots can be quite large. They are extremely tough, I shattered a plastic cutting board trying to chop through a root...

I peel the root, chop it into smaller pieces and then dice it up very small. I fill up a jar to about an inch and a half below the rim with chopped poke. I pour in 100 proof vodka until it's about an inch above the poke. This is called a folk tincture.

I put on a lid nice and tight. I then turn the jar over everyday for about 30 days, keeping the mixture stirred up. When it's ready I strain out the plant materiel and keep the liquid. The liquid is tincture.

Poke 01 sm (1).jpg Poke 01 sm (2).jpg Poke 01 sm (3).jpg Poke 01 sm (4).jpg


***Although stated above I say again... I highly recommend wearing plastic gloves when handling the root. Poke Sallet is very toxic.***
 
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