Phytolacca decandra or Phytolacca Americana, commonly known as Rokde root, poke weed or American Poke weed, is a herbaceous perennial plant in the pokeweed family Phytolaccaceae growing up to 8 feet (2 meters) in height.
Poke Root is native to eastern North America, the Midwest, and the Gulf Coast, with more scattered populations in the far West. It is also naturalised in parts of Europe and Asia. It is considered a major pest species by farmers.
Pokeroot use is rooted in the folklore of the Amercian Indian and early settlers and is a staple of country folk in the South. This does not mean that poke root is a safe herb, it is most certainly not for the amateur herbalist. Use of pokeroot to treat serious conditions such as lymphedema, testicular inflammation, ovarian pain, or as an alterative for cancer, should be medically supervised. External use of the tincture for skin conditions should be only be attempted by those who are very knowledgeable in the use of herbal medicine. The toxins in the plant are concentrated in the roots, which should be used only under supervision of a professional in modern herbal medicine.
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