Mountain Rose Herbs

Certified Organic & Kosher Certified

Poke Root

  • Phytolacca americana
  • Origin: USA
Poke Root


Common Name

Standardized: poke
Other: pokeweed

Botanical Name

Phytolacca americana L.
Plant Family: Phytolaccaceae


Phytolacca decandra



Poke is a visually attractive 8 to 10 foot (250-300 cm) perennial with dark green leaves, purple stems, and bright red to bluish-black berries. This common understory tree is native to the temperate regions of the United States east of the Mississippi.

Poke was a common herbal remedy long before Europeans settled North America.


Primarily jagilonic acid, oleanolic acid, tannins. According to herbalist Todd Caldecott, also contains betalain type alkaloids (betanidine, betanine, isobetanine, isobetanidine, isoprebetanine, phytolaccine, prenetanine), triterpene saponins (phytolaccosides A-1, D2, O and associated aglycones), and at last five cysteine-rich glycoprotein lectins also known as pokeweed mitogens (PWM) Pa1 through Pa5. Other constituents include genins (esculentic acid and phytolaccagenic acid), histamine, GABA, isomamericanin A, PAP (pokeweed antiviral protein), spinasterol, sterols, starch, saccharose, and potassium salts.

Parts Used

Pokeroot is safe for herbal use. Poke leaf is not. Consumption of poke leaves can cause gastroenteritis with intense vomiting and frothy diarrhea.

Typical Preparations

Usually used as a tincture in a dosage of one drop (that's right, one drop) per day. Do not overdose. Most often found in topical applications like creams, ointments, and oils.


Specific: Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner before using internally. Not for use in pregnancy except under the supervision of a qualified healthcare practitioner.
General: We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.