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The 5 Benefits of Poke Root and How to Take It!

This plant is actually known as a pest in Southern States of America but it has amazing healing properties, hidden way down in the roots. Though you might struggle to pull this sucker out of the ground, it may be worthwhile to do so once you hear of its benefits for Endometriosis.

For some of us, who don’t live in the South of America, we can always go and buy a tincture of poke root from the local health store!

The benefits of poke root have long been documented but here is how it helps with Endometriosis.

1.Aids the lymphatic system, supports the immune system

Our lymphatic system plays a vital role in allowing the immune system to work efficiently. The immune system essentially creates immune cells and protects the body from infection and disease. It is well documented that Endometriosis is directly related to a low immune system, so supporting the immune system is a great way to help fight Endometriosis!

2.Helps with aches and pains

Poke root is known to reduce soreness, restlessness and aching, which I know I suffer from frequently in my back and shoulders. This is due to an inability to eliminate toxins which sit in the muscles of the body. By allowing the lymphatic system to work more effectively we can expel these toxins and thereby reduce the aches and pains. It has been known to reduce arthritis and swelling of joints.

3. Reduces skin conditions and infections

I know my skin directly reflects what I eat. When I eat badly, my skin shows the world that I have! Poke root creates a great way to reduce skin infections, acne and various skin conditions.

4. Swollen and sore breasts

Once again we have a lack of movement of fluids out of the body. By stimulating the lymphatic system we naturally get that natural flow back!

5.Anti-inflammatory and heals scar tissue

This is the major one! We have heaps of scar tissue which causes so much pain for us! Poke root reduces the inflammation in the area and also helps eliminate those cells that shouldn’t be there.

Now the most important thing about poke root is: DO NOT overdo the dosage! It is an emetic, which means it can be toxic if too high a dosage is taken. This could mean diarrhea, vomiting etc.

If you do live in the southern states of America, you can dig one up and make a tincture. This should be done about October–November or late fall. This is when it is at its most medicinal and already nice and dry. Clean the roots carefully and cut into small pieces. Put the pieces in a jar and fill the jar with 100 proof alcohol to cover them. Leave for six weeks, then strain out the roots.

Otherwise, just do what I am doing and go to the health shop!

Here is how to take it:

  • Take a low dose of only 3–5 drops per day. (make sure it is really only one drop!)
  • Only take this for about 3 months
  • If you feel “spacy” or like an out-of-body feeling, reduce the dose.

People have cured themselves from cancer, reduced AIDS effects and various immune-deficient related conditions. It has amazing healing powers on your body and would be incredibly beneficial for Endometriosis.

Also called Phytolacca decandra, pigeon berry, inkberry.

You can also eat the berries—if you live near these bushes! Check out this article on the full benefits:


Do you live in the South of America? Do you have poke there? Did you know about their benefits? Would be fun to eat them, make tincture!

Hugs, Melissa x
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This Post Has 53 Comments

  1. Marcus

    Where did you get the poke root from

  2. Teresa

    Cindi, can you tell me how you used the vitamin E for this? Thanks!

  3. Cindi pere

    May I ask your recipe for pokeberry syrup? Thank you much.

  4. Cindi pere

    Have you tried vitamin E. I had lumps in breast terribly and it healed it never having it again..

  5. Josephine Taylor

    I found the pokeberry syrup to be the most effective for the terrible muscle spasms that just roll up my back at a moments notice, or any where else in my body with no notice. At times, I have just had to sit down wherever I was and wait for the episode to pass enough for me to move to get up and back home. Pokeberry syrup has helped me tremendously. The best to you.

  6. Josephine Taylor

    I make a pokeberry syrup. I have been diagnosed with rhematoid arthritis in my joints, thorasic outlet syndrome, severe nerve damage, migraines, etc…. I was taking sooo many medications I prayed for a natural solution to help me. Then, I found out about pokeberry syrup. I have been making it for several years and can not say enough about the benefits. This is a wonderful plant!!! Thank you pokeberry!!

  7. Alejandra

    I have endometriosis and I had a full hysterectomy a year ago and I tried taking estrogen supplements for hormone therapy and my Endo pain came back I wanted to die! I thought endometriosis would’ve shrunk by now but no.. maybe it did shrink little but I still have it for sure.. slowly I started to feel the horrible inflammation on my back. I think I had like stage 4 or 5 so i might never be able to go on HRT. I just started taking poke root. Hopefully it will help

  8. Melissa

    No. I use a tincture. They can be poisonous in high quantities.

  9. Joseph

    Do you swallow those berries without chewing?

  10. KCK

    Everybody’s dosage of Poke is different. In order to find YOUR dose, start with one berry the first day , two the 2nd, and so on until you reach that ‘spacey’ feeling mentioned in the article. Then, go back to the last. Example: 8 makes you feel weird, then 7 is your dose. People are different and some can only tolerate one, but there are some that could take (not recommending here) 50.

    It’s great for the immune system and when sick can be taken ever 12 hours. I would say 1 a day would be a tonic dose for most.

    I’ve also seen in the comments that one berry is equal to 3 drops of tincture. Sorry, but that’s not correct. A doctor (ND) told us that 1=1 but that seems also not to be right. My husband’s dose of berries is 7, but 5 drops is too much for him of the root. Again, that could be simply HIS system.

    Cert. Family Herbalist (working on Master)

  11. KCK

    I’m seeing a lot of posts in here about how they have Poke that is huge, covered in leaves and won’t die. I’m wondering if they are mistaking Elder for Poke. I, myself, can’t see how one can but evidently it’s common.

    If they DO have Elder instead shout for joy because it’s a GREAT medicinal as well, both flower clusters and berries. But beware. The unripe berries and stems are toxic on the Elder.

  12. KCK

    My husband came down with RA after a bought with Scarlet Fever. The doctors told him he would never get better and since he was already having to use crutches, his next step would be a wheelchair. As a certified herbalist, I decided to give him Poke berries. I picked them while ripe and plump and he would swallow them whole (as it is the seed that’s poisonous.) I started him out on 1 the first day, 2 the second and so on until we found HIS dosage which was 7 (8 made him feel spacey.) He took 7 a day and slowly began to get better and better. Now, instead of being on disability (which is what all the SS doctors recommended) he is back to work in construction! He still has a twinge from time to time and takes it then but all in all, he’s SO much better. In fact, the first doctor that diagnosed him with RA (and a VERY BAD case at that) saw him again for something else recently. He does not believe he ever had RA as bad as he (my husband) stated. We simply told him to check HIS records. HA!

  13. Melissa

    It is a very sensitive herb so would be careful taking it in high doses but yes, it can help with heart conditions.

  14. Sherry

    In the spring when poke is just about 6 inches high we wash it good, dredge it in flour and meal fry it until it is good and brown, then scramble an egg into it; DELICIOUS!

  15. David Mathura Hissey

    Thank you for your noble work of researching and helping people with them. I have part Cherokee blood and am a Krishna monk, and I’ve also worked with herbs in th wild. God bless you and contact me anytime.

  16. gb

    I let my poke grow for shade 🙂 I live in PA, so not really south. My children would “cook” with the berries outside when they were little, they knew not to eat them and didn’t, but their hands often had red stains 🙂 Now, I need to trim those branches off on a regular basis or they would swallow us, but I love the blossoms and the shade those huge plants make. I also cut off most of the berries while still green and small – the birds will eat them, but I had so many….. and then I just get poke growing EVERYWHERE. Now I am searching what I can actually do with the plant. Those roots get really big! Guess I will have to wait till fall again to dig some up…..

  17. Melissa

    Thanks Sherry. I don’t reside in the US – as you may have guessed ;). I have updated it to make more sense 🙂

  18. Ruth Kellum

    & a Jeep with a winch.

  19. Ruth Kellum

    I have read & read & read every article, newsletter; talked to the older deep rooted WNC people & yes a few medicinal books from the Cherokee reservation & this is the very first time I’ve heard this claim. I’ve seen the older locals use this berry as paint, their kids paint “tattoos” on themselves with the berry.

  20. Sherry

    To be clear, I wish this article would edit to say “southern states” of the USA, which I am assuming she means. There is a NORTH & SOUTH America, and it IS confusing to others who recognize BOTH Americas, that may be reading this worldwide. (I’m from “The South”, Virginia & Tennessee, and have never seen it phrased in this peculiar way).

  21. Gene Parkinson

    I just dug up a 13 lb root in my yard, one root shoot went out over 8 ft before breaking off the size of my small finger.

  22. Darlene

    Hi my sister had breast cancer she brought the poke root roots on line and rap it in cheese cloth and made patches
    and put on her breast and kept it on all day until it drawed the cancer cluster out of her breast it worthes she been cancer free over 9 years or use the poke root extract as directed and keep using it till it heal you don,t give up I,m praying for you its all about faith.that it will work damping patches before use if you
    go that route

  23. Jack Tuggle

    My dad used to give poke root to our dogs if they got mange. He would peel and cut it up into small pieces. Boil and rinse 3 times, then boil with milk. It would be very soft and almost like soup by then. The dogs ate it up and were mange free in no time.

  24. Pam Allen

    I have took poke berries for two years. I started out with one a day an now up to three. My bones were so nad I could not walk an in so much pain. Now I get around pretty good. Thank Hod for them. I pick them when there dried up on the vine.

  25. lisa

    PLEASE HELP!!! how do you use and for how long??? I have had an issue for almost 3 years and now it’s really beginning to change shape (breast nipple area). I feel a lump or lumps, red, occasional itch and/or sore, sometimes shooting pain. nipple beginning to sink in instead of stick out. I don’t have flannel cloth but do have gauze. can this be used??? I am desperate for answers!

  26. Anne

    Hi All,
    Diet and prevention are #1 with health, but since we are only human, love my chocolate – daily! Doctor noticed thickening around right breast. Cut down on all sugar (my chocolate) and started rubbing my homemade Poke Tincture around my breasts and underarms daily. Went back to doctor 6 months later as she suggested (because I refused mammogram), and she said it had shrunk if anything! Continued applying tincture topically once every 3 weeks. One year later no sign of thickening. Do remember your body needs fuel – minerals, vitamins, fiber, etc. Stay away from empty calories – chips, crackers, candy even gluten free. When you are hungry, it is because your body needs fuel.

    Would you put water in your automobile’s gas tank? Why do this to our bodies?

  27. Julia D

    I took the “South of America” phrase to mean it’s overgrown in the southern US. I took a course on edible plants/weeds; it’s included in the Peterson’s Field Guide to Edible Plants -“Pokeweed, Poke phytolacca americana. Found from Minnesota to Maine and south”

  28. Anonymous

    typically you should not take this tincture for more than 5 days at a time. it is very strong and you should notice a difference in a couple days. consult an herbalist about long term use and dosage.

  29. Anonymous

    it is very common in the US. I don’t know why this article is saying SOUTH AMERICA. Maybe it was brought here years ago because that does happen a lot with plants. It is considered an obnoxious weed and spreads like crazy so it is understandable why it can be found almost everywhere in the US. The seeds in the berries are toxic. You can swallow the seeds they only become toxic when chewed up. If it is too early in the season to pull up the root to make a tincture, just swallow one berry a day and that is equal to 2-3 drops of tincture.

  30. Anonymous

    yes it is the same!

  31. Sharon

    Is there a difference between the south American and north American variety of Poke weed? I would like to know the scientific names of them.All of the above posts seem to ignore this. I am very familiar with the north American variety and currently have some growing on the edge of my yard. But I would hesitate to prepare it without confirmation that it is, in fact, the exact same plant.

  32. Tina Webb

    I have a hugmongous Poke Root plant/bush/tree growing in my backyard in San Francisco. I have lived in this house 23 years and last year was the first time I saw this in my backyard. It never dies, just gets bigger and bigger. It has taken over almost 1/3 of the backyard. I have not had the time or the strength to tackle it myself and have not gotten around to paying someone to clear the yard. Oh, it is growing in a narrow plot of dirt that borders the cement yard. It is so huge, tall and sprawling with beautiful green leaves, that I cannot see the base or trunk of the plant. Maybe there are many plants now growing and not just one. Most of my neighbors are from Viet Nam so I thought maybe they planted it in their yard and it blew over to mine. I am shocked to see that it is natural to the US. A friend from Nashville was here yesterday and she told me what it was. She had a friend who made the tincure in Nashville and had shared it with her. Lucky I showed it to he. I had no way of finding out what it was and I don’t see it in anyone else’s yard. Maybe it was just dormant in my dirt all these years.

  33. anonymous

    currently have hsv 2 can this help if so how much of the poke root Tincature would I use and for how long?

  34. anonymous

    I was recently diagnosed with hpv 2 and I’ve been doing a lot of readind and it says that the tincture can help symptoms and even cure how much would I have to take and for how long?

  35. bette

    thank you so much. I am an artist and my thumbs started hurting. If I bumped them into something, boy did it kill me. I tried the alcohol and root. I took it for about 6 months and stopped My hand only slightly bother me once in a while. I bought my root on ebay


    I read in Back To Eden that Poke root can help thyroid? How so

    and how can it be taken.? and how safe is it for people with heart condition?

  37. sherri

    Why can you only use root tincture 3 months? How long do you wait to restart or is it a one time thing? I was told it’s good for arthritis and osteoporosis. Is end of January too late to dig root and get benefit from it? Thanks

  38. hattie mack

    How u drink poke root daily as a tea?

  39. belinda

    Do you have the names of the health store that sell pokeroot online preferably

  40. M.

    I use poke berries while they are ripe in season and I make Poke root extract in the fall.

    The root Extract – wear gloves while harvesting and preparing. Harvest root after the plant has died, fallen over and dried . I find late mid – late november where I am in NC.

    Clean with a brush. you can dry for a day if you want.

    Cut in small pieces and fill a glass jar. Top with alcohol. I use organic vodka. If the root is very wet, you can dry a bit longer or top with Everclear (higher alcohol %). Very wet roots can dilute the alcohol, and you want it to not get funky.

    wait 6-8 weeks before using. The potency of this extract decreases over time. I find I can use only 1-5 drops of a freshly prepared extract, however one that is a few years old, I can tolerate 20-30 drops.

    Also, the potency varies widely from plant to plant. always start with only 1 drop.

    I tend to use topically. some people use internally.

    If you get jittery and thirsty, you have had enough!

    The fresh berries i put in a shot glass and lightly smash as to not damage the seeds. top with water and decant the purple juice from the seeds. I drink the juice of 1-3 berries per day for most of July-October when they are available fresh.

    Hope this helps someone! I figured most of this out on by my own experimentation and piecing info together over the years.

  41. Sharon Lockhart

    I was wondering if you have a recipe for making this tincture?
    I have the Poke Roots here in WV and would like to be able to make my own Tinctures.
    Thanks for the info here.
    Very helpful.

  42. Melissa

    Good to know 🙂

  43. Paul Rusin

    Not sure why you say this is a southern plant. I lived in western NY, and it grew quite prolifically there.

  44. Terry b

    I am a Cherokee man who lives in Arkansas. We consider poke to be a traditional foodsource. The youngest leaves from the smallest plants must be boiled three times before they’re safe to eat. Larger plants and larger leaves are poisonous.
    Contrary to the advice above DO NOT EAT THE BERRIES. They are very toxic. Kids get sick around here every summer when they use them to make ink while playing. Pigs and cows get sick from them too.

  45. Melissa

    I would look at whether you have Candida overgrowth sweets. Make yourself a bath and add about a cup of Apple Cider Vinegar to it. This will help in the meantime but look at cutting down on sugar and breads 🙂

  46. Heather

    Hi, I’ve been experiencing increase vaginal discharge for a long time now. Been to a few Drs, had a bunch of tests done & been treated for yeast all to no avail. I have no stds & still don’t know what is the cause. When I pea there’s discharge in the toilet bowl. Will poke root help or is my cause lost?

  47. Melissa

    Sorry Charles I really don’t have experience with Lymph Glands and cancer. Poke Root can be toxic in high doses so I would definitely consult with a Natural Practitioner for advice.

  48. Charles

    I recently had a chest x-ray and a spot the size of a golf ball was on my left lung. The doctor said it could be an infected nodule of the lymph gland system or it may be cancer. I immediately purchased four ounces of ground poke root powder from an herbal supplier in San Francisco.

    My question is this: how much dosage of the ground power should I take and what do I take it with? Hot tea? Almond milk? Does poke root loose it qualities if exposed to hot water?

    I would just like to hear a suggested dosage for my lung condition. Thank you very much. I like your website, the most informative out there.


  49. Melissa

    I know I was totally amazed at it too! My Naturopath recommended it to me and I had no idea what it was until I looked it up! Apparently it can be quite a challenge to pull out of the ground so make sure you get a man to help you 🙂

  50. jennifer

    This is so interesting! Poke plants grow everywhere in the mid-west where I grew up. We were always told they were poison, but we of course would use the berries to make ink or try and dye things. I wish it were fall so I could go harvest some, but I guess in the meantime I will have to see about getting it from someone who had the knowledge and foresight to harvest last year!

  51. Melissa

    Dear Buffy,
    Thank you for sharing and sorry to hear that your daughter has also got Endometriosis! Unfortunately, a hysterectomy doesn’t solve the problem for all girls and ultimately doesn’t get to the root cause of the condition. If your daughter should have children she is probably going to pass it onto her child too. The best thing to do is to get to the root cause of the condition and really heal the body properly. I am glad it has given you relief though and hopefully your daughter will find a way too!

  52. Buffy Cox

    I us to have Endo. and I past it on to my daughter. She is 20 years old and has had 2 surgeries and is now about to have her 3rd. I had 8 surgeries for it and I believe that the final and only destruction of Endo. is to have a hysterectomy. I have tried everything under the sun to fix the symtoms of Endo. but I just found out that there is a way to help stop thepain for a few years. That is to have a diagnostic lap at Duke medical center in N.C. Their doing it a different way that relieves the pain for a longer period of time, but if you don’t want kids or have had them already I recommend you to go ahead and have a full hysterectomy.
    Buffy Cox

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