Poke root (Phytolacca decandra)

Traditional Indications

Phytolacca is an alterative, emetic and purgative. As an alterative herb it will gradually restore the proper function of the body and increase health and vitality. Poke root is a potent lymphatic alterative, useful in combination for skin problems due to lymphatic congestion with associated swollen lymph glands and other signs of lymphatic congestion. According to Mrs. Grieves, “A slow emetic and purgative with narcotic properties. As an alterative it is used in chronic rheumatism and granular conjunctivitis. As an ointment….it is used in psora, tinea capitis, favus and sycosis and other skin diseases….It is used as a cathartic in paralysis of the bowels. Headaches of many sources are benefited by it. (1)

Pharmacognosy

Two new flavones, 6,7-methylenedioxy-4-hydroxypeltogynan-7'-one , cochliophilin B, as well as two known ones, cochliophilin A and 6-methoxy-7-hydroxy flavone, were isolated from the ethanol extract of the root of Phytolaccaacinosa Roxb. (2)

Homeopathic mother tincture of Phytolacca decandra induces apoptosis in skin melanoma cells by activating caspase-mediated signaling via reactive oxygen species elevation. (3)

 

1. PFAF. Phytolacca americana 2019 [Available from: https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Phytolacca+americana.
2. Ma X-P, Zhang W-F, Yi P, Lan J-J, Xia B, Jiang S, et al. Novel Flavones from the Root of Phytolacca acinosa Roxb. 2017;14(12):e1700361.
3. Ghosh S, Bishayee K, Paul A, Mukherjee A, Sikdar S, Chakraborty D, et al. Homeopathic mother tincture of Phytolacca decandra induces apoptosis in skin melanoma cells by activating caspase-mediated signaling via reactive oxygen species elevation. Journal of integrative medicine. 2013;11(2):116-24.