Pokeweed for Gout

| Modified: Oct 25, 2020

2 User Reviews

Posted by Joyce (Joelton, Tn) on 07/25/2008 512 posts
5 out of 5 stars

Response to Sandra

"To Joyce from Joelton,Tn. Gout: What is the method used with Pokeweed for Gout? Do you make a paste and wrap the foot, or do you ingest them? Please advise? What are the exact measurements for this herb?"

I started doing this by putting berries in l gallon jug and using enough Vodka to just cover the berries. Put tight lid on and let set a week or two, moving jug around a little every two to three days. After that, just strain off the liquid and store in brown or green bottles. Beer bottles work fine for storage. (You can also use your potato masher (or whatever you have) to kind of sqush those pokeberries before straining the liquid off.

For those of you who are interested in doing your own herbs, when using fresh herbs your ratio is l:l. If using dehydrated herbs the ratio is l part herb to 2 parts diluent.

I can't remember where I read it, but I do recall reading that you shouldn't treat children under l2 with poke, because it hastened the setting of the long bones (arms & legs). There might be something to this because my family ate a lot of poke sallet and many of us have normal size bodies but short arms and legs. I might also add that most references recommend parboiling through 3 waters before ingesting, but my family (and others that I know who ate their share of it) only parboiled through one water (water discarded) before proceeding to finish cooking it and eating it.

Replied by Denise
1 out of 5 stars


Please reconsider keeping this posting on your site. Pokeweed is known to be toxic- all parts of the plant. The toxins can cause a myriad of health problems, including paralysis and death. It is believed that no amount of boiling and discarding the water will remove all its toxins.

There are too many safe alternatives, to even suggest this to anyone!

Thank you for your consideration,

Replied by Joyce
Joelton, Tn
512 posts

I have been eating poke sallet as far back as I can remember with the only adverse effect being diarrhea for a couple of trips to the bathroom if you ate a large amount of it and that was only parboiling it x 1. I have never had any adverse effects from taking the poke berries nor has any of the other people that are taking them and we all had good results with improvement with the joint pain.

If you researched pokeweed you would learn that Vanderbilt and many other hospitals have done a lot of research on them. As I may have mentioned before, while working on my Nurse Practitioner MS degree at Vandy (1978), our physiology instructor shared a little pearl of wisdom with us which was: "We don't know why but from a little research project we have going on here now, pokeberries throws the body into gear to fight". From her little pearl of wisdom, I assume they were ingesting the pokeberries in the study.

If you looked the plant up, one thing she would learn is that poke berries are very rich in Vitamin C, along with a bunch of other chemicals with different reactions. I think that several of us have been taking them for 40+ years and are still living are proof that they aren't all that poisonous. On the other hand, I suspect that Vioxx evolved from some of those research studies on pokeweed, and we all know what happens when you isolate one property of the plant, and make a synthetic version so it can be patented. When the fail-safes included in the plant are removed, so is the safety. I think most people know what happened to the ones taking Vioxx. I am still in much better health at age 75 after 40 + years of taking pokeberries than most of those poor souls who only took Vioxx for a few years. I believe I have a little more experience with this plant than most and I know several friends and family members who have been taking them almost as long as I have.

P.S. There are some things that I won't recommend such as Jimson Weed (also known as deadly nightshade) because they are poison. I remember reading in the paper 10+ years ago about some farmer getting the bright idea of grafting his tomatoes onto jimson weeds *same family) to increase their resistance to pests, etc. & increase yield. Three or 4 of the family died after eating the tomatoes and several others came close to it. I know that one is dangerous, because it is where atropine came from initially.

I recently had someone tell me that johnson grass was poisonous. I told him that I had never heard that before but I was sure it wasn't because I had chewed on one of its roots (actually tasted sweet) just to see what it tastes like. I have also read that it is edible (if we ever get that hungry).

Replied by Denise
Sparks, NV

re: Joyce's response about Pokeweed

Thanks for your informative reply. I'd always heard the pokeweed was poisonous and that was the only information I ever came across in researching it.

As luck would have it, I had to go out and get something for my husband's sore throat this weekend. I came across Boiron's homeopathic remedies; in looking through them, I located the 'sore throat radiating to the ears' remedy. It's main ingredient: Phytolacca decandra, commonly known as POKEWEED!!

Needless to say, I was amazed!

So I did research more, and while Iowa State U's recommendation is to eradicate it everywhere it comes up, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the American Cancer Society actually acknowledges that while it can be toxic, pokeweed when used properly, has incredible healing powers for a wide array of ailments.

Live and learn.