Overview

Pokeweed is a plant. The berry, root, and leaves are used as medicine.

Despite serious safety concerns, people use pokeweed for achy muscles and joints (rheumatism), swelling of the nose, throat, and chest, swollen and tender breasts (mastitis), skin infections, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

In foods, pokeweed berry is used as red food coloring and as a wine coloring agent.

In manufacturing, pokeweed berry is used to make ink and dye.

How does it work ?

There isn't enough information available to know how pokeweed works.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Insufficient Evidence for

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of pokeweed for these uses.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Pokeweed is LIKELY UNSAFE. All parts of the pokeweed plant, especially the root, are poisonous. Severe poisoning has been reported from drinking tea brewed from pokeweed root and pokeweed leaves. Poisoning also has resulted from drinking pokeberry wine and eating pokeberry pancakes. Eating just 10 berries can be toxic to an adult. Green berries seem to be more poisonous than mature, red berries.

Pokeweed can cause nausea, vomiting, cramping, stomach pain, diarrhea, low blood pressure, difficulty controlling urination (incontinence), thirst, and other serious side effects.

When applied to the skin: Pokeweed is LIKELY UNSAFE. Don't touch pokeweed with your bare hands. Chemicals in the plant can pass through the skin and affect the blood. If you must handle pokeweed, use protective gloves.

Special Precautions and Warnings

When taken by mouth: Pokeweed is LIKELY UNSAFE. All parts of the pokeweed plant, especially the root, are poisonous. Severe poisoning has been reported from drinking tea brewed from pokeweed root and pokeweed leaves. Poisoning also has resulted from drinking pokeberry wine and eating pokeberry pancakes. Eating just 10 berries can be toxic to an adult. Green berries seem to be more poisonous than mature, red berries.

Pokeweed can cause nausea, vomiting, cramping, stomach pain, diarrhea, low blood pressure, difficulty controlling urination (incontinence), thirst, and other serious side effects.

When applied to the skin: Pokeweed is LIKELY UNSAFE. Don't touch pokeweed with your bare hands. Chemicals in the plant can pass through the skin and affect the blood. If you must handle pokeweed, use protective gloves. It's LIKELY UNSAFE for anyone to use pokeweed. But pokeweed is especially dangerous for people with the following conditions:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Pokeweed is LIKELY UNSAFE to take by mouth or apply to the skin. Pokeweed berry might cause the uterus to contract and cause a miscarriage. Breast-feeding women should also avoid pokeweed.

Children: Pokeweed is UNSAFE for children. Even one berry can be poisonous to a child.

Interactions ?

We currently have no information for POKEWEED overview.

Dosing

The appropriate dose of pokeweed depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for pokeweed. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References

CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.