****GROWN ON OUR FARM HERE IN TENNESSEE ****
**** 25 POTE SALLET SEEDS ****
In the early spring, poke sallet reaches a height of about two feet.
By late summer, the plant can be between six to seven feet tall. The picture on the right is a mature poke weed. The plant in the picture is too mature to be used as food.
Poke weed is recognized by its magenta or purple main stalk. The leaves are between 6” to 10” long and about 2” to 3” wide.
The seed in the berry remains poisonous so do not eat or use it for anything. History points to native Americans using the berry juice of the poke plant for a purple dye, which you can still do today. Dye made with the poke berry juice is highly staining and a permanent dye. Before the leaves of the plant get their well know red color they are picked for use. Then you have to boil the leaves, rinse them off and discard the water and then boil them again.
Do this three times and then they will be ready to eat safely. After that all you do is put them in a skillet with some oil and fry them up as you would fresh spinach. After it is fried up some you add in some chopped boiled eggs and enjoy this all natural food of nature. The boiled leaves are called Poke Weed Salad and there are of course some people today that still do not agree with this way of processing the plant but every spring hundreds of southern folks enjoy poke salad with no problems
If you are into baking then the juice of the poke berry can be extracted and used in pies, although remember to discard the poke berry seed. If you are into making jelly there is something called poke jelly where the juice is used too. But you can not eat any part of this plant uncooked, underdone or unprocessed. When it comes to what the health benefits of this plant is the list is long and has been tested over time. First with the Indians and then some of the first herbalists and now even today there is a formula that is made with pokeweed that promises to fight cancer, it is called Hoxsey Formula.
Herbal Health uses of pokeweed:
Topically applied it eases acne
Taken internally to soothe infections, treat tonsillitis and inflammation of the glands
Grated pokeweed root is used to treat breast swelling and rashes and soothes mastitis
From both topical and internal use, treatment of cancers of the uterus, throat and breasts
Treatment of scrofula, eczema, psoriasis and other skin problems
Rheumatism, achy joints
The summer flowers are small and white or pinkish and they are followed by green berries which turn dark purple when they ripen (see picture). Do not eat the flowers, berries, or the main purple stalk that supports the plant.
Never eat the poke berries. However, the berries may be crushed and their juice used to make a red dye or a red ink. Inside each berry there are between 8 to 13 black seeds. Theseeds are also poisonous and the seeds should never