Learn how to make Poke Root Salve from Poke Root. Poke is a very strong-acting plant that has been used for skin anomalies and to support healthy breast tissue as well as a healthy lymphatic system to include lymph nodes and/or cysts.
Poke Root Salve is a really amazing salve to have in your homeopathic medicine cabinet.
Poke Root (or, Phytolacca americana) is known for the purplish-black berries found on the plant in the fall months. The leaves are completely edible if and when they are properly prepared – and are typically enjoyed in the spring.
The berries and root of the plant should not be consumed as they are toxic.
While the root is toxic to consume, it is not toxic to use in the form of a salve.
The best part about the Poke Root plant is the root of the plant. I love to compare Poke Root to the traditional Comfrey root – much like comfrey, the root can be made into a salve that can help with a variety of ailments and support various skin systems on the body.
How to Harvest the Root
If you can’t grow poke root in your area, you can buy poke root on various sites online – to include Etsy. You may want to check your local homeopathic herb shop as they may also carry poke root and sell the herb by the ounce.
The best time to harvest poke root is in the fall – during that time, the plant can get up to 10 feet tall. The stems can get quite large but can also be quite thin, too.
When the plant is ready to harvest (fall or early winter), the reddish-pink stem will start to wilt and turn brown – grab your shovel and dig the root.
Once dug up, you will want to clean the root well – use a brush to get the dirt out of the crevices of the surface.
You can dry the root as is for days (or a few weeks), or even better, increase the dry time by opening up more surface area on the root. Chop the root or shred it and allow it time to dry out. While the root is fairly dry to start with, it shouldn’t need too much extra time to dry it – a few days, or even up to a week should do.
Once it’s dry, chop or shred the root and place it in a quart jar. You’ll want to fill the jar halfway with your herb. Cover the root with your favorite oil – I like to use castor oil and sunflower seed oil, but you can use olive oil as well.
Cap the jar, and place the jar in a sunny area for a period of 4-6 weeks, taking care to occasionally turn the jar over every now and then.
How to Make Poke Root Salve
Making poke root salve from infused poke root oil is rather simple – this recipe can be adjusted to suit your own needs.
I have found this ratio to be the best for a salve that’s not too hard and not too soft.
- 1/2 C. poke root infused oil (4 oz.)
- .90 oz. beeswax
- 10-15 drops lavender essential oil (optional)
Melt these together in a double broiler – use a metal spoon to stir the beeswax as it melts into the oil.
Once melted, divide the mixture into 2 oz tins (I love these here) or, one 4 oz jar with a wide-mouth lid. Jelly jars are great for salves.
Whatever you choose to use, it’s best to ensure that it can handle the hot mixture as it is poured. Plastic is not a wise choice as it can melt when you pour the mixture within.
This salve will keep for a year, even longer.
Benefits of Poke Root
Poke is a very strong-acting plant that has been used for skin anomalies and to support healthy breast tissue as well as a healthy lymphatic system to include lymph nodes and/or cysts.
It can help loosen up lymph glands to help your glands process better. Rub the poke root salve on your skin several times a day for best results.
Poke root is great for skin irritations including bug bites, scratches, scrapes, cuts, dry skin, various skin rashes and fungus.
If you want the benefits of Poke Root Salve without having to make it yourself, you can find it in my Etsy shop here.