Pokeberries: I planted one bed together with echinaceas. They look SO pretty! I harvested the ripe ones and threw them in some vodka. I know this is strong medicine and to be taken seriously, but later I found out that small (very small) doses do a lot of good things.
The alcohol turned magenta immediately. Just the same lifely colours you find on the plant (the ripe berries were gone by then):
I don’t know wheter I ever use thin concoction, I just could not resist to make something out of these tempting poke berries!
Literature tells that the berries are less strong than the root, but the seeds are toxic. I’m still not quite sure whether the toxins from the seed would be in the tincture then….
In case you don’t know poke was used to treat arthritis, cancer,
rheumatism amongst other illnesses. People who know way more have
written about poke and Green Deane wrote a very thorough description on how to eat poke greens. I even found a recipe to make poke berry jelly. Susun weed says: “You may find yourself seeing the world a little differently after ingesting poke berries.”
For those interested in ethnobotany, here’s an overview how poke weed was used by various Native Americans.