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Poke Root

English name:   Phytolacca

Synonyms: Poke Root, Ink-berry.

Botanical origin:   Phytolacca discandra L.

Part used: Root

Impurities:   None given officially.

Assay:    None given.

Ash:    Not more than 14%.

Habitat:  Northeastern, Central, Southern USA

Description:     Phytolacca occurs as a mixture of entire, broken, transverse, longitudinal, and oblique sections.  The roots vary in length up to 4 dm. and in width up to 9.7 cm.  The uncut roots are simple or branched.  The texture is coarsely fibrous.  The color varies from light yellowish to grayish brown.  The surface is  irregularly wrinkled longitudinally and incompletely annulate; the ridges are very light yellow.  The fracture is very strong, tough and hackly.  The outline is circular or oval and irregular.  The cortex is thin and brown.  The wood in transverse sections shows concentric ridges of elevated fibrous tissue between which are sunken masses of parenchymatic tissue;

longitudinal sections show parrallel ridges of fibrous tissue.  The color varies from whitish brown to gray.  The odor is not characteristic.  The taste is slightly sweet and strongly acrid.

Constituents:   Resin, tannin, phytolaccin, asparagin, sugar, starch, etc.

Dose:    Emetic--1 gm (15 grains);  Alterative--0.1 gm (1.5 grains).

Preparations: Fluidextractum Phytolaccae (dose: emetic-1 mil.or 15min; Alterative--0.1 mil or 1.5min)