[NAFEX] Re: Pokeweed
Regina M. Kreger
regina at kreger.net
Tue Jun 14 20:00:50 EDT 2005
I was taught that it is OK to eat Pokeweed early in the spring, but that as
soon as any part of the plant starts to turn red, every part of the plant is
From: athagan at atlantic.net [mailto:athagan at atlantic.net]
Sent: Tuesday, June 14, 2005 3:11 PM
To: North American Fruit Explorers
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Re: Datura
Google up pokeweed in the context of animal feed and you'll find quite a lot
of information about it as it's a bad thing to let this stuff get into your
That said, it's my understanding the toxic properties are very heat
sensitive which is why it's safe to eat once it's been thoroughly cooked.
I've got a large poke plant in my garden right now that I'll be harvesting
for leaves shortly.
Quoting Doc Lisenby <longdistshtr at shtc.net>:
> Jim wrote:
> "Kids are using Datura as a legal high (drug). It is bought and sold
> in tea bags and police are helpless to do anything about it because it
> is legal."
> I eat Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) leaves and prefer them to most
> popular cultivated "greens". I can't recommend them because they
> require proper cooking preparation. We ran a few tests in toxicology
> and unofficially determined that the poison is mainly in the roots and
> mature stems.
> It has
> a complicated poison and at the time of our test could not be
> identified exactly.
> A few insects eat the leaves, but I have never seen any insect damage
> to the stems or roots. I heard/read a rumor that the poison has been
> reported to cause increased production of white blood cells in humans
> and was suggested as an AIDS chemotherapeutic medication.
> Poke was a common table fare in the "thirties", as was persimmon
> pudding and "real" yams.
> Thornapple, aka Jimson weed (Datura stramonium) has hallucinogenic
> properties and I've heard that it has been used by the drug nuts for
> their endeavors.
> Zone 7/8
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