Poke Sallet/ Salad- The Poisonous Plant you can still eat!

It’s Undoubtedly Poisonous

polk salad, polk salat and polk sallet is the name of the popular dish made with the tender leaves of the Pokeweed plant aka poke, pokebush, pokeberry and pokeroot Root. That’s a lot of aliases! So what is it? Well the first thing you will find if you look into it is that it is poisonous. Yes, Poisonous!    Yet it’s still consumed by many people throughout North America. In the Southern states it has been eaten as a vegetable for many centuries and  grows wild mainly in the Eastern US.

The poisonous principles are found in highest concentrations in the rootstock, less in the mature leaves and stems, and least in the fruits. The berries are toxic when raw but edible when cooked. Why would anyone risk eating a poisonous plant? What are the health benefits?

Health Benefits of the (herb)

The plant contains a protein called “pokeweed antiviral protein,” or PAP for short that may have anti-tumor effects .Maybe even more notable are the studies of the herb for use as a possible anti-HIV treatment.

  • Endometriosis
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Hemorrhoid pain
  • Headaches
  • useful to treat tonsillitis, laryngitis, swollen glands, and other inflammations.
  • used as a laxative or to induce Vomiting

It works on the internal functioning of the body in terms of extracting nutrition and subsequent expulsion. This means that it acts as a cleanser for the digestive system as well as the blood. The liver is also believed to benefit from its cleansing properties. The direct result of blood cleansing is relief from a number of skin ailments. Pokeweed has proven useful in the treatment of scrofula, eczema as well as psoriasis.

How is Poke Salad prepared from the Mature leaves of the plant?

How is the Poisonous Food consumed? When eaten as a vegetable, it is utilized much in the way that Mustard and turnip greens are.  It is prepared by boiling the leaves 3 to 4 times, pouring off the water each time before starting the next. It is then sauteed in a skillet with some vegetable oil with whatever you would like to season it with. If it is not boiled properly it can make one develop stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting within just a few hours depending on the strength of the left over poisonous constituents still in the plant.

For more information on Poke Salad  and how its prepared  watch this short film bite:

http://www.southernfoodways.org/film/poke-a-film-bite/

https://delishably.com/vegetable-dishes/Poke-Sallet-Poke-Salad-Recipe-How-to-Handle-Harvest-and-Prepare-the-Poisonous-Pokeweed

For more information on the herb/ plant ( pokeweed) including all it’s other aliases, See the links noted below:

https://jonbarron.org/herbal-library/herbs/poke-root

http://www.naturalremedies.org/pokeweed/

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