Thursday, April 5, 2012
Herb of the Week: Pokeweed
Folk Name: Pigeon Berry
Parts Used: leaf, shoot/stem, root, fruit/nut
Medicinal Uses: Shoots are eaten after they are properly boiled for a long period. The anti-inflammatory root is given for swollen throat glands. It is purgative and narcotic, expels phlegm, soothes arthritis, kills sperm, and, with the leaf, treats fungal infections. Further research has shown that a component of Pokeweed is useful to the immune system and has proteins that inhibit flu, herpes, and leukemia. This herb must be used with care, respect and expertise because used wrongly it can be deadly.
Folklore: The Declaration of Independence was written in fermented pokeweed berry ink. The Native Americans introduced the herb to the European settlers who loved it and took it back to the old country where it now grows wild.
Magickal Uses: Used to break hexes and curses especially during the New Moon. To break a hex/ curse make an infusion of the herb and sprinkle around the victims home counter-clockwise. You can also add a bit to the bathwater but be sure not to drink any of it! The berries of pokeweed are crushed and used to make magickal ink for writing protection spells and hex-breaking spells. The juice of the berries can also be used in placed of blood in rituals that call for it.
See Luminearth's post on Pokeweed