The Cayce Herbal 
 A Comprehensive Guide to the  
Botanical Medicine of Edgar Cayce

Botanical Name: Phytolacca decandra

Common Names and Synonyms: Pokeweed, Pigeon Berry, Poke Root, Coakum, Pocan

Background: Poke is a toxic herb which may be eaten after long boiling. Medicinally, poke is used as purgative and anti-inflammatory.  Poke grows in shady soil across eastern North America.  The green or purple stems bearing simple leaves and white flowers that give way to purple staining berries, was used  in small doses by the Indians as a blood purifier.  The roots were crushed and roasted. This plant must be properly cooked or it can be toxic.

Poke in the Cayce Readings
  • Edgar Cayce did not describe a specific action for poke.
  • Poke was recommended as a food (poke greens in 8 reading during the later years) or as an ingredient in a complex compound.  When prescribed in a compound, the most frequent form was prepared (tincture, extract, essence or fusion) in the following amounts:
      1/2 ounce 8 readings
      1/4 ounce 7 readings
      20 minims 5 readings
      10 minims 4 readings
      5 minims 2 readings
      1 ounce 1 reading
      30 minims 1 reading
      15 minims 1 reading
      1/8 ounce 1 reading
      5 grains 1 reading
      2 minims 1 reading
      20 grains 1 reading
      10 grains 1 reading
  • A few early readings recommended poke root (presumably dry) in the following amounts:
      1 ounce 2 reading
      10 grains 2 readings
      2 ounces 1 reading
      2 drams 1 reading
      20 grains 1 reading
  • Although a wide diversity of  formulas were given that contained poke, the most common substances mentioned in the same readings with poke were as follows:
      Yellow Dock  41 readings
      Wild Cherry 36 readings
      Sarsaparilla  35 readings
      Stillingia  30 readings
      Tolu  23 readings
      Calisaya  22 readings
      Burdock Root  17 readings
      Mandrake  11 readings
      Potassium Iodide  11 readings
      Buchu Leaves  10 readings
Cayce Quotes on Poke

    Then to bring the better results to the body, and to correct these conditions, we would first give that in the system that would give the correct incentives to the organs of elimination to function properly; that is, prepare the system first for the corrections in the dorsal region, and then stimulate all excretory system, and the nerve centers that are released, and we will bring the better conditions to the body.  Taking, then, this first:

    Syrup Sarsaparilla........................2 ounces,
    Syrup or Fluid Extract Wild Cherry Bark...2 ounces,
    Fluid Extract Stillingia..................2 ounces,
    Fluid Extract Yellow Dock Root............1 ounce,
    Fluid Extract Poke Root...................1 ounce.

    Add to this sufficient simple syrup to make 12 ounces.  The dose would be teaspoonful three times each day, until the greater, or until three-fourths of this has been taken.  Then, through deep manipulations, osteopathically, reduce the condition in the dorsal region, 6th and 7th, 8th and
9th, reflexly.  This will stimulate also the whole excretory system.  At the same time taking those vibrations of the violet ray, using the heavier applicator, for three minutes each evening.  Do not take this while medicinal properties are being taken, but after all of this has been taken.  Begin with osteopathic treatments before the whole quantity is taken.

    Then, to reduce the condition and to bring the normal forces to the body, we would first take those properties in the system that will give the correct incentives for the eliminations, then correct the condition in the cerebro-spinal nervous system, giving the correct functioning of the body and the correct vibrations through the adjustment of these conditions and bring about the normal forces.
Taking, then, this:
    To 4 ounces of simple syrup, add

    Syrup of Sarsaparilla................2 ounces,
    Elixia Calisaya......................1 ounce,
    Fluid Extract Stillingia...........1/2 ounce,
    Fluid Extract Yellow Dock Root.....1/2 ounce,
    Fluid Extract Poke Root.............20 minims,
    Fluid Extract Capsici................1 minim.

    Shake solution well together before the dosage is taken.  The dose would be half a teaspoonful taken three times each day.  When two-thirds of quantity has been taken (and at the same time keeping the intestinal tract open, full, free, that we may reduce the eliminations and the excretory forces may be functioning nearer the normal), begin with the deep manipulations in the whole cerebro-spinal system, adding the light rays to the lower dorsal and the lumbar and sacral region, of the Alpine Rays.  These we find will give the correct vibrations and the eliminations necessary to produce the adjustment and coordination through the body here, [4818].


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