This section is from the book "Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics", by W. Hale White. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics..
Phytolacca Fruit. Synonym. - Poke Berry. The fruit of Phytolacca decandra Linne (nat. ord. Phytolaccaceae.)
North America; naturalized in Europe.
A depressed globular, dark purple compound berry, about 8 mm. in diameter, composed of ten carpels, each containing one lenticular, black seed; juice purplish red; inodorous; taste sweet, slightly acrid.
Dose, 5 to 30 gr.; .30 to 2.00 gm.
Synonym. - Poke Root. The root of Phytolacca decandra Linne (nat. ord. Phytolaccaceae).
Large, conical, branched and fleshy; mostly in transverse or longitudinal slices, wrinkled, grayish, hard; fracture fibrous, the wood-bundles in several distinct, concentric circles; inodorous; taste sweetish and acrid.
Dose, 1 to 5 gr.; .06 to .30 gm.
Extractum Phytolaccae Radicis Fluidum. - Fluid Extract of
Dose, 5 to 30 m.; .30 to 2.00 c.c.
Phytolacca is used as a laxative, and in large doses it possesses also some narcotic properties. Recently a preparation made from the berries has been used to reduce adipose tissue.