Wilderness Medicine, First Aid, and Outdoor Skills
Pokeweed

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US Army First Aid Manual
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Appendix A: First Aid Case and Kits, Dressings, and Bandages
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Appendix F: Glossary


Pokeweed The picture to the left of Poke is an example of the plant being found in mid to late summer. In the spring when shoots are young, they are edible and choice. They are better boiled and served with butter or vinegar. The author has frequently eaten Poke salads without any problems.

The berries are NOT EDIBLE. Although one may view many birds eating these berries which contradicts the myth that what birds eat will be safe for humans. The roots and the base of the shoots are toxic. Caution must be used when picking Poke. If there are any signs of the stalk tinged with red, which is the color of the root, one should not eat this. Symptons of toxicity are usually abdominal cramping, diarrhea and vomitting. These symptons are usually self-limiting and rarely, if ever, fatal.

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