Synonym. Phytolacca Decandra. Natural order. Phytolaccaceae. Common names. Poke Weed. Poke Root. Garget. Habitat. An indigenous perennial plant. Preparation. Tincture from the fresh root.
Acts especially upon the glandular system, particularly of the throat and mammae, and the serous, fibrous and mucous tissues. It acts upon the kidneys, and produces symptoms of general lithaemia. It also acts prominently upon the periosteum and the skin, its effects resembling those of Mercury, the iodide of Potash, or of the syphilitic poison. The general condition produces by Phytolacca is one of inflammation,which, in the fibrous tissues, partake of a rheumatic character, and, in mucous and glandular tissues, has a tendency to ulceration and suppuration. It also acts prominently upon the stomach and bowels, producing emesis and purging.
Mind. Indifference to life. Loss of personal delicacy, complete shamelessness (Hyoscyamus).
Head. Vertigo, with dimness of vision Sore pain over head, worse on right side. Sensation of soreness deep in the brain, s if bruised. Headache, with sick stomach (Iris, Nux v., every week (sulph.) Headache, worse from wet weather. Headache, commencing in frontal region and extending backward. Pain in the vertex, with dryness. Pressive pain in forehead or on top of head. Tinea capitis (Graphites, Hepar s., Mercurius, Nitr. ac., Sepia).
Eyes. Pupils contacted (Mercurius cor., Opium, Phosphorus, Physos.). Double vision (Aurum, Belladonna, Cicuta, STram.). Feeling of sand in the eyes, with burning and smarting (ARs., Cast., Ignatia, Natr. mur., Sulphur
Nose. Flow of mucus from one nostril while the other is stopped. Drawing sensation at root of nose (Aconite). Feeling in nose and eyes as if a cold would come on (Cepa, Euphr.). Acrid, excoriating discharge.
Face. Paleness of the face. Pains in bones of face and head, at night. Chin drawn closely to sternum by convulsive action of muscles of face and neck; lips everted and firm;l tetanus.
Mouth. Tongue feels rough; white-coated blisters on both sides and very red tip (Arsenicum, Rhus tox.). Great pain in root of tongue when swallowing. Profuse saliva; tenacious, yellowish, ropy, with metallic taste (Chamomilla).
Throat. Throat sore, fauces congested and of a dark-red color Alianth., Argentum nit., Baptisia, Naja); dryness of the throat; tonsils swollen (Bell). Sore throat, swelling of soft palate in mornings with a thick white and yellow mucus about the fauces. Feeling when swallowing as of a lump in the throat (Belladonna, Lachesis), also when turning head to the left. Sensation or rawness and scrapping in the throat and tonsils (Carb v., Causticum, Phosphorus, Pulsatilla, Rumex). Dryness, soreness, smarting and roughness of the throat. Dryness in the throat provoking cough, with disposition to hawk and clear the throat. Difficult swallowing; with every attempt excruciating shooting pains through both ears.
Stomach. Violent vomiting of clotted blood and slime, with retching, intense pain, and desire for death to relieve.
Abdomen. Intense vomiting and purging, with griping pains and cramps in the abdomen.
Stool and Anus. Neuralgic pains in anus and lower part of rectum, shooting along perineum to middle of penis in middle of night. Diarrhoea of mucus and blood , or like scraping from intestines. Bleeding haemorrhoids (Hamamelis, Nitr. ac.)
Female Organs. Menses to frequent and too copious (Ammonium carb., Arsenicum, bell.,Borax.,Calcarea c., Nux. v.). Metrorrhagia (Aconite, bell., Ferrum, Hamamelis, Ipecac., Sabin.).
Urinary Organs. Chalk-like sediment in the urine. Urine acid and albuminous (Osm., Phosphorus, Plum.). Slight suppression of urine, with pains in loins.
Respiratory Organs. Hoarseness. Dryness of the larynx. Sharp pains through upper part of chest, preventing a long breath. Tenderness and lameness of the muscles of the chest, as if bruised. Rheumatism of lower intercostal muscles from exposure to cold and dampness.
Neck and Back. Hardness of glands in right side of neck; Stiff neck, worse on right side, and in bed; after midnight. Back very stiff every morning. Constant, dull, heavy pain in lumbar and sacral regions. Pains shooting from sacrum down both hips.
Limbs. Rheumatic pains in arms and hands. Neuralgic pain in outer side of both thighs; sciatica. Rheumatic pains in lower extremities. Ulcers and nodes on legs. Nightly pains in periosteum of tibia (Mercurius). Stitches in various parts, always from without inward and near surface. The pains are always in outer parts.
Skin. Syphilitic eruptions and ulcerations-secondary and tertiary (Mercurius, Nitr. ac.). Squamous eruptions; tinea capitis; lupus; ulcers.
Aggravation. Pain always worse at night and in wet weather.
Amelioration. Most symptoms better while lying down; pain better in the open air.
Generalities. Great exhauStion and prostration. Convulsions. Feeling of soreness in all the muscles (Aconite, Bryonia). Bones and glands inflamed and swollen (Asafoetida, Hepar s. Mercurius, Nitr. ac.).
Compare. Colchicum, Kali bichromicum, Kali hyd., Lycopodium, Mercurius, Mez., Nitr. ac., Petrol., Rhus tox.
Antidotes. Milk and Salt Ignatia, Sulphur To large doses: Opium, Coffee.
Phytolacca has been found useful in syphilis, both primary and secondary. Syphilitic headache. Syphilitic periostitis. Syphilitic sore throat. Chancres. Syphilitic eruptions and ulcerations. Syphilitic or gonorrhoea rheumatism, glands swollen, worse at nigh and in damp weather. Subacute rheumatism and gout; pains shift; joins swollen, red; periosteum affected, especially in mercurialization and in syphilis; pains in middle of long bones or attachment of muscles; worse in damp weather or at night. Intercostal rheumatism from exposure to cold and dampness. Rheumatism affecting dorsal muscles. Chronic endocarditis from rheumatism. Gouty heart. Fatty degeneration of the heart. Inflammation and swelling of bones and glands in general. By many considered our most valuable remedy both internally and locally for inflammation, swelling and suppuration of the breasts; pain whenever milk flows into the breast, especially when nursing pains radiate from the nipple over the whole body, particularly up and down the backbone (a inflammations and engorgements and lumps in the breast, and preventing suppuration). Nipples sensitive, cracked and excoriated (Graphites). Mammary gland full of hard and painful nodosities. In the same line of glandular action comes the remarkable clinical value of Phytolacca in tonsillitis. The tonsils are swollen and bluish, usually worse on the right side, throat dry, swallowing difficult, with every attempt excruciating pains through both ears. Pharyngitis, and sore throat in general where the fauces are contested and have a dark-red color, with dryness, scraping, rawness and roughness in the throat, and stiffness of muscles externally; sometimes ulceration; usually worse on right side.
Much aching in the limbs. Often useful in diphtheria. throat and fauces covered with a dirty, dark pseudo-membrane (Mercurius iod., Nitr. ac.). like washed leather; mucus hawked with difficulty from posterior nares; hangs down in strings; cannot drink hot fluids. Severe pains in head, neck, back and limbs;l great prostration; faint on rising. urine often albuminous. Aphthous ulceration on cheeks and margin of tongue, thick, tenacious secretion in the mouth. Granular conjunctivitis. Blepharitis, with swelling of the meibomian glands, lids thickened, indurated, dark-red and tender; sometimes become ulcerated and covered with crusts., Hypopion. Suppurative choroiditis. Threatening suppuration of the cornea. Nasal catarrh, fluid, acrid discharge from one nostril, the other stopped; drawing pain at root of nose. Sometimes indicated during difficult dentition., constipation. Bleeding haemorrhoids. Diarrhoea Ulcers and fissures in rectum, (Natr. m., Nitr. ac.). Metrorrhagia. Bright’s disease; also for uraemic convulsions. Nephritis, with dull, heavy pain, heat and soreness in region of kidneys; most on right side; urine albuminous, dark-red, stains the vessel; chalk-like sediment. Catarrhal laryngitis, with hoarseness, burning in larynx and trachea, sensation of contraction of the glottis, labored breathing, spasm of the glottis Sciatica. Squamous eruptions. Tinea capitis. Lupus. Chronic ulcers surrounded by small boils. Ringworms. Barber’s itch (local application of tincture. ),. Phytol. has been found useful in boils and carbuncles. with burning pains worse at night, usually swollen glands. Scarlatina, with characteristic sore throat; acrid coryza; urine dark-red; non-appearing eruption. Tetanus , alternate spasm and relaxation of muscles, especially of the face; general muscular rigidity.