Health Guide
Drug Guide


What is it?

Pokeweed is an herbal medicine used to prevent pregnancy by killing sperm. It is also used to treat infections.

Other names for Pokeweed include: Phytolacca decandra, Cancer-Jalap, Phytolacca dioca, Belhambra tree, Paccalacc, Phytolacca dodecandra, Endodphytolacca, Esculentachu-Yi, Shang-Lu, Shoriku, Inkberry, Pigeonberry, Poke, Red Weed, Sallet, and Scoke.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you


Talk with your caregiver about how much Pokeweed you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Pokeweed. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.


Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.


1. Moore M: Herbal Materia Medica. Southwest School of Botanical Medicine, Bisbee, AZ; 1995:22.

2. Hamilton RJ, Shih RD & Hoffman RS: Mobitz type 1 heart block after Pokeweed ingestion. Vet Human Toxicol 1995; 37(1):66-67.

3. Mack RB: Toxic encounters of the dangerous kind. N C Med J 1982; 43(5):365.

4. Stein ZLG: Pokeweed-induced gastroenteritis. Am J Hosp Pharm 1979; 36(10):1303.

5. Kingsbury JM & Hillman RB: Pokeweed (Phytolacca) poisoning in a dairy herd. Cornell Vet 1965; 55(4):534-538.

6. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, et al: American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL; 1997.

Last Updated: 9/15/2016

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