Being a herbalist is so much muddy fun !
We recently harvested some fresh poke root to make tincture for the dispensary – I use this in patient formulas for boosting lymphocyte activity. It is a non-specific T cell stimulant that promotes antiviral and anticancer activity.
Different practitioners have their preferences about using tincture of fresh or dried poke root – I prefer fresh plant for this tincture because the Eclectic physicians of the 1800s, who used it daily, suggested that dried poke root loses efficacy within a few months of keeping. Typically we do a harvest in the spring and fall depending upon the needs of my clinic.
I also use poke root to make an infused oil for topical use over cysts, nodules, skin tags and swollen lymph nodes. Sometimes this is made in grapeseed oil but for deeper penetration we sometimes use castor oil.
For the recent tincture-making – after the roots were harvested, they were scrubbed, chopped, and then left to dry out a bit overnight in a clean cloth. They tend to leach out some moisture and this allows a stronger finished product. Then they were chopped into small pieces and tinctured in Everclear (75.5% alcohol). This will sit for 2 weeks frequently shaken, before being filtered to give an approx. 1:2 tincture from fresh plant material.
Note that this is a very potent remedy and is taken in very careful doses.
No more than 10 drops in water 2 – 3 times daily is recommended for adults.