Phytolacca decandra. N.O. Phytolaccaceae.
Synonym ► Garget, Pigeon Berry.
Habitat ► U.S.A. Cultivated on a sm.ill scale in England for medicinal purposes.
Features ► The root is obtainable in longitudinally split pieces or in transverse slices. Ringed, brownish-grey externally, hard and whitish inside; fibrous fracture. Berries purplish-black, nearly globular, ten carpels, each containing one lens-shaped seed.
Part used ► Root, berries. Action ► Alterative, cathartic.
Chronic rheumatism and skin diseases. Of some use in dyspepsia. Action of root stronger than berries. For rheumatism the root is often compounded with Black Cohosh and Wintergreen.
Preparation and dosage vary considerably with the condition of the root. Thurston, Hammer and other physio-medical practitioners recommend that only the green root should be used, owing to, rapid deterioration. These herbalists use the fresh root largely in hardening of the liver and reduced biliary flow.