Pokeweed is toxic, did you know if a horse
eats pokeweed it will die...Well then you can only imagine what would happen if a
human eats it.
I had the unfortunate event occur in my family, my 4 year old son ate pokeweed.
He then had to spend the next 48 hours in the hospital, under supervision, for possible seizures, convulsions, spikes in blood pressure, and his blood pressure dangerously lowering. Happy to say he is now fine, but the danger of pokeweed among children is something that needs to be taken seriously.
Pokeweed is green when it grows, it gets reddish purple the more it nears fall. When the berries go from green, to purple, and when leaves are more purple, and berries are purple, that is when it is most toxic.
My son ate the leaves, thankfully he didnt eat the berries, they will cause severe vommiting, which he suffered, he puked, 37 times in 8 hours. He had to be hooked up to iv to hydrate. The toxins are still in the body even if they puke up leaves or berries.
Ironically birds love pokeweed and obviously it is not poisonious to them.This is how pokeweed is so abundant, for if you have ever seen bird poop, and it is purple in color, thank pokeweed for that.
When the birds eat pokeweed and poop in your yard, they pass the pokeweed seeds through there poopy and it will start growing in your yard.
There are tales of people eating this after boiling 6 times, there are even festivals, the assumption is they eat it while it is green. However, there was such a case a poison control worker told me of, where a man ate pokeweed as a salad and died. He boiled the leaves once, and basically, his heart stopped and toxins shut down his kidneys and liver.
Kids will eat what tastes good, my son told us Pokeweed tasted good, he ate 3 leaves, at least what we could tell from his puke, he is only 4, and he slept alot, he was out of it, and pale in color, luckily he ended up being fine, the problem with toxins in our bodies, is the surges they can give, which can cause drastic and harmful effects to us, especially children.
So be careful, and heed my words, if you got pokeweed, I would suggest cutting it down at the roots, which by the way, pokeweed roots get to be the size of bowling balls....
Here are some other pictures of pokeweed
Notice the green berry, they go from green to purpleish red, this is when it is higher in
toxicity, the purple... same goes for the leaves...
Pokeweed first flowering
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