New Medicine for the New Year

Every day starts a new year, doesn't it?

I've got a lot of medicines coming ready here in the start of 2020. Mullein root and leaf tincture, lion's mane tincture, and elecampane root tincture are three that I started earlier in December. The last medicine I started in 2019 is poke root tincture.


Poke is a big plant that grows from root cuttings or from seeds scattered by birds. It grows to twelve feet tall (4m) from last year's roots, and dies back again with fall frost.


When it dies back, it's energy is stored in it's roots, so it can survive the winter and pop back up. This is when we want to harvest it's roots. This small one popped up here this year, likely planted by a bird after it ate berries from the larger patch in our easement out back.


The root curved down under the concrete slab under our patio. The plant should grow back next year from the big piece I left.


This one is 2m tall! A very big plant in the summer, with lots of berries that are also very potent medicine. They contain seeds that are toxic, but indigestible. They'd need to be cracked by your teeth, which is reportedly hard to do. Otherwise, they'll pass through you and both of you will be unscathed.


Eating the roots would be very purgative. That's not what I'm doing here, though that kind of extreme cleaning has a place.

Here I'll be making a tincture of the roots. At extremely low doses of one drop (or one poke berry) per day, a week at a time, poke root tincture can replace and be more effective than modern antibiotics. While tolerances can vary, one drop is a usual dosage for immune and lymphatic stimulation. The conditions that people have reported poke root tincture helping with include strep throat, Lyme disease, mastitis (mammary gland infections), herpes of all kinds, colds, and respiratory infections. It's even been reported to help with HIV, breast cancer, and lymphoma!

Y'all know I'm not a doctor, so I'm not recommending any medical treatment for any condition. Your medical choices are your own to make.


I used a mixture of 190 proof alcohol and distilled water for my tincture. The straight alcohol makes an extremely potent medicine, too strong for me to be comfortable with making, and likely very unpalatable. Watch this video for a deeper explanation of tincturing process as well as some strong warnings about poke roots as medicine.


Well labeled, it's time to set this jar in the cupboard til Valentine's day!


I need to clean up my medicine cabinet... Or take over a bigger one.

I harvested more root than I can use, so some is going to my permie friend across town, and some to my cousin (I'm meeting her for the first time this weekend!) who wants to make a salve of it for a skin condition she has. There are different uses as a salve or oil extraction as well. Heck, at one-drop dosages, this 32 oz (nearly a liter) will likely last my family their lifetimes!

It's cool to be able to share natural medicine with more people. Open source, decentralized medicine sounds promising to me, and if I can spread the information or finished products to help someone, I'd love to do so. For some, it'll beat the hell out of rising medical costs and side effects of proprietary medicines.

All action for the good of all.


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Comments 10

Very interesting! Thank you for sharing.

03.01.2020 03:44

Sounds like awesome medicine to have on hand. How lucky you've got a wild Poke plant growing on your homestead. Your wild crafted Natural Medicine involvement is inspiring!! I hope the Poke salve works really well for your cousin. Enjoy your visit -- that's so exciting! What a way to start off the new decade. ❤

03.01.2020 16:01

@trucklife-family here, loving the tincture you have brewing there @nateonsteemit and thank you for sharing with us how you made them. I would love to get my hands on some poke root, there are quiet a few folk around my parts who have gotten lymes disease.

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04.01.2020 20:53

We too make our own medicines, tinctures, salves, etc. It's become such a part of our lives I can't imagine it any other way. I do have to laugh a moment though. As I was scrolling through your post my mind immediately thought Harry Potter and the mandrake root. Hahaha.

05.01.2020 06:20

What a great post, @nateonsteemit! Definitely not a herb I am well acquainted with and obviously a tincture every household needs! LOVE LOVE LOVE your tincture cupboard!!! I'm needing one of those too... I have mine sitting in the light (not optimal) and they get too warm up high in our tropical kitchen.

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08.01.2020 04:59

Your medicine cabinet is sure coming along nicely! Wonderful that you have some extras to pass on to others! I really like being able to share natural medicines too!

10.01.2020 02:02

Blessings on your day @nateonsteemit!

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19.01.2020 22:26

Yikes, what an honor!!! I haven't posted in quite some time, but I promise I'm working on one at the moment. (Not sure when I'll post it though, as inspiration is flighty lately.) Thanks so much! I need to get on the trail asap, Haven't updated any of that in quite a while. Thanks!!!

22.01.2020 12:48