Poke root, Phytolacca decandra, is a handsome plant found throughout the temperate regions of North America, east of the Mississippi River, thriving in rich bottom lands, fence corners, and woody pastures. The American Indians used it, powdered to a pulp, as a poultice. The early American settlers applied it in like manner as a poultice to inflammatory conditions of the cow's udder, in the disease known as garget, a circumstance which has given to the plant one of its common names, garget plant. Phytolacca crept thence into more extensive use in domestic medicine, a tincture of the same being next employed. Following this came its introduction into the "licensed" profession. In domestic medication the drug was employed from the date of the early settlers, and in the practice of Eclecticism it has ever been a valued remedy. To cite American references to this drug would be to name all the publications of the liberal authors connected with medicines.
The History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P., 1911, was written by John Uri Lloyd.