American nightshade, Phytolacca Americana, cancer jalap, cancerroot, coakum, crowberry, chongras, pokeberry, inkberry, poke, garget, pigeonberry, red ink plant, scoke, are herbal plants with berries. This is a plant native to eastern America and it likes moist soil. The fruit is shiny purple, small bunches and grows on the stem from August to November. Pokeberry is a poisonous fruit when eaten directly. This berry fruit is safe for making pies, other than that taken from this fruit is purple fruit juice, this is used to improve the color of grapes.
Get to Know the Pokeberry Plant
Pokeberry is an annual herbal plant that grows with a height of 2 to 12 feet. The trunk is large and upright with a variety of colors such as green, red, pink, and purple with a height of about 3-7 feet. The shape of the leaves is lancet, almost round like an egg, with a length of 3 1 / 2-20 and a width of 1 1/2 – 5 inches. Hiau or pink flower color with a symmetrical shape, round and slightly flat, black and purple, with a width of 1/4 – 1/2 inch. While the seeds are black, flat and round, about 1/8 inch wide.
Nutritional Value of Pokeberry Fruit
Pokeberries contain high vitamin C, in one cup or about 160 grams containing 217 mg vitamin C, 696 µg of Vitamin A, Vitamin B2 as much as 0.528 mg, iron as much as 2.72 mg, 0.669 mg of Manganese, 0.234 mg of Vitamin B6, 0.251 mg of Copper, 1.92 mg of Vitamin B3, vitamin B1 as much as 0.128 mg and phosphorus as much as 70 mg.
Health Benefits of Pokeberry
After we know the levels of minerals and vitamins in pokeberries, now we see what are the health benefits of pokeberries.
Phytolacca Americana or pokeberry is usually used as an arthritis drug. A remedy for mumps and other types of skin diseases. The roots of the pokeberry plant are used as anti-inflammatory, expectorant, hypnotic, narcotic, cathartic, and as laxatives. In addition, it will also be good for treating chronic cataracts, immune diseases, and treating bronchitis.
Below we see a list of the health benefits of pokeberries.
1. Healthy skin
One of the vitamins rich in pokeberries is vitamin C. The benefits of vitamins are to eliminate wrinkles, dryness of the skin, and prevent premature aging. Very important role of vitamin C, especially for tendons, blood vessels, skin, and for ligaments. Vitamin C also helps the recovery of wounds and tissue damage.
Also see: Is Baby Oil Good For Your Skin?
It’s the same as a cream with vitamin C which is good for removing reddish skin, to maintain healthy skin, we need to consume foods high in vitamin C.
2. Reduce inflammation
In addition to vitamin C, pokeberries are also rich in vitamin A which is also very good for neutralizing free radicals that cause damage to skin tissue. This can also prevent cells from being too active.
Vitamin A also neutralizes free radicals so that it can reduce damage in the body due to these free radicals. Vitamin A properties that prevent excessive cell activity are good for preventing food allergies. Other benefits of vitamin A also reduce the occurrence of inflammation, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Prevent anemia
The health benefits of pokeberry also prevent anemia or blood cramps. Anemia is a bad symptom of health that occurs due to the lack of production of red blood cells in the body. As a result, oxygen delivery in the blood will be reduced.
Vitamin B12 is an important role in increasing red blood cells and in the synthesis of steroid hormones. Riboflavin deficiency also causes less red blood cells. If the body lacks vitamin B12, then the body’s health will be disrupted, such as fatigue, shortness of breath, and not being able to exercise. Based on research, vitamin b12 is very important in maintaining homocysteine in blood circulation.
So, to prevent anemia or vitamin B12 deficiency, we are strongly encouraged to consume fruits rich in vitamin B12 such as pokeberry and others.
4. Healthy for pregnant women
Pokeberries are also rich in iron, if iron deficiency, pregnant women will experience problems in themselves and in infants such as abnormal baby weight, premature birth, stunted baby growth, and also interfere with cognitive growth. So, pregnant women are advised to consume more iron-rich foods such as pokeberry and other foods.
Also read: Superfoods for Pregnant Women
5. Good for bone health
The benefits of pokeberry also maintain bone health. Bone growth requires proper manganese, it helps compact bones. So, this mineral is very important for bones especially in post-menopausal women. In addition, manganese is also proven to prevent osteoporosis.
8. Cardiovascular health
Pokeberries also contain adequate amounts of thiamine, this is important for the production of acetylcholine whose benefits transmit messages between nerves and muscles. The heart is an important muscle in this case in channeling messages. So it is important for us to maintain good heart health, and one way is to consume foods rich in nutrients such as pokeberry.
Nerves and muscles must use energy properly, the point is to maintain heart function properly. Recent research shows that muscles and nerves must use the right energy for the heart to stay healthy with a stable beat.
Vitamin B1 is one of the most important in maintaining heart health and preventing heart failure.
9. Good for vision health
The cause of eye disease is lack of nutrition and unhealthy eating patterns and lack of exercise. Vitamin B6 and folate and other vitamins are said to prevent vision loss, including eye diseases related to macular degeneration.
10. Nutrition Utilization
Phosphorus is useful in absorbing nutrients because it helps it to happen. The use of minerals from foods such as niacin and riboflavin will help energy production, cellular function, reproduction and growth. Phosphorus also helps a healthy metabolism and digestion of carbohydrates, fats and the production of digestive enzymes that can convert nutrients into energy.