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Frequently (and not so frequently) Asked Questions

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BRIEF: Are poke berries harmful to humans?


QUESTION:
Are poke berries harmful to humans?

ANSWER:

Yes. Raw berries, even if ripe, can be harmful if you eat enough of them and the seeds inside the berry are toxic.
QUESTION:
However, as a young boy I use to harvest them for a neighbor lady who made excellent jelly from them. Perhaps the boiling of them in the making of the jelly neutralized the berries-if they are at all posionous.

ANSWER:

Boiling them and removing the seed would render them pretty harmless, so the jelly was probably OK.
QUESTION:
I'm also curious about the possibility of using poke berries for making wine.

ANSWER:

Children have been killed drinking the juice from the raw berries. I wouldn't try the wine.