Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus)
Yellow dock is commonly found growing along roadways in ditches and other waste land. It grows up to three feet tall with rusty brown and green leaves. It is also known as Curled Dock because the leaves have ruffled edges.
Key Medicinal Uses
Internally Yellow dock is frequently used as a laxative in cases of low stomach acid. It helps the flow of bile to help absorb nutrients from food. Dock can improve a sluggish digestive system and associated problems like liver dysfunction, acne, headaches and constipation. It is used to treat anemia as well as poor quality hair, skin and nails. It has also been used to treat swollen glands, fibroids and vaginitis.
Externally It can treat cuts, rashes, swellings, burns, boils, wounds, bleeding hemorrhoids and bites from digs and insects. It can also relieve the sting of nettles.
Other Uses Yellow dock can be added to soups or eaten as cooked greens to increase iron, vitamins, minerals and bioflavonoids in the diet.
Herbs to Combine/Supplement
Leaves, roots Leaves and roots are both used in medicinal remedies. The roots are harvested in late summer or autumn and prepared in ointments, decoctions, tinctures and herbal teas.
Some people experience mild diarrhea when taking yellow dock. If you start having abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting, call your doctor. Do not take if you take medications that decrease your blood calcium like diuretics or Dilantin. Also, do not use if you have kidney or liver disease or an electrolyte imbalance.
Using excessive amounts of the herb can create a blood disorder known as metabolic acidosis and make a life-threatening calcium deficiency. If you show signs of low blood calcium like seizures, fatigue, confusion, numbness around the mouth and muscle spasms, stop taking it at once and call your doctor.
If you have disease of the gastrointestinal tract like esophageal reflux or divrticulitis, avoid this herb. If taking as a laxative, do not use for longer than one week at a time.
Preparation and Dosage
Yellow dock can be taken as capsules, herbal tea or tincture. Dock is high in iron, and can be taken as tea several times per day treat anemia.
For a tincture, take 1 teaspoon every 2 to 8 hours for a few days for constipation. Root mixtures can be applied to the skin as a poultice, or fresh or boiled leaves can be placed directly on external irritations.