Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus)
Yellow dock is a perennial that grows from 1 to 5 feet in height. The leaves are large, lance-shaped; margins distinctly wavy. The flowers are green, on spikes; blooms May through September. The seeds are winged and heart-shaped.
Family: Polygonaceae (Buckwheat family)
Other Names: Curled dock, Narrow dock, Sour dock, Rumex,
Flowers: June – September
Parts Used: Root
Habitat: Waste ground, throughout the eastern U.S.
Constituents: Anthraquinone, glycosides, tannins, iron.
Properties: Astringent, Cholagogue, Tonic.
Main Uses: Chronic skin diseases, chronic enlarged lymph glands, skin sores, rheumatism, liver ailments, and sore throats. May cause or relieve diarrhea, depending on dose, harvest time, and concentrations of anthraquinones (laxative) and/or tannins (antidiarrheal). Anthraquinones can arrest growth of ringworm and other fungi. A compress can help soothe itchy skin. The plant’s high iron content makes it valuable for correcting anemia.
Preparation And Dosages:
1 teaspoon of the grated or crushed root to 1 cupful of boiling water; drink 3 to 4 cupfuls daily. A syrup may be made by boiling 1/2 pound of the crushed root in 1 pint of syrup; taken in teaspoonful doses three or four times a day.
Externally: Ulcers, hard tumors, eruptive skin diseases, etc., have been removed by the application of the bruised root in poultice form. (An ointment made with the root simmered in oil).
Decoctions have been used for ulcers, burns, and skin diseases. Fresh leaves have been used for foul wounds and ulcers, shingles or itching skin.
Tincture: Fresh root (1:2), dry root (1:5), in 50% alcohol. Take 30 to 75 drops up to 3 times a day.
Yellow Dock is also a wild food.