Yellow Dock is a plant which grows freely along roadsides and in open fields. Its leaves are crisped at their edges, and from six to ten inches in length. The stems are found growing up to three feet in height, and the roots are one foot long and fleshy, with a bitter taste. The root is the main part used for medicinal purposes.
The generic name for Yellow Dock, rumex, is derived from the Latin word meaning a lance, and refers to the shape of the leaves. Its species name, crispus, is the Latin reference to "crisped" edges of the leaves.
Other common names for Yellow Dock are curled dock, sour dock, garden patience and narrow dock.
Yellow Dock is an alterative (cleanser, aids in removal of waste products), anti-scorbutic (cures or prevents scurvy), anti-syphilitic (cures or prevents syphilis and venereal diseases), astringent, bitter (simulates digestion, encourages appetite), cathartic (strong laxative for rapid evacuation), cholagogue (stimulates bile flow from the gall bladder and bile ducts into the duodenum), hepatic (supports and stimulates the liver, gall bladder, spleen, increases flow of bile), laxative, nutritive (leaves) and tonic.
Yellow Dock is an excellent blood cleanser, tonic and builder. It works with the liver and other related organs to purify the blood and lymph systems. The roots of this herb have the highest iron content in nature, which makes it an effective tonic treatment for anemia. Along with nourishing the spleen, it is used to treat skin diseases, liver and gallbladder disorders and iron deficiency. As a laxative, it stimulates the flow of bile.
Externally, Yellow Dock can be applied to bleeding hemorrhoids and wounds. It is known to tighten varicose veins and build the immune system. This herb is sometimes used in cases of arsenic poisoning. It is beneficial during pregnancy, as it aids iron assimilation and can help prevent infant jaundice.
Following are some of the conditions which can be treated with Yellow Dock:
- Blood disorders
- Bronchitis (chronic)
- Chicken pox (topical for itch)
- Eyelids (ulcerated)
- Gallbaldder problems
- Hemorrhoids (external)
- Iron deficiency
- Liver congestion
- Skin disease
- Varicose veins
Interactions & Side-Effects
Yellow Dock may cause mild diarrhea. It should not be used along with any prescription drugs that decrease blood calcium such as diuretics, Dilantin, Miacalcin or Mithracin. Excessive use may cause the blood disorder "metabolic acidosis".
This herb should not be taken by those with kidney or liver disease without the approval of their physicians. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should consult with their doctors before taking Yellow Dock.