- Rumex crispus L.
- Buckwheat family
vetasa (Sanskrit name)
Parts Usually Used
Leaves and roots
Description of Plant(s) and Culture
Yellow dock is a perennial plant; its spindle-shaped, yellow taproot
sends up a smooth, rather slender stem, 1-5 feet high. Lanceolate
to oblong-lanceolate in shape, the pointed light green leaves have
predominantly wavy margins. The lower leaves are larger and longer-petioled
than the upper. Blooming from June to July, the numerous pale green,
drooping flowers are loosely whorled in panicled racemes. The fruit
is a pointed, three-angled and heart-shaped nut.
Other varieties: Great water dock (R. aquaticus); Water dock
(R. britannica); Blunt-leaved dock (R. abtusifolius). They all have
similar medicinal qualities, but the yellow dock is the only one entitled
to extensive consideration.
Found as a troublesome weed in meadows, fields and waste places in
Europe, China, the United States, and southern Canada.
Antipyretic, astringent, cholagogue, depurative, tonic, laxative,
Chrysarobin, iron, manganese, potassium oxalate, tannin, and rumicin,
iron, phosphorus, calcium, vitamins A and C
Legends, Myths and Stories
Native Americans applied yellow dock root mashed into a pulp to sores
and swellings. The Blackfoot name for yellow dock is "Matoa koa ksi."
"Pawia" means yellow root.
Yellow dock is literally a storehouse for organic iron. A remarkable
virtue of yellow dock is that it has mild laxative properties. Inorganic
iron tends to bind and constipate but the laxative properties gives
an abundance of iron while relieving the tendency toward constipation.
Most commonly thought of as a troublesome weed, this herb has been
used medicinally since ancient times. The young leaves were much used
as a pot herb in olden times.
A bitter herb that is good for liver and colon
function, skin disorders such as psoriasis,
cleanses skin of freckles and age
spots, eczema, and urticaria,
iron deficiency, especially
during pregnancy, dyspepsia,
leprosy, cancer, ulcerated eyelids, syphilis,
lymph glands, hemorrhoids,
bleeding lungs, bile congestion, laxative,
scrofula, diarrhea, ringworm,
fungus infections, rheumatism.
A blood purifier and
cleanser. Tones up the entire system. Combine with sarsaparilla
as a tea for chronic skin disorders. The ointment is used for itching,
sores, swellings, shingles,
and scabby eruptions. Native Americans applied crushed yellow dock
leaves to boils and the pulverized
roots to cuts. When the
leaves are crushed and applied as a poultice, yellow dock offers soothing
relief from burning itch.
Formulas or Dosages
Decoction: use 1 tsp. root in 1 cup boiling water, cover with
a saucer, and let stand for 1/2 hour, strain and reheat. Sweeten with
honey, if desired. Take hot, 1 to 2 cups a day.
Powder: for skin problems the dose is 12 grains.
Syrup: boil 1/2 lb. of crushed root in 1 pint of syrup; taken
in tsp. doses 3-4 times a day.
Iron, phosphorus, calcium, vitamins A and C
Capsules: 2capsules, swallowed with a glass of warm water.
Adjust amount according to individual needs. Yellow dock tea is bitter
and some people find the capsules much to their liking.
Yellow dock is high in tannin content and should be taken only every
other week. As a capsule, one a day. As a decoction, 1 tsp. in a cup
of water, 1-2 cups a day.
Care should be taken if emaciated.
Large doses may cause gastric disturbance; nausea, diarrhea, etc.