Common name: Yellow Dock
Part used: Root
Habitat: Yellow dock is a familiar wayside plant in Britain and can be found around the world in a variety of conditions except arid and tropical areas. We may be most familiar with dock leaves but traditionally the roots are used medicinally since the leaves are toxic when taken internally. There are many species of dock and they hybridise freely, in Western herbal medicine we usualy use yellow or curly dock but wild hybrids are traditionally used interchangably with more focus on the quality of the individual plant and it's roots. Best yields are given after the fruit is ripe in late summer or early autumn and from deep, rich, moist soil though the plant is drought tolerant.
Folklore and History: From childhood many of us will learn to identify dock plant very early in our explorations of nature, getting to know the leaves as the antidote to nettle stings. Though you may get some mild relief from the sting by rubbing a dock leaf on your skin, other common plants are perhaps better remedies: plantain leaves crushed into a soft mass and applied to the skin are a wonderfully soothing remedy traditionally used for stings, insect bites and inflamed itchy skin.
Constituents: Tannins, anthraquinones, anthrone (rumexone), volatile oil (essential oil), resin and low levels of oxalic acid (high levels found in leaves), relatively high levels of iron with other trace minerals.
Actions: Alterative, cholagogue (mild), laxative, tonic
Traditional and current uses:
- Iron deficiency anaemia
- Chronic skin complaints such as psoriasis (used with caution, some herbs may exacerbate skin complains in some individuals)
- Atonic constipation (where constipation is caused by poor intestinal tone)
- Jaundice (seek advice about the cause)
- Gingivitis and laryngitis as mouthwash and gargle
- Externally for wounds and ulcers which are slow to heal
Disclaimer: The information on this website is provided for educational use only, and is not intended as a replacement for the services of a qualified medical herbalist, doctor or licensed health practitioner. The information contained herein is not diagnostic, always consult a medical health professional before embarking on a treatment programme. Urban Fringe Dispensary disclaims any liability, loss, injury or damage incurred as a consequence of the use and application of the advice given herein.