Rumex crispus

Other Names: Curled Dock

The name “dock” refers to a genus of broad-leaved wayside weeds related to rhubarb. Like rhubarb, all the docks can be used as laxatives or purgatives. Also like rhubarb, all the docks are rich in tannin.

Yellow Dock as an Herb for Medicinal Uses

Yellow dockThe medicinal parts are the fresh and dried roots.

Yellow dock root has a long history of use as an alterative – a detoxifying herb. It is used to treat skin conditions and to cleanse the liver. For those purposes, it is often combined with dandelion. A mild laxative, it contains anthraquinone glycosides, these active ingredients are also found in senna leaf. A rich source of iron, it has been traditionally taken to add iron to the diet.

Yellow dock is the kinder, gentler alternative to laxatives made with buckthorn, cascara sagrada, frangula, rhubarb, or senna. It encourages both bowel movement and good digestion by stimulating the release of gastric juices.

Yellow Dock is a powerful blood purifier and astringent. It is used in treating all diseases of the blood and skin. It is very high in iron, making it useful for treating anemia. It nourishes the spleen and liver, detoxifies the liver, and cleanses and enriches the blood.

Folk medicine: Yellow Dock is used for acute and chronic inflammation of the nasal passages and respiratory tract. It is also used as an adjuvant in antibacterial therapy. It is also used as an astringent for hemorrhoids and pulmonary bleeding. It has been used as a remedy for jaundice and a tonic for the stomach.

Homeopathic uses: Uses in homeopathy include inflammation of the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, asthmatic conditions, tracheal cough and morning diarrhea.

A syrup can be made by boiling 1/2 pound yellow dock root powder in a pint of syrup, which is taken in teaspoonful doses. The infusion administered in wineglassful doses – is made by pouring 1 pint of boiling water on 1 ounce of the powdered root. A useful homoeopathic tincture is made from the plant before it flowers, which is of particular service to an irritable tickling cough of the upper air-tubes and the throat. It is likewise excellent for dispelling any obstinate itching of the skin. It acts like Sarsaparilla for curing scrofulous skin affections and glandular swellings.

Crushed leaves are used as an antidote to the pain of contact with Stinging Nettle. As the old saying goes – Nettle in, dock out.

Decoction: Boil 1 teaspoon of root in 1 cup water; take 1 to 2 cups daily.

Culinary Uses of Yellow Dock

Unknown; not recommended.


If you experience cramping, you’ve taken too much.

Don’t take yellow dock or any other stimulant laxative if you take Lasix (furosemide); the combination can lead to potassium depletion.

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