The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!

Yellow Dock

Scientific Names

Yellow Dock

  • Rumex crispus L.
  • Polygonaceae
  • Buckwheat family

Common Names

  • Amla vetasa (Sanskrit name)
  • Chin-ch’iao-mai
  • Curled dock
  • Curly dock
  • Garden patience
  • Narrow dock
  • Rumex
  • Sour dock

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Parts Usually Used

Leaves and roots
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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.
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Where Found

Found as a troublesome weed in meadows, fields and waste places in Europe, China, the United States, and southern Canada.
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Medicinal Properties

Antipyretic, astringent, cholagogue, depurative, tonic, laxative, anti-scorbutic, alterative
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Biochemical Information

Chrysarobin, iron, manganese, potassium oxalate, tannin, and rumicin, iron, phosphorus, calcium, vitamins A and C
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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.
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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, gonorrhea, swollen 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.
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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.
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Nutrient Content

Iron, phosphorus, calcium, vitamins A and C
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How Sold

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.
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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.
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Resource Links Yellow Dock Root Information

Yellow Dock Fact Sheet – Native American Botanics

Healthline: Yellow Dock

U.S. National Library of Medicine: Iron

U Mass Memorial Medical Center: Yellow Dock

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Buy It! Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

Herbal Gardening, compiled by The Robison York State Herb Garden, Cornell Plantations, Matthaei Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan, University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley., Pantheon Books, Knopf Publishing Group, New York, 1994, first edition

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

Buy It! American Folk Medicine, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

Buy It! Culpeper’s Complete Herbal & English Physician: Updated With 117 Modern Herbs, by Nicholas Culpeper, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1990, (reprint of 1814)

Buy It! The Herbalist Almanac, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, copyright 1988, fifth printing, 1994

Buy It! Secrets of the Chinese Herbalists, by Richard Lucas, Parker Publishing Company, Inc., West Nyack, NY, 1987.

Buy It! Indian Uses of Native Plants, by Edith Van Allen Murphey, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, copyright 1958, print 1990

Buy It! Old Ways Rediscovered, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, published from 1954, print 1988

Buy It! Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements, by James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C., Avery Publishing Group, Inc., Garden City Park, NY

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

Buy It! How Indians Use Wild Plants for Food, Medicine & Crafts, by Frances Densmore, Dover Publications, Inc., 180 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014, first printed by the United States Government Printing Office, Washington, in 1928, this Dover edition 1974

Buy It! A Useful Guide to Herbal Health Care, HCBL (Health Center for Better Living).,1414 Rosemary Lane, Naples, FL 34103., Special Sale Catalog, 1996

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

Buy It! The Rodale Herb Book: How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature’s Miracle Plants (An Organic gardening and farming book), edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

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