Yellow dock

Rumex crispus, Polygonaceae. The roots of the plant are used.

The roots should be dug in late summer and autumn. Clean well and split lengthways before drying.

Functions of yellow dock

Yellow dock has a powerful cleansing effect on the body. It:

  • promotes a bowel movement within a few hours of taking the herb. It does this while also reducing any excess activity of the digestive tract and soothing any irritation of the intestinal wall. This makes yellow dock a gentle cleanser for long term treatment of a sluggish bowel and the treatment of constipation.
  • is also used for bowel infections and the treatment of peptic ulcers.
  • sooths irritation in the respiratory tract.
  • contains bitter glycosides which stimulate the liver and gallbladder which aids digestion and can be used for bowel distension and flatulence. The tonic effect on the liver also means that it is useful as a revitalising remedy for general debility, mental lethargy, headaches and convalescence.
  • has diuretic properties, which increase urine production and the elimination of toxins via the urinary system.
  • is a remedy for skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, boils and abscesses.
  • has the effect of mobilising congested blood and lymph and removing toxins from the tissues.
  • makes an excellent addition to remedies for arthritis, gout, rheumatism and chronic lymphatic congestion.
  • has been used for irregular and heavy periods, menstrual pain and fibroids in the uterus.
  • contains iron and is therefore a remedy for iron deficient anemia.


Decoction: put 1-2 teaspoonsful of the root in a cup of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes. This should be taken three times per day.

Tincture: take 1-4 ml of the tincture three times per day.


Hoffmann, D. 2000, The New Holistic Herbal. Element Pub.

Hoffmann, D. 2001, Healthy Bones and Joints. Newleaf.

Hoffmann, F. and Manning M. 2002, Herbal Medicine and Botanical Medical Fads. The Haworth Press.

McIntyre, A. 1995, The Complete Women's Herbal. Henry Holt Reference Books.




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