Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus) - Medicinal Herb used in Wildcrafted's Range of Therapeutic Products

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Botanical: Common Name (Rumex crispus)

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The leaves are crisped at their edges. It grows freely in our roadside ditches and waste places. The roots are 8 to 12 inches long, about 1/2 inch thick, fleshy and usually not forked. Externally they are of a rusty brown and internally whitish, with fine, straight, medullary rays and a rather thick bark. It has little or no smell and a rather bitter taste. The stem is 1 to 3 feet high and branched, the leaves, 6 to 10 inches long.

Botanicals - Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus)



Yellow Dock

PlantBiological Name: (Rumex crispus)

Family: Polygonaceae

Other Names: Yellow Dock, Curled Dock, Curly Dock, Sour Dock, Narrow Dock, Garden Patience, Rumex

Parts Used: Root

Growth habit and description:

Yellow dock has a large thick taproot, yellowish orange in color, which allows it to survive under drought stress conditions when other plants in the landscape are not.

The leaves of Yellow dock are long, narrow and are arranged alternately along the stem. They will be dark green in color, with a wavy margin. Small greenish flowers are found in clusters at the top of the main stem, which produce flattened brown seedpods.

Active Constituents of Yellow Dock:

  • Anthraquinone glycosides, about 3-4%, including nepodin, and others
    based on chrysophanol, physcion and emodin.
  • Miscellaneous; tannins, rumicin and oxalates.

Traditional Uses in Herbal Medicine (some of these uses have not yet been scientifically tested and verified):

Alterative, laxative, hepatic, cholagogue, tonic, depurative, astringent, antiscorbutic, detergent.
Used for:

  • Poor Digestion
  • Range of Skin Conditions

Yellow Dock is used extensively in the treatment of chronic skin complaints such as psoriasis. The anthraquinones present have a markedly cathartic action on the bowel, but in this herb they act in a mild way. Thus it is useful for constipation, working as it does in a much wider way than simply stimulating the gut muscles. It promotes the flow of bile and has that somewhat obscure action of being a blood cleanser The action on the gall-bladder gives it a role in the treatment of jaundice when this is due to congestion.

Traditional herbalists recommend this herb for: bad blood with chronic skin disease; bubonic swellings; low deposits in glands and cellular tissues, and tendency to indolent ulcers; feeble recuperative power; irritative, dry laryngo- tracheal cough; stubborn, dry, summer cough; chronic sore throat, with glandular enlargements and hypersecretion; nervous dyspepsia, with epigastric fullness and pain extending through left half of chest; cough, with dyspnoea and sense of praecordial fullness.

Other indications include:

  • Crushed leaves are used as an antidote to the pain of contact with stinging nettle. As the old saying goes - Nettle in, dock out.
  • Astringent.
  • Yellow dock ointment valuable for itching, sores, swellings and scabby eruptions.
  • Anciently used as a laxative.
  • Anti microbial use against E. coli, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus

Combinations: It will combine well with Dandelion, Burdock and Cleavers.


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

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


Aside from mild diarrhoea or loose stools in some persons, yellow dock is quite safe.

No other information available. Some herbs are known to react with your medication. Please consult your physician before starting on any herb.


The information provided here is not for the purpose of self diagnosis or self treatment. It is provided for the sole purpose of providing general information about herbs used in herbal medicine. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.

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