Plant Profile: Yellow Dock

Yellow Dock

(Rumex crispus)


Energetics: Cooling. Constitutionally Moistening but locally drying. 

Taste: Wicked Bitter. 

Tissue states: Irritation. Stagnation. Relaxation. 

Part(s) Used: Root and Leaf.

System(s) Affected: Lymphatic. Blood. Gastrointestinal system. Liver. Gallbladder. Skin. 

Key Components:Anthraquinone. Glycosides. Rumicin. Emodin. Chrysarobin. Calcium. Iron. Phosphorus. Tannins. Oxalates.

Preparations & dosage: Food: Young leaves used as food. Contains oxalic acid and is best eaten cooked. Old leaves get tough and not taste good. Seeds can be ground into a high protein flour and blended with other flours for baking. Some recommend the papery outer sheath of the seed first be removed but it really isn't necessary. More a personal preference. Decoction: 1-2 tsp per cup of water steeped 10-15 minutes. Tincture: Fresh (1:2 40% alcohol) or dried (1:5 30% alcohol). 1-4 ml 3x per day. Vinegar: 1 cup dried root: 1 pint apple cider vinegar. Syrup: Poultice: Fresh leaf poultice is used for nettle sting.

Foundational: Bitter. Astringent. 
Primary: Alterative. Mild Laxative in small doses, but purgative in larger doses. Cholagogue. Blood Tonic.
Secondary: Nutritive. 

Chronic skin complaints such as psoriasis, acne, ezcema, herpes. Promotes the flow of bile, helps relieving congestion in the liver & gallbladder and acts as a blood cleanser, both actions make it a great herb for constipation that is loose yet difficult to expel due to weakness in the rectal or intestinal muscles. It’s action on the gallbladder make it useful for jaundice when it is caused by congestion. Useful for most inflammatory liver & gallbladder disorders & liver congestion. Anemia. A great source of easily digestible source of iron for young women who are chronically stressed out and tired. Not super high in iron but, contains a coenzyme that allows the body to assimilate iron more efficiently. Take at the same time as vitamin C to help absorb even more iron. Considered one of the best liver detoxifiers & cleansers. Aids the digestion of fats and oils & hence can aid in weigh loss when the struggle is caused by sluggish elimination. Can help balance the liver after hepatitis. Kidney stones, urine retention, bright’s disease. Can be applied topically for infections, ulcers or cysts. Good for too much fire or heat in the stomach & digestive tract. Too much appetite. Too much emotional energy. 

Emodin has been shown to have effects in fighting cancer. 

Lymphatic for swollen, congested lymph nodes. 

Flower Essence: Helps create powerful centering energy in times of crisis.

Indications: Elongated tongue, pointed with red on the sides, tip or center with a thick thrush-like coating on sides or back. 

Combines Well With: Combine with Nettle in pregnancy for anemia.

Growing: Perennial. Zones 3-9. Grows along roadsides, in wetter areas. Can often be found alongside Burdock & Dandelion. Does well in sun or shade. Prefers a moist, rich, sandy loam. 

Harvesting: Dig root in Fall of first year when fruit is dry and reddish brown or spring of second year. Roots will look distinctly yellow. Wash carefully, slice healthy roots (deep yellow, not brown or black when you scrap the outer bark of the root) into long, thin slices & allow to dry properly. 

Contraindications: Use with caution in cases where there is a history of kidney disease. 


The Way of Herbs: Michael Tierra. Pg 211-212
The Herbal Apothecary: JJ Pursell. Pg 182-183
The Earthwise Herbal: Volume 1: Matthew Wood. Pg 438-443