Yellow Dock Root
Veterinarian Reviewed on June 14, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Yellow Dock Root (Rumex crispus)
Yellow Dock Root (Rumex crispus) is quite a common weed which is native to Europe as well as throughout parts of Asia. However it is grown as a vegetable in Europe, and it is used as a medicinal herb in Asia.
The Yellow Dock Root may also be known as Curly Dock, Yellow Dock or Narrow Dock. The plant is reddish brown, which grows in stalks about a meter high. It has very smooth leaves with distinctive curls around the edges. There are flowers that grow on these stalks that have seeds that get caught on wool and animal fur to be distributed elsewhere to grow. It thrives in moist and heavy soils along the roadsides and in some fields.
The Yellow Dock Root has many benefits. From being regarded as a general health tonic, it is also used for many digestive tract disorders, various skin conditions and also for illnesses of the respiratory tract.
History and Origin
This weed is native to Asia and Europe and the name Yellow Dock comes from the color of the flowers it produces. It was regarded for its medicinal properties but since it grows almost anywhere where there is a heavy soil, it was once regarded as an “injurious weed” in the United Kingdom. It spread through its seeds to contaminate crops making it a serious threat to farming in North America, New Zealand and in Australia.
In ancient times, Yellow Dock Root was used in traditional herbal medications as a health tonic to relive stress and invigorate the body. It was also used as a poultice for common skin disorders and for wounds. It significantly reduced skin inflammation and skin irritation.
The modern use of the Yellow Dock Root is to relieve common digestive tract disorders. It has a laxative effect due to the anthraquinone glycosides content that this herb has. This content actually works to stimulate the release of bile and various digestive enzymes to relieve constipation and minor digestive disorders. Drinking Yellow Dock Root tea preparations daily has also been known to cleanse your entire digestive system to encourage healthy digestion and better absorption of nutrients. The Yellow Dock Root is also a diuretic to relieve water retention and to facilitate removal of toxins that can bring harm to the body organs.
In the relief of some minor respiratory illnesses, Yellow Dock Root is an expectorant that can loosen phlegm and help relieve symptoms of colds, influenza and other lower respiratory tract infections.
Studies have also shown that Yellow Dock Root has anti inflammatory properties that can alleviate the pain and swelling of joints common in cases of arthritis and rheumatism.
Diarrhea could be a side effect of Yellow Dock Root and this is due to the laxative effect of this herbal remedy. People who have liver and kidney problems must be cautioned in taking Yellow Dock Root preparations since it is a diuretic and can worsen existing medical conditions. If you wish to take Yellow Dock Root for your illness, talk to your doctor regarding the use and any adverse effect of this herbal remedy with your current medication.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan