Yellow Dock (Rumex Crispus) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects

Yellow Dock (Rumex Crispus) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects


Yellow Dock (Rumex Crispus) Overview


Yellow Dock (Rumex Crispus) other names: Acedera, Amalvelas, Broad-Leaved Dock, Chukkah, Curled Dock, Curly Dock, Field Sorrel, Herbe à Cochons, Lengua de Vaca, Narrow Dock, Oseille Crépue, Parelle Sauvage, Patience Crépue, Romaza, Rumex, Rumex crispus, Rumex obstusifolius, Sheep Sorrel, Sour Dock, Yellowdock.

For centuries, herbal medical practitioners have been prescribing the roots of various genus of dock as a therapy for blood and liver ailments. Even to this day, many herbalists continue to prescribe the same, but with somewhat dissimilar terms. Books on modern herbal medicine describe the yellow dock or Rumex crispus L. belonging to the Polygonaceae family as an effective alterative as well as laxative. In brief, alterative means a remedy for healing syphilis and other associated venereal ailments (diseases pertaining or related to or transmitted by sexual contact).

Yellow Dock (Rumex Crispus) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Yellow Dock (Rumex Crispus) flower


Yellow dock is a perennial herb. The yellow dock normally grows around four feet above the ground and bears willowy leaves that are marked by undulating and twisted edges. Owing the special characteristic of the leaves, yellow dock is also known as the curly dock. Although the yellow dock is indigenous to Europe and some parts of Africa, yellow dock is now found in most places, including the United States. Yellow dock may be found growing in abundance in waste places, roadsides or even dumps and ditches. While the leaves of yellow dock are also eaten as a potherb (any plant that is boiled to be eaten), basically the deep yellow roots and rhizomes (subversive parts) are therapeutically useful. In fact, a number of similar species of yellow dock is used for medication. It may be noted when The National Formulary listed Rumex crispus L. as a medicinal herb, R. obtusifolius L. was also selected as a basis for the remedy.

Scientific researches have recognized the presence of various anthraquinone by-products such as chrysophanic acid, emodin, physcion and others to be present in yellow dock. All these derivatives are responsible for the herb's proven laxative action. In effect, one of the researches has shown that the total anthraquinone content in yellow dock's root is 2.17%, much higher that the 1.42% strength of the substance found in therapeutic rhubarb. It may be noted here that the medicinal rhubarb should not be confused for the garden rhubarb that has very poor concentration of anthraquinones. The fact is that rhubarb as well as yellow dock are members of the same family and many members of the Polygonaceae enclose anthraquinones together with considerable percentage of tannin.

It is interesting as well as difficult to comprehend how an ordinary laxative medication has succeeded in preserving its repute and value for also being an efficient remedy for venereal disease (sexually transmitted ailment) and its different symptoms, particularly the skin disorders. This only goes on to show how insignificantly the qualities or their absence in different herbal remedies are still be evaluated by their admirers. However, in the case of yellow dock, there is no physiological or chemical proof to back up such medicinal assertions. Nevertheless, presence of anthraquinones and tannin in yellow dock, the laxative as well as astringent properties of this medicinal herb are well established.

Not aware of the herb's therapeutic value, many consider yellow dock as a problematic weed that grows abundantly in the garbage dumps and fields all over Europe, the United States as well as southern Canada. Yellow dock has a spindle-like yellow taproot that sends up a soft, somewhat slim stem that grows up to one to four feet in height. The contour of the leaves of the yellow dock is lance-like or oblong-lanceolate and primarily has undulating edges. The lower part of the herb's leaves are larger and longer petioled compared to the tip. In other words, the leaves of yellow dock are much longer than wide, broadest below the middle and tapering to the apex. The yellow dock bears plentiful of light green floppy flowers that form a loose group arranged along a single peduncle. The seeds of yellow dock are pointed and triangular in shape, while the kernel often resembles the form of a heart.

A decoction prepared from yellow dock is an immensely beneficial laxative and helps heal constipation.

When the decoction prepared from yellow dock roots is cooled, it may be used to wash or bathe different skin problems and essentially alleviated itching and inflammation. Equivalent amounts of sage and yellow dock root may be used to prepare a fantastic tea which can be drunk while using a sauna or sitting in a Jacuzzi. However, here is a word of caution. People suffering from hypertension should essentially stay away from such extreme heat. Drinking a cup of warm tea prepared with yellow dock root chopping enhances digestion and improves appetite. This is especially beneficial after a heavy meal or consuming rich foodstuff. In addition, the yellow dock tea is also helpful in assisting the liver as well as invigorating the colon.

Syrup prepared from yellow dock is an efficient medication for alleviating problems of the upper respiratory system like emphysema (a chronic, irreversible disease of the lungs).

As mentioned earlier, yellow dock has a strong purification result in the body. The yellow dock helps to incite a bowl movement inside a few hours of consuming it. At the same time, yellow dock lessens any surplus activity of the intestines and comforts inflammation of the intestinal lining. These properties of the yellow dock have helped to establish the herb as a long term therapy for slow-moving bowels. Yellow dock is also beneficial for curing bowel infections as well as treating peptic ulcers. The herb also comforts irritation or itchiness in the respiratory system. Sour glycosides present in yellow dock aids in assisting as well as invigorating the liver, healing poor absorption of nutrients by the body as well as alleviating wind. Additionally, yellow dock root also possess diuretic functions and enhances urine production. Yellow dock root also removes toxins from the body through the urinary system. Yellow dock roots are also beneficial for healing gout (arthritis caused by a salt of uric acid crystals in the joint), cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), water retention, urinary stones and gravel (stone particle).

Over the centuries, yellow dock has proved to be an outstanding medication for skin problems like weeping eczema, psoriasis (a chronic disease of the skin consisting of itchy, dry, red patches, usually affecting the scalp or arms and legs), nettle rash, boils and abscesses (pus-filled, inflamed area around a tooth). This medicinal herb is effective in activating clogged blood and lymph. In addition, yellow dock can extract toxins out of tissues and also ensure their removal from the body. In fact, the yellow dock can be used wherever there is blockage, heat and irritation. Yellow dock is an outstanding supplement to recommendations for arthritis, gout, rheumatism (any painful disorder of the joints or muscles or connective tissues) and chronic lymphatic congestion. The yellow dock is also beneficial for women as it has been extensively used for healing unbalanced menstrual cycles, heavy bleeding during periods, menstrual pain and also as fibroids (non-cancerous tumors) in the uterus.

The yellow dock roots are rich in iron content and hence offer an exceptional medication for anemia (low hemoglobin content in blood). The yellow dock has earned a reputation as a reinvigorating remedy owing to its iron content as well as it beneficial action on the liver. Yellow dock is intensively uses for curing general weakness or loss of strength, mental stupor, headaches, convalescence, depression as well as irritability. Yellow dock also has calming and healing effects and hence it makes for a superb medication of all types of swollen or irritating skin conditions.

Although yellow dock is indigenous to Europe and Africa, the yellow dock is frequently found in other parts of the world, too. Normally, yellow dock grows and flourishes on odd places like abandoned lands, along the roads and even in ditches and trenches. The root of yellow dock is burrowed out during the autumn, chopped up and dehydrated for storing.


Yellow Dock (Rumex Crispus) Health Benefits


Yellow Dock (Rumex Crispus) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Yellow Dock (Rumex Crispus) leaves


Yellow dock is an herb. The leaf stalks of yellow dock are used in salads. The root of yellow dock is used as medicine.

Yellow dock is used for pain and swelling (inflammation) of nasal passages and the respiratory tract, and as a laxative and tonic. Yellow dock is also used to treat bacterial infections and sexually transmitted diseases.

Historically, yellow dock has been used for skin diseases, skin inflammation (dermatitis), rashes, a vitamin deficiency called scurvy, obstructive jaundice, and psoriasis with constipation.

Yellow dock's laxative properties make it an important herbal medication for minor cases of constipation. The laxative action of yellow dock increases when one enhances the fiber content in his diet. Antraquinones in yellow dock invigorates the colon as a result of which feces are thrown out more effectively lowering the possibility of re-absorption of toxins into the system. In addition, yellow dock is considered to be helpful in enhancing bile secretion that again helps in the detoxification process. It may be mentioned here that this is possible because all waste products inside the system are eliminated through the bile ducts.

Some people use yellow dock as a toothpaste.

Normally, when yellow dock is blended with other cleansing herbs like burdock and dandelion, the herb is useful in healing a wide range of ailments by significantly reducing the toxic contents in the body. In fact, most of the ailments and disorders have their genesis in the toxics accumulated in the system and so when these noxious substances are removed it becomes easier to heal conditions like acne, boils, eczema and psoriasis as well as fungal infections. In addition, use of yellow dock decoction or tincture is also helpful in alleviating poor and slow digestion, constipation, arthritic as well as rheumatic troubles, particularly osteoarthritis.

Yellow Dock (Rumex Crispus) Side effects


Yellow dock is possibly safe for most adults when consumed in amounts found in food. Taking too much yellow dock can cause diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, excessive urination, skin irritation, and low blood levels of potassium and calcium.

Don't use raw or uncooked yellow dock. Yellow dock can cause serious side effects including vomiting, heart problems, breathing difficulty, and even death. Also, handling raw yellow dock can cause skin irritation in some people.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking yellow dock by mouth is likely unsafe in women who are pregnant or breast-feeding. Yellow dock has laxative effects, which are not desirable during pregnancy. Also, the chemicals that cause the laxative effects can be transferred to a nursing infant through breast milk.

Yellow Dock (Rumex Crispus) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Yellow Dock (Rumex Crispus) plant


Blood clotting problems: Yellow dock may speed up clotting. If you have a clotting disorder, get your healthcare provider’s advice before starting yellow dock.

Allergies: People who are allergic to ragweed may also be allergic to yellow dock.

Gastrointestinal (GI) blockage: Don’t use yellow dock if you have any kind of blockage in your digestive tract.

Stomach or intestinal ulcers: Don’t use yellow dock if you have ulcers. Yellow dock can irritate the lining of the stomach and intestine, making ulcer symptoms worse.

Kidney disease: Yellow dock contains a chemical that can bind with calcium and form crystals that can damage the kidneys. If you have kidney stones or have ever had kidney stones, get your healthcare provider’s advice before starting yellow dock.