Yellow dock ( Rumex crispus ) is a perennial flowering herb, native to Europe, which grows throughout the United States. Its yellow roots were traditionally thought to have medicinal properties, and its sour-sweet leaves can be used (in moderation) as a salad green.
Historically, the plant has been used to treat a variety of problems, including constipation
diarrhea, as well as dermatitis and venereal diseases.
What Is Yellow Dock Used for Today?
Yellow dock root has no established medical uses. However, it contains chemicals called anthroquinones (also found in the more famous herbal laxative senna), 2
Like many other plants, yellow dock contains a substantial amount of tannins. These have astringent properties that may offer some benefit for treating minor skin
Typical doses of yellow dock root are 2 to 4 g of the dried root, 2 to 4 ml of the liquid extract, or 1 to 2 ml of the tincture. 3
Comprehensive safety studies of yellow dock have not been performed, and for this reason it should not be used by pregnant or nursing women, young children, or individuals with severe liver or kidney disease.
As with any stimulant laxative, yellow dock should not be used if there is an intestinal obstruction. Possible side effects of overuse include cramps, diarrhea, nausea, intestinal dependence on the laxative, and excessive loss of potassium
In addition, yellow dock (like spinach) contains oxalic acid. Consuming excessive quantities of oxalic acid can cause severe toxic symptoms including vomiting and abdominal pain, and, in extreme cases,
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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