Yellow Dock

YELLOW DOCK (Rumex crispus)

Family: Polygonaceae

Parts commonly used: Root.

Properties/energetics: Alterative, cholagogue, astringent, bitter aperient. Cold, dry; bitter, sweet.

Systems predominantly affected:  Digestive, eliminative, blood, skin.

Uses: Yellow Dock is a digestive aid, liver stimulant, and laxative. As a laxative, its method and force of action lies somewhere between the bile stimulants Dandelion and Oregon grape and the less subtle herbs of the anthraquinone group: bitter Aloe, Senna, and Buckthorn. Yellow Dock relieves constipation by promoting bile flow into the intestines and stimulating intestinal peristalsis without causing gripping or pain. As a digestive aid, Yellow Dock’s combination of liver-cleansing properties and its laxative effect seem to assist the body to metabolize and remove from the blood the metabolic wastes associated with a low-fiber, high-fat, meat-heavy diet. By improving the liver’s ability to deal with wastes and fats, it takes the burden off secondary pathways of elimination such as the skin. Due to this action, Yellow Dock works as an effective adjunct to other alterative herbs for treating acute and chronic skin disorders (particularly those related to liver and digestive imbalances). It is an excellent alterative for remedying oily and exudative skin conditions, including eruptions, itching welts, eczema, and psoriasis. In league with its ability to help purify the blood, Yellow Dock aids the body in building healthy blood by helping the liver use iron. This is most efficiently accomplished by combining its use with other blood-nourishing foods such as blackstrap molasses, Wolfberries, raisins, red Jujube dates (see Ziziphus), Nettles, and Red Raspberry leaf.

Combinations: Combines well with Dandelion, Cleavers, and Burdock for preventing and treating adverse skin conditions by improving blood condition.

Affects on specific body types: This herb is most helpful for the irritable Warrior type who eats too much grease and not enough fiber, begetting constipation and oily skin with pimples and so on. It is also appropriately used for the Monarch who is troubled by constipation or Monarchs with poor fat-digesting capability. Both types will find it equally helpful to include more fruits and vegetables in their personal dietary menus.

Preparations/dosage: Harvest roots in the fall. Use in small doses at first. Decoction: 1/2 cup two times a day. Tincture: 10 to 25 drops two to three times a day.

By James Green, Herbalist, copyright 2008

For more information please refer to James Green’s book, The Male Herbal, 2nd Edition