Habitat and Cultivation: loves roadsides, pastures, fields, and other disturbed areas.
Parts used: The root contains the most medicinal properties; it can be boiled to make a bitter tea that detoxifies, helps the liver or skin ailments, and is used as a laxative.Yellow dock seeds can be used as a coffee substitute. Leaves in very small quantities can be eaten raw until the flower spikes appear. Yellow dock’s leaves can be cooked at any time so long as they are green. Leaves can be added to salads, cooked as a potherb or added to soups and stews. Stems can be consumed raw or cooked but they are best peeled and the inner portion consumed.
Actions: Alterative, cholagogue, mild laxitive, bitter,
Specific indications: Used extensively in the treatment of chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis. Mild cathartic action on the bowels. It makes a valuble remedy for constipation rather than a quick fix. Promotes the flow of bile and has a ‘blood cleaning’ action. It’s action on the gallbladder gives it a role in treatment of jaundice when this is due to congestion. Rheumatism. The leaves, when rubbed on the skin is an antidote to stinging nettle. Anemia (very high in iron).
Yellow dock has touched many tribes, and has a colorful history in Native American circles. All parts of the plant were used internally and externally as medicines. The Dakota used the bruised green leaves to draw out pus from wounds. The Blackfoot, Cheyenne and Dakota tribes used the mashed fresh root pulp for rheumatic pains, swelling and sores externally. The Iroquois also applied this mash to piles, and as a poultice in yellow fever. The Cherokee, as well as the tribes mentioned above, used the root internally for constipation, and to inspire the body to cleanse the blood. Their specific indications for use were jaundice, chronic skin afflictions, intestinal colds and pain, and kidney trouble. While the root was an emetic, many of these same tribes drank a hot infusion of the seeds for diarrhea.
System affinity: digestion, skin, liver
Energetics: cool and dry
Contraindications: caution during pregnancy. not for long term use.
Preparation and dosage: Decoction: put 1-2 tsp of root in a cup of water. bring to a boil and simmer gently for 10-15 mins. This should be drunk 3 times a day.
Tincture: take 1-4 ml of tincture three times a day
Magick: All Docks are under Jupiter, of which the Red Dock, which is commonly called Bloodwort, cleanseth the blood and strengthens the liver, but the Yellow Dock root is best to be taken when either the blood or liver is affected by choler. All of them have a kind of cooling, drying quality: the Sorrel being most cool and the Bloodworts most drying.
Nicholas Culpeper, 1653