Yellow Dock Root - Cut

Herbs: Yellow Dock Root - Cut

Common Names: Yellow dock, curly dock
Latin Name: Rumex crispus
Origin: India

Excerpts from The How to Herb Book

Yellow Dock Root

  • Blood cleanser, purifier, and builder; tones the entire system.
  • High in vitamin C and iron compounds – one of the best blood builders.
  • Good for all skin problems.
  • Dissolves mucus and moves it through kidneys.
  • Excellent cleanser of lymphatic system.
  • The plant is edible. The leaves are used for green drink and other eating.

Excerpts from Practical Herbalism

Yellow Dock Root has been used extensively since ancient times in the treatment of “bad blood,” especially as related to chronic skin complaints such as psoriasis. The anthraquinones present have a markedly cathartic action on the bowel, but in this herb they act in a mild way, possibly tempered by the tannin content. Priest & Priest tell us that it is a general tonic alterative with special influence upon skin eruptions. Yellow Dock Root is highly prized by modern herbalists as one of the richest sources of iron.

Special Consideration:

The Docks, like Rhubarb, harbor high levels of toxic oxalates in the leaves, and that part of the plant is seldom consumed. The root also contains some oxalates, and should not be consumed in large quantities, or for very long periods. Black tea or coffee should not be consumed while taking Yellow Dock, or other strong iron tonics.


Yellow Dock Root is a “combination friendly” herb that is synergistic with many other plants. It is particularly good as a “blood cleanser” when combined with Red Clover, Burdock, Cleavers, and Barberry.

Excerpts from Nutritional Herbology

Yellow dock root comes from a group of related docks and sorrels and is distinguished from related species by its yellow carrot-shaped root. The root possesses astringent qualities united with a cathartic principle and has been used as a substitute for rhubarb. It was used in medieval times as a poultice to remedy burns, scalds, blisters, syphylitic lesions. It was also used to take the itch out of cutaneous eruptions like psoriasis and the rashes caused by stinging nettle.

During the 19th century, it gained popularity as a remedy for jaundice and as a tonic for the liver and gall bladder and has since been included in nearly all herbal liver remedies.

The action of yellow dock has been compared to that of various rhubarb species used as laxatives. The active principles in yellow dock are the astringent tannins and purgative anthraquinone glycosides based on emodin and chrysophenic acid. The primary use of this herb is in purgative therapies.

Yellow dock has accumulated through the Doctrine of Signatures and from folk tradition the reputation of being a liver tonic, gall bladder tonic, and the best source of iron available.

Though yellow dock contains above average quantities of iron, it does not come close to its legendary esteem in this regard, but is useful as a nutritive tonic supplying many trace minerals. Its action on the liver and gall bladder may have some yet unproven efficacy, since most laxatives do stimulate bile production and the secretion of gastric fluids.

Contains bitter compounds that act as a mild laxative, increasing the production of digestive fluids and enzymes, especially bile, and also increase the flow of urine. It also contains astringent compounds that shrink inflamed tissues. Yellow dock is an excellent herbal source of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and selenium.

Customer Reviews

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by Oliya on Jul 2, 2013

Can I take this herb while nursing my 14 month baby? I read its very good for iron and I was anemic before so I thought to give this herb a try.

    Re: Nursing
    by Bulk Herb Store on Jul 16, 2013

    It is high in iron but it is also a blood cleanser. You would need to make sure with your midwife or Physician as we are not licensed professionals. Thank you!

Tasty yellow dock tea
by Momof4 on Dec 7, 2012

I found a way to drn yellow dock tea that my children love. I use yellow dock, nettle, oat straw, alfalfa and sometimes red raspberry leaf in a pot on the stove. Leave it on low for six hours, serve warm with cream and molasses. I tell them it tastes like coffee and we drink it daily. It does taste like a cafe au lait.

Bad Taste - Great Results!!
by Melissa on Dec 2, 2008

Yellow Dock for Eczema:
This is great stuff! I initially made a tea with the root - it seemed the easiest way; while it was easiest to prepare, it tasted awful! Yellow dock is very bitter and course. I used a blender-type food processor and ground it up, then ground it even finer using a mortar and pestle. I have put it into capsules and taken it orally which takes time to work, but for my skin condition - the best by far was making a paste like (using a little boiling water and heated vaseline) concoction. I apply it directly to my affected areas on my face and leave it on overnight. By the morning, the redness and itching are gone! Its wonderful! I recommend using it (depending on how bad your eczema is) perhaps two to three times a week until skin clears up, then as a follow up treatment perhaps once a week or once every 2 weeks.
Careful - this is a very pungent root (and not pleasantly if ya ask me!) - and it also can stain certain porous materials and surfaces (it has been used to dye fabric). Small price to pay for such a fabulous remedy to eczema!

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