Yellow Dock Root


Also known as
Rumex crispus, curled dock, garden patience, narrow dock, and sour dock.

The name "dock" refers to a genus of broad-leaved wayside weeds related to rhubarb. Like rhubarb, all the docks can be used as laxatives or purgatives. Also like rhubarb, all the docks are rich in tannin. Yellow dock has long curly leaves that appear to have been "crisped" at their edges. It bears multiple clusters of three-winged flowers. Its seeds are green in the summer but they become deep red as they mature. The root of yellow dock is bright yellow below the bark. The root is the part of the plant used in herbal medicine, harvested in late summer after the seeds have begun to turn red.

Emodin, magnesium, nepodin, oxalic acid, selenium, silicon, sodium, tannins.

Parts Used
Dried root, chopped.

Typical Preparations
Traditionally used as a tea or tincture, and may be taken in capsule form.

Yellow dock is the kinder, gentler alternative to laxatives made with buckthorn, cascara sagrada, frangula, rhubarb, or senna. It encourages both bowel movement and good digestion by stimulating the release of gastric juices.

Additional Info The University of Michigan Health System notes the use of yellow dock for the support and detoxification of the liver. Yellow dock is traditionally used an an alternative medicine for liver problems and skin conditions caused by liver problems. A tincture of yellow dock in the amount of 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon taken three times per day is recommended to treat liver problems.

If you experience cramping, you've taken too much. Start with the smallest recommended dose (usually 6 grams or 3 rounded teaspoons a day) and increase dosage slowly until you get the desired effect. Unlike small doses of rhubarb, small doses of yellow dock are not constipating. Don't take yellow dock or any other stimulant laxative if you take Lasix (furosemide); the combination can lead to potassium depletion. Not known to be safe during pregnancy, although no complications have ever been reported. Not recommended for use while suffering from Kidney stones.


For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 

Unless otherwise stated, this information courtesy of MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS, with full, written permission for reuse. For further traditional information concerning YELLOW DOCK, please visit this excellent resource  Used with full, written permission.