& Dock in general…
Common Names: Yellow Dock, Curled Dock, Western Dock, Reddish Dock
Botanical Name: Rumex crispus (Curled Dock) & R. occidentalis (Western Dock)
Plant Family: Polygonaceae, the Buckwheat Family
Parts Used: Roots**Leaves can be eaten, however, they are high in oxalic acid and can irritate the urinary tract**
Actions: High in minerals (magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium) and vitamins (A&C), alterative, purgative, laxative
Habitat: Disturbed, waste places that normally are wet or moist for most of the year
Collection: The plant can be harvested throughout the year. However, if you are wanting to snack on dock leaves, it is preferable to collect them as they are unfurling in early spring. Young leaves are tender and can be used in salads or cooked in with other foods. In Spring, the stalk from the previous year is often still present (This can help with ID if you know what the tall stalk with seeds looks like). When digging up the roots, you’ll see that underneath the sheath, a vibrant yellow will shine. The roots are best harvested in the fall, winter and early spring.
Dock helps sluggish digestion, constipation, malabsorption and dry/problematic skin. Dock can be interchangeable medicinally and nutritionally.
What’s up Dock?
-Dock has a wild amount of magnesium and calcium, therefore NOURISHING THE LIVER.
-It aids as a laxative that calms and reduces inflammation in an overly active intestinal tract.
-Dock’s high vitamin and mineral counts help promote good digestion, thereby enhancing the skin’s complexion
-Dock ultimately promotes the flow of bile and has that somewhat obscure action of being a “blood cleanser.” This action helps remove heavy metals such as arsenic and lead from the body. It would behoove those who live in older buildings or work around such metals to use dock roots as a tonic, meaning small amounts over long term. And it will enhance urine production.
-Combine with Dandelion Root, Burdock Root and Cleavers for the ULTIMATE liver and gallbladder cleanse
-Dock is an excellent upper respiratory aid, it will soothe respiratory issues stemming from colds, bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, and emphysema, smoke in the air, particulates, pollen, etc.
**Since dock is extremely bitter, it goes down best with some sugar (something I believe Mary Poppins once sang). I favor a syrup because you can add it to teas or take it straight.
STEP 1: Make a decoction. Boil about 2 ounces dried root with 1 quart of water. Ultimately, you want to half the amount of water, however, you can also give yourself a 20 minute decoction limit.
STEP 2: Strain decoction.
STEP 3: Add 2 times the amount of honey as you have decoction.
STEP 4: Heat honey with the decoction until thoroughly mixed together.
A syrup can last up to 2-3 years in the refrigerator if it is not contaminated (say with little fingers dipping into it…)
The New Holistic Herbal, David Hoffman
Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West, Michael Moore
Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West, Michael Moore