Root, leaves, seeds.
Yellow dock's laxative properties make it an important herbal medication for minor cases of constipation. The laxative action of yellow dock increases when one enhances the fiber content in his diet. Anthraquinones in yellow dock invigorates the colon as a result of which feces are thrown out more effectively lowering the possibility of re-absorption of toxins into the system. In addition, yellow dock is considered to be helpful in enhancing bile secretion that again helps in the detoxification process. It may be mentioned here that this is possible because all waste products inside the system are eliminated through the bile ducts. Normally, when yellow dock is blended with other cleansing herbs like burdock and dandelion, the herb is useful in healing a wide range of ailments by significantly reducing the toxic contents in the body. In fact, most of the ailments and disorders have their genesis in the toxics accumulated in the system and so when these noxious substances are removed it becomes easier to heal conditions like acne, boils, eczema and psoriasis as well as fungal infections. In addition, use of yellow dock decoction or tincture is also helpful in alleviating poor and slow digestion, constipation, arthritic as well as rheumatic troubles, particularly osteoarthritis.
Although yellow dock is indigenous to Europe and Africa, the herb is frequently found in other parts of the world, too. Normally, yellow dock grows and flourishes on odd places like abandoned lands, along the roads and even in ditches and trenches. The root of yellow dock is burrowed out during the autumn, chopped up and dehydrated for storing.
Not much research work has been done so far to explore the medicinal properties of the yellow dock. But still, people are well aware of the herb's laxative (a substance that promotes bowel movements), and cleansing functions. It has been established that the yellow dock's laxative and cleansing properties are primarily owing to the presence of a substance called the anthraquinones. This ingredient of yellow dock is beneficial as a laxative and when used in high doses acts as a purgative. The action of anthraquinones is similar to that of Chinese rhubarb, but comparatively much more placid. Since ages, the leaves of yellow dock have been used as a spring tonic, but researches have shown that the herb contains large proportions of oxalates that may cause kidney stones and gout if consumed in huge doses. However, it has been found that the content of oxalates in yellow dock root is safe for use.
Leaves: chlorophyll, vitamins A and C, oxalic acid. Roots: tannins, chrysophanic acid, rumicin, minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus), tonic, bitter principle.
The root of yellow dock herb can be used both as a decoction (an extraction by boiling of water-soluble drug substances) and as tincture. To heal constipation, take 100 ml or 4 fl oz of the decoction for brief periods. On the other hand, to heal skin problems, combine the yellow dock decoction with marigold and cleavers. Use 100 ml or 4 fl oz of the mixture of the three herbs daily. Alternatively, 2.5 ml or 50 drops of the yellow dock tincture may be taken thrice daily to get rid of the above-mentioned problems.
As mentioned earlier, the presence of anthraquinones in yellow dock enables the herb to function as a laxative. In fact, yellow dock is mainly prescribed by herbal medicine practitioners for its laxative and cleansing properties. The anthraquinones invigorate the colon which in the process helps to throw out the waste and toxins from the body. It may be noted here that any substance that has laxative property also helps in cleansing the system when taken in small proportions. However, when they are taken in large doses they act as purgatives leading to peristalsis (causing a rippling motion of muscles in the intestine) and gripping pain. Nevertheless, when yellow dock is taken in the right doses, it acts gently and helps to alleviate constipation. In addition, the yellow dock is also beneficial for the digestive system. When mixed with other herbs, yellow dock is also useful in assisting the liver, removing toxins from the skin as well as healing ailments like eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Yellow dock also acts as a cleansing agent in the musculoskeletal system where there is regular accumulation of toxins owing to constipation.
Leaves of yellow dock make an effective poultice for contagious skin disorders like acne, sores and eczema. However, in order to make the poultice, one needs to steam the soft leaves of the herb and place them directly on the affected area. The new leaves of the herb can also be consumed raw in the form of a salad using a maximum of three leaves in each serving, or drunk as a decoction after boiling them in water. It may be taken for many days at a stretch to cleanse the liver as well as the blood circulation system. The root of yellow dock has a special action on the lower portion of the digestive system as well as the intestines and assists in regulating these organs. For an effective laxative action, 15 grams of the yellow dock root may be added to one cup or 250 ml of water and consumed. If yellow dock is to be taken as an astringent (an agent that contracts or shrinks tissues), add five grams of the root extract in one cup or 250 ml of water and drink the solution. If a mother tincture is prepared with the root and seeds of yellow dock by adding 15 grams of the herb in one cup or 250 ml of water and consumed on a regular basis, it is helpful in fighting anemia, reinvigorating the nervous system as well as increasing fertility, particularly in women.