Yellowdock is a medicinal perennial that grows 1 to 5 feet tall. It has curly basal leaves and greenish hermaphroditic flowers. We get this plant from Europe and it was a common Native American herb. Medicine is made from the roots and leaves. Medicinally yellowdock has a long history, appearing in our US pharmacopeia from 1863 – 1905 and still used by herbalists and homeopaths today.
Yellowdock has some powerful medicinal uses and, as with all the herbs I’ve posted about thus far. I can’t possibly put all it’s medicinal uses in one blog post. Yellow dock clears toxins from the bowel by moving stagnant bile flow and inhibits the growth of e.coli and staph. It releases iron from the liver to be used in the rest of the body. A few of the ailments it’s been used to heal are acne, indigestion, arthritis, boils, appetite loss, jaundice, liver congestion, leprosy, indigestion, glandular rumors, eczema, cancer, dermatitis, constipation, syphilis, scrofula, psoriasis, enlarged lymph nodes, I can go on and on!
Yellowdock isn’t only good internally but has some pretty amazing external uses. As a poultice it can help heal wounds, ulcers, eczema, itchy skin, hives, stings from stinging nettle, boils, ringworm, scabies, skin infections, swelling, and so many other skin conditions. When ground into a powder it is used to help gingivitis and is gargled for laryngitis. For vaginitis it is made into a douche. It’s no wonder that this herb can do so many things, it’s full of good stuff. Some of the good stuff are calcium, iron, magnesium, sulfur, anthraquinone, glycosides, quercitrin, mucilage, tannins, resins and oxlates.
Due to Yellowdock’s ability to free iron in the liver, it’s used for anemia. It’s blood purifying power helps heal skin disorders and the liver. It’s a mild laxatives due to it’s ability to stimulate the flow of bile. It reduces heat and irritation in digestive tract healing a variety of digestive issues. It’s even used to heal geographic tongue. A few of the herbal actions are: alterative, aperient, cholagogue, and hepatic. Even animals benefit medicinally from Yellowdock, making it into a poultice treats saddle sores on horses and mange on dogs.
Yellowdock is generally safe. It’s cooling and slightly drying. It has high levels of oxalate which can impair calcium absorption. It can aggravate kidney stones, arthritis, gout and hyperactivity. Large amounts may cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Check with your herbal professional if you’re unsure of how much you should take.
Yellowdock has a history of culinary uses. The leaves and stem are nutritive. Young greens taste the best. They can be cooked or eaten raw. The flavor is similar to rhubarb, it’s great in a pie or pastry. The seeds are grounded and roasted as a coffee substitute and can be ground into flour.
Yellowdock has a bit of folklore in it’s history. It’s used in fertility spells. The seeds have been worn on the left arm to encourage fertility. It’s also used for prosperity and ritual magick. Washing your place of business with Yellowdock or sprinkling it around your place of business is said to bring prosperity and success. It’s used to attract a lover, cut bindings, clear any energy holding us back, put in mojo bags and draws money.
Yellowdock has been a blessing to humanity going far back into our history. As with any plant medicine, you want to do your research for any interactions with anything else you take, the food you eat and any conditions your body may have. What else do you know about Yellowdock? Share your info and resources below. Let’s spread the word we all forgot…herbs are medicine from the divine.
Resources: The Encyclopedia of Magickal Ingredients – Lexa Rosean p.296; The Modern Herbal Dispensatory – A Medicine Making Guide – Thomas Easley, Steven Horne, p.326-327; http://www.sagewomanherbs.com/yellowdock-root-html; http://www.thesacredwillow.net/yellow-dock/
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