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Rumex crispus

Most people are familiar with this common herb, which populates almost every field. But few will know it as a healing herb beyond the virtue of its leaves to soothe the stinging bites of nettles. Yellow Dock is not the prettiest of herbs, but with its large curly leaves and thick mass of confetti-like seeds it is impressive in its own way. In the old days Dock leaves were sometimes used as a wild vegetable, but only the very young leaves are palatable. Also, their high oxalate content makes them not particularly recommendable. Individuals who suffer from gout, arthritis or kidney disease should avoid them altogether. For medicinal purposes the root is used.

Yellow Dock root is described as an alterative tonic, which means that it has a non-specific cleansing action on the digestive system and metabolism. Yellow Dock is a mild laxative that stimulates the peristaltic movement and the flow of bile, thus supporting the eliminative process. It is indicated for congestive conditions of the liver and gallbladder. It cleanses the lymphatic system and can be used in cases of scrofula, hardened lymph nodes or glandular swellings. It is indicated as a supportive blood cleansing remedy in all kinds of systemic skin conditions that arise from impurities of the blood, such as eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis. Yellow Dock is excellent for making iron available to the body. Old herbalists also repeatedly mention its usefulness as an anti-tumour herb and include it in various folk-medicine cancer treatments. This use warrants further investigations. In the past it was also recommended for anaemia during pregnancy. However, more recent sources advise against the use of Yellow Dock during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Externally it can be applied to varicose veins, which are said to benefit greatly from this application.

Yellow Dock may be used to clear blockages and cut binding ties that prevent one from moving on. It can help eliminate emotional waste that accumulates as garbage and is lugged around as a burden. It helps one deal with and release emotions tied to problems of the past, anxieties and old pain. Yellow Dock can help open the practitioner to new influences and clears the boundaries between inner and outer space. It is a good herb for periods of transition and transformation at the cusp to a new phase in life.

Not all herbs are suitable in pregnancy, breastfeeding or for young children, or if you are unwell, or taking any medication. If in doubt, please ask a medical herbalist or healthcare practitioner.