The identifying characteristics of Yellow Dock, or Rumex crispus are the narrowness of the leaves, usually curly along the long edges, and the deep yellow colour of the root when scraped. It is a native perennial British herb found in arable farmland, on roadsides and in ditches and waste places throughout the world. Its spindle-shaped taproot sends up a smooth, slender stem, up to a metre in height. Lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate in shape, the pointed light green leaves have predominantly wavy margins. The lower leaves are larger and longer-petioled than the upper leaves. Blooming from June to July, the numerous pale green, drooping flowers are loosely whorled in panicled racemes. The fruit is a pointed three-angled and heart-shaped nut.
Yellow Dock is used extensively in the support for chronic skin complaints, especially psoriasis associated with constipation; and obstructive jaundice. The anthraquinones have a cathartic action on the bowel, but act in quite a mild way, possibly tempered by the tannin content. It can help promote the flow of bile, and its action on the gallbladder gives it a role in supporting jaundice when this is due to congestion. The plant's high iron content makes it valuable for correcting anaemia. A compress can be used to help soothe itchy skin. The ointment is valuable for itching, sores, swellings and scabby eruptions.
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Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 tea bag for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the pot, cover and let steep for 2-4 minutes. Pour into your cup; add milk and sugar to taste.
Iced tea brewing method: (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 5 tea bags into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea itself. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into the serving pitcher straining the tea bags. Add ice and top-up with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste.
Large doses should be avoided due to the oxalate content.
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