Yellow dock was one of the most esteemed medicinal plants in traditional herbal medicine dating back to the 1700’s. Yellow Dock is considered a tonic, a cleanser, a digestive herb, a laxative and a diuretic. As a tonic, the roots were taken to increase appetite and counteract anemia and scurvy. Yellow Dock herb was particularly appreciated for just about all conditions and diseases affecting the skin including acne, psoriasis, leprosy, ringworm, herpes, eczema and dermatitis. For these conditions, the leaves and root were taken internally as a decoction or as a poultice to be applied directly to the skin. The herb has even been used to improve hair and fingernail quality. Yellow Dock’s cleansing properties are associated with removing waste by stimulating the liver, gall bladder, digestive tract and urinary tract. By stimulating digestive organs, yellow dock can also promote the absorption of nutrients. Yellow Dock is considered a laxative and can be used to treat constipation. At the same time, it reportedly helps those suffering from hemorrhoids. Yellow Dock also detoxifies on cellular level with antioxidants that eliminate free radicals from the body. Some have even used Yellow Dock as a traditional remedy for poisoning. Yellow Dock has also been used to remove parasites from the body, particularly those causing infections such as dysentery, STD’s, yeast infections, urinary tract infections and respiratory infections. Yellow Dock is said to have expectorant properties, which would make it helpful for cold sufferers. Additionally, Yellow Dock reportedly has anti-inflammatory properties that are said to help alleviate swollen nasal passages. These same anti-inflammatory properties have led to its application in ailments where anti-inflammatory action is typically valued such as arthritis, rheumatism and headache. Traditional herbalism even employs it for diabetes.
Growing Information: Sow the seeds about 1/8th deep in a fertile soil. The seeds can be lightly scarified with sandpaper to help increase germination potential. Yellow Dock seeds generally require temperature fluctuation to sprout. Keep the seeds evenly moist throughout germination. Sowing outdoors during spring or fall will help subject the seeds to natural temperature fluctuations. Cold stratification in the fridge for four weeks can also help simulate this. Once established, yellow dock likes moist garden soil.
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