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Rumex crispus

Common name:  Yellow dock

Family: Polygonaceae

Parts used:  Root

Constituents:  Anthraquinone glycosides (emodin), tannins, oxalates (oxalic acid high in leaf), VO, Iron and other minerals

Medicinal actionsTonic, lymphatic, astringent, cooling, alterative, bitter, hepatic, cholagogue, laxative, cathartic

Medicinal use:  The anthraquinone glycosides in Rumex lend the plant its mild laxative (aperient) action. Rumex is most indicated in chronic toxic conditions with debilitation, tendency to tissue stagnation (lymphadenopathy, ulcers, glandular enlargement), chronic sore throat, irritated dry cough. Rumex is especially indicated in chronic skin conditions with G.I. complaints (especially psoriasis with constipation). Will benefit sluggish digestion, flatulence and liver problems. Can be used topically for skin disorders and itchy skin.


  • Anthraquinone glycosides (emodin) exhibit laxative effects.
  • Oxalates (oxalic acid) can be toxic, though safe amounts are found in the root. Can affect blood coagulation mechanisms.

Pharmacy: Decoction: 1 tsp/cup water; 1-2 cups TID. Tincture: (1:2, 25%), 2-5ml QD. Dried root: 2-4g,TID. Ointments, creams.

Contraindications: None known. Fresh root will cause vomiting. Avoid long-term use.

Toxicity:  Contraindicated in irritable bowel, bowel obstructions, spastic colon, and pregnancy. It’s anthraquinone content is mild and should not cause gripping. High doses can cause dermatitis, nausea, and should be avoided in those with gout or a presdisposition to kidney stones (high oxalates).

Interactions: None reported.

About Marisa Marciano

Naturopathic Herbalist


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