Healing Weeds - Getting a closer contact with the healing world of herbs and wild plants.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Curly Dock

Rumex crispus
 NL: Zuring / F: Oseille

Most plants of the Rumex genus, docks and sorrels, are edible, rich in protein, vitamins A and C, bioflavonoids, iron and magnesium. But most of them also contain varying levels of tannins and oxalates. For that reason, in their raw form, they should be eaten moderately. They can be freely consumed when boiled 2 to 3 times, changing its cooking water. 

Curly dock or yellow dock (Rumex crispus) has an ancient history as a powerful purifying, cleansing herb, used to help healing a wide range of skin conditions and other chronic illnesses that can benefit from a depurative herb. All parts of the plant can be used but the strongest properties are found in the roots. For that, the root is harvested early in spring - or early autumn - and dried for further use. 

The cleansing actions from various Rumex species are partly explained by its stimulation of digestive secretions, which have a mild laxative effect and help to eliminate waste. Yellow dock also promotes the flow of bile from the liver and gallbladder, which improves the absorption of nutrients. The extensive list of conditions that have been reported to be treated using yellow dock roots include: rheumatism, fevers, liver problems, hemorrhoids, swollen lymph glands and constipation. Recently it has been studied as an auxiliary in the treatment of cancer and bacterial infections.

As a first aid herb, the powder of the dried root can be used in poultice, applied topically to heal wounds, skin inflammations, itching, eczema, etc. This powder has also been used traditionally to treat gingivitis and toothaches. 

It works well in cleansing formulas when combined with burdock roots.

Dock leaves are a traditional remedy for the sting of nettles. Curiously, curly dock and common nettle are often found growing in the same environment.
Dock is also used as compost enhancer, to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to get the compost ready.

More on the healing properties of Yellow Dock:

And here's a complete course on this plant:

Survival Plants Memory Course: Rumex crispus

In the beginning of the following video you get some tips on identifying and using Curly Dock:

Sergei Boutenko: Wild Food Foraging

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