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∂ actions: alterative, astringent, cholagogue, detergent, purgative, renal depurative, tonic
∂ specific indications: vitiated blood with chronic skin diseases; low glandular and cellular
deposits with tendency to indolent ulcers; feeble recuperative power; chronic sore throat,
with glandular engorgement and hypersecretion; cough, with shortness of breath and precordial
fullness; dry, irritative laryngeal-tracheal cough; stubborn, dry summer cough; nervous
dyspepsia, with epigastric fullness and pain extending into the chest. (Felter, p. 610)
∂ therapy: ulcerative stomatitis, morning diarrhea, necrosis, cancer, scrofula, syphilis,
tuberculosis, stomach ulcer (Ellingwood, p. 378); obstructive jaundice; constipation (British
Herbal Pharmacopoeia, p. 183); skin disease, especially psoriasis; anemia; lymphatic
problems; coughs; chronic upper respiratory infections; slow healing wounds; hemorrhoids;
varicose veins (Anderson Geller)
Yellow dock has a long history of domestic herbal use. It is a gentle and safe laxative, less powerful than rhubarb in its action so it is particularly useful in the treatment of mild constipation. The plant has valuable cleansing properties and is useful for treating a wide range of skin problems. All parts of the plant can be used, though the root is most active medicinally.
The root is alterative, antiscorbutic, astringent, cholagogue, depurative, laxative and mildly tonic. It used to be sold as a tonic and laxative. It can cause or relieve diarrhea according to the dose, harvest time and relative concentrations of tannin (astringent) and anthraquinones (laxative) that are present. It is used internally in the treatment of constiation, diarrhea, piles, bleeding of the lungs, various blood complaints and also chronic skin diseases. Externally, the root can be mashed and used as a poultice and salve, or dried and used as a dusting powder, on sores, ulcers, wounds and various other skin problems.
The root has been used with positive effect to restrain the inroads made by cancer, being used as an alterative and tonic. The root is harvested in early spring and dried for later use. Some caution is advised in its use since excess doses can cause gastric disturbance, nausea and dermatitis.
The seed is used in the treatment of diarrhea.
A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh root, harvested in the autumn before frost has touched the plant. It is only used in the treatment of a specific type of cough.
Leaves - raw or cooked. They can also be dried for later use. The leaves can be added to salads, cooked as a potherb or added to soups. Only the very young leaves should be used, preferably before the stems have developed, and even these are likely to be bitter. If used in early spring and in the autumn they can often be fairly pleasant tasting. The leaves are very rich in vitamins and minerals, especially iron and the vitamins A and C. A nutritional analysis is available.