It is the taproot of yellow dock that is most commonly used in herbal remedies as it is rich in many compounds known to have cleansing and calming qualities as well as minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorous.
Yellow dock contains a number of anthraquinones, including emodins, which are known for their laxative action. Though small doses of yellow dock can be used as an herbal remedy for diarrhea, higher doses actually cause diarrhea.
The herb acts to stimulate peristalsis and increase mucous production and secretion of water in the colon, hence alleviating the discomforts associated with constipation.
This herb also has diuretic properties, which makes it a natural remedy for water retention, inflammation of the bladder and urinary stones.
Both its laxative and diuretic properties make this herb a natural cleanser. The toxins are flushed out of the system through the urine and stool. Yellow dock has been used to cleanse the circulatory system, liver, spleen, kidneys, and bladder.
It is often blended with other cleansing herbs, such as burdock, red clover, or dandelion, to flush the body of toxins and clear the path to healing the primary infliction such as acne, boils, eczema, psoriasis and fungal infections.
When prepared as a poultice, yellow dock has a calming effect and is used as a natural remedy for boils and burns as well as skin problems such as weeping eczema, psoriasis, nettle rash, boils, and abscesses.
It has even been used as an herbal remedy in the treatment of syphilis and other venereal diseases with skin outbreaks as it alleviates itching and inflammation.
Yellow dock has been used extensively to resolve issues associated with menstruation. It is a traditional remedy for menstrual pain and heavy bleeding and has also been known to be helpful for unbalanced menstrual cycles.
This herb has also been reported to increase fertility.
The root is rich in iron and often used as an herbal remedy for anemia. The laxative effect of this medicinal herb also reduces issues of constipation often associated with iron supplements.
Yellow dock, like many other Rumex species, contains the antibacterial compound, rumicin. This makes this herb a natural remedy for treating bacterial infections of Escherichia, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and Bacillus.
Glycosides found in the herb can help stimulate the liver, which helps heal poor absorption of nutrients and increases bile production which has further detoxifying effects. This trait made yellow dock a common herbal remedy for jaundice sufferers during the 19th century.
The list of illnesses that yellow dock has been used to treat is extensive. Besides what has already been described, this medicinal herb has been used in the treatment of anthrax, anorexia, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, common cold, cramps, depression, fever, general weakness or loss of strength, headaches, hepatitis, high cholesterol, leprosy, malaria, menopause, mental stupor, mouth sores, oral hygiene, ring worm, and tuberculosis.