Yellow Dock

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What other names is Yellow Dock known by?

Acedera, Amalvelas, Broad-Leaved Dock, Chukkah, Curled Dock, Curly Dock, Field Sorrel, Herbe à Cochons, Lengua de Vaca, Narrow Dock, Oseille Crépue, Parelle Sauvage, Patience Crépue, Romaza, Rumex, Rumex crispus, Rumex obstusifolius, Sheep Sorrel, Sour Dock, Yellowdock.

What is Yellow Dock?

Yellow dock is an herb. The leaf stalks are used in salads. The root is used as medicine.

Yellow dock is used for pain and swelling (inflammation) of nasal passages and the respiratory tract, and as a laxative and tonic. It is also used to treat bacterial infections and sexually transmitted diseases.

Some people use yellow dock as a toothpaste.

Historically, yellow dock has been used for skin diseases, skin inflammation (dermatitis), rashes, a vitamin deficiency called scurvy, obstructive jaundice, and psoriasis with constipation.

Is Yellow Dock effective?

Yellow dock can be an effective laxative to reduce constipation. Although some people try using yellow dock for sexually transmitted diseases or skin problems, it does not seem to be effective for these uses.

There isn't enough information to know if yellow dock is effective for the other conditions that people use it for, including: inflammation of nasal passages and the respiratory tract, bacterial infections, jaundice, scurvy, and others.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Constipation.
  • Inflammation of nasal passages and the respiratory tract.
  • Bacterial infections.
  • Jaundice.
  • Scurvy.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of yellow dock for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Quick GuideVitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough?

Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough?

How does Yellow Dock work?

Yellow dock contains chemicals called anthraquinones, which work as stimulant laxatives.

Are there safety concerns?

Yellow dock is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when consumed in amounts found in food. Taking too much yellow dock can cause diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, excessive urination, skin irritation, and low blood levels of potassium and calcium.

Don't use raw or uncooked yellow dock. It can cause serious side effects including vomiting, heart problems, breathing difficulty, and even death. Also, handling raw yellow dock can cause skin irritation in some people.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking yellow dock by mouth is LIKELY UNSAFE in women who are pregnant or breast-feeding. It has laxative effects, which are not desirable during pregnancy. Also, the chemicals that cause the laxative effects can be transferred to a nursing infant through breast milk.

Blood clotting problems: Yellow dock may speed up clotting. If you have a clotting disorder, get your healthcare provider's advice before starting yellow dock.

Allergies: People who are allergic to ragweed may also be allergic to yellow dock.

Gastrointestinal (GI) blockage: Don't use yellow dock if you have any kind of blockage in your digestive tract.

Stomach or intestinal ulcers: Don't use yellow dock if you have ulcers. Yellow dock can irritate the lining of the stomach and intestine, making ulcer symptoms worse.

Kidney disease: Yellow dock contains a chemical that can bind with calcium and form crystals that can damage the kidneys. If you have kidney stones or have ever had kidney stones, get your healthcare provider's advice before starting yellow dock.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Digoxin (Lanoxin)
Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.

Yellow dock is a type of laxative called a stimulant laxative. Stimulant laxatives can decrease potassium levels in the body. Low potassium levels can increase the risk of side effects of digoxin (Lanoxin).



Water pills (Diuretic drugs)
Interaction Rating: Major Do not take this combination.

Yellow dock is a laxative. Some laxatives can decrease potassium in the body. "Water pills" can also decrease potassium in the body. Taking yellow dock along with "water pills" might decrease potassium in the body too much.

Some "water pills" that can decrease potassium include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, Hydrodiuril, Microzide), and others.



Warfarin (Coumadin)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Yellow dock can work as a laxative. In some people yellow dock can cause diarrhea. Diarrhea can increase the effects of warfarin and increase the risk of bleeding. If you take warfarin do not to take excessive amounts of yellow dock.

Dosing considerations for Yellow Dock.

The appropriate dose of yellow dock depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for yellow dock. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
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Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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