Rumex crispus

Me and my friend Rumex crispus (a.k.a. yellow dock) hanging out. A “weed” thats naturalized to disturbed landscapes including this converted wetlands that’s become a waste water treatment plant on this unceded Ohlone Territory mistakenly called “Santa Cruz”. Many Rumex species can be used for medicine, food, dyeing and more, but this particular version is from Europe and has traditional use especially in Ireland. The bright, yellow root is harvested in the fall and is indicated for digestive conditions requiring more secretion of bile from the gallbladder, and because it contains both anthraquinone (laxative effects) and tannins (constricting), it has historical use of being used to treat for both constipation and diarrhea. It has also been seen as an Alterative, or blood purifier, that has been used to support skin issues by helping to detoxify the liver. The dried and ground seeds can be dried and ground into bread. The seeds and roots can be used in natural dyeing to produce a yellow/green color. Just wanted to share a bit about this stunning herb that stands more that 5 feet tall in some areas at this moment. This isn’t specific info on harvesting or dosage, just a shout-out to the beauty of wastelands and the resilience of plants. I will be sharing herbal monographs of the many uses of “invasive” plants leading up to some classes I will be teaching at the UCSC arboretum with Elena Staley and Nicole Wong in the summer. We will be focusing on salve making, land tending, natural dyeing and eco-printing.

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