MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Common Dock, Bluntleaf Dock, Broad-Leaved Dock
For Informational Use Only
For more detailed information contact your health care provider
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BITTER DOCK HERBAL DESCRIPTION
Bitter Dock (Rumex obtusifolius) is also commonly known as Blunt-Leaf Dock, Dock Leaf, Butter Dock, Broad-Leaved Dock, Common Dock, Red-Veined Dock, and Round-Leaved Dock.
Bitter Dock is best known as a tenacious, flowering garden weed that can grow 2 to 5 feet tall. It is a perennial herbaceous weed in the family Polygonaceae. It is native to Europe but can now be found in the United States and many other countries around the world such as Australia and New Zealand. It is a plant of arable land, meadows, waste ground, roadsides, ditches and shorelines. It has large oval leaves with cordate bases and rounded tips, some of the leaves having red stems. The edges of the leaves are slightly "crisped" or wavy, the upper surface is hairless and the under surface may be papillose. The leaves of this plant can grow to about 16 inches in length. Seedlings can be identified by the oval leaves with red stems and rolled leaves sprouting from the center of the plant. The stems are tough, often reddish, and unbranched untill just below the inflorescence. The stem leaves are alternate and narrowly ovate-lanceolate. A tall stalk with tiny greenish flowers in dense clusters at the top of the stalk that change to red as they mature. The plant blooms June through September. Segments in the outer whorl are small and spreading while the inner whorl forms fruit valves, which are widely ovately-triangular. The seeds produces are dry and reddish-brown. The plant blooms June through September. There are more than 20 species of dock in the world but the main ones used medicinally are Bitter Dock, Yellow Dock, and Patience Dock.
Even though the medicinal dock species vary in size, flower, fruit, and leaf, their medicinal and culinary uses are the same. In the 17th century, Bitter Dock root was used in a tea to alleviate toothache and was used to cure an itch when used as a wash. It was also used to clear up skin blemishes.
BITTER DOCK USES, HEALTH BENEFITS & SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE
Rumex obtusifolius is widely distributed throughout the world. It is a plant of arable land, meadows, waste ground, roadsides, ditches and shorelines. Seedlings can be identified by the oval leaves with red stems and rolled leaves sprouting from the center of the plant. In the early 19th century, broad dock leaves were used to wrap farmhouse butter.
Scientific studies have shown Bitter Dock tea to be effective as a laxative.
Bitter Dock is also used though in treating conditions of the blood and glandular system and is indicated in scrofula, eruptive diseases, especially when discharges are experienced, as in running of the ears, ulcerated eyelids and skin conditions, itch, scurvy, and brittle nails.
The 'milk' of the dock leaf is known to contain tannins and oxalic acid, which is an astringent. Broadleaf dock leaves have been used to soothe burns, blisters, and nettle stings. Leaves of the plant can be used as salad, to prepare a vegetable broth or to be cooked like spinach. Dried seeds are used as a spice.
As a folk remedy, the root and fruit has been used as an astringent to help stop bleeding of the lungs, heavy menstrual flow, hemorrhoids, bleeding diarrhea, and also for tubercular lungs. A tea prepared from the root was thought to cure boils.
BITTER DOCK DOSAGE INFORMATION
Bitter Dock comes in various forms and is an ingredient in other products. For best results, read and follow product label directions.
To treat cuts, tie the leaves of Dock Leaf plant on the damaged skin or take fresh leaves of Dock Leaf and crush them to form a paste. Use it on the cuts.
BITTER DOCK SAFETY, CAUTIONS & INTERACTIONS INFORMATION
Bitter Dock is generally regarded as safe when taken in the recommended doses. The leaves contain oxalic acid which can be hazardous if consumed in large quantities. The roots contain tannic acid.
Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease is not known. If you are taking any medications (prescription or over-the-counter) it is best to seek the advice of your health care provider before using Bitter Dock for the treatment of your condition.
Bitter Dock (Broadleaf Dock) is considered a weed and is slightly poisonous. It is designated an "injurious weed" under the UK Weeds Act 1959. Livestock have been known to get sick after feeding on it. But eradicating the plants is difficult. The perennial plant can have a deep taproot reaching 5 feet down. Also, the milk of the plant has been known to cause mild dermatitis. Seeds have toothed wing structures, allowing them to be dispersed by wind or water, and also allow them to attach to animals or machinery to be spread great distances. They can lie dormant for years before germination, making vigilant pulling or tilling essential. First year plants can seed, making early detection important for eradication.
The main weaknesses of Broadleaf are its poor competition, crowding causes flowering to be delayed for up to three years, and its susceptibility to disturbance. Frequent tilling will disrupt the roots and kill the older plants and seedlings. The plant also thrives in moist environments and improved drainage can also help control its growth. It has also been an invasive species of the Great lakes region where it was first sighted in 1840.
BITTER DOCK HERBAL & RELATED PRODUCTS
QUALITY SUPPLIES & PRODUCTS
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BITTER DOCK HERBAL PRODUCTS
No commercially prepared products and dried herbs are available through our merchants. Bitter Dock (Broad Leaf Dock) will need to be wildharvested and prepared for use at home. It is a common weed found throughout the United States.
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NUTRITION BASICS ARTICLES
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