This common weed is a member of the Buckwheat family, the Polygonaceae. It flowers in July, and its seed is usually set in a dark brown by the end of August. We harvest it for its root, usually in the fall, although it is quite good in the spring as well, and juicier. Although it grows quite well anywhere, it does prefer a bit of richness in the soil, and we cultivate it to ensure big, easy-to-dig roots.
Elemental associations: Air
Phytochemistry: Anthraquinones, bitter principles, tannins
Actions: Aperient, alterative, cholagogue
Specific systems: Digestive
This bitter remedy is an excellent tonic for the lower digestive system, helping to loosen and move the bowels and stimulate appetite and digestion. Its gentle action should make it a first choice in treatments designed to address constipation.
Yellowdock goes further, however. It is a mild alterative, helping to remove toxins from the bloodstream by stimulating the release of bile from the liver. It therefore helps not only in eliminating congested waste from the colon, but also the resultant backup of blood toxicity.
Indications: Constipation, atonic bowel
Contraindications: None really – overuse can result in diarrhea
Preparation/Dosage: The decoction can be made with 1 ½ TBS. of the root in one pint of water. Take 15 minutes before dinner. The tincture, prepared at 40%, 1:4, is taken 15 minutes before meals, ¼ tsp.