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Botanical Name: Rumex aquaticus
Species: Rumex aquaticus
Synonym: Water Dock
Common Names: Red Dock, Western dock
Habitat : Rumex aquaticus is native to Europe, including Britain but absent from Italy and the Balkans, to N. Asia. It grows in shallow water at the margins of swamps. Fields, meadows and ditches.
Rumex aquaticus is a perennial plant. The stem is 1 to 3 feet high, very stout; the leaves similar to those of the Yellow Dock, having also crisped edges, but being broader, 3 to 4 inches across. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Wind.
It has properties very similar to those of the Yellow Dock. It is frequent in fields, meadows and ditches. Its rootstock is top-shaped, the outer surface blackish or dark brown, the bark porous and the pith composed of honeycomb-like cells, with a short zone of woody bundles separated by rays. It has an astringent and somewhat sweet taste, but no odour.
Cultivation: A plant of shallow water.
Propagation : Seed – sow spring or autumn in situ. Division in spring.
Edible Uses: Leaves are cooked and eaten.
The root of this and all other Docks is dried in the same manner as the Yellow Dock.
The root is alterative, astringent, cholagogue, deobstruent, depurative, detergent, laxative and mildly tonic. It can cause or relieve diarrhoea according to the dose, harvest time and relative concentrations of tannin(astringent) and anthraquinones (laxative) that are present. It is used internally in the treatment of piles, bleeding of the lungs, various blood complaints and also chronic skin diseases. Externally, it is applied to various skin diseases, ulcers etc. The root has been used with positive effect to restrain the inroads made by cancer, being used as an alterative and tonic. The root is harvested in early spring and dried for later use. Some caution is advised in its use since excess doses can cause gastric disturbance, nausea and dermatitis.
Other Uses: …Dye; Teeth…….Dark green to brown and dark grey dyes can be obtained from the roots of many species in this genus, They do not need a mordant. The dried and powdered root has a cleansing and detergent affect on the teeth
Known Hazards : Plants can contain quite high levels of oxalic acid, which is what gives the leaves of many members of this genus an acid-lemon flavour. Perfectly alright in small quantities, the leaves should not be eaten in large amounts since the oxalic acid can lock-up other nutrients in the food, especially calcium, thus causing mineral deficiencies. The oxalic acid content will be reduced if the plant is cooked. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.