Health Guide

Yellow dock

What is it?

Yellow Dock is an herbal medicine used to treat long lasting skin inflammations, rashes, and constipation (difficulty having a bowel movement).

Other names for Yellow Dock include: Curled Dock, Narrow Dock, and Sour Dock.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you ...

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have an intestinal or bowel blockage
  • have had kidney stones
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much Yellow Dock you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Yellow Dock. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.


  • Before taking Yellow Dock, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Do not take too much Yellow Dock or take it for too long (2)
  • Do not take if you have an intestinal or bowel blockage (obstruction) (2)
  • Yellow dock may cause low potassium and calcium levels in the body (3,5)
  • If you have kidney stones, check with your health care giver before taking Yellow Dock (4)

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • You may have stomach cramps, vomiting (throwing up), nausea (upset stomach), and diarrhea (loose stools) (2,5)
  • Using too much Yellow Dock or using Yellow Dock for too long may cause intestinal atrophy (making it hard to have a bowel movement without the use of some laxative) or low potassium in the body(2)


1. Anon: British Herbal Pharmacopoeia. British Herbal Medicine Association, Keighley, UK; 1983.

2. Newall C, Anderson L & Phillipson J (eds): Yellow Dock. In: Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-Care Professionals. The Pharmaceutical Press, London, UK; 1996.

3. Brinker F: Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions. Eclectic Institute Inc, Sandy, OR; 1997.

4. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R et al (eds): American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook: guidelines for the safe use and labeling for herbs in commerce. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL; 1997.

5. Fetrow CW & Avila JR: Professional's Handbook of Complementary and Alternative Medicines. Springhouse Corporation, Springhouse, PA; 1999: 225-228.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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