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Once upon a time, Yellow dock was commonly eaten. When blanched, its spring leaves and stalks have a tart lemony flavor that was very popular during the Great Depression. Then and today it’s rather abundant and easily identified.
Yellow dock is native in Europe and Western Asia and is a very successful invasive plant to North America.

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Chuck Kleine
Kara Baum harvesting yellow dock to make a tincture.

Also called Curly dock, it has some unique medicinal benefits. It has been used for centuries in Europe to soothe irritated skin. There are claims the crushed leaves can ease the burn of stinging nettles. Today it’s often used to help the body absorb iron which is extremely beneficial to people with Anemia. It is commonly tinctured, used as a tea or a decoction.

The plant is usually harvested in the fall and remedies made from it’s very deep-reaching roots. Digging up dock roots can be difficult as any experienced gardener probably knows.


Kara Baum
Yellow Dock Tincture

Curly dock has a good deal of oxalic acid in it. This acid is what gives it the tart flavor. It has been known to cause kidney stones.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding it is not advised to eat curly dock. Like every wild edibles or remedy, please research how to properly identify and be sure the active ingredients are right for you.


Edible Mountain is a bite-sized, digital series from WVPB that

showcases some of Appalachia’s overlooked and underappreciated products

of the forest while highlighting their mostly forgotten uses.


series features experts, from botanists to conservationists, who

provide insight on how to sustainably forage these delicacies. It also

explores the preparation of these amazing delectables, something that

many could achieve in the home kitchen.