Herb: Arctic Dock

Latin name: Rumex arcticus

Family: Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)

Medicinal use of Arctic Dock:

The astringent leaves and stems have been used in the treatment of diarrhoea.

Description of the plant:


Habitat of the herb:

Marshes in N. Russia.

Edible parts of Arctic Dock:

Tender young leaves and stems - raw or cooked. An acid flavour, they are sometimes used like rhubarb. They are also cooked as greens or eaten raw in salads. A good source of vitamins A and C. Seed - raw or cooked.

Other uses of the herb:

Although no specific mention has been made for this species, 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.

Propagation of Arctic Dock:

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring.

Cultivation of the herb:

Marshes in N. Russia.

Known hazards of Rumex arcticus:

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.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.