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Curly dock (Rumex crispus)

Slightly toxic


purifying, antioxidant, antibacterial

Areas of application:

mild constipation, wounds, skin diseases, increases bile production, for detoxification

Plant parts used:

root, leaves

Collection time:

Root in autumn

Leaves from spring to summer

To find:

On weed fields, on banks, ditches, in fields, in goose greens and on wet meadows.


Potassium oxalate, oxalic acid, tannins, tannins, anthraquinones


Curly dock is an evergreen, perennial, herbaceous plant. The flower stalks grow with smooth, leathery, fleshy leaves from the base and in a large raceme at the tip. The leaves are wavy or curled at the edges and have a coarse texture. The leaves can grow up to 60 cm long and are 7.5 cm wide, making them long, narrow and wavy. Small veins curve toward the edge of the leaf and then return to the central vein. Leaves further up the plant can vary in size and appearance. On older leaves the central vein is sometimes colored red. The flower stem is approximately 90 cm high, with clustered flowers and seeds. Tiny green flowers grow in dense heads on the flower stem. The 3-sided seeds are brown, shiny and covered by a papery shell that looks like heart-shaped wings. The root, a long, yellow, forking taproot, is formed anew every year. It can root up to 3 m deep.

🛑 Local irritation; Absorbed oxalic acid binds blood calcium and leads to hypocalcemia. The calcium oxalate crystals damage the kidneys when excreted. Symptoms of poisoning include: vomiting, diarrhea, colic, cardiac arrhythmias, hypotension, tremors, paralysis, hematuria/anuria, etc.

In the kitchen you can use the leaves as a cooking vegetable; they have a lemony taste. Young leaves can also be eaten raw.

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