Rumex aquaticus. N.O. Polygonaceae.
Synonym ► Bloodwort, Red Dock.
Habitat ► In, or very near, waterways, lakes, ponds, ditches, and in marshes and swampy places.
Features ► The largest of all the Docks, reaching up to six or seven feet. Stem erect, thick, striated, hollow, branched. Leaves very large, some two feet in length, pale green turning to reddish-brown, broad and sharp-pointed, point turning over towards the water. Flowers (July and August) small, greenish-yellow, with white threads which become brown. Root large, reddish brown, porous bark, large pith with honeycomb-like cells.
Part used ► Root.
Action ► Alterative, detergent.
Of value in skin diseases and sluggish liver, in which latter case it should be given in combination with a mild laxative. The dose is 3-4 tablespoonfuls of the decoction of 1 ounce to 1 pint after simmering from
1 1/2 pints. This may be used as a mouthwash for ulcers, etc., and the powder makes a first-rate medicinal cleanser for the teeth.
Hool highly esteems Water Dock, and says ► “It operates kindly and without excitement, being slow but sure in promoting a healthy action of the depurative functions of the system.” He also claims diuretic and tonic qualities for the root.