Patience dock is a plant that belongs to the same botanical genus as bugloss, which has similar properties, and as sorrel, from which it differs in having a bitter, not acid, flavor. All these plants were used as vegetables in the Middle Ages and in times of famine.
Patience Dock Scientific Facts
- Scientific Name – Rumex patientia L.
- Other Names – Sorrel, spinach dock.
- French – Patience.
- Spanish – Romaza.
- Environment – Roadsides and shady lands of Central Europe. Naturalized to America.
- Description – Vivacious plant of the Polygonaceae family, growing from 0.5 to 1 m high, with red nerves in its stem and its large leaves, an acrid smell, and a sour flavor.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally – Dry root and leaves.
The entire plant contains high amounts of iron and phosphorus, tannin, and glycosides with active properties on the digestive and urine systems. Its root has been used as a safe laxative, but it acts so slowly that some weeks have to pass to notice its effects. Thus its name of patience. It has antianemic (because of the iron it contains), depurative, and mildly diuretic properties.
Its use is recommended for persistent constipation, depurative spring cures, eczema, digestive system atony, and anemia caused by lack of iron. When externally applied, its leaves and root, mashed, have healing properties for skin sores and ulcers.
How to use Patience Dock
- Its leaves are consumed as vegetables.
- Infusion with 30 grams of leaves and/or dry ground root per liter of water. Drink two or three cups daily.
- Fresh juice of leaves: a glass a day.
- Poultices with mashed leaves and roots applied on skin sores and ulcers.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 532. Print. [patience dock]