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The magic of dock by Heather

The dock family, together with sorrels, are a group of about 200 species of annual, biennial, and perennial herbs in the buckwheat family, which can be found worldwide.  They are erect plants, usually with long taproots. The fleshy, sometimes leathery leaves, form a basal rosette at the root.  The flowers and seeds grow on long clusters at the top of a stalk emerging from the basal rosette; in many species, the flowers are green, but in some (such as sheep's sorrel) the flowers and their stems may be dark red.

Broad-leaved dock used to be called butter dock because its large leaves were used to wrap and conserve butter.

Canaigre dock has been grown in the Southwestern US as a source of tannin for use in leather tanning, while leaves and stems are used to make a mustard-coloured dye.

These plants are edible. The leaves of most species contain oxalic acid and tannin, and many have astringent and slightly purgative qualities. Some species with particularly high levels of oxalic acid are called sorrels (including sheep's sorrel, common sorrel, and French sorrel), and some of these are grown as leaf vegetables or garden herbs for their acidic taste.

In Western Europe, dock leaves are a traditional remedy for the sting of nettles and larger docks (such as broad-leaved dock or curled dock) are often found growing near patches of nettles.

In traditional Austrian medicine, alpine dock leaves and roots have been used internally for treatment of viral infections.

The seeds of dock plants are easy to harvest and dry; there is a folklore charm of the dried seeds being wrapped in a dock leaf and tied to the left arm of a woman to help her conceive.

However, the seeds are useful to add to spells, incense, poppets, pouches or bags, for fertility, wealth, to increase your flow of money, success, strength, healing, over coming difficulties, determination.


Wortcunning: A Folk Magic Herbal by Nigel G. Pearson

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