Water Dock

Other Name(s):

Paradella Aquàtica, Patience Aquatique, Patience d'Eau, Rumex aquaticus.


Water dock is a plant. The dried root is used to make medicine.

People take water dock to treat constipation and for “blood purification.”

Water dock is applied directly to the affected area for mouth ulcers and skin sores. It is also used for cleaning the teeth.

In foods, water dock leaves are used in salads.

How does it work?

Water dock contains ingredients that are thought to affect the digestive system.

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Constipation.
  • “Blood purification.
  • Mouth ulcers, when applied directly to the skin.
  • Sores, when applied directly to the skin.
  • Cleaning the teeth.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of water dock for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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Side Effects

It is not known if water dock is safe or what the possible side effects might be.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of water dock during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Clotting problems: Water dock might make blood clot faster than normal.

Kidney disease: The oxalate crystals in water dock might form kidney stones. If you have a history of kidney stones or other kidney problems, it's best to avoid using water dock. It could make your condition worse.


The appropriate dose of water dock depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for water dock. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.


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Reviewed on 6/14/2021

Gruenwald J, Brendler T, Jaenicke C. PDR for Herbal Medicines. 1st ed. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company, Inc., 1998.

McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC 1997.

Schulz V, Hansel R, Tyler VE. Rational Phytotherapy: A Physician's Guide to Herbal Medicine. Terry C. Telger, transl. 3rd ed. Berlin, GER: Springer, 1998.

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