Getting to know Curly Dock aka Rumex Crispus is the perfect way to start a love affair with wild green leaves and wild seeds. It is a native plant in Europe and Asia but can today be found in agricultural land across the world. As one of the five most widely distributed plants in the world it is strange that we don’t find it is use in many areas.
Perhaps it is overshadowed by its edible cousins Buckwheat and Japanese knotweed, the Curly dock gets left on the shelf. As a medicinal plant it has been used as a laxative, to treat blood diseases and to treat jaundice.
Is Curly Dock Edible?
Nearly every part of this commonly found plant is edible; the stem, the leaves, the seeds and the root are used in different ways.
Where to Find Curly Dock?
Curly dock isn’t fussy when it comes to its habitat and where it chooses to grow. You will find it on shingle beaches, roadsides and walking trails. It also grows in wet conditions, hence why we have so much of it here in Ireland. The leaves can be found all year round.
There are many myths that suggest rubbing dock leaves on a nettle sting will relieve the pain. Although there is no scientific evidence to prove this actually works, there is something soothing about using nature to cure any natural stings or bites.
In the summer and early Autumn the seeds start to appear on the dock leaf stems. They will turn brown and get lighter in weight.
How to prepare dock seeds?
The seeds should be harvested in late summer when they have turned brown. Simply use a knife or clippers to cut the seeds from the curly dock stems. Then gently pull the seeds from the stem while holding it over a large pan or bowl. You can either wash them gently or sift them through a sieve to remove any bugs. Finally use a pestle and mortar or a coffee grinder to blend the seeds into a fluffy flour mix.
The seeds are gluten free for anybody looking for a wheat free flour. Be sure to store the dock flour in an airtight container.
Dock Seed Recipes
Curly Dock Crackers Recipe
If you are looking for a simple snack recipe then curly dock crackers are easy to make, nutritious and full of flavour.
- 1 cup of ground curly dock seeds
- 1 cup of all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon of Dried Thyme or Rosemary
Wild Seed Mix
You can use this wild seed mix to add a spoonful of natural nutrition to your meals. We hand pick and dry out all of the seeks on a tray and combine an even amount of each one.
- Curly Dock Seeds
- Plaintain Seeds
- Nettle Seeds
Now that you know all about Curly dock seeds you can keep an eye out for them the next time you are out for a walk. Let us know if you have any curly dock recipes to share too, we love swapping notes.