Yellow Dock Root in Soap

There are many ways to naturally bring color to soap. Infusing a botanical into a soaping oil is a very common method. Yellow Dock root can bring a pink hue to cold process soaps, and it just so happens to grow wild here.
freshly dug yellow dock root

Of course I was excited to have such a useful plant in my backyard! The leaves are edible, my rabbits love them, and the seeds are as well, although I have yet to try them. Yellow Dock is an especially special botanical addition to soap. Not only does it bring color, the root has beneficial properties for skin. Yellow Dock Root has historically been used by Native Americans to treat a variety of skin conditions. I was delighted to feel the difference in my hands when working with the fresh roots. My skin felt crazy smooth after getting the juice on me.
chopped yellow dock root
Once the roots are cleaned and chopped, I arrange them on a screen to dry. It's really important to make sure that any plant materials you are planning to infuse in oil are properly dried. Any water content can cause mold, bacteria, and spoilage.  
The infusion is going to look yellow, just like the roots and their juice. However the pH change during saponification will make that yellow transform to pink. The intensity of the color can vary depending on how much infusion is used, and if soap goes through gel phase.

Here's a look at the result in a soap made with yellow dock for the natural pink color, and powdered rose hips for speckles. 
naturally pink soap using yellow dock root

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