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Rue Common

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  • Botanical: Ruta graveolens
  • Family: Rutaceae
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Rue Common

Botanical

Ruta graveolens

Family

Rutaceae

Known as

Rue, Ruta graveolens, Herb of Grace, Raute, Weinraute

Old Use

culinary; medicinal

Collection Times

August to October

Parts Used

leaves

Medicinal

abdominal pain, antiseptic, anxiety, asthma, bronchitis, bronchitis, circulation, constipation, coughs, cramps stomach, flatulence, gout, headache, high blood preasure, hot flashes, indigestion, infections intestinal, intestinal parasites, menstruation promotion, menstrual problems, palpitations

Heart & Circulation

palpitations

Hormone & Sexual Organs

menstrual cramps, menstruation promotion, menstrual problems

Infection & Inflammation

earache, eye inflammation, infections intestinal

Mind & Nerves

anxiety, colic, headache

Respiratory System

bronchitis, cough, difficulty breathing, respiratory

Stomach & Intestinal

constipation, flatulence, gastrointestinal, laxative, intestinal parasites, stomach cramps

Properties

abortifacient, antibacterial, antispasmodic, anti inflammatory, carminative, expectorant, rubefacient, stimulant, stomachic, tonic

Description

A perennial herb or small shrub with a bad smell. Grows erect up to 1 meter high with leaves that alternate, are twice or thrice divided and are 1.5 -2 cm long. The greenish yellow, tiny flowers with fringe petals are born in terminal clusters 

Properties & Uses

Rue has a long history of use as a domestic remedy, being especially valued for its strengthening action on the eyes. The plant contains flavonoids (notably rutin) that reduce capillary fragility, which might explain the plants reputation as an eye strengthener. Some caution is advised in its use internally, however, since in large doses it is toxic and it can also cause miscarriages[. The whole herb is abortifacient, anthelmintic, antidote, antispasmodic, carminative, emetic, emmenagogue, expectorant, haemostatic, ophthalmic, rubefacient, strongly stimulant, mildly stomachic and uterotonic. The tops of fresh shoots are the most active medicinally, they should be gathered before the plant flowers and can be used fresh or dried. An infusion is used in the treatment of hysterical affections, coughs, flatulence etc. The juice of the plant has been used in treating earaches and chewing a leaf or two is said to quickly bring relief from giddiness, nervous headaches, palpitations etc. An alkaloid found in the plant is abortifacient, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. A homeopathic remedy is obtained from the fresh herb, harvested in early summer shortly before flowering begins. This is used in the treatment of a variety of complaints including eye strain, headache and sprains. 

Other Uses

The growing or the dried plant can be used to repel insects, it is most useful when the plant is grown near roses and raspberries. The dried herb can also be put in the linen cupboard to repel moths. The growing plant is also said to repel cats. A red dye is obtained from the plant. An essential oil is obtained from the leaves and young shoots, it is used in perfumery and as a food flavouring. The plant was formerly used as a strewing herb. Plants can be grown for ground cover when planted about 45cm apart each way. They can be trimmed back in spring to keep them bushy

Cautions

All parts of this plant are poisonous in large quantities. It should not be used at all by pregnant women since it can induce abortions. The sap contains furanocoumarins, sensitizing the skin to light and causing blistering or dermatitis in sensitive people

Distribution

Rue is native to the Mediterranean region and was brought to Mexico and the American tropics by the Spanish. Commonly grown in home gardens in the 'West Indies, Mexico, Central and South America. Rue is also widely grown in India.

Constituents

Essential oil, Rutin, Cumaringlycosid, glycosides, rubber, resin, starch, bitter substances, malic acid

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.