Rue - Ruta Graveolens – Herbs

Blending Note: Middle

Main Benefits: Deterrent of various Nervous Afflictions, Circulation 

Properties: Antiarthritic, Antirheumatic, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Insecticidal 

Origin: Morocco

Other Producers: Spain, Italy, France

Allergy Warning: Rue extracts are mutagenic and hepatotoxic. Large doses can cause violent gastric pain, vomiting, systemic complications, and death. Exposure to common rue, or herbal preparations derived from it, can results in burn-like blisters on the skin. 


Short History:

Rue is mentioned in the Bible, Luke 11.42: "But woe unto you, Pharisees! For ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs". In mythology, the basilisk, whose breath could cause plants to wilt and stones to crack, had no effect on rue. Weasels that were bitten by the basilisk would retreat and eat rue in order to recover and return to fight. Rue is considered a national herb of Lithuania and it is the most frequently referred herb in Lithuanian folk songs, as an attribute of young girls, associated with virginity and maidenhood. It was common in traditional Lithuanian weddings for only virgins to wear rue (ruta) at their wedding, a symbol to show their purity. Likewise, rue is prominent in the Ukrainian folklore, songs and culture.


About Rue:

Rue has a culinary use if used sparingly, but it is bitter and gastric discomfort may be experienced by some individuals. Although used more extensively in former times, it is not an herb that is typically found in modern cuisine, and is today largely unknown to the general public and most chefs, and unavailable in grocery stores.  It is a component of bebere, the characteristic Ethiopian spice mixture, and as such is encountered in Ethiopian cuisine. It was used extensively in ancient Near Eastern and Roman cuisine. Rue leaves and berries are an important part of the cuisine of Ethiopia. Rue is also grown as an ornamental plant. Most cats dislike the smell of it, and it can, therefore, be used as a deterrent to them.  Caterpillars of some subspecies of butterflies feed on rue, as well as other plants. The caterpillars also feed readily on it. In South India, rue is recommended for home gardens to repel snakes (however the effectiveness is unknown).


Medicinal Uses:

Removal of Uric Acid Bacterial and Fungal Infections Coughs, Croup, Colic Flatulence, Headache, Bronchitis. Giddiness, Hysterical Spasm, Palpitation.

Other Uses:

Insect Repellent, Tea, Compress