Mountain Rose Herbs

Rue

Also known as

Ruta graveolens, Common Rue, and Herb of Grace

Introduction

Rue has a long history of use in both medicine and magick, and is considered a protective herb in both disciplines. The hardy evergreen shrub is mentioned by writers from Pliny to Shakespeare and beyond, as an herb of remembrance, of warding and of healing. Early physicians considered rue an excellent protection against plagues and pestilence, and used it to ward off poisons and fleas. A Modern Herbal refers to the plant’s ‘disagreeable odour and flavour’, but in truth, the bitterness of the leaves is only evident in large doses. In smaller amounts, it imparts a pleasant, musky flavor to cream cheeses and light meats. Rue was once believed to improve the eyesight and creativity, and no less personages than Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci regularly ate the small, trefoil leaves to increase their own. The legend of rue lives on in playing cards, where the symbol for the suit of clubs is said to be modeled on a leaf of rue. There are concerns that rue is poisonous and can cause violent gastric reactions when taken in large doses. In addition, some people are highly sensitive to the plant’s oils and can develop a severe rash when they are exposed to it and then the sun.

Constituents

Caprinic, plagonic, caprylic and oenanthylic acids - also a yellow crystalline body, called rutin

Parts Used

Leaves and stems

Typical Preparations

As a tincture, tea and seldom in capsules. Can also be made into a wash.

Summary

While rue has been used for centuries for both culinary and medicinal purposes, as well as in general use as a strewn herb to discourage pests, many modern herbalists suggest that it should not be taken internally. Despite this concern, small amounts of rue are often used in salads, egg dishes and cheeses in Mediterranean countries. It is one of the most well-known of the magickal protective herbs and is often used in spells of warding and protection in modern magic.

Precautions

Rue may be poisonous if ingested, and it is best administered by a practitioner familiar in this product. It should not ever be taken by pregnant women because of it may affect uterine contractions and blood flow. It should also be avoided by children and nursing women, and by those who are allergic to the plant. May cause photo toxicity in some individuals.

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.

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