This plant has an impressive history. Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo both claimed that, owing to Rue’s metaphysical powers, their eyesight and creative inner vision had been improved. Branches of rue were used to sprinkle holy water before high mass, and it was an important strewing herb and anti-plague plant. Robbers who stripped plague victims protected themselves with the ‘Vinegar of the four thieves’, rue being an ingredient, and was also a main component of mithridate, a Greek all-purpose poison antidote. Rue is shown on the heraldic order of the Thistle and inspired the design of the suit of clubs in playing cards.
It was one of the herbs used during the time of the black Death Plague to stem infection
It was used in the earliest centuries in Greece and Rome to induce abortion and strengthen the eyesight. Ancient healers painted it on their doors as a sign that they were medicine men and women.
Medicinally, it has been used for the following ailments, but we would encourage you to only ingest this herb under the guidance of your holistic doctor.
Externally it is used in the following ways:
A compress for skin ulcers and wounds and it is good for drawing out abscesses and boils, ringworm, skin parasites and lice
The fresh leaves are used in a homoeopathic tincture for rheumatism, arthritis and neuralgia. This can reduce inflammation in arthritis and bronchitis. It can also be used to alleviate the symptoms of flu 5
Rue has also been used as an appetiser and bile stimulant, as well as for colic, worms and upset stomach
It has been used as a toothache remedy amongst the indigenous peoples of Southern Africa
Ruta graveolens is also known for its support of the cardiovascular system. It contains iron and mineral salts which make it a good tonic. It has been known to help regulate blood pressure as well as moderate palpitations. Rue contains rutin, which helps to absorb vitamin c which strengthens to wall of blood capillaries.
Rue is used as a menstruation stimulant and to ease menstrual pain. For this reason, it is recommended that pregnant women do not take Rue.
The dried leaves contain a powerful germ killer and insecticide; crush and sprinkle as an insect repellent.
Fresh rue will repel flies and mosquitoes.
Dried rue sprinkled round plants protects them from ants and worms.
Twigs in a dog’s bed will deter fleas.
Cosmetically, Rue leaves can be made into a tea and used to bathe tired eyes.
Rue comes with the following cautions: It may irritate some skins and should never be used during pregnancy. The oils present in rue can cause an allergic action to people with sensitive skins. Large doses of rue can be poisonous and rue essential oil is considered a hazardous oil and can cause death. Only use internally under the advice of your holistic doctor.