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Rue

Rue

Ruta graveolens

Rue has now been determined to be effective against helminths, spasms, flatulence, amenorrhea, cough, urinary tract infections, and abdominal pain.

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names: Common Rue, Herb of Grace
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: No
  • Ceremonial: Yes
  • Parts Used: Leaves, stems and flowers
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About Rue

Ruta graveolens, commonly termed as herb-of-grace is an overlooked remedial plant that can bring about a lot of medicinal benefits. It is usually grown as an ornamental plant that grows to a medium height of approximately 3 feet, adorned with yellow blooms and extremely aromatic but slightly toxic blue-green leaves.

Historically, rue was employed for strengthening the activities of weakened eyes. Rue has now been determined to be effective against helminths, spasms, flatulence, amenorrhea, cough, urinary tract infections, and abdominal pain. The juice of the rue plant is quite potent in curing earache, headaches, palpitation, inflammation, and even sprains. Rue leaves have a great impact on the circulatory system as they are liable to reduce the fragility of vessels.

Rue leaves are utilized or as a seasoning force to offer the dish some strong flavor. However, the plant has some downsides about it too. It can induce miscarriage due to its abortifacient property and should be avoided by the pregnant population. It can also make sensitize the skin of some people towards the light, leading to dermatitis.

Rue is packed with many alkaloids like graceoline, graveolinine, gravacridone, furacridone, and coumarins that help give rue the universally known magical powers to help people.

Growing

Rue is extremely easy to grow and is over-particular about indoors and outdoor settings. It can be started through seeds, cuttings, or layering. For seeds, they need to be stratified first in a cold frame until they have established firmly for getting planted in a pot or garden bed. The cuttings are started in winter whereas the layering can be done in early summer. As for the root divisions, they are advised to be sown in spring.

Where some plants nearly die at the sight of poor quality soil, rue seems to thrive in them easily. It can effortlessly undergo dry spells because they encourage the idea of dryness for growth. Even if it is shady or sunny, rue knows how to combat such drastic conditions skillfully.


Rue is a low-maintenance, easy-growing plant. If given a sunny position, rue seeds can sprout within 5 to 20 days. The plant advances and gives out typical blue-green foliage. Rue grows into an upright plant that manifests somewhat round, columnar shape.

Rue commences its flowering season mid-summer and keeps flowering until late-summer. Its dull yellow flowers are a perfect welcoming sight for the pollinators.

The fertilization results in dry fruit formation that bursts open after ripening to disperse the seeds for the propagation of the plant.

Harvesting

Rue leaves are harvested before the plant starts flowering, early in the morning to obtain high amounts of its essential oils. The stem cuttings are harvested in June or August while the root cuttings are cut in spring.

Rue leaves, stems, roots, and flowers are harvested with gloves on hand and sharp pairs of gardening shear.

The harvested parts of a plant are either immediately used or dried for a week in the air to catch up with its strong taste for months.

Usage

Rue is a plant with eternal remedial benefits. This delicately woven plant with lacy-looking foliage is fervently used in a wide array of medicinal preparations to enhance the life quality of masses.

  • Tincture - Infuse fresh or dried chopped rue leaves in grain alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks. Strain the liquid and place it in a dark and dry place.
  • Tea - Dried rue leaves are brewed in hot boiling water for few minutes to make rue tea.
  • Decoction - Dried rue leaves and stems are decocted in water for not more than an hour to form rue decoction.
  • Salve - Rue oil is used in the preparation of rue salve along with beeswax.
  • Infused oil - Dried rue stems and leaves are combined with a carrier oil at the lowest possible flame to keep the oil hot (do not simmer) for 10 to 14 days to form rue-infused oil.