Category: Medicines - plant based
Introduction and description
Ruta graveolens — commonly known as rue, common rue or herb-of-grace — is a species of Ruta grown as a herb.
It is native to the Balkan Peninsula.
It is now grown throughout the world as an ornamental plant in gardens, especially because of its bluish leaves, and also sometimes for its tolerance of hot and dry soil conditions. It is also cultivated as a medicinal herb, and to a lesser extent as an insect repellent.
Unlike many of the herbs on this site, it should not be treated as a culinary herb but a medicine. This is because its properties are quite dangerous if misused. This is one herb you do need to know well.
The Tacuinum Sanitatis, a medieval handbook on wellness, lists these properties of rue:
- Nature: Warm and dry in the third degree.
- Optimum: That which is grown near a fig tree.
- Usefulness: It sharpens the eyesight and dissipates flatulence.
- Dangers: It augments the sperm and dampens the desire for coitus.
- Neutralization of the Dangers: With foods that multiply the sperm.
The refined oil of rue is an emmenagogue and was cited by the Roman historian Pliny the Elder and the gynecologist Soranus as a potent abortifacient
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