Rue: medicinal properties, method of use and benefits


Ruta graveolens





Rue, whose scientific name is Ruta graveolens L., belongs to the family of Rutaceae and it is a plant widely used as a flavoring of liqueurs as well as to flavor various dishes. It is a plant that also has several therapeutic properties.

Rue is a perennial herbaceous plant, with herbaceous stems up to one meter high. The leaves are tripennate divided into very fragrant laciniae. The flowers are small, inconspicuous, yellow in color carried by apical corymb inflorescences. The fruits are capsules containing numerous seeds.


Rue is made up of: tannins, organic acids, resins, essential oil. It also contains furocoumarins and rutarine, alkaloids present in the essential oil that make it classified as a toxic plant.

Its properties are: emmenagogue, stimulant, rubefacient, intestinal antispasmodic.


The more tender end parts of the plant and the leaves collected from May to August are used for the rue. They can also be used dried.


Rue for medicinal use is administered almost exclusively externally in the form of oil and massage tincture for joint pain, neuralgia and cramps.

In the kitchen it must be used with great moderation to flavor various dishes and to flavor liqueurs (especially grappas).


The presence of rue in the garden keeps the vipers away.


It is preferable not to make herbal preparations based on rue at home as it is toxic but to use ready-made products purchased at specialized shops.

Rue: properties and benefits for the body of this plant

Rue or Ruta graveolens, as this plant typical of our territories is also known: let's discover together all the properties and uses of this plant that has long been known for its therapeutic virtues.

There rue plant (scientific name Ruta graveolens) grows spontaneously in many Italian regions, from flat areas located at sea level up to a maximum of about one thousand meters above sea level.

In ancient times it was also known as 'herb that keeps spirits away'. In fact, the power to drive away witches and the evil eye was attributed to the rue.

This plant was also considered as a natural remedy against various ailments, such as various types of pain. From menstrual pain to toothache through sore throat or earache.

Among the constituents there are phytoestrogens, including 8-prenylnaringenin, but there are still no data on its use in menopause disorders, nor are there extracts of hop standardized in phytoestrogens.

Avoid the use of hops in case of ascertained hypersensitivity to one or more components.
The use of hops is also contraindicated in patients suffering from depression and during pregnancy.
Finally, some authors state that the use of hops is also contraindicated in women with estrogen-dependent breast cancer (due to the phytoestrogens contained in the plant).

What is the use of rue

Hemenagogue effect for menstruation

Thanks to yours hemenagogue effect, infusion of rue can be interesting at the time of increase and regulate menstruation, thus becoming a good remedy in case of a small period or when it is deficient.

This effect works by increasing blood production in the area of ​​the uterus and pelvis, stimulating this area and thus inducing increased menstruation.

Due to this effect its consumption is not recommended in case of pregnancy, due to its abortive effect.

Antispasmodic effect on the digestive system

Rue also stands out for her antispasmodic effect, acts as a muscle relaxant of the digestive system, preventing spasms and contractions of the digestive system and intestines.

Interesting antitussive effect in case of cough

Another of the most interesting effects of ruda comes from the hand of its antitussive action, which makes it an interesting plant when it comes to developing home remedies for cough, helping to calm it, acting mainly on the central or peripheral nervous system, suppressing the reflex of the cough. cough.

It is particularly recommended in the natural treatment of dry, irritating and non-productive cough, which is therefore contraindicated in the case of productive cough.

Side effects

Following the intake of rue or its preparations, episodes of photosensitization due to the presence of coumarins are possible.
Furthermore, cases of photodermatosis have also been reported following contact of the skin with the leaves of the plant.
In the event of an overdose, however, symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, epigastric pain, kidney and liver damage, tremors, spasms, depression, fainting and, in severe cases, even death may arise.


Rutin and rutoside are sometimes improperly called vitamin P, to underline their great effectiveness in regulating the permeability of blood capillaries. It is no coincidence that they are also used in medicinal specialties registered to maintain the physiological permeability and trophism of capillaries in particular conditions, such as hemorrhoids, the ability of rutin to act as an anti-hemorrhagic and anti-edema can therefore have an important therapeutic role. In this sense, rutin shares the same properties as quercetin, a flavonoid contained in its molecule (such as aglycone) together with a sugary part (rutinose).


In the ancient times it was believed that the plant had the property to defend people from the contagion of the plague.

In ancient times it was believed that this herb was useful for warding off fear. In this regard, it was planted in the garden to defend the house and was put in your pocket when you had to face difficult situations.

Another one property of the plant is to ward off insects and mice that seem unable to bear its smell. Lately it has also been discovered that some plants of rue in the garden they keep mosquitoes and vipers away from the house.

In ancient times it was often used for abortion but with sometimes lethal consequences even for pregnant women.

Popular beliefs once held that the places where the plant grew in spontaneous way they were lucky areas.

Maybe Not Everyone Knows That

There rue it is also mentioned by Hippocrates in his book on diseases in which he talks about his own purifying properties for the liver.

For therapeutic use, the herb is used almost and exclusively for external use in the form of dyeing and of oil for massages of the parts to be treated.

At one time, at the risk of incurring severe skin irritation, the juice and pulp of rue they were used directly on the skin to eradicate leeks.

The word graveolens comes from the Latin words gravis ed olens which translated into Italian mean dal strong smell.

Also in the past the plant was considered a plant with aphrodisiac properties.

Video: Herbs in Action Betsabe Castro Escobar, Common Rue

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