I was introduced to the amazing health benefits of rue plant a few years ago by a herbalist. We call it Aruvatham Pachai in Tamil and Sudabu in Hindi. The botanical name of this plant is Ruta Graveolens. This plant produces yellow flowers and the leaves have a distinctive odor. This plant is very famously called Rue herb | Common Rue all over the world and Ruda in Spanish.
Though this herb is toxic and bitter and is very very dose-dependent, many cultures use the leaves of this plant in certain traditional dishes. Since it is very bitter, the correct amount should be added to the dishes, adding the correct amount is said to add a unique flavor to certain dishes.
Rue Herb Medicinal Uses:
Rue herb has amazing medicinal uses and it is used in Indian medicine for many years. Along with the medicinal uses mentioned below, it is also used for eye problems, and headaches, to remove worms, and also as a medicine for certain cancers. We also get rue essential oil which has these same uses and even rue cream is available.
1. For Causing Abortion (Traditional Use):
Since rue herb has abortifacient properties it was used to induce abortion by ancient healers. But since the dosage is very crucial, it is very dangerous to use rue herb for causing abortion as it can harm the mother.
2. For Easing Pain & Inflammation:
Rue herb has wonderful anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties that can help relieve pain. You can have it as tea to ease the inflammation in the correct dosage. It can be used for treating shoulder pain, arthritis, and sprains. You can read the research paper that supports this claim here.
3. To Repel Dogs & Cats:
Growing ruta graveolens plant is one of the popular remedies for repelling dogs and cats. The cats hate the smell of the leaves. It also has powerful insecticidal properties.
4. Rue Herb For Warts:
Ruta graveolens is one of the popular homeopathic treatments for warts especially in hands that are flat, sore, and inflamed. But the treatment has to be taken only under strict medical supervision.
5. Anti-Bacterial & Fungal Properties:
Ruta graveolens extract in all three forms (methanolic, aquatic, and ethanolic) has wonderful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, it can be used to fight bacteria and fungus very effectively. You can read the research that proves this claim here.
Side Effects Of Ruta Graveolens:
I am always very very cautious of dose-dependent herbs as most of the time we get the dosage wrong and it will do more harm than good if used as a home remedy, it is best to use them only under expert guidance. I was not planning on writing about rue herb at all as the herb is highly toxic at certain levels and overdosing can lead to severe stomach pain, vomiting, and even death.
Even external application of the extract causes photosensitization in most individuals resulting in blisters when we go out in the sun after touching the plant so it is always advisable to handle the plant only with gloved hands. What made me change my mind and write about this plant is the discussion I had with my neighbor. We were discussing herbs as it is my favorite subject and she told me about the uses of the rue plant after reading from a book and she mentioned that it can be safely given to babies!
I was shocked as giving rue extract to babies should never be done and is very very dangerous. I have a kind request, please be careful while using herbs at home that you are not fully aware of. I thought I can help in a small way by recording both the benefits, side effects, and the safe dosage of this plant. If you want to use ruta graveolens at home, I would suggest using it in the safe dosage mentioned below.
How To Make Rue Tea:
1. Collect fresh rue herb leaves, when collecting make sure you are wearing gloves. Sometimes there might be bruised leaves in the plant and if you get the extract in your hands, it might cause skin irritation. I cut the leaves with scissors and transferred them to a plate with the help of scissors itself.
2. Spread the leaves on a plate and shade dry till crisp, drying reduces the toxicity of the herb a bit as there is a tiny loss of the volatile oil present in the herb while drying.
3. Take around 0.5 grams of the dried leaves in a cup, boil 100 ml of water and pour over the leaves and let it steep till the water turns lukewarm. Strain the tea and drink. It will have the strong smell of the leaves and will taste bitter. This tea is very good for treating inflammation, it will give very good relief soon.
- I would suggest using the given dosage for making rue tea, at this dosage it is safe. Please use higher dosages only under medical supervision.
- Pregnant women should strictly not take rue herb at all in any form.
- Children and babies should not be given rue extract.
- An increase in acute skin sensitivity to the sun which results in blisters does not happen to everyone but it is very very common.